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My Town GR Central: Sip in the City and help those with cystic fibrosis

My Town GR Central: Sip in the City and help those with cystic fibrosis

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- "Sip in the City" and help the Friends & Families of Cystic Fibrosis during this benefit Friday, Dec. 19 at Bar Divani.

Ticket holders can enjoy fine food and beverages along with local art and entertainment during this event, which runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.  A portion of the proceeds will go to FFCF.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at www.sipsinthecitygr.com.  Bar Divani is located at 15 Ionia Ave. SW.

My Town: A dozen children to 'Shop with a Hero' for the holidays

My Town: A dozen children to 'Shop with a Hero' for the holidays

CASCADE, Mich. – A group of Grand Rapids area children is getting some help with filling the space under their Christmas trees.

Tuesday, a dozen children from Coit and East Leonard elementary schools will meet up with Grand Rapids police officers and firefighters to “Shop with a Hero.”  Each child will be given a $100 Meijer gift card to purchase holiday gifts for family and friends at the Meijer store at 1997 E. Beltline Ave. NE. Community Officer Neil Gomez says the children chosen to participate work hard in school while facing financial hardships at home.

This is the third year Grand Rapids police and firefighters have teamed up with Meijer for the event.  Including this year, Meijer has donated $4,000 to the event, helping 40 children.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk Dec. 13 - Be there with bells on your toes

Jingle Bell Run/Walk Dec. 13 - Be there with bells on your toes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Be a part of the largest holiday 5K race to fight arthritis!

This is your chance to wear a holiday themed costume, tie jingle bells to your shoe laces and raise funds to help beat arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability.

Registration for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk closes at 8:00 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12. Walk-in registration will be available during packet pick-up on Friday, Dec. 12, from 12 p.m.  to 6 p.m. at Gazelle Sports, located at 3930 28th Street in Grand Rapids.

Walk-in registration is available right before the Jingle Bell Run on Saturday, Dec. 12 at Grand Valley State University in the Eberhard Center, located at 301 W. Fulton St. EC 210. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

Cost:

My Town: WAVE Award winners

My Town: WAVE Award winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The businesses and people who take the Grand Rapids experience above and beyond are being honored.

More than 60 people were nominated for this year’s Way Above Visitor Expectations (WAVE) awards.  A panel of judges whittled down the nominees to just eight who exceled in attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. 

Guests and employers nominated over 62 individuals in eight categories between April and October. A judging panel evaluated the nominees on a set of criteria, including the individual’s attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. Winners were selected in the categories of Restaurants/Breweries, Attraction/Events, Lodging 150+ Rooms, Lodging less than 150 Rooms, Nightlife, Retail/Service, Volunteer in Hospitality and Transportation.

The 2014 winners include:

My Town: Sixth grade students face off in Cupcake War

My Town: Sixth grade students face off in Cupcake War

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The baking battle is over, and the winner is West Michigan charities.

Wednesday, sixth grade students from Blandford School, Zoo School and CA Frost Environmental Science Academy competed in their own Cupcake War to raise money for local charities.  The students worked in teams of four to create a cupcake that would take top ratings in theme, appearance, design and taste.  They also had to incorporate a special ingredient.

The Best of Show award went to Blandford School.  Zoo School sold the highest percentage of their cupcakes, and CA Frost Environmental Science Academy sold the most cupcakes.  Altogether, the schools raised $656 selling their cupcakes, which will go to the schools’ charity of their choice.

My Town: Officer's legacy of love benefits Grand Rapids police dogs

My Town: Officer's legacy of love benefits Grand Rapids police dogs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  Even in death, a Grand Rapids police officer is caring for the dogs he loved.

Monday afternoon, the father of Officer Andrew Rusticus will present a check to the Grand Rapids Police Canine Team, to cover the cost of purchasing and caring for retired police dogs.  The money came from the inaugural K9K race created in honor of Rusticus, who died from a heart attack while on a training run to become a canine handler.  Rusticus was just 29 years old when he collapsed Feb. 25, 2012.

The first K2K race took place Aug. 9, 2014 at Riverside Park.  Proceeds from the event are going to the Grand Rapids Police Department Canine Unit Foundation, the Thin Blue Line of Michigan and a scholarship at Trinity Christian College, in Rusticus’ name. 

My Town EGR: Late Philanthropist's generosity on display Dec. 3

My Town EGR: Late Philanthropist's generosity on display Dec. 3

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly five months after his death, philanthropist Peter Wege is still finding a way to give back to the West Michigan community.

Wege passed away July 7.  The East Grand Rapids native was 94 years old.

Wege took on the role of Steelcase vice chairman after his father's death more than 60 years ago.  He built his fortune as the popularity of metal furniture grew.  The Air Force veteran was also passionate environmentalist, coining the term “economicology.”  Wege donated $20 million to the LEED certified Grand Rapids Art Museum, and was the lead donor of the Wege Center at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.  He also supported Grand Rapids Public Schools and The Grand Rapids Ballet.

MORE: Philanthropist Peter Wege dies at 94