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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: Rock & roll nutrition show tours West Michigan

My Town: Rock & roll nutrition show tours West Michigan

HOLLAND, Mich.—A rock and roll nutrition show has arrived in West Michigan.

“Jump with Jill” kicked off a series of performances at five area schools Monday, with a live show at Thomas Jefferson School in Holland.  It’s one of five schools that won a statewide contest, thanks to the generosity of Michigan’s dairy farmers and milk processors and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan as part of their Fuel Up to Play 60 program. 

“Dairy is one of easiest and richest ways that kids can get the calcium they need for strong bones,” says Amy Viselli with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. “Jump with Jill has serious fun with a serious message. They even dress up a milk jug as a rapper named Calcium.”

MSU’s second annual Gran Fondo cycling event raises funds for skin cancer research

MSU’s second annual Gran Fondo cycling event raises funds for skin cancer research

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Michigan State University College of Human Medicine announces plans for its second annual Gran Fondo on June 28, 2014.

Italian for “Big Ride,” proceeds from this this non-competitive cycling event go towards programs to increase awareness, prevention and detection of skin cancer and supports MSU’s skin cancer research.

My Town: Boxed water company riding sales wave to New York

My Town: Boxed water company riding sales wave to New York

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Less than a year after opening a new facility in Holland, a Grand Rapids-based boxed water company is looking to New York to expand its brand nationally.

Boxed Water recently hired Matt Merson to serve as its vice president of sales.  Merson  previously worked with Zico Coconut Water,  SmartWater and Coca-Cola Enterprises.  Merson will represent the company in New York.

“Boxed Water has seen incredible growth in many ways because it knows what it is, what the brand stands for. It has the potential to be a leading, mission-focused brand, and I am eager to help build our national distribution network,” said Merson. “

Merson says Boxed Water also feeds into the focus on better health and wellness, as well as more environmentally friendly living.  The Boxed Water container is made of trees that come from certified, well-managed forests that are constantly replanted to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

My Town: Two communities join Great American Meatout Day

My Town: Two communities join Great American Meatout Day

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The City of Kalamazoo will recognize the Great American Meatout Day this Thursday, March 20.

Mayor Bobby Hopewell recently signed a proclamation encouraging community members to skip the meat and opt for meals filled with vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains. His proclamation discusses the health, environmental and animal welfare benefits.

This is the 30th year for the Meatout campaign, organized by the national nonprofit Farm Animal Rights Movement.  FARM says the lives of 8,000 can be spared if 30,000 people commit to going meatless for one full day.

Holland’s Thai Palace Restaurant also plans to show its support for the event with a vegan “feed-in” Thursday.  The restaurant plans to serve up free samples of vegan food to patrons. Thai Palace is located at 977 Butternut Drive.

My Town: American Red Cross continues history of helping

My Town: American Red Cross continues history of helping

For 133 years, the American Red Cross has taken the lead in organizing an army of volunteers to help communities devastated by disasters.

Without volunteers, the organization wouldn’t function.  That includes the more than 3.5 million people who volunteered to give blood last year, providing  a life-saving resource for patients in about 3,000 U.S. hospitals and transfusion centers. 

 “While the world changes around us, our mission never does,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “We’re all about helping others during times of great need – and we can do that because of the generosity of countless volunteers and donors—including people who roll up their sleeve and give blood.”

If you’d like to join the efforts, the following blood drivers are scheduled:

Free class harnesses health benefits of laughter

Free class harnesses health benefits of laughter

LOWELL, Mich.-- Laughter comes with many health benefits; learn how to harness its power during a free session of Laughter Yoga, organized by LaughFest.

Join certified laughter yoga leaders and teachers to learn how the principle of "acting happiness" can help your health. WZZM 13's Alex Shabad tried a Laughter Yoga class in Holland; read about his experience here.

The class is 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Tuesday, March 11 at the Gilda's Club Lowell Clubhouse. The session is free, but donations are encouraged.  Proceeds will go toward free cancer, grief and emotional health support programs offered through Gilda's Club Grand Rapids and the Lowell Clubhouse.