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My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

My Town: Grants introduce more children to fishing

My Town: Grants introduce more children to fishing

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of children will get the chance to experience the fun of fishing, thanks to mini-grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

MDNR’s fisheries division raised $3,482 through a silent auction for Mentor Michigan.  The funding will go to five organizations statewide to allow children and their mentors enjoy a fishing outing. 

“Every youth should have the opportunity to experience fishing,” said Mentor Michigan Director Amber Troupe. “Unfortunately, there are many obstacles to this fun activity, such as a lack of equipment, transportation or knowledge of the sport.  We are thankful to [the MDNR's] Fisheries Division for providing this generous donation so mentoring programs around the state will be able to introduce fishing and fishing skills to their matches.”

My Town Belding: Kari Ann & Lost Creek to take stage for free summer concert

My Town Belding: Kari Ann & Lost Creek to take stage for free summer concert

BELDING, Mich.-- Enjoy music and free popcorn when Kari Ann & Lost Creek take the stage this week for Belding's Music in the Park summer concert series.

Each seasonal performance takes place on Thursdays, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Riverside Park.  The rest of this year's lineup is as follows:

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town: Determining the future of downtown Belding

My Town: Determining the future of downtown Belding

BELDING, Mich.—What does downtown Belding need?

That’s the question the city’s Downtown Development Authority is asking community members in a survey now available online. The survey focuses on demographics, housing, business, service and amenities. The results will guide the DDA as it develops its plan for downtown.  That plan is due by the end of the summer.  For a link to the online survey, click here.

For more information about the downtown development plan, contact City Clerk Kareen Thomas at kthomas@ci.belding.mi.us  or (616) 794-1900.

My Town Greenville: Bree Town honored for inspirational battle against cancer

My Town Greenville: Bree Town honored for inspirational battle against cancer

GREENVILLE, Mich.—A 10-year-old girl whose battle with a rare form of cancer inspired a community is being honored by her school.

Just days before the end of the school year, Bree Town visited Baldwin Heights Tuesday to see her classmates and teachers.  During her visit, Bree was surprised with the Principal’s Award for inspiring others through her strength, perseverance and courage.

Bree has been battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia for two years.  Her cancer is now in remission after receiving a life-saving bone marrow transplant earlier this year.  It's unclear if she will be returning to class next fall.