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Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—They aren’t all on the big screen.

Michigan Blood is getting ready to reward life-saving superheroes right here in the Grand Rapids community. The organization is teaming up with Celebration Cinema to offer a free movie pass and a bag of popcorn to each to person who attempts to donate blood during the holidays.

Michigan Blood needs to collect more than 2,200 units of blood every week to supply patients and hospitals around the state.  Donations traditionally drop around the holidays as people travel.

Days and times for the “Be a Star” donation deal vary around the state.  To find the location near you, visit the Michigan Blood website here.  In Grand Rapids, the following donation drives will take place in Michigan Blood’s Main Donor Center at 1036 Fuller Ave. NE:

East vs. West Battle of I-96 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament Dec. 21

East vs. West Battle of I-96 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament Dec. 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Classrooms are closed for winter break, but student athletes will still be breaking a sweat Saturday, Dec. 21 as the East vs. West Battle of I-96 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament returns to Grand Rapids.

In the inaugural tournament last year, West was best, winning three of its five games.  The rules are the same this year--  the winner of each game will earn one point for its side of the state.  The region with the most points will earn bragging rights until next year.

Half-time entertainment is also planned for many of the games, including half-court shot contests for prizes.  The game day schedule is as follows:

Kentwood beer distributor taps into holiday spirit

Kentwood beer distributor taps into holiday spirit

KENTWOOD, Mich.—A West Michigan business is tapping into the Christmas spirit, one dollar at a time.

Throughout the holiday season, West Side Beer Distributing is teaming up with the businesses it supplies to sell paper Christmas ornaments for $1 each. All of the proceeds will go to God’s Kitchen; Love, Inc.; Montcalm County Food Bank; Ionia County Food Bank; South Central Michigan Food Bank in Kalamazoo; and the Lansing Area Food Bank.

West Side Beer Distributing has been donating paper Christmas ornaments for the fundraiser for 19 years.  In that time, the business has collected more than $175,000 in donations to local food banks.

West Michigan Lake Hawks read to students at Timberland Charter Academy

West Michigan Lake Hawks read to students at Timberland Charter Academy

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, Mich.--Players from the West Michigan Lake Hawks read books to students at Timberland Charter Academy on Wednesday, Dec. 11. 

Team members also talked to students about their career as American Basketball Association players.  They visited the gym and showed off some of their basketball skills.

Timberland Charter Academy is a tuition-free public charter school serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Muskegon Farmer's Market nears fundraising goal

Muskegon Farmer's Market nears fundraising goal

MUSKEGON, Mich.—  The Downtown Development Corporation is in the final stretch of fundraising for Muskegon’s new Farmer’s Market.

Project managers say slightly more than $300,000 is needed to meet their goal.  The final donations will complete a community kitchen, landscaping and a picnic area at the farmer’s market, which will be located downtown.  Developers hope to finish and open the $3.8 million venue on May 1, 2014.

"We are excited to see this project take shape and are confident it will be a catalyst for additional development downtown," says Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron.

To donate to the Farmer’s Market project, visit  http://www.cffmc.org/give or send a check to the Community Foundation for Muskegon County at 425 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, 49440.

'Holidays on the Lakeside' returns December 7

'Holidays on the Lakeside' returns December 7

MUSKEGON, Mich.--In its 10th year, "Holidays on the Lakeside"  will kick off this year with a tree lighting ceremony  on Friday, Dec. 6.

The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. at Pocket Park.  Live entertainment and treats will also be provided.

The festivities on Saturday run from 11 a.m.  until 2 p.m. Families can experience joyful carolers, carriage rides, Santa at the Harbor Theater and baked goods from the community bake sale at the Lakeside Center. There are even raffle baskets of Lakeside goodies and gift certificates available; each sale will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

For more information, visit www.lakesidedistrict.com.  

Wyoming Animal Hospital wins Celebrated Service Award

Wyoming Animal Hospital wins Celebrated Service Award

WYOMING, Mich.--- Wyoming is home to this year’s winner of Celebration! Cinema’s Celebrated Service Award.

Wyoming Animal Hospital won the public vote, which took place Nov. 12- Nov. 26.  The Celebrated Service Award was created by Celebration! Cinema to spark conversation about service in the community. Cinema employees nominated more than 300 businesses for this year’s honor.

“Celebrated service is the magic that happens when people take their work personally,” said Emily Loeks, Director of Community Affairs for Celebration!