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School is over, but the need for blood donations is not

School is over, but the need for blood donations is not

Now that school is out, the need for blood donations is even greater.

High school and college students donate about 20 percent of the blood collected through the American Red Cross, so the organization is anticipating a drop in donations this summer.

“Just because summer is here, it doesn’t mean donating blood is on vacation, too,” said Todd Kulman, Communications Program Manager for the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross. “You might find there’s a lot of fun to be had in donating blood, or even sponsoring a blood drive of your own.”

The American Red Cross’ Great Lakes Blood Service Region must collect about 650 units of blood a day to meet patient need in hospitals.

Michigan state parks host summer fitness classes

Michigan state parks host summer fitness classes

LANSING, Mich. (AP & WZZM) - State parks in Michigan are offering outdoor fitness classes such as yoga and tai chi this summer.

The Department of Natural Resources' Fresh Air Fit program has instruction tailored to workout veterans as well as newcomers. Examples range from a "martial arts outdoor boot camp" at Bay City State Recreation Area to low-impact aerobics and Warrior X Fit kickboxing at Interlochen State Park in Grand Traverse County. 

From June 10 through August 14, Grand Haven State Park will be hosting a “Zumba Beach Party” every Monday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.  Muskegon State Park is hosting its own “Beach Boot Camp” and Eco Trek Fitness throughout the summer.

The classes are taught by local instructors.

Free food distribution May 31

Workers with the Ottawa County Community Action Agency will hand out free food to low income families Friday, May 31.

Recipients must live within Ottawa County and must be income eligible.  For a household of one, that means their income isn $21,780 or below.  The income limit increase $7,640 for  each additional household member.  Families who are recipients of the Family Independence Program (FIP) or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible.

The food is free.  Each family can only visit one location and obtain one 25 pound box of food which consists of three pounds of frozen blueberries, carrots, canned chicken, five pounds of frozen chicken leg quarters, egg noodles, three pounds of frozen ham, milk, mixed fruit, rolled oats, vegetable oil, orange joice, unsalted peanuts, four pounds of frozen pork patties and diced tomatoes.

Food will be distributed at four locations:

Comedienne presents “Laff Jest for the Health of It" May 7

SPRING LAKE, Mich.― Sr. Sue Tracy, O.P. (order of preachers), sister and comedienne known around West Michigan for her sense of humor and uplifting speeches, will present  "Laff Jest for the Health of It” at St. Mary’s Church on May 7.

The event will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and include a social hour with Tracy. The general public is invited to attend the program at the church, located at 406 East Savidge Street in Spring Lake.  The program is free, but visitors are encouraged to make an offering to the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids.

Tracy is a four-time cancer survivor. She is an oncology chaplin with Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.  She has lectured extensively on the health benefits of laughter.

The American Red Cross' origins and how you can help

The American Red Cross' origins and how you can help


World Red Cross Day is May 8, and the organization is encouraging you to celebrate its founder’s birthday by donating blood.

Henry Dunant founded the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement after witnessing a bloody battle in Solferino, Italy in 1859. Dunant, a Swiss businessman, organized local people to come to the aid of the injured soldiers.  When he returned to Geneva, he called for the creation of a national volunteer relief society to help during wartime.  Today, more than 180 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies exist worldwide.

If you’d like to donate blood, these are the scheduled drives through May 29: 



Co-author shares life story about overcoming life's obstacles May 2

Co-author shares life story about overcoming life's obstacles May 2

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. – Loutit District Library is pleased to sponsor author Gordon Galloway and co-author Randy Park, who will share his life story as recounted in the book, "Full Circle."

During the May 2 program, Park will frankly discuss the medical and psychological problems associated with living life as an amputee. "Full Circle" recounts his work with special needs students and shows how an understanding and a willingness to listen can change the life of a child.

Their progam begins at 7 p.m.

Tools for dealing with grief and loss at Spring Lake District Library

Tools for dealing with grief and loss at Spring Lake District Library

SPRING LAKE, Mich.--Grief resulting from a significant life change or loss of someone close to you can affect you in unexpected ways.

Feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety are common and can be overwhelming. Desiree Davis of Hospice of Michigan will be at Spring Lake District Library on Thursday, April 11 at 7 p.m. to share effective coping skills. Attendees will learn techniques to help process the feelings resulting from loss and how to support their emotional and physical health during difficult times. The public is invited to attend this free presentation.  

To pre-register or for more information call Hospice of Michigan at (231) 773-5394, ext. 8382 or the library at (616) 846-5770, ext. 107.  The library is located at 123 E. Exchange Street in Spring Lake.