75 Mile Walk to Support Growing Hope Globally. Co-founders raise funds to engage the next generation in growing lasting solutions to hunger
FREMONT, MICH.-- Bev Abma and Ron DeWeerd will be walking 75 miles throughout West Michigan to raise support for Growing Hope Globally, an organization both were involved in founding in 1999. The walk will begin with a send-off at First Reformed Church in Fremont on Aug. 11 and will culminate with Dairy Day at Nutrien Ag Solutions in Wayland on Aug. 21. The public is invited to join the walkers or participate in one of the events being planned along the way.
Growing Hope Globally works with U.S. communities, giving them the opportunity to respond to global hunger from right where they live. Through a unique Growing Project model, communities come together around the common cause of hunger. Farmers grow crops while businesses, churches and individuals cover the input and land costs. When the crops are sold, the profits are used to support agricultural development programs around the world, giving those struggling with hunger the dignity of being able to provide for themselves.
Abma and DeWeerd have used their gifts alongside many others to build Growing Hope Globally into an organization with supporters across the U.S. and agricultural development programs around the world that have reached more than 2.1 million people, helping them to find lasting solutions to hunger.
DeWeerd will be retiring from the organization later this year after 22 years of service. He is passionate about inviting the next generation to make a lasting difference. He has been instrumental in developing Growing Hope Globally’s resources and curriculum for FFA. He has also worked with several FFA chapters to start Growing Projects in their communities.
Abma retired from Growing Hope Globally in 2013, but continues as a Board Director Emerita and Growing Project leader in Byron Center, Michigan. “God has blessed me with excellent health at the age of 75, the last 25 of those cancer free. To celebrate, I will walk 75 miles in God’s glorious outdoors with a purpose”, said Abma, “As this year marks Ron De Weerd’s retirement it is fitting that after working so many years together, we now walk together to raise funds for future generations who will carry on the mission and vision of Growing Hope Globally.”
The walk will raise support for a new fund established in honor of DeWeerd’s retirement to encourage the next generation to use their gifts. “I want the next generation to experience the incredible feeling of being part of the solution to hunger”, said DeWeerd, “I believe that young people intuitively know that efforts to meet immediate needs are not a lasting solution, and often lead to even greater dependence. That is why I am excited to walk and challenge everyone to help us as we celebrate the creation of the Next Generation fund, providing incentives for young people, particularly FFA, to become involved in supporting lasting solutions to hunger.”
To donate to this fund, visit give.growinghopeglobally.org/Next-Generation. Generous donors are matching all gifts up to $38,000.
The walk will begin in the same spot in Fremont, Michigan where DeWeerd helped to establish the state’s first Growing Project in 2000, and end at the Byron Center Growing Project’s Dairy Day event, which Abma helped to plan. The public is encouraged to attend these events and several others are being planned along the way. If you would like to plan an additional event as part of the walk, please contact Bev Abma.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial offers free suicide prevention training
Fremont, Mich., July 29, 2021 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is offering a free suicide prevention training to all community members on Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The training will be held at NCRESA Educational Service Center, Media Center Rooms 148/149, 4747 W. 48th St., Fremont, MI 49412.
Spectrum Health’s certified trainers will lead the free “Question, Persuade, Refer,” training. QPR training is designed to increase the ability to identify people with suicidal thoughts or behaviors and intervene to save a life.
The QPR training will teach participants how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, offer hope and get help to save a life.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial encourages everyone to sign up for this free training, especially as mental health and wellbeing continues to be a major priority and concern for our community,” said Stephanie Kooistra, Gerber Memorial health educator and certified QPR trainer. “In the last 18 months, with challenges our community has faced, we want to help empower people with resources that can help them ask the right questions, persuade with compassion and get help that can save lives. The Question, Persuade, Refer training is a hands-on program that can make a real difference for our community.”
To register, please call 231.924.3073.
The National Baby Food Festival welcomed the 2021 First Baby Born, Ryder Maynard, on Thursday. Ryder was born at 12:03 a.m. on that day, just a few hours after the 2021 target date and time of 8:21 p.m. on Wednesday. The baby born closest to that date and time is the “First Baby Born” at the National Baby Food Festival. Helping parents Mallorie Robart (seated) and Randal Maynard celebrate are, from left, Sydney Baird of the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce; Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Certified Nurse Midwife Katie Van Heck, CNM; Trisha Bott, RN, the Gerber Memorial nurse helping take care of Ryder; and Randal Maynard. Ryder weighed in at 6 pounds 6 ounces when he was born and is the first child for Robart and Maynard. The annual First Baby Born celebration includes gifts for parents and child donated from area businesses.
Wege Foundation Funds Scholarships for Veterans to Learn TM
The Wege Foundation has awarded a $40,000 grant to teach Transcendental Meditation (TM®) to veterans in Western Michigan. The goal of the grant is to help veterans overcome the ravages of elevated stress and PTSD that have resulted from their service to our country. This is the third grant from the Wege Foundation to provide TM for veterans.
Recognizing that additional avenues of community support are needed and welcomed by our veterans, the Wege Foundation is supporting instruction in Transcendental Meditation, which has been shown to provide effective self-help for those facing the daily challenges of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Studies have shown that the regular practice of TM provides significant and comprehensive support, including:
Two previous Wege Foundation grants providing scholarships for veterans to learn TM demonstrated the powerful efficacy of TM. Over one hundred veterans were taught under those grants. After one month of TM practice, average PTSD scores decreased 51% (p < 0.0001) and 75% of the participants’ scores decreased by more than 10 points, which is considered clinically significant. Of the 46 veterans with pre-intervention scores above the threshold for provisional PTSD diagnosis, 87% had a clinically significant drop in PTSD symptoms and 80% dropped below the clinical threshold for PTSD.
Veterans and veteran service organizations in Western Michigan that would like to take advantage of these scholarships should contact Mike Hummel: email: email@example.com phone: 231-519-4521. For more information see: www.tm.org/tm-for-vets
Having known Mike a long time this reporter contacted him to pose a few questions about this initiative.
You’ve been teaching Transcendental Meditation to Veterans for a few years now.
What can you tell us about this program from an instructor point of view?
I’ve never taught a veteran who didn’t like it. The first benefit most people notice is that they sleep better.
Being a veteran yourself, what adjustments did you need to make after coming home? Was TM a part of it?
I learned TM when I was in the Marine Corps. When you find something good you want to share it. So within a few months after getting out of the service I was studying to become a TM teacher and in less than a year I was teaching my family and friends to meditate here in Newaygo County and at CMU.
I’ve heard from people “I’ve tried meditating and it just doesn’t work for me.” Tell us how this is different than the standard image people have of meditation
I tried other techniques before being introduced to TM. They were difficult and I found very few benefits. Within a few days after learning TM I knew it was different: it was easy to do and the benefits, although subtle, were there right from the beginning.
Where/how do you get referrals? If I’m a vet and wish to take the instruction how do I go about it? Do I contact my local veteran’s office or can I contact you directly?
Most of my referrals come from people I’ve taught. Interested people can call me at 231-529-4521 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How about a few words to describe what TM brings to your life.
Happiness, Inner Peace
Anything you’d like to add?
You should learn yourself!
As I said, Mike has known me for a long time.
The Wege Foundation, founded in 1967 by Peter Wege of Steelcase, focuses on funding local good works that enhance the lives of the people of the Grand Rapids area and preserve the health of the environment.
“That’s what marriage was at its best: You didn’t have to tell your partner to look out, that you were falling. They were just there to catch you.”- Jamie Brenner, The Wedding Sisters
There are any number of reasons why marriage is a good thing, a wonderful thing and at times even a magical thing. One that stands out is the absolute and unyielding belief that your chosen partner has your back.
Of course it goes without saying that this doesn’t mean life together is heavenly bliss from vow sharing forward. After all marriage isn’t always easy, right?
I mean, think about it. Two people who are brought up in different families with inevitably different ways of looking at how things are done from finances to household chores to how we resolve conflict.
Now maybe toss in the raising of children and you got a lot of adjusting ahead.
Marriage is a dance that develops from the time you begin the relationship to the desire for commitment to the marriage and beyond.
And believe me, when things get rough the love a couple has for each other can get them through a lot.
But the knowledge that even beyond the ‘I don’t ever want to live without you’ love that brought you together there’s another level to the relationship that blends adoration with mutual respect.
It’s not ever having to question which side your partner is on when the chips are down. Never needing to wonder if you have their support.
And while we may have words when we’re alone, there is no question that when it comes to the rest of the world we are a nation of two.
Here are the couples who have recently applied for marriage licenses at the Newaygo County Clerk’s Office:
Chad Boone, Newaygo & Trina Stencel, Newaygo
Jamie Lee Cameron, Manistee MI & Jason Michael Lareau, Holland MI
Dena Rose DeKryger, Fremont & Stephen George Mathew, Wellington New Zealand
Starting this week, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is transitioning all COVID-19 vaccine clinics into the regularly schedule immunization clinics held at each DHD#10 location.
Individuals wanting a COVID-19 vaccine can still schedule online at www.dhd10.org/schedule. Click on the schedule link in your county and then select a date in bold and continue to follow the prompts. Please note that immunization clinics are scheduled differently at each of the ten DHD#10 offices. Walk-ins are welcome but scheduling is preferred. If you do not have access to a computer, smart phone, or the internet, please call 888-217-3904 for assistance.
DHD#10 will be closed on Monday, July 5, to observe the 4th of July holiday.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, go to www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine. To stay up to date on the latest information, sign up for Public Health Alerts at www.dhd10.org/subscribe.
‘MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes’ offers opportunity to win cash and college scholarships
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced the creation of the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes, a lottery-style raffle that gives vaccinated Michiganders a chance to win $5 million in cash and a combined total of nearly $500,000 in college scholarships.
The MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes is the latest kickoff in a series of lottery-style raffles by other states such as Ohio’s first-in-the-nation launch of the "Vax-a-Million" campaign. Ohio said vaccinations in the state increased 94% among 16- and 17- year-olds, 46% among 18- and 19-year-olds and 55% among those between 20 and 49 years old after Gov. Mike DeWine announced the lotteries.
Under Michigan’s new sweepstakes, residents age 18 and older who have received one dose of vaccine are eligible to register for a combined total of $5 million in cash giveaways.
In addition, Michigan’s vaccine sweepstakes will offer the opportunity to win one of nine Scholarship Drawing prizes available to vaccinated Michiganders between ages 12-17 whose parents enter on their behalf. Each Scholarship Drawing prize consists of a four-year Michigan Education Trust (MET) charitable tuition contract (valued at $55,000) that may be used to pay for tuition and mandatory fees at a college or university in accordance with MET terms and conditions.
The sweepstakes begin today (July 1) and end on Aug. 3, 2021. Eligibility criteria for each of the drawings is at: www.MIShotToWin.com.
“If there’s one thing every Michigander can agree on, it’s that whatever Ohio can do, Michigan can do it better and bigger,” said Governor Whitmer. “This sweepstakes gives every Michigander who’s been vaccinated a shot to win cash or college scholarships.”
Michiganders can qualify to enter the sweepstakes by getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at Meijer or receiving their vaccine from their doctor, local health department, pharmacy, hospital, etc.
The MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes giveaways include:
The goal of the public outreach campaign, consisting of a series of statewide drawings, is to raise awareness of the availability and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and provide incentives to Michiganders to get a COVID-19 vaccination. The aim of the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes is to increase the state’s vaccination rate by roughly 9% – or approximately 767,000 Michiganders – to achieve the statewide goal of 70% of residents age 16 and older who are immunized.
“The data reflect that the vast number of Michiganders who are not yet vaccinated are actually not opposed to getting vaccinated,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel.
As of June 29, 2021, 61.7% (more than 4.9 million Michiganders) age 16 and older have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data. To reach 70%, a total of 5,667,842 residents age 16 and older will need to be immunized.
Michigan is not alone in reporting waning interest of residents receiving their first dose of COVID-19 vaccinations. Nationally, vaccinations have fallen from over 3 million per day in April to about 1.8 million per day, according to Our World in Data. To reverse the trend, states such as Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon, Colorado and others have announced innovative large-scale raffles that are producing quantifiably successful results