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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 Sparta: GriefShare begins Feb. 3

My Town Sparta: GriefShare begins Feb. 3

SPARTA, Mich.-- The Sparta United Methodist Church is once again offering a GriefShare support group this winter on Tuesdays, Feb. 3 through April 28 at 6:30 p.m.

This support group is for anyone age 13 or older who has lost a loved one from an accident, illness, suicide or cancer. It is a 13 week course with each meeting consisting of watching a 30 minute DVD with different grief topics/situations. The group spends another 30-60 minutes sharing whatever is on their hearts. A participant can come to all or any of the meetings. The facilitators of this support group have both lost loved ones. It is an informal gathering offering coffee, tea, snacks and caring friendships.

For more information or directions, call the church office at 887-8255 or visit www.spartaumc.com. There is no cost or advance registration required.

My Town Sparta: Council divvies up community grants

My Town Sparta: Council divvies up community grants

SPARTA, Mich.—Two organizations helping seniors and parents in need are getting a boost from the Village of Sparta.

During their regular meeting Monday night, council members approved allocating $12,500 of its Community Development Block Grant to Senior Neighbors, which helps 4,000 older Kent County adults remain independent and healthy. Village Manager Julius Suchy says the remaining $4,000 will go to Arbor Circle, which provides mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and family development programs to the community.

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 Sparta: Christmas story comes alive at Ballard Church

My Town Sparta: Christmas story comes alive at Ballard Church

SPARTA, Mich.-- The Christmas story is coming alive right outside Ballard Church.

The Church's "Living Nativity" is on display from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. nightly through Wednesday, Dec. 24.  The nativity is complete with the church's own version of the holy family, shepherds, live animals, wise men and more.

Ballard Church of Christ is located at 1633 10 Mile Road near Sparta.  For more information, call (616) 887-7311 or visit www.ballardcrc.org.

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: Sparta High School students collect more than 1,000 toys for donation

My Town: Sparta High School students collect more than 1,000 toys for donation

SPARTA, Mich. -- WZZM 13 is celebrating the end to yet another successful Toys for Tots School Spirit Challenge, thanks to an army of students scattered across West Michigan.

More than 40 schools participated in this year's drive, collecting more than 11,000 toys. Sparta High School collected 1,271 toys to donate.

For additional toy totals and videos, visit the WZZM 13 Toys for Tots page.