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My Town: GRPS looking for exchange student hosts

My Town: GRPS looking for exchange student hosts

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Grand Rapids Public Schools are looking for families who would like to host international exchange students during the next school year.

Several students from overseas will be attending school in the fall, as part of the districts efforts to expand its global education program. The following teenagers are need places to stay:

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: 

Cooking with Kal: Lemon Dream Bars (always a favorite)

Cooking with Kal: Lemon Dream Bars (always a favorite)

I got this recipe from Suzie Pomper, after her husband David  brought them into work one day. Believe me, they are delicious bars.

I made them this past week for my son Eric’s birthday but I doubled the recipe to make a half sheet pan of them to share at his work. The only thing I would do differently if I made this size again is to triple the filling only. It would make the bars a little thicker. Instead, I put a Cool Whip flower on each of the bars, to make up for them not having as much filling. Sometimes you just have to improvise.

Lemon dream bars

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 T. lemon juice

Frosting:

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

OPINION: What happened to common sense?

OPINION: What happened to common sense?

Most days I get to see a portion of ABC's Good Morning America and most days I end up shaking my head at some of the common sense subjects that are discussed. Believe me, it’s not just on this program, but most talk shows anymore.

Today they were discussing how many calories are in certain healthy foods and how some of the numbers can be surprising; but when I was growing up or our children were growing up, choices like dried fruit versus fresh fruit was not discussed because we only had fresh or home canned fruit, to my knowledge.

My Town GR Central: Movies in the Park returns July 11

My Town GR Central: Movies in the Park returns July 11

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- The Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. invite the community to Ah-Nab-Awen Park on Friday night, July 11 to enjoy a free movie.

Come early, bring your blankets or chairs and beverages/snacks or take advantage of on-site food vendors at 303 Pearl Street NW. Activities begin at 6:00 p.m.; pre-movie entertainment begins at 7 p.m. with the movie, "Dreamgirls" scheduled at dusk.

The next free movie event is The Rocky Horror Picture Show on July 25. For more information, visit  www.friendsofgrparks.org.   

My Town: Founder of Kids' Food Basket honored with highest award

My Town: Founder of Kids' Food Basket honored with highest award

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   A Grand Rapids woman who pioneered a program to help feed children in need is earning recognition from the state.

On June 30, Mary K. Hoodhood accepted the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism.  The award is the most prestigious of the Governor’s Service Awards, honoring an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to their community. 

In 1980, a vehicle accident put Hoodhood in a wheelchair, but also started her on a path to volunteering, which began with the Meals on Wheels program at God’s Kitchen.  In 2001, she founded Kids' Food Basket to combat childhood hunger.  The program started by providing evening meals to 125 children at three Grand Rapids public schools; now 5,700 children at 32 schools in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming rely on it, as well as 600 kids at two Muskegon schools.