The Gerber Foundation awards $130,000 to local West Michigan youth programs
The Gerber Foundation recently announced the results of its spring grant round for West Michigan Youth Programs. Thirty one grants were awarded totaling over $130,000, to various nonprofit community organizations in West Michigan for programs serving youth in Newaygo, Muskegon, Oceana, and Lake Counties. The majority of projects focused on education (including STEAM), health and nutrition, early childhood literacy, and life experiences.
Among the recipients:
A grant of $9,856 was awarded to FIRST in Michigan to implement the FIRST Discover Lego League Program in four pre-K classrooms in Newaygo County. “With the adoption of the FIRST Lego League Discover Program for pre-K classrooms, Newaygo County now has a FIRST program at every grade level,” said Catherine Obits, The Gerber Foundation Program Manager. “The Discover program introduces STEM concepts (foundational math and science concepts, analytical thinking and confidence) using LEGOs and the curriculum is aligned to national education standards.” The other FIRST programs include: FIRST Robotics at the high school, First Tech Challenge at the middle school, and FIRST Challenge and Explore Lego Leagues at the elementary grades.
The Newaygo Conservation District was awarded $8,400 for school field trip transportation expenses in support of the Hands on Science Exploration: Nature is Our Educator program. Local school children of all ages are bussed to the Kropscott Farm Environmental Center (KFEC) for hands-on science exploration and learning. “It’s hard to express our gratitude for the tremendous support given to the Kropscott Farm Environmental Center over the years'' said Ned Hughes, President of the KFEC Board. “The transportation of students to the KFEC continues to be the most significant financial hurdle for all the schools, and this grant will ease that burden.”
A grant of $5,330 was awarded to the Fremont Public schools to revitalize the Pine Street Community Garden located behind the Packer Pride Day Care Center. “This was a unique opportunity to support collaboration between the Day Care Center and the Sow and Grow 4-H club,” stated Catherine Obits, Program Manager, The Gerber Foundation. “Members of the Sow and Grow 4-H club maintain the gardens and produce is donated to local food pantries with some being entered in the Newaygo County Agricultural Fair. At the same time, children at the day care are afforded the opportunity to use the planting beds to learn about growing flowers and plants.”
Additional grants focused on education and STEAM activities included: Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes ($8,000) for financial literacy education to Newaygo County elementary students; Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter and Training Center ($3,000) for the summer Pet Pals education program and in-school Dog Bite Prevention for preschool and elementary children; and Newaygo County 4-H Council ($2,000) for the Discover 4-H! Discover You! STEAM Educational programs.
Grant awards to organizations supporting health and nutrition included:
The Christian Healthcare Centers in Newaygo ($11,600 provided from the FACF Health Care Fund) for the purchase of pediatric medical equipment for infant and child health care. “We are very grateful for this support and appreciate the Foundation’s focus on improving the health and wellness of children in Newaygo and adjacent counties”, said Mark Blocher, President and CEO, Christian Healthcare Centers.
Newaygo County Great Start Baby Pantry ($2,000) for the purchase of diapers, wipes and creams. The Newaygo County Great Start coalition opened a baby pantry in January 2021, to meet emergency baby resource (diapers, formula, food, etc.) needs. “The most demonstrated need by families that have visited the pantry are diapers and wipes”, said Christina Yuhasz, Newaygo County Great Start Parent Liaison and trusted advisor with Family Information Service Hub (FISH). “This grant will support the purchase of over 5,000 diapers and 300 packs of wipes enabling us to provide emergency diapering needs to over 200 children in Newaygo County!”
Stony Lake Therapeutic Riding Center in New Era ($3,535) for student scholarships for children with physical, mental, social and emotional challenges to participate in equine therapy programs.
Migrant Legal Aid ($5,000) for pesticide exposure health education to migrant families and their children in Oceana County.
Three grants were awarded to organizations supporting child literacy: the Hart Area Public Library received $2,000 to expand their preschool story hour and early childhood literacy outreach programs; the Fremont Area District Library received $7,702 to purchase and install two family workstation carrels for use by adults that visit the library with toddlers; and the Fremont Public elementary school received $5,000 to support a family literacy and activity night.
Several grants were again made to various camps for summer camp scholarships, including American Diabetes Association, Camp Midicha; YMCA Camp Pinewood; Harbor Hospice Camp Courage; Lake County Rose Lake Youth Camp; North Star Reach camp for children with serious health challenges; and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Additional youth program support went to Grant Public Schools for Rally Cap Summer Outreach program, Arbor Circle Total Trek Quest and group based programming, Gerald R. Ford Council, Boy Scouts of America for scout outreach, Holton United Methodist Church for back to school supply program, the Muskegon Mount Zion Church of God in Christ for Club 188 Academy of Arts and Academics summer day camp experience, and to the Newaygo County 4-H Council to purchase archery equipment for the youth Archery Program and to provide for 4-H Exploration Days transportation expenses.
More information about the Foundation’s grantmaking, focus areas and application process is available online at https://www.gerberfoundation.org/west-michigan-grants-youth-services/. Grant application deadlines for West Michigan grants are March and September 15 of each year. The grant application portal can be found at: https://www.gerberfoundation.smartsimple.com.
The National Baby Food Festival and Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital welcomed the 2022 First Baby Born, Layla Perry, on Thursday, July 21, 2022. Layla was born at 2:48 p.m. on that day, just a few hours after the 2022 target date and time of 11 a.m. on Thursday.
The baby born closest to that date and time is the “First Baby Born” at the National Baby Food Festival. Parents Breanna and Christopher Perry celebrate their third child with older siblings Maysea and Dawsyn. Precious Layla weighed in at 9 pounds 10 ounces when she was born.
The annual First Baby Born celebration includes gifts for the family donated from area organizations including Gerber Products, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, Fairview Floral and Gingerly Cleaning
Pictured from back left to right is Jason Ross, Gerber Memorial Hospital chief operating officer, Dr. Lindsay Schmiedeknecht, OB physician, Amy Perks, RN, Sandy Earl, Fremont Area Chamber event coordinator, Nick Strait, chief nursing officer. From front left to right is Breanna, Layla and Christopher Perry.
Gerber Federal Credit Union (Gerber FCU) now has four in-house certified financial counselors available, located within their Fremont Corporate and Fremont Main Street branches.
Katrina Luchies, Member Solutions Manager, recently completed the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCep), to earn the designation of Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC). The CCUFC designation requires recertification every three years to ensure that the knowledge about financial counseling is current. Gerber FCU Senior Mortgage Manager Carla Burmeister and Fremont Main Street Branch Manager Patti Scherf were certified in October 2020. Brent Deur, Assistant Vice President - Consumer Lending was certified in August 2021.
“Our Certified Financial Counselors are trained to help our members function successfully in today’s financial marketplace. We are very proud that Katrina has invested the time and energy to earn this certification so that she can help more members,” said John P. Buckley, Jr., Gerber FCU’s President/CEO.
“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”-Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
A new beginning
When one (or more accurately two) decide to step into the union known as matrimony, it changes things.
I don’t care if you’ve lived together for years or met last week, it changes things.
Mostly for the better since the decision toward having a partner in life is generally not made lightly and the candidate who is going to take those vows with you was hopefully pretty well vetted beforehand.
And yet for many, change is a difficult hurdle. We all have kind of our own way we roll and now there is someone else to think of, perhaps another opinion weighing in and another’s feelings to consider. Way more so than when a couple is dating. Even more than a cohabitating twosome might have dealt with prior to putting a ring on it.
It’s indeed a new beginning. An opportunity to live your lives in a different way as a part of what one hopes is the most trusting relationship one will ever experience.
That’s kind of the definition of a healthy partnership.
A solid and mutually satisfying marriage is built on compromise, an ability to be accountable when wrong, and a large dollop of forgiveness toward each other as well as ourselves.
When this is accomplished it comes with the knowledge that your partner is, when all is said and done, on your side and wants what’s best for you as well as the marriage.
So here’s to these couples who made their way to the Newaygo County Clerk’s Office to apply for legal licensure of their love for one another.
May the partnership be a long and fruitful one for both parties.
In the business world that’s called a win-win.
Shelby Seabrook, White Cloud & David Vandermate, White Cloud
Ashley Beurkens, Grand Rapids & Carl Dosch Jr., White Cloud
Caroline Price, Montague & Cory Vandermolen, Fremont
Matthew DeBoer, Newaygo & Stephanie Crowley,Newaygo
Ashley Campbell, Grant & Brendan Carroll, Grant
Charles Hesse, Grant & Jennifer Vokits Mudd, Muskegon
John Stempien, Coldwater & Nicole Gee, Mesick
TrueNorth to host county’s second site
District Health Department #10 is announcing that an all new COVID-19 testing clinic will open on July 8, 2022 in Newaygo County. The new site will be hosted by TrueNorth Community Services and DHD#10, and run by Honu Management. The site will be open on Mondays and Fridays from 12 pm to 4:30 pm.
“Getting another COVID-19 testing clinic back up and running in Newaygo County is a huge asset to the community,” said DHD#10 Health Officer Kevin Hughes. “A big thank you to both Honu Management and TrueNorth Community Services for their willingness to provide a convenient location for continued COVID-19 testing in Newaygo County. We would also like to sincerely thank NCRESA for graciously hosting the COVID-19 testing clinic for residents previously. Your generosity and dedication are much appreciated.”
The address for the new clinic is listed below:
TrueNorth Community Services
6308 S. Warner Ave.
DHD#10 now supplies COVID-19 at-home tests; however, supplies are limited. COVID-19 test kits are limited at each DHD#10 office and are available on a first come, first served basis. Individuals are asked to take one kit per person, and up to four kits per household. Each kit has two tests inside and expire January 2023. Test kits are also available at most pharmacies. Be sure to call your pharmacy ahead of time, as demand is high. You can also get at-home tests through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Postal Service (USPS) here: https://www.covidtests.gov/.
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is announcing that both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children 6 months and older.
Following the emergency authorization and recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Food and Drug Administration (FDA), DHD#10 began offering the Pfizer vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. However, DHD#10 now has enough supply to begin offering the Moderna vaccine for those 6 months and older.
These vaccines have FDA emergency authorization for use in this age group based on limited side effects in the 6 months to 5 years old age group. The full FDA report is available here.
“We hope we see kids getting scheduled for vaccines throughout the summer, before school starts, to make sure their series is complete and give our children the best level of protection against COVID-19,” said DHD#10’s Health Officer, Kevin Hughes.
DHD#10 now supplies COVID-19 at-home tests; however, supplies are limited. COVID-19 test kits are limited at each DHD#10 office and are available on a first come, first served basis. Individuals are asked to take one kit per person, and up to four kits per household. Each kit has two tests inside and expire January 2023. Test kits are also available at most pharmacies. Be sure to call your pharmacy ahead of time, as demand is high. If you have a positive COVID-19 at-home test kit, please report it here: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6055601/3a61f0729898.
For those wanting to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine, booster dose and/or flu shot, please visit www.dhd10.org/schedule or call 888-217-3904. If no appointments are available, consider going to a pharmacy or your primary health care provider.
For more information on COVID-19, visit www.dhd10.org/coronavirus.