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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: 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: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Diocese of Grand Rapids has hired two more people to ramp up enrollment for its Catholic schools.

Dan Plachta will serve as an admissions enrollment field consultant, guiding the diocese’s 29 schools in outreach and recruitment. While supporting current students, the diocese plans to focus on traditionally underserved groups who could take advantage of school tuition assistance, which is quadrupling to $1,000,000.

Plachta is an alumnus of Blessed Sacrament School (now All Saints Academy) and Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids.

“As a graduate of Catholic schools in the diocese, Dan brings a personal passion for the importance of Catholic education in West Michigan,” said David Faber, superintendent of Catholic schools.

My Town Sparta: Village is home to award-winning water

My Town Sparta: Village is home to award-winning water

SPARTA, Mich.—There’s something in the water in Sparta, and it’s award-winning.

The village this year was awarded the 2013 Water Flouridation Quality award from the Michigan Department of Community Health.  Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distributed this award to 2,184 public water systems this year, including 95 in Michigan.  This is the 12th year for the fluoridation awards.

The CDC estimates every $1 invested in fluoridation saves at least $38 in costs for dental treatment. In 1945, Grand Rapids became the first city to add fluoride to its water to prevent tooth decay.  Now, nearly 210 million people nationwide have access to fluoridated tap water.

My Recipe of the Month

My Recipe of the Month

I don't know about the rest of the world but I love apple butter on my toast or on a fresh slice of homemade bread.

For the first time, I have found a recipe to make this delicious spread in a Crock-Pot! It turned out so good and with very little fuss on my part. It is just a matter of assembling the ingredients, letting the Crock-Pot do its thing and then enjoying the results.

My mom made this when I was a kid and I have carried the tradition on with my kids. It's always a treat. Maybe it will be for you too.

HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER

Makes about 6 cups

  • 5 ½ pounds of apples, peeled and cut up (I use a variety)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Put all the apples in a Crock-Pot and top with the remaining ingredients and stir to coat the apples.

My Town: Little league coach joins fight against arthritis

My Town: Little league coach joins fight against arthritis

----NEWS RELEASE----

 

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–  Varnum attorney Adam Brody has been elected to the Michigan Board of Trustees for the Arthritis Foundation. His appointment to the statewide organization follows several years of service to the West Michigan Arthritis Foundation Advisory Board, for which he was recently appointed to a three-year term as chair.

The mission of the Arthritis Foundation is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases. The Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $380 million in research grants since 1948.

Locally, the Foundation raises funds through such events as its "Tribute to Excellence," "Walk to Cure" and Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis.