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My Town: Nominations sought for Heart of West Michigan United Way awards

My Town: Nominations sought for Heart of West Michigan United Way awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Heart of West Michigan United Way is seeking nominations for its inaugural GIVE, ADVOCATE and VOLUNTEER awards.

The awards are meant to celebrate nonprofits, companies and people who have made a difference in the community.  The GIVE Award goes to a company that has displayed generosity within the community, and created a culture of giving within its organization last year.

The ADVOCATE Award honors a person or nonprofit organization who leads and works with people to improve the health and wellness of the community, leaving a lasting impact on Kent County.

The VOLUNTEER Award goes to a company that promotes and provides year-round opportunities for employees to volunteer within their community, improving Kent County.

My Town Holland: Hope College Alumni Association to honor two with Young Alumni Awards

My Town Holland: Hope College Alumni Association to honor two with Young Alumni Awards

HOLLAND, Mich. – The Hope College Alumni Association will honor two graduates with Young Alumni Awards on Thursday, March 27.

The association is recognizing Maxine Gray of Seattle, Wash., who is a 2004 Hope graduate, and Matt Scogin of New York City, who is a 2002 Hope graduate.  The awards will be presented during a dinner at the college’s Haworth Inn and Conference Center at 6 p.m.

The Young Alumni Award was established to honor the talents and contributions that young alumni have made to their professions, their communities and to the college.  The award was first presented in 2007.  Criteria include having been a member of the Alumni Association for 15 or fewer years; notable prominence through professional endeavor, research, volunteerism, and/or involvement with the local or global community or the college; and demonstrating significant initiative by starting innovative service projects, research, businesses or other original enterprises.

My Town Holland: American Homebrewers Association holds beer rally March 23

My Town Holland: American Homebrewers Association holds beer rally March 23

HOLLAND, Mich.— Home brewers and other enthusiasts are invited to rally around beer this Sunday, March 23 at New Holland Brewing.

The rally is being organized by the American Homebrewers Association.  The event will include brewery tours, beer samples, prizes and more.  Hop farmers and local maltsters will also be offering educational sessions on the homebrewing process.  Participants are also encouraged to bring their best homebrew to share during the brewery tour. 

My Town Holland: Hope College Students earn awards in opera competition

My Town Holland: Hope College Students earn awards in opera competition

HOLLAND, Mich. – Hope College students earned first place and finalist honors during the Opera Grand Rapids Collegiate Competition held on Friday, Feb. 28 at the Betty Van Andel Opera Center in Grand Rapids.

Sophomore Rosemary Walsh of Evanston, Ill., was the first place winner in Division II, the division for college freshmen and sophomores.  Junior Danielle Meyer of Dearborn was one of three students named finalists in Division I, the division for college juniors and seniors.

The next round in the competition is scheduled for Sunday, April 6.  Walsh will sing as the Division II winner, and Meyer and the other Division I finalists will compete for the Division I awards.

My Town: Grand Rapids gets new Poet Laureate

My Town: Grand Rapids gets new Poet Laureate

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Calvin College professor will take over as the Poet Laureate of greater Grand Rapids starting next month.

During his three-year term, Professor L.S. Klatt will be the ambassador for poetry, creating programs and projects to foster public interest in the art. 

Klatt remarked, “The great vitality of a city is its speech, and yet much of what we say to one another is reckless, superfluous, or worn out. It is the task of poetry to resuscitate the tongue. As Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, I want to help us return again to the poems that articulate our aspirations and carry our cultural memory. In an age of competing discourses, I want to unify us once more around the possibilities and pleasures of words. That is what poetry has to offer.”

My Town GR: BitCamp provides hands-on tech experience for middle school girls

My Town GR: BitCamp provides hands-on tech experience for middle school girls

This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Consider the statistics: Only 15 percent of female college freshmen go into STEM fields, and only .4 percent enter computer science fields as opposed to three percent of men.

And while some believe these numbers may be caused by stereotypes that steer women away from science and technology fields, others believe that women simply aren't being exposed to the right opportunities at young ages.

Ally’s Boutique Fashion Show on March 6

Ally’s Boutique Fashion Show on March 6

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The community is invited to Ally’s Boutique's first runway fashion show,  taking place on Wednesday, March 6 at Louis Benton Steakhouse, located at 35 Ionia NW.

This is a ticket only event, with all proceeds supporting an autism charity of Kent County.

The VIP Cocktail Hour will run from  6 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the fashion show beginning at 7 p.m.  After the event, LB's Lounge will host an after-party with hor d’oeurves donated by Louis Benton.

General admission is $35 per person;  VIP admission is $50.  Tickets must be purchased in advanced by calling  Ally’s Boutique at (616) 717-0004 or Louis Benton Steakhouse at (616) 454-7455.