Kenowa Klassified – 12/2/14

The Official Newsletter of the Kenowa Chapter of AMBUCS – Chartered May 28, 1957. President: Beth Van Wieren – Vice-President: Mavis Byers – Treasurer: Doug Levering Secretary: Kelli Williams – Sergeants: Kay Janus and David Hodge

Today’s Meeting: 

This week’s meeting notes are courtesy of Scott Pastoor — thank you for the nice summary, Scott.

The meeting was called to order at 12:10 and Sheldon provided the invocation.  Our speaker was Bridget Smedes, Resident Support Coordinator at Genesis Woods Apartments, the non-profit apartment complex that opened up a few months ago on the NW corner of Wilson Ave and 44th St SW in Grandville.  Genesis Woods is owned by Genesis Non-Profit Housing Corporation, a joint venture founded in 1998 by the Inner City Christian Federation and Dwelling Place.  Bridget is a Social Worker actually employed by Pine Rest, but assigned full-time to Genesis Woods.


Genesis Woods consists of 33 apartments and is considered “affordable supportive housing”.  The Head of Household in each unit must have either a mental or physical disability, or a history of homelessness.  Bridget has contact with most of the residents on a daily basis, and does her best to keep an eye on any issues she’s aware of.  At present, there are a total of 37 adults and 30 children living in the complex, with a waiting list of over 300.  Rent is largely covered by MSHDA, as residents are generally in relatively tough economic situations.  To illustrate, Bridget pointed out that the 33 families at Genesis Woods own a combined total of 6 cars – and the empty parking lot seems to be contributing to the growing waiting list, as potential renters mistakenly assume there is a ton of vacancy.

Although Bridget spends a fair amount of time refereeing disputes among the residents, helping with parenting issues, etc., she pointed out a number of success stories:

  • Great assistance in integrating the 17 new school-age children provided by Grandville Public Schools, all the way up to Superintendent Ron Caniff.
  • A “Homework House” in the Community Room after school every day (where snacks are used to help persuade the children to attend).
  • An excellent relationship with Pastor Joe and the neighboring Grandville Bible Church.
  • Another church having its Youth Group spend 2 hours playing games with the kids on a Sunday afternoon
  • Several of the residents (all of whom are new to Grandville) starting to attend various local churches.
  • One of the older residents, who makes a point to pray with the children before school each day, read them Bible stories, bake cookies for them, etc.
  • A volunteer from a local church who spent a full day at Genesis Woods recently, doing haircuts and styling for 12 residents – at least one of whom had a job interview that day, and all of whom had a huge spring in their step afterward according to Bridget.
  • The Grandville Public Library doing story time for the children each Friday.

If any member of the AMBUCS (individually or through their business) would like to help out at Genesis Woods (contribute, volunteer, hire, etc.), Bridget’s contact info is attached to this e-mail.

Let’s-Go-Grif-fins.  Let’s-Go-Grif-fins. 

This Friday night is the Griffins game featuring an AmTryke give-away to a U.S. veteran and a “Throw for Dough” to benefit the Ambucs.  We are still in need of a few Ambucs attending the game to relieve other Ambucs at the tables selling the pucks.  Please let Kelli Williams know if you can help ( by taking a short shift on the concourse so every has a chance to enjoy the game.

Special Family Fun Fest Report

Curt Stuck reports the Family Hope Foundation’s annual carnival-type event for families of the disabled held on November 8 at the Delta Plex went very well.  Volunteers came from both the Kenowa and Walker chapters and a lot of kids were able to ride AmTrykes on the indoor course.  Several parents expressed interest in receiving AmTrykes after their child had the opportunity to test one out.  It was another great opportunity to spread the word about Ambucs and Amtrykes.

Holiday Party (?)

Stay tuned on any plans for a Kenowa Ambucs holiday social event.  No details have yet been provided so the editor is anticipating this would be a post-holiday event.  That would indicate there will be a regular club luncheon held as scheduled on Tuesday, December 16 at Sunnybrook.

Chapter Miscellaneous

Paper Gator:  Did you know the club has a perpetual fundraiser via a “Paper Gator” paper recycling station.  The Gator is located at the Grandville DPW building parking lot at 4095 White Street in Grandville, one block west of Wilson.  Drop off your home or business recyclable paper to this location and the club gets a portion of the proceeds.

Oscar’s Night:  Save February 21, 2015 for next year’s 2015 Oscar’s Night gala.  Open bar this year and no live auction, only silent.  Jenison-Hudsonville Community Foundation will be the 3rd partner along with Ambucs and Grandville Rotary Club.  Our invitations are being designed by high school students and Grandville Printing is donating their printing services.  Comedian entertainment.

Big Hat Day:   The first meeting of each Ambuc quarter – June, September, December and March.  Big Hats are also traditionally worn at any meeting during Branding Time and Spring Round-up.

Club Calendar

Dec 5:   Griffins Hockey Game
Dec 9:   Memorial Day Race Committee Mtg.  Noon.  Location TBA.
Dec 16:   Chapter Meeting @ Sunnybrook.  Speaker TBA.
Dec 23:   Board Meeting.  Noon @ Grandville City Hall (Lunch = Jason Minier)
Jan 6:   Chapter Meeting @ Sunnybrook.  Speaker TBA.



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