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Community Spirit

My Town Holland: Elzinga & Volkers celebrates 70th anniversary with 70 random acts of kindness

My Town Holland: Elzinga & Volkers celebrates 70th anniversary  with 70 random acts of kindness

HOLLAND, Mich.-- Elzinga & Volkers (E&V), a leading provider of construction management services, will celebrate its 70th anniversary by launching a 70 Random Acts of Kindness initiative throughout West Michigan.  

The year-long program will see all employees continuing to give back to the communities that have supported E&V’s growth over the past seven decades.  Team members will venture out into the community with the financial resources to make a difference wherever they feel drawn to help. During the campaign, everyone’s goal will be the same: make a positive impact in the lives of the people they meet. 

My Town Kalamazoo: Officer saves wedding day during winter storm

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--  Last week’s winter storm almost ruined a Kalamazoo couple’s wedding plans-- until an officer saved the day.

Dean Lauer and Carrie Stull had it marked on their calendar-- Jan. 9 was to be the day they officially started their lives together.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature also had plans for that Friday-- hammering the area with extremely cold temperatures and another round of snow, which shut down the Kalamazoo County Courthouse.  When Lauer, Stull and their loved ones arrived at the courthouse at their designated time, they found the building was closed.  Panicking, the party walked into the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety lobby to regroup. 

My Town: Time to trash the tree! Free Christmas tree recycling locations

My Town: Time to trash the tree!  Free Christmas tree recycling locations

Christmas is over, which means it’s time to trash the tree.

Many municipalities are offering free tree recycling services to residents with a natural tree.  Some communities are planning to put the trees through a chipper and use the remnants to cover park trails and other green spaces.  Here is the schedule for live tree drop-offs:

Ada Township (Through Jan. 12)

  • Ada Township Park, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Alpine Township (Through Jan. 31)

  • Behind Township Hall, 5255 Alpine Ave. NW

 

Cannon Township (Through Jan. 10)

  • West side of the township building; RHS Honor Society will help unload trees Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (donations encouraged)

 

Courtland Township (Through Jan. 31)

  • Fire Station #1 on 14 Mile Road

 

My Town Montague: Lake Michigan trail to get upgrade

My Town Montague: Lake Michigan trail to get upgrade

MONTAGUE, Mich.—A pathway that winds along the Lake Michigan coast is getting an upgrade.

Great Lakes Energy is awarding $4,000 to the City of Hart to reconstruct the Hart-Montague trail, which covers 225 acres, from Hart to Montague.  The grant comes from the People Fund, which is solely supported by Great Lakes Energy customers who choose to round up their bill each month to the next dollar.  Since 1999, the People Fund has led to more than $2.67 million in grants to local nonprofit groups and organizations.

“People may not think 50 cents a month can do much, but when added with the contributions of other Great Lakes Energy members, we are able to help so many,” explains President and CEO Steve Boeckman. “Giving back to the community is one of the cooperative principles and we couldn’t do it without our members’ generosity.”

My Town: Meijer shoppers receive checkout surprise

WALKER, Mich.—Christmas came early to 213 Meijer shoppers, who received a checkout surprise.

 

On Dec. 13, the Walker-based retailer paid for all of the gifts and groceries filling each shopper’s cart, ranging from $350 to $1,200 each.  The company posted video of the event on YouTube, which you can find here.

 

“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers,” Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”

 

My Town: West Michigan home to two of the top corn growers

My Town: West Michigan home to two of the top corn growers

West Michigan is home to two of the top corn growers in the state.

Hoeve Farms in Holland and Scott Jirgens farm in Kalamazoo were among the winners of the National Corn Yield Contest.  Hoeve Farms harvested 266.8 bushels of corn per acre, earning it third place among irrigated farms in Michigan. Scott Jirgens’ farm yielded 221.9 bushels of corn per acre, putting it in third place among no-till/strip-till irrigated farms in the state.

This was the 50th year for the National Corn Yield Contest.

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Thousands of students interested in Michigan’s cultural hot spots will now have a set of wheels to get there.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs this week announced the recipients of its latest round of grants for its Arts & Culture Trek grant program.  The organization is awarding $60,000 to 161 schools across the state, to pay for field trip transportation.  Each grant is worth up to $500 and must be used between Jan. 5, 2015 and March 29, 2015.

"A record-breaking number of Michigan K-12 teachers applied for an Arts & Culture Trek Grant this year, and the vast majority of recipients were awarded the full amount they requested," said Marianne Dorais, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts. "From Detroit to Kalamazoo to Flint to Marquette, this program will serve thousands of students from 42 counties across the state."