Community Connections.

We do love to talk about gourmet food and beverages, but we also want to share about the many different ways we love to support our own community. A few things happened within the past few days that are worth mentioning because they are important to us!

The employees here at Gourmet International collected craft items and toys for the Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our staff teamed up with the Spectrum Health Foundation to help collect items in need that are on their wish list (which can be found here), many which go towards their Child Life program. As a parent that has had to use this hospital for emergency services and a surgery for her own child, I can tell you, the donations that come in are awesome! If you have time, take time to see what the Child Life program does (see the link). From providing toys and trinkets to “treasure chests” after lab work to providing toys and books to kids preparing for surgery or waiting in the emergency department, donations given to the hospital go a long way! Below is a photo of our own Janice dropping off the donations this morning!

Janice was given a tour by Laurie (seen in the picture on the left). Janice toured the outdoor play area and a library/computer area where all items in the room were donated from the community. Janice said there were LOTS of books! Laurie showed Janice many pieces of artwork that was displayed around the hospital, many done by the patients themselves.

Thank you Janice for taking the time to deliver the donations to the hospital!

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“It is so very special that in the midst of our company growth, we took the time to give back. They are so grateful for our donations! That’s what it’s all about!”
– Janice, Gourmet International Employee

This past Friday, I was able to take part in a fundraising event for a local elementary school at their “Ranger Rally” event. The fundraiser raises funds for Pine Ridge Elementary School and their parent-teacher organization. Gourmet International was one of the many sponsors for this event. I was able to capture all the kids in their different colored shirts as they did their walk! All the students, kindergarten through fourth grade, walked from their school all the way to one of the Cascade Township Fire Stations down the road. The kids walked just under 2 miles there and then just about 2 miles back! Almost a 4 mile trip for all the kiddos! We were lucky the rain held off and that it wasn’t too sunny, but it was humid and warm, so there were a lot of sweaty and tired kiddos afterwards!

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As the kids approached the fire station, you could hear the fire trucks blasting their horns for the kids and honking their horns! One of the fire trucks was set up to shoot water from its hose, it was truly fun to watch and be a part of this event!

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Fire trucks blare their horns and sirens for the kids as they arrive to the station. A water cannon shoots from a hose on one of the fire trucks. Many thanks to the Cascade Township Fire Department and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department for assisting with the walk and keeping everyone safe!

It was just awesome to see a sea of color and kids with parents, teachers and other school staff walking together for this event. The walk winds through several neighborhoods and down the local bike/walking path. There were people lined out to cheer the kids on and to encourage them! It truly was a great community event and I am glad I was able to be a part of it!

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Look at that sea of kids and color going all the way down the street!

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