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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.

My Town: Whooping cough on the rise in West Michigan

My Town: Whooping cough on the rise in West Michigan

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The Kent County Health Department is seeing a slight uptick in whooping cough cases.

Health Department spokeswoman Lisa LaPlante says from Jan. 1 to Dec. 5, 13 cases of whooping cough were reported in Kent County.  During that same time last year, only nine cases of whooping cough were reported in the county.  Whooping cough last spiked in 2010, with 17 cases locally. In a month-by-month breakdown of the year, January had the most reported cases (5), followed by August (3) and September (2).

The Allegan County Health Department is also dealing with a higher number of whooping cough cases; 21 people reported coming down with whooping cough between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1.  That's more than double the number of cases reported during the same time last year, according to the health department's Dr. Richard Tooker.

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 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: Diocese of Grand Rapids boosts tuition assistance; deadline nears

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids boosts tuition assistance; deadline nears

The Diocese of Grand Rapids is boosting tuition assistance for students, but time is running out to apply for it.

The deadline for applying for first round funding is Nov. 22.  The first round of grants will be announced in early February and distributed in early fall.

Bishop Walkowiak recently announced the Diocese is more than quadrupling tuition assistance, from $240,000 to $1 million each year.  The funding boost, made possible through donations and diocese scholarship accounts, is part of a three-year effort to make Catholic schools affordable to more families.  According to Private School Aid Service, even after all tuition assistance is distributed, Catholic school families still need $1.2 million a year.

Grand Rapids Public Schools Presents We Are GR School Choice Expo

Grand Rapids Public Schools Presents We Are GR School Choice Expo

Grand Rapids Public Schools We Are GR School Choice Expo

3rd Annual Round Up at the Rink Fundraiser Tonight, November 14

3rd Annual Round Up at the Rink Fundraiser Tonight, November 14

The Van Andel Arena’s in-house food & beverage provider, along with the Grand Rapids Griffins are again participating in this special wishes event at tonight’s hockey game against the Texas Stars. Fans will be asked if they would like to round up their concession order at any concession stand to benefit this great cause and help make children’s wishes come true.

Ryan Rabinowitz, a freshmen at Novi High School in 2012 created this Round Up at the Rink fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that fulfills wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Ryan is a now a junior at Novi High School & plays for the varsity hockey team.