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My Town: The Hashtag Battle over the 2014 Jump Jam

My Town: The Hashtag Battle over the 2014 Jump Jam

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  What started as a hashtag battle about the 2014 Jump Jam has turned into a friendly wager between Grand Rapids Public Schools’ superintendent and Spectrum Health’s senior vice president.

GRPS posted the hashtag battle between Theresa Weatherall Neal and Steve Heacock to YouTube last Friday.  In the video, Weatherall Neal challenges Heacock to a friendly bet on two of the Jump Jam teams, with the loser buying lunch from either the hospital or school cafeteria.  Mayor George Heartwell makes a surprise appearance at the end of the video.

My Town: "Feed A Friend" nets thousands of pantry donations for local families

My Town: "Feed A Friend" nets thousands of pantry donations for local families

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hungry people living in West Michigan now have more food to fill their stomachs, thanks to a food drive by hundreds of Grand Rapids area SUBWAY restaurants.

All 206 SUBWAY restaurants in the area took part in this year’s Feed A Friend food drive, collecting nearly 7,500 pounds of non-perishables for local food pantries on March 20.  Organizers say overall, more than 60,000 pounds of food was collected statewide.

The Feed A Friend campaign started in Jackson, Michigan 14 years ago.  During the one-day drive, customers who bring in a non-perishable food item and buy a regular 6-inch sub receive a second 6-inch sub for free.

My Town: IMMER5E museum exhibit to open at Harrison Park School

My Town: IMMER5E museum exhibit to open at Harrison Park School

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A group of fifth grade students from Harrison Park School is opening its own Grand River exhibit, created in partnership with the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Teacher Abbie Marr’s students were among the ten classes to participate in this year’s IMMER5E program, which takes children out of the classroom and into the museum for a week of learning.  As a culmination to the program, Marr’s class created their own museum exhibit, which opens at Harrison Park School on April 16.

My Town: Arthrits Walk returns under new name and leader

My Town: Arthrits Walk returns under new name and leader

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Arthritis Walk will return with a new name and new leader when it returns to Grand Rapids next month.

Dr. Thomas A. Malvitz of Ada will serve as medical chair of the 2014 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis, formerly known as the Arthritis Walk.  Malvitz is a surgeon with the Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan in Grand Rapids.

The Walk to Cure Arthritis is a three-mile walk aimed at raising awareness and funds to fight arthritis.  Proceeds from the event go to the Arthritis Foundation, which works to help some of the more than 2.3 million Michiganders with arthritis.

My Town: Grand Rapids Film Festival April 9–13

My Town: Grand Rapids Film Festival April 9–13

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--The celebration of film and filmmaking comes to the public April 9 -13 in downtown Grand Rapids.

With 46 film screenings throughout the area, there is something for everyone. The public has the opportunity to check out student films, lectures, panels, documentaries and a production workshop throughout the five days. Families are also welcome to the Grand Rapids Public Museum to see family-friendly films, along with Saturday morning cartoons.

Locations:

My Town: Kroc Center to extend hours, welcome animals for spring break

My Town: Kroc Center to extend hours, welcome animals for spring break

WYOMING, Mich.—The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is extending its hours and  teaming up with John Ball Zoo, the Kent County Animal Shelter and Blandford Nature Center to provide spring break staycation solutions for children.

From Monday, April 7 through Friday, April 11, kids can take part in activities like three-on-three basketball tournaments, dodgeball, bounce houses and art activities.  Animals from John Ball Zoo, the Blandford Nature Center and the Kent County Animal Shelter will also visit the Kroc throughout the week.    Children will also get more time to enjoy the climbing wall, pool and game room throughout the week.

At Arts in Motion Studio, art is the great equalizer

At Arts in Motion Studio, art is the great equalizer

By Zinta Aistars
This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

Delight Lester, 53, sits comfortably spread out in the corner of the soft couch, her long pale blonde hair draped over her shoulders. She is surrounded by crayons and pastels, colored construction paper and paint brushes.