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Tag Archive | "Alpha Family Center"

Celebrate life at LifeWalk


June 15

Alpha Family Center will host its annual LifeWalk/LifeRun/LifeRide events on Saturday, June 15, and the community is invited to come out to Morley Park, Cedar Springs for a celebration of Life

Over 80 walkers participated in the two-mile LifeWalk in 2018

Alpha Family Center has been a part of the Cedar Springs community since 1992. They are a non-profit, faith-based pregnancy care center serving hundreds in the West Michigan area. This year marks their 24th Annual LifeWalk at 10:00 a.m., and the 6th running of their 5K LifeRun at 8:30 a.m. Back by popular demand is the LifeRide bicycle event at 7:30 a.m. Participants choose from either a 10, 20, 30, or 40 mile leisure ride along the White Pine Trail (Helmets required.) 

LifeRun and LifeRide participants are asked to collect a minimum of $50 in donations in lieu of a registration fee to participate. Participants will receive a free t-shirt (while supplies last). There will also be Kid’s FunRun at 9:15 and the Baby & Me LifeCrawl 11:30.

LifeWalk is a great time for families. They will be face painting, a balloon release, refreshments, prizes and the chance for everyone to help families in a real way.

To participate in LifeWalk 2019 or for more information, stop by Alpha on Mondays 11-5, Tuesdays 10-7 & Wednesdays 10-4 or visit their website www.alphafamilycentercs.org. 

Participants are able to set up a personal fundraising page to share with family and friends on social media from their website or Facebook page. For more details on how to do this, click on the events tab or call 696-2616.

“For people who are looking for a practical and fun way to put their life-affirming beliefs into action, LifeWalk is the perfect opportunity, “says Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director of Alpha Family Center.

Last year, they were able to offer help 2,263 times to families with over 10,034 free baby items given out. Their services include: free self-pregnancy test, peer mentoring, community agency referrals, maternity, baby and toddler clothing and care necessities. They also provide accurate information on abortion, adoption, and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as sexual abuse, miscarriage and post-abortion support.

Alpha Family Center is “your family resource for life” located at 6 N. First Street, Cedar Springs.


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Alpha Family Center appoints development director


For over twenty-six years, northern Kent County has been home to Alpha Family Center of Cedar Springs, an organization that has supported over 6,000 families making life decisions. Chrystal Newman, longtime resident of Rockford, has taken on the role of Development Director. She will work to increase Alpha’s presence within the community by building relationships with individuals, churches and businesses.

From left to right: Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director, Chrystal Newman, Development Director, and Pastor Chuck Smith, Board President. Courtesy photo.

“I have been a supporter of Alpha Family Center for years and know the tremendous reputation it has within the community,” said Chrystal. “I am humbled to be part of such a dedicated organization.” When asked how the community could help, Chrystal stated that the Board of Directors is seeking two items in the immediate future. First, a gently used passenger van is needed for transporting clients. “We have seen too many women over the years unable to take advantage of community services because of lack of transportation,” she explained. The second way the community can help is by making a monetary donation to assist in paying off the existing mortgage balance of approximately $23,000. 

Alpha Family Center is known for providing an array of services to the community, including parenting education, material support with clothing, formula and diapers, etc., self-administered pregnancy tests, options education, as well as an onsite GED and H.S. diploma program. The Center’s board members are: Chuck Smith, Michael Kornoely, Tom Kaastra, Janice MacFarlane and Laurie Russo. Anyone wishing to volunteer or make donations can contact Alpha Family Center at 616-696-2616.

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Mobile bus offers free ultrasounds


The Positive Options bus outside of Alpha Family Center. Post photo by J. Reed.

The room inside the bus where ultrasounds take place. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

When a young couple boarded the Positive Options bus outside Alpha Family Center to get an ultrasound done, they were nervous. But once they were done, they were so excited that they showed the volunteers at Alpha the photos. 

“It was good to see that the father was excited, too,” said Wendy Meyers, the RMDS (Registered Medical Diagnostic Sonographer) from Positive Options. “We’ve found it’s key to women keeping their babies that the father is involved.”

Positive Options is partnering with the Cedar Springs Alpha Family Center this summer to offer free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds to those who need them. 

The clients come into Alpha to register with Meyers before getting the ultrasound. Many of the women who come in are in a desperate situation she explained, and so they try to calm them down, and help them see all angles of how the decisions they make about their pregnancy will affect their lives. 

“We try to take the emotion out of it and just give them facts,” said Meyers. That includes a magazine called “Before you decide.”

“Women don’t ‘want’ an abortion like they want an ice cream cone,” said Meyers. “It’s desperation—like a person who has their arm in a trap and chews it off. We calm them down and give them options.”

She also noted that one woman who took a pregnancy test was abortion-minded, but the pregnancy turned out negative. “We then had the opportunity to speak to her about STDS and other things that could harm her,” said Meyers.

Once an ultrasound is done, they refer the client to services that they need, and follow up with phone calls at certain points during the pregnancy. The ultra sound photos are reviewed by an OB back at Positive Options to make sure everything was done medically correct.

Positive Options has four other locations besides the bus—they have buildings in Holland, Allendale, Allegan, and Grand Haven.

Alpha Family Center pays for the bus to come on Tuesdays from 11 to 4. If you would like to offer support for this ministry, or would like to volunteer with Positive Options, you may call Alpha Family Center at 616-696-2616.

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Lifewalk celebrates 25 years


New this year was the baby & me Lifecrawl at Lifewalk. Courtesy photo.

Over 80 walkers participated in the two-mile walk through downtown Cedar Springs.
Courtesy photo.

Alpha Family Center held its 25th annual fundraising event, Lifewalk, on Saturday June 16. 

“It was a great day to celebrate life,” said Executive Director Teresa Hathaway. “This year’s theme was ‘Celebrating 25 years for Life!’ which relays the message we have been faithful in serving individuals and families with the issue of life,” she explained. 

The day began at 7:30 a.m. with their first LifeRide, a cycling event. They had 5 participants travel the White Pine Trail on either 10, 20, 30 or 40 miles ride, and had 9 runners taking part in Alpha’s 5K LifeRun. 

LifeWalk began with a welcome, instructions about the walk, and an opening prayer. They had 81 walkers follow behind the LifeWalk banner for the 2-mile walk down through the heart of Cedar Springs, stopping at key points to pray for community leaders, churches, schools and Alpha Family Center. 

“This year the walk once again included a prayer stop at Metron Senior Citizen Center to help emphasize life is precious at all stages,” said Hathaway.  

The walkers returned to the park to either participant in or watch our first Baby & Me LifeCrawl. This was a fun event for parents and infants. They had 4 teams join in the fun. This year a box lunch and cake was provided to those in attendance. There was also face painting and a clown for the children, and a Kid’s FunRun.

One difference in LifeWalk this year was that they had an online option available for those raising funds to use with their social media accounts. “We raised over $20,000!” remarked Hathaway. “LifeWalk covers a large portion of Alpha’s operating expenses as we assist over 100 families per year, and give away over 8,000 baby and maternity items per year.”  

Alpha also offers free pregnancy self-testing, parenting classes, support for abuse, miscarriage, post-abortion and sexual integrity classes. New this summer Alpha is partnering with Positive Options Mobile Medical Center in providing free ultrasounds to clients.

Hathaway presented the awards for top walkers. Lifewalk ended with a closing prayer and the sky filled with colorful balloons that were released in memory of the over 56,000,000 babies that have been aborted since abortion became legal in 1973.  

Alpha wishes to offer a special “Thank you” to the local communities for their ongoing support of Alpha throughout the years. See ad on page 5.

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LifeWalk


By Judy Reed

For the first time in 22 years, Alpha Family Center of Cedar Springs had to cancel their LifeWalk, scheduled for June 17, due to inclement weather. But that didn’t stop the team from holding the event that is their biggest fundraiser.

“Thanks to Alpha Family Center’s Board President Sharline Winell’s quick thinking and the help of 18 volunteers we were able to host our first ever LifeWalk open house at Alpha from 9-11 a.m.,” said Executive Director Teresa Hathaway.

“Although our overall numbers were down from last year, we were pleased with the over 100 people who came out in support of Alpha. This was a great opportunity for people to visit the center for themselves to see how their efforts are used to serve families in Northern Kent County.”

Hathaway said they were also appreciated the opportunity to share future remodeling plans for reception area.

LifeWalk brought in just under $15,000 in pledges, which is short of the $20,000 goal. “We still anticipate the final number to go up as pledges continue to come in from those who didn’t venture out in the rain on Saturday,” explained Hathaway.

Alpha Family Center was established in Cedar Springs in 1992 as Alpha Women’s Center, one of several satellite centers of the main one in Grand Rapids. In 2006, they became independent and the name was changed to Alpha Family Center. They offer free and confidential self-pregnancy testing and counseling; important information on healthy relationships, dating, STDs, and self-esteem; abortion alternative counseling; referrals for adoption, medical, and housing; miscarriage and post-abortion support; material assistance; and more.

Alpha Family Center is located at 6 N. First Street in Cedar Springs, and they are open Monday through Wednesday. Please call 696-2616 or visit their website at www.alphafamilycentercs.org for more information.

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Alpha Family Center LifeWalk

June 17: Alpha Family Center will hold its 22nd Annual LifeWalk – Humanity 101 on Saturday, June 17th at 10 am Morley Park in Cedar Springs. There will also be a 5K LifeRun at 8:30 am, registration at 7:30 am and a Kids FunRun (ages 5-11) at 9:15 am, LifeWalk at 10 am, registration at 9 am. For more information and pledge forms visit AFC website: alphafamilycentercs.org. #22-24b

Dinner at the Legion

June 19: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Swiss Steak dinner on Monday, June 19th, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes, baked beans, veggies, salad, roll, dessert and drink. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #24p

Cedar Springs Youth Football SIGN-UPS

June 20: Flag: 4-7years olds, Rocket: 3rd-6th grades, and  Middle: 7th-8th grades. Burger King: 6/20: 6pm-8pm. Skinner Field: Tues & Thurs 7/11-7/27 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact: April Victorson (616)890-5869 csyflsecretary@gmail.com. #19-26b

Michigan Blood Drive

June 20: Michigan Blood Drive on June 20th at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church from 12:30 pm until 7:00 pm. Anyone attempting to donate will receive a Cedar Springs Brewing coupon. We would like to thank the local business for supporting our blood drives. The need for blood is high during the summer with people on vacation. Each donation has the potential to save 3 Michigan lives. The Blood Center thanks all the people that donate at the Cedar Springs blood drive. #24

Introduction to Papermaking

June 22: Transform junk mail into decorative sheets of paper in this hands-on program for adults. Thursday, June 22nd at 6 pm at Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #24

Blessing of the Bicycles

June 24: Event to be held on Saturday, June 24th from 1-3 pm at The Springs Church parking lot, corner of Oak and First St. Several used Bikes have been graciously donated this year and will be available for those that may not have a bike, while supplies last. We will also have minor bike repairs in site and many fun things for the kids to do. The Blessing will be given at 2:30 pm by Pastor Greig followed by a New Bike give away. Blessing is open to Riders of all ages. Hope to see you there! #24,25p

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Explore MCC’s Kenneth J. Lehman Nature Trails

Montcalm Community College’s Kenneth J. Lehman Nature Trails are open to the public from dawn until dusk, 365 days a year. There is no charge to visit these beautiful trails winding through forests, grasslands and wetlands. More than four miles of trails are marked with numbered trail posts and maps are available at most major trail heads. For more information, please email naturetrails@moncalm.edu or call MCC Biology Instructor Heather Wesp 989-328-1270. #22

Red Flannel Queen Pageant Time

June 3: Attention all young ladies living in or attending school in the Cedar Springs School Public School District who will be in the 11th grade in the 2017-2018 school year (including homeschooled, or private school attendees that live within the Cedar Springs Public School District boundaries): There will be a mandatory meeting for any young lady who would like to participate in the 2017 Red Flannel Pageant and her parent (at least one). The meeting will be Saturday, June 3rd at 10 am at the Springs Church (135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs, Michigan). There will be a makeup meeting for anyone not able to attend the first meeting on Sunday, June 4th at 2 pm at the Springs Church. Informational packets can be picked up before the meetings in the main offices at Cedar Springs High School and Creative Technologies Academy starting Tuesday May 16th. For more information, contact pageant director Kaleigh Goehler at redflannelpageant@gmail.com. #20-22b

Dinner at the Legion

June 5: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Pork Chop dinner on Monday,   June 5th from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be pork chops, mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing,  salad, roll, dessert  and drink. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #22p

Cedar Springs Youth Football SIGN-UPS

June 6: Flag: 4-7years olds / Rocket: 3rd-6th grades / Middle: 7th-8th grades. Burger King: 6/10, 6/20: 6pm-8pm. Shaner Ball Field: 6/06, 6/14 6pm-8pm. Skinner Field: Tues & Thurs 7/11-7/27 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact: April Victorson (616)890-5869 csyflsecretary@gmail.com. #19-26b

Sand Lake High School Alumni Banquet

June 10: The 125th Annual (1892-2017) Sand Lake High School Alumni Banquet will be held on Saturday, June 10th at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Social Hour at 5 pm with Dinner at 6 pm. Cost of meal is $12.00. Open to anyone who attended Sand Lake Schools. Please RSVP by June 3rd. Call your reservation to one of the following committee members; Dave Groner 616-557-3098, Dick Pierce 616-636-5258, Betty Bradford Clegg 517-487-3003, Verna White Smigiel 616-885-4913. #21,22p

Flag Day Ceremony

June 10: Gleaner Grand Arbor would like to invite the Sand Lake/Cedar Springs area to a Flag Day Ceremony at the Sand Lake Library in Sand Lake on June 10th at 10 am. Refreshments to follow after the ceremony. #22,23p

Vacation Bible School @ Solon Center Wesleyan Church

June 11th-15th: Hey kids!  You are uniquely wired and wonderfully made! Learn why & how at Gadgets & Gizmos Vacation Bible School, which begins on Sunday, June 11th @  6:30-8 PM, with a “Family Night” where the whole family can join the fun. VBS continues Monday thru Thursday for kids ages 4 years-5th grade. Pre-registration is encouraged by filling out an online form @ www.scwchurch.org. The church is located @ 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs, just north of 19 Mile Road. For more info about Gadgets & Gizmos, please contact the church office @ 616-696-3229. #21-23b

Alpha Family Center LifeWalk

June 17: Alpha Family Center will hold its 22nd Annual LifeWalk – Humanity 101 on Saturday, June 17th at 10 am Morley Park in Cedar Springs. There will also be a 5K LifeRun at 8:30 am, registration at 7:30 am and a Kids FunRun (ages 5-11) at 9:15 am, LifeWalk at 10 am, registration at 9 am. For more information and pledge forms visit AFC website: alphafamilycentercs.org. #22-24b

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Mother’s Day Tea this Sunday


Catherine Berendt, WZZM “My West Michigan” Host, at last year's Mother's Day Tea event.

Catherine Berendt, WZZM “My West Michigan” Host, at last year’s Mother’s Day Tea event.

Meet Catherine Berendt, host of “My West Michigan”

Animal Junction 4H Club invites everyone to the 4H Mother’s Day Tea this Sunday, May 7th at 2:00 p.m. Host of WZZM’s “My West Michigan” TV show, Catherine Berendt, is the special guest. Come on out to the Montcalm County Fairgrounds Ash Building, 8784 Peck Rd., Greenville, to meet Catherine and enjoy beverages and desserts, free admission.

From left to right: Catherine Berendt, WZZM “My West Michigan” Host; Cynthia Karafa/Animal Junction 4-H Administrative Leader; Karen Marsman/Executive Director Alpha Family Center, Greenville.

From left to right: Catherine Berendt, WZZM “My West Michigan” Host; Cynthia Karafa/Animal Junction 4-H Administrative Leader; Karen Marsman/Executive Director Alpha Family Center, Greenville.

Proceeds from the benefit will assist Alpha Family Center in Greenville and 4-H youth programs.

There will also be a Spring Hat Show, hosted by Animal Junction 4H Club. Hats made by 4H members will be modeled and auctioned off.

For more information contact Cynthia Karafa of Animal Junction 616-696-2604 or the Montcalm County MSU Extenstion Office at 989-831-7500.

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Girl raises money with apple cider stand


_n-lemonade-stand-alphafcEmma Nista, of Rockford, daughter of Rob Nista, wanted to set up an apple cider stand during Red Flannel Festival to raise money for the Alpha Family Center here in Cedar Springs. She raised $20 with her stand, and gave the money to Alpha.

“What an inspiration she is to all of us,” said Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director of Alpha. “And special thanks to Emma’s dad and mom for raising an extra special young lady with a heart to serve others.”

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Residents run and walk for life


 

LifeRun top runners

LifeRun top runners

Alpha Family Center raises $18,000 towards expenses

Walkers and runners hit the pavement on Saturday, June 18, to help support Alpha Family Center, in their annual LifeWalk event.

“It was a great day to celebrate life,” said Executive Director Teresa Hathaway.

“This year’s theme was ‘I’m a prayer warrior for Life,’ which relays the message that we find power through prayer as we walk for the unborn babies.”

The day began with 18 runners taking part in Alpha’s 3rd annual LifeRun. The Springs Youth Pastor Chris Anton awarded the trophies and medals to the top runners. LifeWalk began with a welcome, instructions about the walk, and an opening prayer. A crowd of over 174 walkers followed behind the LifeWalk banner for the two-mile walk through downtown Cedar Springs, stopping at key points to pray for our community leaders, churches, schools and Alpha Family Center. This year the walk once again included a prayer stop at Metron Senior Citizen Center to help emphasize life is precious at all stages. The walkers returned to the park for a time of refreshments and door prizes, as well as awarding prizes to this year’s winners of our coloring contest, and the top walkers.

A report was also given on the total amount raised this year, which was over $18,000. LifeWalk covers a major portion of Alpha’s operating expenses as they assist over 150 families per year, and give away over 11,000 baby and maternity items per year. Alpha also offers free pregnancy self-testing, parenting classes, and support for abuse, miscarriages, and post-abortion and sexual integrity classes. Alpha also hopes to begin a men’s group this fall to help equip and encourage men to actively engage with their families.

LifeWalk ended with a closing prayer and the sky filled with colorful balloons that were released in memory of the over 58,000,000 babies that have been aborted since abortion became legal in 1973.

Alpha offers a special thank you to the local communities for their ongoing support of Alpha over the years.

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