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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 GR Central: Michael Bublé at Van Andel Arena this Friday, July 25

My Town GR Central: Michael Bublé at Van Andel Arena this Friday, July 25

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Grammy Award-winner Michael Bublé returns to Grand Rapids with a show at Van Andel Arena on Friday, July 25, 2014.

Tickets began selling Friday, May 2 at 10 a.m. Bublé is touring in support of his new top-selling release, "To Be Loved".

Bublé has been named "one of the most likeable performers on Earth".  His current tour is his biggest stage production to date and has sold out in 40 cities. His stage show is propelled by a string of smash hits including his most recent single "Close Your Eyes", "It's A Beautiful Day", "Haven't Met You Yet", "Home" and "Everything", along with Michael's distinctive interpretations of classics like "You Make Me Feel So Young" and "Young at Heart". 

My Town: Restaurant Week GR to include specials from 66 restaurants

My Town: Restaurant Week GR to include specials from 66 restaurants

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Restaurant Week is about a month away, but you can start making your plans by salivating over the menus.

The 5th annual event runs from Aug. 13 to Aug. 24 at 66 Grand Rapids restaurants. This year, the theme is "Perfect Pairings" to showcase beverages that pair well with foods.

Restaurants are now taking reservations for Restaurant Week Grand Rapids. This year, 44 restaurants will offer 3-course locally inspired menus for $28 per person, including:

 

My Town Ada/Cascade

My Town: Local restaurants named winners of wine

My Town: Local restaurants named winners of wine

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—At least half a dozen restaurants in West Michigan have made the cut for the corks they pop.

They are among 3,748 restaurants worldwide to make Wine Spectator’s 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards.  For the first time this year, top honors went to Clos Maggiore in London, La Toque in Napa, Nice Matin in New York, Saison in San Francisco, The Stonehouse in Santa Barbara and Studio in Laguna Beach.  They join 68 other winners of the Grand Award, which honors restaurants that generally offer guests 1,500 or more wine selections and for superior cellars, service, ambiance and cuisine.

The program’s entry-level Award of Excellence went to 2,791 restaurants; another 883 restaurants earned the Best of Award of Excellence for typically offering a list of 350 or more quality wine selections.  Locally, the following restaurants made the cut:

My Town GR West: Date set for Hispanic Festival's return

My Town GR West: Date set for Hispanic Festival's return

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- A celebration of Grand Rapids' Latino culture is returning for its 37th year.

The Hispanic Festival will fill Calder Plaza Sept. 5 and 6. The event is the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan's premier annual celebration.  Last year, thousands of visitors enjoyed live music, dancing and cuisine native to Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. There was also a dance club .

Organizers say the purpose of the event it to bring community members together.

My Town: Michigan Modern comes to Grand Rapids

My Town: Michigan Modern comes to Grand Rapids

By Bona Van Dis
This story originally appeared in Rapid Growth

My Town: Check out a Book Buddy at your local library

My Town: Check out a Book Buddy at your local library

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Firemen, ballerinas, mascots, sports figures, literary characters and more will be at local library branches on June 21 to get kids reading!

Kent District Library, Grand Rapids Public Library and the Heart of West Michigan United Way are joining forces to present Book Buddies, a program that encourages children to check out a “book buddy” and spend ten minutes reading their favorite book together.

The Book Buddies program is designed to help children meet the goal of reading 400 minutes over the summer, the amount of time it is estimated that kids should spend reading to prevent summer slide and maintain the reading gains they made over the school year.

Seven local library branches will present Book Buddies on June 21. The schedule is as follows: