Day Of Caring Is Today

September 4, 2003
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS — Today marks the Heart of West Michigan United Way’s annual campaign kickoff event and Day of Caring, which will begin this morning at Fifth Third Ballpark.

This morning, starting at 11:30 a.m. and running until 1 p.m., this year’s campaign goal will be unveiled and pacesetter results will be announced during an inning of baseball.

The Day of Caring provides local nonprofits with volunteers who work throughout the day, donating more than 4,200 hours of community service. More than 1,400 volunteers complete community service projects, saving agencies and the community nearly $70,000 in labor and material costs.

Some of the activities local volunteers will be participating in today include painting a mural at the Children’s Assessment Center, painting the house of an 86-year-old for Steepletown Neighborhood Services, putting fresh paint on the walls at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, repairing a youth sports storage shed and soccer and baseball field prep work at the Southeast YMCA, and general maintenance, inventory and miscellaneous projects at the UICA.

“This year’s campaign kickoff and Day of Caring will get a great start with a fun and exciting event at Fifth Third Ballpark,” said Kevin Kabat, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank West Michigan and this year’s campaign chair. “The campaign kickoff and Day of Caring provide a visible way for United Way to demonstrate what matters most, that working together makes a difference. Day of Caring volunteers will experience firsthand how their gifts of time help impact the lives of nearly 250,000 individuals and families in our community.”

Each year a select group of companies called Pacesetters run early campaigns to set the tone and build excitement for the annual campaign. This year’s Pacesetters are: Abundant Life Ministries, Autocam Corp., Behler-Young Co., Bulman Products, Cascade Engineering, Classic Chevrolet, D.A. Blodgett Services for Children & Families, Deloitte & Touche, Fifth Third Bank, Grand Rapids REACH, Heart of West Michigan United Way, Huntington Bank, Irwin Union Bank, J.C. Penney Catalog Customer Service Center, Litehouse Inc., Mercantile Bank of West Michigan, Northern Trust Bank, Plante & Moran, Priority Health, Second Harvest Gleaners Food Bank of West Michigan, Standard Federal Bank, and Visiting Nurses Association of West Michigan.

The following companies also made donations to ensure that the kickoff event is a success: West Michigan Whitecaps, Spartan Stores, Butternut Bread Co. and Pepsi-Cola Co. 

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