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Tag Archive | "Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park"

Pastors square off again for neighbors in need


The popular game show fundraiser, Celebrity Squares, raised more than $55,000 for North Kent Connect.

Local pastors delighted an audience of 500 community members at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park last week to raise funds for North Kent Connect, a 43-year-old nonprofit organization that connects people to resources they need to thrive.

 The fourth annual fundraiser event featured 11 hilarious pastors from Rockford, Sparta, and Cedar Springs for an encore round of “Celebrity Squares.” The raucous competition netted more than $55,000 to benefit the food and empowerment programs of North Kent Connect (NKC, formerly North Kent Community Services).

“Outstanding local pastors give their time and talent each year to raise money for northern Kent County,” said Claire Guisfredi, executive director at NKC. “Because of our generous community and business sponsors, North Kent Connect is able to improve the lives of many people and help them reach economic independence. We are truly blessed to have such support.”

The performing pastors were: Jeff Amlotte, Mamrelund Lutheran; Jeff DeRyke, Bridgeway Community; Fr. Stephen Durkee, Our Lady of Consolation; Karen Fitz LaBarge, North Kent Presbyterian Ben Taylor, Sparta Baptist; Fr. Tony Pelak, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Laurie TenHave-Chapman, First Congregational; Jason Peterson, St. Peter’s Lutheran; Justin Rowland, Rockford Baptist Church; Fr. Mark Peacock, St. Patrick Parnell; Inge Whittemore, East Nelson United Methodist.

Founded in 1973, North Kent Connect is committed to improving the lives of all people in northern Kent County by providing access to basic needs and promoting economic independence through its educational classes. NKC hosts several partner agencies including West Michigan Works!, Arbor Circle, and Mel Trotter Ministries. Visit www.nkconnect.org for more information.

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