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My Town: Time to trash the tree! Free Christmas tree recycling locations

My Town: Time to trash the tree!  Free Christmas tree recycling locations

Christmas is over, which means it’s time to trash the tree.

Many municipalities are offering free tree recycling services to residents with a natural tree.  Some communities are planning to put the trees through a chipper and use the remnants to cover park trails and other green spaces.  Here is the schedule for live tree drop-offs:

Ada Township (Through Jan. 12)

  • Ada Township Park, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Alpine Township (Through Jan. 31)

  • Behind Township Hall, 5255 Alpine Ave. NW

 

Cannon Township (Through Jan. 10)

  • West side of the township building; RHS Honor Society will help unload trees Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (donations encouraged)

 

Courtland Township (Through Jan. 31)

  • Fire Station #1 on 14 Mile Road

 

My Town: Goodwill Industries of Greater G.R. offers 'Annie' donation deal

My Town: Goodwill Industries of Greater G.R. offers 'Annie' donation deal

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Clean out your closets, help people find jobs and get a deal on tickets for Broadway Grand Rapids with the new deal by Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids.

The nonprofit organization is offering $20 off tickets to “Annie” to people who donate gently used clothing or household items to any Goodwill store. You can find the list of locations here. The coupon is good for select seats during the Jan. 13 performance at DeVos Performance Hall.  Goodwill will also be accepting gently used coats at DeVos Hall on opening night.

“Annie” runs through Jan. 13-18.  The musical is centered on a determined orphan who journeys through New York looking for her parents.  Her adventure includes foiling the plots of Miss Hannigan, who runs the orphanage; meeting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and finding a new home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks.

My Town: KDL Gives Back nets thousands of donations and dollars

My Town: KDL Gives Back nets thousands of donations and dollars

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Bookworms across West Michigan banded together this holiday season to help local charities.

Kent District Libraries says patrons and staff collected nearly 16,000 items for the 18-month KDL Gives Back initiative.  The donations are going to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Kent Intermediate School District, Humane Society of West Michigan, Family Promise of Grand Rapids, the Post-Partum Clinic at Pine Rest, School Supply Santa and Kid’s Food Basket.  KDL recently delivered approximately 750 hygiene products, snacks and other goodies to the veterans’ home.  The delivery also included 500 letters to vets written by adults and children and $457 raised through library staff jean days.

My Town: Meijer shoppers receive checkout surprise

WALKER, Mich.—Christmas came early to 213 Meijer shoppers, who received a checkout surprise.

 

On Dec. 13, the Walker-based retailer paid for all of the gifts and groceries filling each shopper’s cart, ranging from $350 to $1,200 each.  The company posted video of the event on YouTube, which you can find here.

 

“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers,” Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”

 

More green for eating greens: Eat local movement gets federal boost

More green for eating greens: Eat local movement gets federal boost

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The eat local movement is getting a federal boost.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded Local First a two-year $94,000 grant for Community Supported Agriculture.  Local First is teaming up with West Michigan Growers Group and Michigan State University Extension to provide resources for farmers to grow their CSA programs. With CSAs, community members purchase a share of a local farm, which then divides its harvest among investors.  The CSA form of farming provides stability for farmers and allows investors to enjoy seasonable, locally grown produce. The program provides the health, relational and economic benefits that come with eating local.

My Town Jenison: Culver's restaurant changing hands

My Town Jenison: Culver's restaurant changing hands

JENISON, Mich.—A popular Jenison restaurant is changing hands.

According to the Grandville-Jenison Chamber of Commerce, Mavis Byers will be handing over the keys to Culver’s on Dec. 30.  Byers opened the restaurant just over a decade ago.  In that time, she has also become a pillar in the community, creating the Jenison Street Dance, organizing the Memorial Day Parade, and serving as a board member for the Grandville Jenison Chamber and Kenowa AMBUCS.

My Town: WAVE Award winners

My Town: WAVE Award winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The businesses and people who take the Grand Rapids experience above and beyond are being honored.

More than 60 people were nominated for this year’s Way Above Visitor Expectations (WAVE) awards.  A panel of judges whittled down the nominees to just eight who exceled in attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. 

Guests and employers nominated over 62 individuals in eight categories between April and October. A judging panel evaluated the nominees on a set of criteria, including the individual’s attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. Winners were selected in the categories of Restaurants/Breweries, Attraction/Events, Lodging 150+ Rooms, Lodging less than 150 Rooms, Nightlife, Retail/Service, Volunteer in Hospitality and Transportation.

The 2014 winners include: