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Archive | April, 2011

Adopt one- get one free kitten promotion

(Grand Rapids, MI) – For the entire month of May, the Kent County Animal Shelter is hosting an “Adopt One, Get One Free” kitten event.
This program is a partnership between Vicky’s Pet Connection (VPC) and the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS).  VPC and KCAS have been teaming up and providing services to help find homes for adoptable pets since 2000.  Vicky’s Pet Connection is a non-profit animal rescue group, established in 1998, that has agreed to pay the spay/neuter fee and adoption fees for one of every two kittens adopted as a pair.  Typically, a male kitten neutering fee is $55, a female kitten spay fee is $70 and the adoption fee is $50. This savings is valued up to $120.  Fees include a feline leukemia/FIV test, RCPC vaccination and a microchip ID implant.
The promotion for kitten adoptions runs from May 1- May 31.  The event will take place at the Kent County Animal Shelter, located at 740 Fuller Ave., NE.  Adoption hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday.
To search adoptable cats at the Kent County Animal Shelter please visit Petfinder.com.  For more information about Vicky’s Pet Connection, please visit: www.vickyspetconnection.org.

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Rotary Group Study Exchange

Rotary District 6290 is looking for young business professions between the ages of 25 and 40 who are interested in traveling to Bangladesh on a vocational exchange. While there, they will interact with other professionals in their fields, learn about the culture, and experience the way of life of the Bangladeshis. Other than personal expenses, all costs are covered by The Rotary Foundation.
If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please contact Tom Noreen at 696-5186 or TomNoreen@aol.com. For more information on the program, check out a flyer for a previous trip at  http://www.clubrunner.ca/Data/6290//HTML/100829//GSEforwebsite.pdf

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Auditions for “Cinderella”

The Flat River Community Players will hold auditions for the musical “Cinderella” by Rodgers and Hammerstein at 7:00 p.m. on May 16, 17 and 18 at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Greenville.  Director Julie Jakeway and music director Mark Dombroske look to cast six to seven women and three to four men, aged late teens/20s through 60+ for principal roles, one or two kids of upper elementary or middle school ages, and a mixed chorus of teens and adults.  Auditioners should bring a prepared solo with sheet music or recorded accompaniment.  First rehearsal is May 23.  Performances are July 22-30.  Questions?  Call the FRCP at 616-754-8207.

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A Mother’s Day Sunrise Surprise

It’s true – the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there? Whether baking treats, making dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be. Since my day job is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This column lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.

(Family Features)
Start Mother’s Day off right with a beautiful breakfast in bed. A pretty tray set with some of the good dishes and real linens, a fresh flower, and some delicious food will put a smile on mom’s face that will last all day.

Golden Sunrise French Toast is made extra special with evaporated milk and a splash of vanilla extract. Make sure you use firm bread so the toast doesn’t end up soggy.

If she loves eggs, making Scrambled Eggs with a little evaporated milk gives them such a creamy texture that she’ll want to eat them this way all the time. Add one tablespoon of evaporated milk for each egg used.

Pour her a Mock Mimosa by mixing sparkling lime juice or ginger ale to orange juice. Garnish with a fresh strawberry on the rim of the glass.

For more delicious ways to surprise mom on her special day, visit www.TheCookingMilk.com.

Photo courtesy of Nestle

Golden Sunrise French Toast

Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Makes 4 to 5 servings

2     large eggs
1    can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
2     teaspoons vanilla extract
2    tablespoons granulated sugar
1    tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4     teaspoon salt
8 to 10 slices (3/4-inch-thick) firm, day-old French bread
Unsalted butter
Maple syrup
Fresh seasonal berries or sliced fruit

HEAT large skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
BEAT eggs in shallow pan or large pie plate; whisk in evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Whisk in sugar, flour and salt. Add several slices of bread; soak without over saturating.

SWIRL 1 tablespoon butter in hot skillet. Remove bread from batter, allowing excess batter to drip off; transfer prepared bread to skillet in single layer. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over; cook for an additional 2 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately with syrup and berries. Continue with remaining bread slices, adding 1 tablespoon butter to skillet for each new batch.

Nutrition Information per serving: 450 calories; 120 calories from fat; 14g total fat; 7g saturated fat;  0g trans fat; 140mg cholesterol; 680mg sodium; 67g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 28g sugars; 15g protein; 15% DV vitamin A; 6% DV vitamin C; 30% DV calcium; 15% DV iron

Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.

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Ten timely tips to get feet ready for spring

(ARA) – From slogging through snow, ice and slush to being confined in heavy boots to fight the cold—if your feet could talk, what a tale of winter woe they might tell. You may be tempted to pull your sandals out of the closet and stuff your heaviest hosiery to the back of the sock drawer, but before you set your soles free to savor spring, some preparation is in order.
Being cooped up in cramped footwear during winter months can cause feet to suffer from a variety of ailments, from dry, flaky skin and discolored toenails to pesky corns and unsightly calluses. Pampering your feet in preparation for warm weather can help feet look and feel their best when warmer weather calls for donning flip-flops and peep-toe shoes.
“Caring for your feet not only promotes good hygiene, it can alert you to any problem areas that may need attention before slipping into sandals this spring,” says Dr. Michael King,  president of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Plus, it’s a good way to relax and de-stress after a tiring winter. When your feet feel good, you’re more likely to feel good all over.”
The APMA offers these 10 tips for getting your feet spring-ready:
1. Start with a soak. Immerse your feet in warm water with Epson salts, herbal soaks or oils for at least 10 minutes.
2. Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove thickened, dead skin build-up (calluses) around the pre-soaked heels, balls and sides of the feet. Never use a razor as it removes too much skin and can easily cause infection or permanent damage if used incorrectly.
3. Eliminate dry, flaky winter skin on the soles, sides and tops of the feet by using an exfoliating scrub.
4. Massage a generous amount of emollient-enriched skin lotion all over your feet, such as Amerigel Care Lotion, which has the APMA’s Seal of Approval. This hydrates the skin and the massaging helps to promote circulation. Be sure to remove any excess moisturizer from under your toenails or between toes; build-up in those areas can provide a breeding ground for bacteria.
5. Use a straight-edge toenail clipper to trim nails to just above the top of each toe to ensure nails don’t become curved or rounded in the corners.
6. Help lock in moisture by wearing a pair of poly-cotton blend socks at bedtime.
7. Forgo nail polish if your nails are not healthy. If you have healthy nails, remove polish regularly to keep them in top condition.
8. Wash your feet daily with soap and water. Dry carefully, paying extra attention to the area between your toes.
9. Inspect last spring and summer’s footwear. Throw away any shoes or sandals that appear worn.
10. If any skin or nail problems exist, see a podiatrist for a medical diagnosis.
Today’s podiatrists are physicians, surgeons and specialists are trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. To find a podiatrist near you, log on to www.todayspodiatrist.com.
With a little foot-friendly preparation, your feet can be ready to step into spring … and let memories of winter boots melt away with the snow.

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Stroke and Osteoporosis Screenings at Solon Center

Residents living in and around the Cedar Springs, Michigan community can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture. Solon Center Wesleyan Church will host Life Line Screenings on Ma 10, 2011, at 15671 Algoma Ave., in Cedar Springs.
Four key points everyone needs to know:
1.    Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability
2.    80 percent of stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to their stroke
3.    Preventive ultrasound screenings can help you avoid a stroke
4.    Screenings are fast, noninvasive, painless, affordable and convenient
Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women.  Packages start at $139. Screenings take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete.
For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit our website at www.lifelinescreening.com. Pre-registration is required.

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Fight Back Against Sexual Assault

By Richard N. Waldman, MD, President, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

There are more than 300,000 rape-related physical assaults against women each year in the US. Nearly
Fight Back Against Sexual Assault one in six women will be the target of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Yet despite its prevalence, rape remains the least reported and punished violent crime in the US.
Sexual violence—including rape, date rape, incest, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, exposure, and voyeurism—is a term that describes unwanted, non-consensual sexual activity that is forced on one person by another. Crimes of sexual violence are most often committed by a person that the victim knows and are motivated by the desire to control, humiliate, or harm the victim, not by passion or sexual desire.
The physical and mental effects of sexual violence on victims can be profound and lifelong. Women who have been sexually assaulted are at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV, gonor-rhea, chlamydia, and HPV. Rape also leads to an estimated 32,000 pregnan-cies each year. The risk of pregnancy among sexually-abused adolescents is especially high because teens generally have low rates of consistent contra-ceptive use and are often assaulted repeatedly in incestuous relationships.
Following an assault, many women experience humiliation, embarrassment, self-blame, eating and sleep disturb-ances, general pain throughout the body, and mood swings. Months and years later, some continue to have psycho-logical and physical reactions such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, phobias, flashbacks, nightmares, substance abuse, and gynecologic problems.
If you have been sexually assaulted, remember that you are not at fault. No matter what a person wears or how they behave, no one “asks” or deserves to be sexually abused.
Make it a priority to see a medical professional, such as your physician or an emergency room doctor, right away. You should be examined immediately and treated for physical injuries, exposure to STDs, and unintended pregnancy. During your examination, physical evidence may be gathered for use by police or legal parties should you decide to report the crime. Do not bathe, douche, use the bathroom, wash out your mouth, clean your fingernails, eat, drink, or smoke before your exam.
As you begin the healing process, it’s important to take good care of yourself and tend to your general well-being. Eat healthy foods, exercise, meditate, get enough sleep, and surround yourself with supportive friends and family. You may also want to speak with a counselor or mental health professional to help you through this difficult time.
To find a rape counselor or crisis center near you, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) or use the online hotline at ohl.rainn.org/online. ♀

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Boys track defeats Forest Hills Northern

Hank Porter won the long jump for the Red Hawks.

Alex Hemry won the 100m and 200m runs for Cedar Springs

The Cedar Springs boys track team was finally back on the track to open their defense of the OK Blue title. After two cancelled meets due to snow, rain, and wind the boys defeated a strong Forest Hills Northern team 86-51. This was a key meet as the Huskies are a legitimate contender for the 2011 OK crown. Rust was evident as the Red Hawks were not particularly sharp, but with improved field event performance and a strong distance and sprint crews, they were more than up to the challenge.
The Cedar Springs field event members started the meet off with victories that Northern could not recover from. AJ Olszewski won the pole vault (13’), Dan Sagorski won the discus(128’9”), Hank Porter won the long jump(20’1”), and in first ever attempt at shot put, Justin Balczak won in a put of 44’3”. Connor Mora led the Cedar distance crew against the strength of the Husky team, their distance crew, with victories in the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m. Alex Hemry won the 100m, 200m, member of the winning 400m relay, and anchored the thrilling 800m relay race. Justin Balczak added victories in the 110m and 300m hurdles to his shot put and 800m relay victories. With the strong distance crew of Northern, the sprinters stepped up with key contributions from Ryan Austin (800m and 400m relay wins), Ron Fisk (800m relay win), Aaron Dault (hurdles), and the return of state qualifier James Putnam from his knee injury during the football season.
Starting this week, the Red Hawks start the meat of their schedule in their drive for the OK Blue championship. On Thursday the 28th they finally have a home meet against the Redskins of Belding. We all pray for the weather to break so the boys can get on the track to shake off the rust and show off the championship talent this team possesses.

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Lady Red Hawks lose to Huskies

After two canceled meets due to the weather and three weeks since their team’s first meet, the Cedar Springs Red Hawk girls track team finally was able to get on the track to compete. The team opened the OK Blue season with a dual meet at Forest Hills Northern on Thursday, April 21. Despite many fine performances and an outstanding effort by all members of the team, the Lady Red Hawks lost by a close score of 72 to 65.
Sophomore Katie Weiler earned 4 first places in the meet. Katie won the 800, 1600, 3200, and was a member of the winning 3200-meter really team.  Senior
Amber Terhaar continued her dominance of the throwing events by winning the shot put and discus.  The team’s overall record are now 1 and 2.  They host the Belding Redskins at Red Hawk Stadium on Thursday April 28 for their first home meet of the year. Field events start at 4:00 and the running events start at 4:45.
Placing for the Red Hawks were:
First Place: Amber TerHaar Shot put and discus; Aly Hamilton 100 meter dash; Katie Weiler 3200, 1600, and 800-meter runs; 3200-meter relay team of Kayla Ovokaitys, Allie Veltkamp, Sommer VanDyke, and Katie Weiler.
Second Place: Jeanette Sukstas Shot Put and Discus; Aly Hamilton long jump; Sommer VanDyke 1600 and 800 meter run; Briana Pierson High Jump; Abby VanDusen 100 meter hurdles; Fenessa Cotton 300 meter hurdles.
Third Place: Fenessa Cotten 100 meter hurdles; Jessica Titus 3200 meter run; Rieley Hondalus High Jump; Abby VanDusen Pole Vault;Allie Veltkamp 400 meter dash; Aly Hamilton 200 meter dash.

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Spring ephemerals at Howard Christensen Nature Center

The twinflower is one of the flowers adventurers might see as they explore Howard Christian Nature Center May 7.

Saturday, May 7, 1-4 p.m.

Explore Howard Christensen Nature Center with Ranger Steve Mueller on Saturday, May 7, from 1-4 p.m., to enjoy naked miterwort, dwarf ginsing, twinflower, fringed polygala, starflower, beadlily, and a host of other spring flowers that should be peaking during the field trip.
“Hopefully the day will be sunny warm so spring butterflies will be on the wing,” said Mueller. “We will visit a huckleberry patch at the 18 Mile bog in hopes of seeing Brown Elfins as well as flowering bog heaths.”
The trip is sponsored jointly by the White Pine Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club and West Michigan Butterfly Association. The public is welcome.
The nature center is located at 16190 Red Pine Drive. From Cedar Springs follow 17 Mile Rd. west for approximately 6 miles to Red Pine Dr., turn north (right) onto Red Pine Dr. and continue north to 18-Mile Rd., turn west (left) onto 18 Mile Rd. Take this a short distance (less than 1/4 mile), and then turn north (right) on Red Pine Dr. Continue for about 1-1/2 miles. The entrance will be on the east (right) side of Red Pine Dr.

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