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September 11th, 2010 - Back to School Kid Parade | Community Spirit

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September 11th, 2010 - Back to School Kid Parade

First Ever “Back to School Kid Parade!”West Side leaders make big plansGrand Rapids---The upper west side of Grand Rapids will be filled with colorful bikes and banners Saturday, September 11 as a group of people with deep ties to the community host the first ever Kid Parade to celebrate being Back to School. The idea was hatched by Ed Kettle, Chief of Staff for State Representative Roy Schmidt and long time neighborhood advocate. He enlisted City Commissioner Dave Shaffer and School Board Member Jon O?Connor to help assemble a group to make the event a reality.The Kid Parade will begin at 11am sharp. The parade starts at Westend Street, one block west of Covell Road, and will proceed west on Leonard to the Elk?s Lodge 48 (Highlands Golf Course). Once there the group will offer a brief ceremony to commemorate the lives and sacrifices of Fire and Police professionals on the anniversary date of the 9-11 attacks in New York City. After that there will be activities for the kids, a food booth, games, prizes and music. The event concludes at 1:00PMLead sponsors for the event are ATT and Meijer. Other sponsors include Steenland Insurance, Fifth Third Bank, Grand Rapids Association of Realtors, Elks Lodge 48, Swift Printing, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Education Association, Brann?s Restaurants and the City of Grand Rapids. West Grand Neighborhood Organization is the host organization.The Back to School event is the first part of a much larger plan for the entire northwest side of Grand Rapids according to Kettle. “We are going to host a “Start of Summer” event next year that will highlight the enormous advantages of living in the traditional valley areas of the west side with its many parks, pools, libraries, great schools, historic business districts, bars and restaurants and its proximity to downtown. The upper west side is more a bedroom community attractive to young families looking for newer homes with big back yards now available at unbelievable prices. We are promoting life in the city and hope the idea catches on.”Committee members include:Ed Kettle - 791-0007 or 517-373-0822Dave Shaffer, 1st Ward City Commissioner - 885-2424Jon O?Connor, GRPS Board - 450-5649Diane Dusendang, Elks Lodge #48 - 988-5820John Helmholdt, GRPS -Paul Knust, West Grand Neighborhood OrganizationKyle Van Strien, The Other WayMike Lampani, ElksSue Murtland, ElksCarrie Shaffer, Boys & Girls Club