Our network

Community Spirit

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."

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards $26K to nonprofit groups

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards $26K to nonprofit groups

KENT COUNTY, Mich.— Dozens of nonprofit organizations across Michigan are getting a boost from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

As part of its Volunteer Investment Program, the foundation is awarding more than $26,000 in grants to charities supported by Consumers Energy employees and retirees.  The most recent recipients include:

My Town Kalamazoo: Growlers turn to public to rename mascot

My Town Kalamazoo: Growlers turn to public to rename mascot

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A dispute within Minor League Baseball means the Kalamazoo Growlers will be holding another naming contest for its mascot.

The Growlers must change their mascot’s name, Barlee because it is similar to the Hillsboro Hopps mascot’s name, Barley.  The Hopps, a team out of Hillsboro, Oregon, have a trademark on the name.  The Growlers learned about the name conflict shortly after wrapping up its public naming contest in spring.  The team decided to change their mascot’s name “in the interest of maintaining a healthy working relationship” with the Hillsboro Hopps.

My Town: Schools awarded new grant to improve arts programs

My Town: Schools awarded new grant to improve arts programs

GREENVILLE, Mich.—School arts programs in Greenville and Kalamazoo are getting a financial boost from a new program.

Greenville Middle School and Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo are two of 43 schools in the state to get a grant of up to $1,200 from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Michigan Youth Arts.   The funding will be used toward buying or repairing classroom materials used for the arts, including visual arts, music programs, writing and media arts. 

“Applicants from across the state requested a total of $128,000 in grant funding, which exceeded well beyond our expectations, said Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts. “While this highlights the success of the program’s debut, it also shines a light on the increasing need for funding within arts education classrooms.”