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My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Governor Snyder is naming ten more people to a panel in charge of tackling poverty in Michigan.

The Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity is a 12-member commission focused on promoting social and economic opportunities for low-income people.  Those appointed to a one year-term on the commission include Hope College graduate Jacob Maas.  The Grand Rapids native is executive director of the Area Community Services Employment and Training Council. He will represent community action agencies.

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

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.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

Rhubarb Custard Squares; It's still that time of year

Rhubarb Custard Squares; It's still that time of year

My Grandma use to tell us kids that Rhubarb was like a Spring Tonic after the long winter. For that reason, I probably should have listed this recipe under Health. Anyway, I ran across this recipe recently, made it, and it was a hit. The rhubarb can almost be mistaken for apples when it is baked up.

Try this recipe for a special occasion and see what your family or guests think.

Rhubarb Custard Squares          

2 cups Flour

¼ cup Sugar

1 cup cold Butter

Combine in a bowl and mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Filling:

2 cups Sugar

7 Tablespoons Flour

1 cup heavy Whipping Cream

3 Eggs, beaten

5 cups cut up Rhubarb

My Town Kentwood: Gymco, Inc. names new chief operating officer

My Town Kentwood: Gymco, Inc. names new chief operating officer

KENTWOOD, Mich.—A new person is taking over the helm of Gymco, Inc.

The company has named Chad Shilton its new chief operating officer and partner.  Shilton has worked for the children’s gymnastics and sport facility for 21 years.  In his new role, Shilton will lead Gymco employees in daily operations, strategy and growth.  His promotion is part of founder Doreen Bolhuis’ succession plan.

Gymco, Inc. has served more than 85,000 children since it opened in 1980.  The company is located at 2306 Camelot Ridge Court SE in Kentwood.

My Town: Amway co-founder hosting final book meet and greet May 20

My Town: Amway co-founder hosting final book meet and greet May 20

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- Amway co-founder Rich DeVos will host a final meet the author event Tuesday in connection to his latest book, "Simply Rich: Life and Lessons from the Cofounder of Amway."

This is DeVos' fifth book, which chronicles his life, from his humble beginnings to the friendship with Jay Van Andel that led to the founding of Amway and DeVos' other entrepreneurial and philanthropic successes.  The book focuses on the people who helped shape DeVos' life, from a father who bolstered his confidence to the grandfather who showed him how to make his first sale.

DeVos will meet with readers from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20 at Baker Book House, located at 2768 East Paris Ave. SE.