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West Michigan Armed Forces Thanksgiving Luncheon to Pay Tribute to United Sates Military Members

Students from across West Michigan are joining area business leaders to celebrate local members of the Armed Forces – past, present and future – during the 2nd Annual West Michigan Armed Forces Thanksgiving Appreciation Luncheon at the JW Marriott in Downtown Grand Rapids on Friday, May 5th. Military members will be in attendance for this event aimed at strengthening awareness and dialogue on the contributions our military personnel have made and continue to make on behalf of their families, their friends and their country.

Perrin Brewing Ice Jam Winter Festival

Perrin Brewing Ice Jam Winter Festival

Help ensure the last meal for the day for children through the Kids Food Basket in Grand Rapids, Muskegon & Holland by attending this Winter Festival on Saturday.

Make plans to attend this Winter Festival and spend the afternoon with your friends & family enjoying winter activities, local food, live music and some barrel aged beverages.

The Frostbite 5K Run kicks off at 1:30pm. Those interested can wear their warm jammies or onesie! Registration begins a noon – 1pm at Perrin Brewing Company.

Perrin Brewing Company is located at 5910 Comstock Park Drive in Comstock Park is the place to be on Saturday, January 28 from 2:00pm – 8:00pm for this Ice Jam Festival.

Admission: lunch bag donations or cash. Wish list & more information can be found on-line.

Visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/perrin-brewing-ice-jam-winter-festival-tickets-2999...

Humane Society of West Michigan Places Record-Setting Number of Pets in Forever Homes in 2016

Humane Society of West Michigan Places Record-Setting Number of Pets in Forever Homes in 2016

With a new year underway, the Humane Society of West Michigan (HSWM) is looking back and celebrating another successful year. In 2016, HSWM helped more than 3,700 animals find their forever homes – a record-setting number for the organization.

The new record surpasses the more than 3,000 adoptions that took place in 2015. The increase in adoptions can be attributed to community support of adopting shelter animals, families embracing multiple shelter animals, and the variety of ages and breeds of animals up for adoption at HSWM.

“We cannot thank our team of staff and volunteers, as well as our generous donors, enough for another successful year,” said Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director of HSWM. “They are the backbone of our organization and we are blessed to have them assist HSWM with saving lives, raising awareness and educating the community.”

Candlelight Snowshoeing on Valentines Day

Candlelight Snowshoeing on Valentines Day

Make plans to spend time with your significant other on Valentine’s Day!

Howard Christiansen Nature Center located at 16190 Red Pine Drive in Kent City is offering three Candlelight Snowshoe guided excursion through their scenic trails on Valentine’s Day. You can choose 6:30pm, 7:30pm or 9:00pm.

The excursion includes snowshoe and is a one mile hike through candle lit trails with the chance to warm up by the fire and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. It’s a romantic evening you won’t want to miss.

Member Cost: $8.00 per couple and Non-members are $15.00 per couple.

Call: (616)675-3158 for more information or visit www.howardchristiansen.org to book tickets.

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

For many people, young and old alike, a pet for Christmas is the top desire for the season. For a long time, it was assumed that pets as gifts were a really bad idea, increasing adopted animals being returned to the shelter after the excitement of the holidays is over. Data supports just the opposite.

“It’s a myth,” states Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director of HSWM, “that giving a pet as a gift is a bad idea. In fact, with the right research, identifying the needs of the new pet, and knowing the person you are gifting to, helps make the right decision for both the pet and the person.”

A 2013 study by Dr. Emily Weiss says, “There is no increased risk of relinquishment for dogs and cats received as a gift.” In her research, Dr. Weiss found that over 87% of the pet owners in the study still had their pet in their home or had kept the pet in their home for the pet’s lifetime, even when the pet was given as a surprise or a gift, according to the ASPCA.

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Often listed among the top 10 fears people have, public speaking is a skill that can help anyone regardless of their age or background. Whether it’s at school, work or among friends and family, the ability to speak in front of an audience – even if it’s an audience of one – can be the key to future success. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the oldest Toastmasters International organization in Michigan – located here in Grand Rapids – continues to thrive as it celebrates its 70th birthday.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. With more than 345,000 members around the world, Toastmasters empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by providing a safe, supportive and structured setting for its members to acquire and practice meaningful communications and leadership skills on a regular basis to promote and enhance career and personal growth.

Preschool Students Decorate 1,400 Brown Paper Bags to Support Children Experiencing Food Insecurity

Preschool Students Decorate 1,400 Brown Paper Bags to Support Children Experiencing Food Insecurity

Rainbow Child Care Center locations throughout West Michigan teamed up with Kids’ Food Basket, a local nonprofit organization attacking childhood hunger, to support children experiencing food insecurity. The preschool students decorated brown paper bags for children aided by Kids’ Food Basket’s Sack Supper program, which serves 7,500 kids each weekday in West Michigan.

All eight West Michigan Rainbow Child Care Center locations decorated 1,400 bags with positive images using crayons and markers. Each decorated sack not only provides a well-rounded nutritious meal critical to the development of the brain and body, but also helps brighten each recipient’s day.