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Thunder Country Jam takes over downtown Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-Country music fans got a treat in downtown Grand Rapids.

Thousands of people packed Rosa Parks Circle Sunday evening for a free concert, as part of the 94.5 Thunder Country Jam. The radio station lined up a variety of acts, including Chuck Wicks. Visitors also stopped by food and clothing booths and took part in a variety of family activities.

After putting on the HOT FM New Year's Eve Party, organizers say they wanted to do something for local country fans.

"We just really wanted to thank everyone who came on down," said radio personality Scrubs. "If you weren't able to make it down this year, we want you to come next year. This is going to be something that we want to do for everybody in our city; it's going to continue to make our area the best part of Michigan."

In between acts, guests tried to break the world record for largest line dance.

Park Parties begin for Grand Rapids students

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- The first of four back to school parties for the Grand Rapids Public School District was held Monday night at Roberto Clemente Park.

The free parties are open to the public.  They include free hot dogs, chips and refreshments.  Participants can also enter free raffles for backpacks, school supplies and gift cards.  Parents can visit the information booths to learn more about the schools.

Superintendent Dr. Bernard Taylor says, "It's about parents, the community, the school district coming together to build the support out kids need to thrive academically."

The Southeast Park party is Tuesday from 4 - 7p.m. at Martin Luther King Park.  Parties for the northeast and northwest sides will be held next week.

Free shoes to be distributed to thousands of students

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- Thousands of West Michigan students will be starting off their school year on the right foot thanks to the kindess of strangers.

The non-profit organization "In the Image" is hosting it's annual "S.H.O.E.S." program. S.H.O.E.S. is an acronym for "Shoes Help Our Elementary Students."

This year a record number of shoes will be handed out.

It's been almost a year since Jay Starkey took on the role as Executive Director at In the Image. He says he knows firsthand about the need for the S.H.O.E.S. program and he's worked to expand it.

Excel Academy holds scavenger hunt to help new kindergartners

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Going to school for the first time can be scary for some children, but Excel Academy created a fun way for students to get to know their new surroundings. Rather than a traditional walk through the school, incoming kindergartners took part in a scavenger hunt Tuesday morning.

By following a map across school grounds, students met their teachers and became familiar with the school's classrooms and offices.

The event also helped acclimate the parents.

City of Grand Rapids announces MyGRCity Points

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release
August 24, 2010

Recyclers and volunteers can earn MyGRCity Points
and support local businesses

New website invites customers to track city's transformation progress

For Immediate Release
August 23, 2010

NEW WEBSITE INVITES CUSTOMERS TO TRACK CITY’S
TRANSFORMATION PROGRESS

Grand Crossings Labor Day bridge walk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2010

City of Grand Rapids plans “Grand Crossings,” a Bridge Walk on Labor Day
Monday, September 6, 2010, 8:00 a.m. , Ah-Nab-Awen Park

You don’t have to go all the way to the Mackinac Bridge to join the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk.
Join your neighbors, invite your friends. Participants can walk as many as five miles, the equivalent of the Mackinac Bridge, and cross as many as seven bridges. The route is wheelchair accessible and appropriate for all fitness levels. No sign-up is necessary. Please make sure you are physically able to participate. Mayor George K. Heartwell will lead the walk.
The City of Grand Rapids offers its own bridge walk on Labor Day, September 6, 2010, at 8:00 a.m., at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, near the corner of Pearl and Scribner, as part of the Active Michigan Summer initiative organized by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.