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'Gran Fondo' in West Michigan Saturday, June 29

'Gran Fondo' in West Michigan Saturday, June 29

There will be some “Gran Fondo” in West Michigan this Saturday, June 29.

Roughly 1,500 cyclists have registered to ride in the inaugural Gran Fondo, which will benefit skin cancer research by the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Participants are coming from Canada and 15 states, including Oregon.

 Riders will choose between three courses spanning 12 miles, 40 miles and 80 miles. The 80-mile route takes cyclists through the Grand River Valley, which cuts through My Town Grand Rapids Central, My Town Walker, My Town Grandville and My Town Coopersville.  They’ll turn around near Lake Michigan at North Ottawa Beach.

Children invited to ride with Griff as part of inaugural criterium June 28

Children invited to ride with Griff as part of inaugural criterium June 28

ZEELAND, Mich.—Families are invited to watch Zeeland’s first twilight Criterium Friday, June 28th.

A critierium is a bike race on a short, closed-circuit course where riders complete multuple laps.  Participants will race for a specific length of time then complete a specific number of laps. 

The race course for the “2BContinued Zeeland Criterium” is a one mile loop through historic downtown.  The award ceremony will take place at the southeast corner of Main and Church streets immediately following each race.

Zeeland’s inaugural twilight crit begins at 6 p.m., when kids can ride for free with Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins.  Helmets are required.  Each child will receive a ribbon.

Professional cyclists can register for the crit up to 30 minutes before the race. Registration is $55 for the first race and $40 for a second race.

Fish for free June 8 & 9

Fish for free June 8 & 9

All anglers can fish for free June 8 and 9.

As part of Free Fishing Weekend, the state is waiving all fishing license fees for residents and out-of-state visitors. Free Fishing Weekend applies to all species of fish in inland waters and Michigan’s Great Lakes.  All other fishing regulations still apply.

Michigan is home to more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, over 11,037 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams.  To find inland lakes in your area, click here.

Relay for Life a success

Relay for Life a success

Rockford Relay For Life raised $318,000 for the American Cancer Society, making it one of the most successful fundraisers in the state.

Other West Michigan communities are doing their part.  During the Wyoming-Grandville Relay For Life on May 10, participants raised at least $54,857.  That same day, participants in the Grand Haven-Spring Lake Relay For Life collected at least $45,984 for the American Cancer Society.  Runners and walkers in East Grand Rapids raised at least $56,531 during their Relay For Life May 17.  On May 18, the Relay For Life of White Lake generated at least $43,211 for the American Cancer Society, while Relay For Life of Comstock Park raised at least $42,815.

And don’t count local colleges out.  In April, Grand Valley State University raised at least $85,263 during its Relay For Life, Western Michigan University collected at least $32,083 and Aquinas College raised $5,670.

Plenty more communities are planning Rel

WAVE Award nominations open

WAVE Award nominations open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Lodging Association have opened the 6th Annual WAVE Award nominations.

The annual awards program recognizes outstanding service providers in the Grand Rapids and Kent County hospitality industry. Nominations will be accepted from employers and guests from April 30 to Oct.7, 2013. One award will be presented in each of the following categories: Transportation, Retail & Service, Attractions/Events, and Nightlife. New categories to the 2013 awards program include: Restaurants/Breweries, Lodging, and Volunteer in Hospitality.

Win a makeover for your school from the Detroit Pistons

Win a makeover for your school from the Detroit Pistons

(Detroit Pistons) – Does your library or gym need a new look?

Here’s your chance to win a makeover in the School Makeover contest from the Detroit Pistons and NBA Live, Learn or Play, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance.

The School Makeover, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance and the Detroit Pistons, is accepting submissions from elementary and middle schools in the state of Michigan, through June 1. Submissions at www.nba.com/pistons/farm-bureau-school-makeover should include at least four images of the school’s library or gymnasium to be considered in the selection process.

“Farm Bureau Insurance agents are involved in their local communities all across the state. Michigan isn’t just a market for us, it is our home,” said Vic Verchereau, Farm Bureau Insurance vice president of Marketing. “We firmly believe in supporting safe and clean learning environments for our youth.

GVSU Rowing Club dedicates new boat to student who died

GVSU Rowing Club dedicates new boat to student who died

SPRING LAKE, Mich. – The Rowing Club at Grand Valley State University now has a floating reminder of a crew member who lost her life in a car crash.

On April 12,  GVSU rowers dedicated their newest boat at the Spring Lake Yacht Club to Rachel Ring.  Ring joined the GVSU women’s novice rowing team in the fall of 2011.  She died weeks later.

Ring’s family donated funds for the boat, which is named the Rachel Ring, 1991-2011.  They joined team members, coaches and university administrators Friday to unveil the boat.  University President Thomas Haas presided over the dedication ceremony.

A day after the dedication, the Rachel Ring competed in its inaugural race at the annual Lubbers Cup Regatta.   The GVSU women’s teams won every race that was not cancelled.