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Member of The Verve Pipe to sing for children in need

Member of The Verve Pipe to sing for children in need

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   West Michigan native Brian VanderArk is lending his voice to help children in need.

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, the singer-songwriter will host a concert at the B.O.B. in downtown Grand Rapids to benefit Feeding American West Michigan Food Bank, based in Comstock Park.

VanderArk is a member of The Verve Pipe.  He will be joined by Channing and Quinn and Mark Sala for the special performance.  Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets start at $20 and may be purchased at the Will Play For Food Foundation website here.  The goal is to send 5,000 meals to hungry children.

Nonprofits getting $13k in grants from Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation

Nonprofits getting $13k in grants from Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation

WYOMING, Mich.--  Five nonprofit organizations supporting children are getting a financial boost.

The Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation recently awarded more than $13,000 to Roosevelt Park Ministries, Autism Support of Kent County, Kendall Continuing Studies, Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports and West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology.

Roosevelt Park Ministries plans to use the $5,000 it was awarded for career camps for children ages 12-17.  The four week-long camps will take place in summer and highlight the importance of graduating from high school and pursuing higher education.

Autism Support of Kent County will use its $2,520 grant for Project Lifesaver, providing transmitters/locator units  which will be worn by autistic individuals who may wander off.

Kentwood students earn All-State honors for orchestra and band

Kentwood students earn All-State honors for orchestra and band

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- Kentwood Public Schools is pleased to announce that three students earned a place in the All-State Orchestra and Band. 

These students performed with the All-State groups in DeVos Hall at the Michigan Music Conference.   They were selected from among more than 2,000 students who auditioned.

Claire Ross, a senior at East Kentwood High School, earned the first chair horn position in the All-State Orchestra.  Claire is principal horn in the East Kentwood High School Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. James Ross.  Claire studies privately with Erich Peterson, assistant principal horn in the Grand Rapids Symphony.  Claire is also principal horn in the Spartan Youth Wind Symphony at Michigan State University and Grand Rapids Youth Symphony.  

Best-selling Grand Rapids author visits Loutit District Library Jan. 30

Best-selling Grand Rapids author visits Loutit District Library Jan. 30

GRAND HAVEN, Mich -- Grand Rapids  author Aric Davis will discuss his latest novel, "The Fort" at the Loutit District Library on Thursday, Jan. 30.

"The Fort" is currently among the top 10 best-selling books in the Amazon Kindle store. Sales of "The Fort" have made Davis one of the top 25 best-selling authors on Amazon.

The Bookman will have copies to purchase and Davis will be available to sign them following the program, which will begin at 7 p.m. in LDL's program room A.

Davis’s other works include: "Rough Men", "Breaking Point", "A Good and Useful Hurt" and "Nickel Plated".   

Born in Ithaca, New York, Davis has lived most his life in Grand Rapids. A punk-music and tattoo aficionado, Davis has been a professional body piercer for 17 years. Because of his success, Davis has been able to devote himself fully to writing, quitting his job at a tattoo and piercing business.

Excel Charter Academy honors Martin Luther King Jr. with day of service

Excel Charter Academy honors Martin Luther King Jr. with day of service

KENTWOOD, Mich.--  Excel Charter Academy students remembered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ahead of the holiday by serving their community.

 On Friday, Jan. 17, seventh and eighth grade students divided up to help community organizations, including the YWCA, Kids Food Basket, Feeding America West Michigan, Habitat for Humanity, Baxter Community Center, Degage, GRASP, Goodwill and In The Image.

As part of Excel’s MLK Service Day, Arbor Circle also visited the school to teach sixth grade students about teenage homelessness and how they can help support teenagers in need.

Civil Rights activist leads community in march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Civil Rights activist leads community in march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Civil Rights activist Dr. John M. Perkins will lead students on a march through Calvin College’s campus, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The memorial march will take place Monday, Jan. 20.  The procession will begin at 3 p.m. at the Covenant Fine Arts Center and end with refreshments at the Spoelhof Center Atrium.  Marchers will reflect on the life and work of Dr. King while hearing his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, Kentwood Mayor Steve Kepley, Calvin College President Michael Le Roy and other community leaders will also take part in the procession.

Before the march, Perkins will deliver his January Series lecture, “Love is the Final Fight: The Life and Legacy of John M. Perkins.”  That address is at 12:30 p.m.

January deal means more activities for families

January deal means more activities for families

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and Blandford Nature Center are offering a deal to their members.

Throughout the month of January, both groups will be honoring each other’s memberships.  That means if you have a membership to Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, you will get member benefits at Blandford Nature Center and vice versa.  Blandford Nature Center says the offer provides even more opportunities for families looking for winter activities.