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My Town: Harvest on the Ridge returns Sept. 20

My Town: Harvest on the Ridge returns Sept. 20

SPARTA, Mich.—  A celebration of West Michigan's agricultural Mecca returns to Sparta this weekend.

Harvest on the Ridge festival will unfold at Rogers Park Sept. 20. This year’s event includes a couch racing fundraiser, the Dirty Apple Obstacle Run, a cupcake baking contest, an apple pie eating contest, hay rides, corn mazes, kids’ activities and a farmers’ market.  Johnny Appleseed is kicking off the event with donkey rides and his tale of how  “The Ridge” became filled with apple orchards.

My Town: Breweries help battle cancer and Parkinson's with 'Hops for Hope'

My Town: Breweries help battle cancer and Parkinson's with 'Hops for Hope'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Knock back a beer and help knock out cancer this month with “Hops for Hope.”

 

During September, several West Michigan breweries will be donating $1 from each “purple beer” purchase to Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community.  Proceeds from sales of Hops for Hope growlers and refills will also go to the cause.

 

“It’s good to give back to the community,” Bob Bonga, owner of the family-owned and operated Jaden James Brewery in Kentwood. “It’s wonderful that VAI is in Grand Rapids, and 100% of what we raise goes to research.”

 

My Town Comstock Park: Holy Trinity Parish Festival Sept. 6 and 7

My Town Comstock Park: Holy Trinity Parish Festival Sept. 6 and 7

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.-- There’s fun for everyone at Holy Trinity Parish Festival this weekend!

This annual festival each day features a Las Vegas theme party, live music, a chicken barbecue, BINGO, a kids tractor pull and 50/50 raffle every hour.

Holy Trinity Parish is located at 1200 Alpine Church Road in Comstock Park.  For more information, visit the church  website here or call (616)784-0677.

My Town: Johnny Appleseed helps kick off Harvest on the Ridge Sept. 20

My Town: Johnny Appleseed helps kick off Harvest on the Ridge Sept. 20

SPARTA, Mich.—Johnny Appleseed is on his way to Sparta to share his story of how “The Ridge” became filled with apple orchards.

Johnny will bring his trusted donkey, Levi for rides while entertaining children with his story and song.    His tale helps kick off this year’s Harvest on the Ridge festival in Sparta on Sept. 20.  This year’s event will include a couch racing fundraiser, the Dirty Apple Obstacle Run, a cupcake baking contest, an apple pie eating contest, hay rides, corn mazes, kids’ activities and a farmers’ market, all located in Rogers Park.

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The 2014-2015 school year is officially underway for West Michigan students.

On Sept. 2, which was the official start of classes for most schools, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released this statement: 

"It’s a great day to be Back to School in Michigan !

Let me take a moment to wish everyone a positive and successful school year.

Our team here at the Michigan Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and I appreciate the hard work and daily dedication teachers, administrators, school board members, and other school staff devote to our children in Michigan.

My Town: Pizza to help pets Aug. 27

My Town: Pizza to help pets Aug. 27

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary invite the community to help rescued cats Wednesday, Aug. 27 by picking up a pizza.

Print a flyer from Crash's Landing's website and present it to employees at any of the 14 participating Pizza Hut locations Wednesday to donate 20 percent of your total bill to Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary.  The benefit runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 27 and includes dine-in, carry out or delivery orders.

The flyer has the list and addresses of the 14 participating Pizza Hut locations in the Grand Rapids area.

In the Kitchen with Kal: Easy bake chicken and veggies

In the Kitchen with Kal: Easy bake chicken and veggies

I was on vacation in Maryland recently abd had the pleasure of having my daughter-in-law's sister, Terri, make this dinner for us. It was all part of my son Mark's recovery from hip surgery. (You know that theory- send over a dish when someone is sick.)

Anyway, the dish arrived in time for dinner as a surprise, but Donna, my daughter-in-law, had already prepared a pork dinner for the family, so she just let this cool on the counter and put it away in the fridge overnight and we had it for dinner the following evening.  It turned out to be a very versatile dish.

Recipe:

In a 9" x 13"  pan, cut three boneless chicken breast in three pieces, add two cans of green beans on one side, and cut up red potatoes on the other side.  Drizzle one stick of melted butter all over it. Sprinkle an envelope of zesty Italian dressing mix over everything. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.