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My Town: Coast Guard marks National Safe Boating week with open house

My Town: Coast Guard marks National Safe Boating week with open house

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—  In 2012, our nation’s waterways claimed the lives of 651 boaters.

The Coast Guard is hoping to curb that statistic by raising awareness during National Safe Boating Week, May 17-23.   The Coast Guard is encouraging all boaters to wear a life jacket at all times; in 2012, 379 people of the 459 people who drowned were not wearing a life jacket. 

As part of National Safe Boating Week, the Coast Guard Station in Grand Haven will have an open house Friday, May 23, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Visitors can take part in safe boating demonstrations, tour Coast Guard boats and the Ottawa County Sheriff Office fire boat and watch a robotic submersible at work.

My Town Grand Haven: Free boat inspections May 17

My Town Grand Haven: Free boat inspections May 17

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—  National Safe Boating Week kicks off Saturday, May 17 with free boat inspections by the Ottawa County Sheriff Office Marine Division.

Marine officers will inspect your boat to make sure it has the proper equipment on it.  Passing boats will receive a vessel inspection sticker.  The free inspections are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gold Coast Outfitters, located at 6755 Butternut Drive in West Olive.

Additionally, the Ottawa County Sheriff Office would like to alert boaters to a new slow no wake area on the Grand River. The SNW area is located in the western-most channel of the Grand River, with coordinates of 43.030534/-86.159217, north to 43.041332/-86.162584.

For a map of all the area no wake zones, visit the sheriff office website here.

My Town: Mark Memorial Day season by making a life-saving donation

My Town: Mark Memorial Day season by making a life-saving donation

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The American Red Cross is encouraging Americans to honor service men and women this Memorial Day season by making a life-saving donation of blood.

“Your blood donation at this time of year works as both a tribute and a testament to our nation’s armed forces,” said Todd Kulman, communications manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “By rolling up your sleeve, you’ll also help maintain a strong blood supply at a time of year when blood donations traditionally decline.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. While that need is constant, the number of people donating blood can fluctuate, particularly over the summer, when schools no longer host blood drives because they are shut down for the summer. 

If you would like to donate, visit any of the following blood drives:

My Town: May 15 ceremony honors officers killed on duty

My Town: May 15 ceremony honors officers killed on duty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Walker police officer killed while trying to stop two robbers is among the nearly three dozen officers who will be honored during the Police Memorial Day of Service ceremony Thursday, May 15.

The memorial will begin at 10 a.m. inside the Grand Rapids Police Department lobby, due to the weather.  Dave Hiller, the executive director of the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police, will be the guest speaker at the event. Those who will be honored are:

My Town Grand Haven: Hundreds of students take part in boot camp fundraiser

My Town Grand Haven: Hundreds of students take part in boot camp fundraiser

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—  Organizers are getting ready to count up pledges from the Robinson Elementary Health Week and Boot Camp fundraiser.

Organized by the school PTA, the Friday event was the culmination of a week of activities at the school, in partnership with the NFL Play 60 team and North Ottawa Medical Group.  Organizers say Matt Wilbur, owner of Grand Haven Fit Body Boot Camp, helped all of the children warm up before they started the course.  Approximately 360 children from preschool to fourth grade ran, skipped and jumped through a variety of obstacles.  At the finish line, they were greeted by a military dad who handed out military-like dog tags, paid for by the Ottawa Animal Hospital, as well as goodie bags. Other sponsors include Midge Verplank, Kangaroo Palace, Hall Family Chiropractic, Katrina Van HoutenIncome Tax Service, Mercy Health Partners- Lakeshore Family Care and Buffalo Wild Wings.

My Town: Students improve community during Junior Day of Caring

My Town: Students improve community during Junior Day of Caring

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—Dozens of parks and local organizations are a lot cleaner, thanks to the hard work of nearly 1,000 middle school student volunteers.

On May 2, eighth grade students from Lakeshore Middle School spent the morning volunteering at 30 local nonprofit organizations and parks, cleaning, landscaping organizing and sorting.  Other students spent time painting nails and playing games with the elderly, as part of the Greater Ottawa County United Way’s Junior Day of Caring.

Sixth grade students from White Pines Middle School did their part late last month, clearing invasive plants and picking up garbage at Ottawa County parks.  Overall, the students donated 1,950 hours of their time.

"It is incredible to see these kids working together to make a difference. This event has a powerful impact on our community and on the students themselves," said Shannon Morton, United Way’s director of volunteerism.

My Town: United Methodist Church of the Dunes' 'Blessing of the Bikes' May 25

My Town: United Methodist Church of the Dunes' 'Blessing of the Bikes' May 25

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.Dan Duncan, senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Dunes, will present the annual “Blessing of the Bikes” on Sunday, May 25 at 11:45 a.m. in the church parking lot at 717 Sheldon Road.

The general public is invited to attend and ride their road bicycles, tricycles, big wheels, motorcycles and scooters to obtain a special blessing.

Bikers and cyclists have attended the blessing for a number of years.  The observance is to provide prayer for safety, joy and fellowship for those cyclists sharing the roadways over the summer months as they ride throughout God’s creation. For further information, contact the church at (616) 842-7980.