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Grand Rapids Griffins partner on media-classroom makeover

March 2, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Griffins drop puck for cancer research
Grand Rapids Griffins players wear purple jerseys during the annual Purple Community game, a cancer research fundraiser for the Van Andel Institute. Photo via

The Grand Rapids Griffins and an insurance agency have teamed up to offer a media-room makeover to a local school.

Farm Bureau Insurance approached the Griffins in hopes of doing a media-room makeover similar to two efforts the agency has done in Detroit.

The Griffins took the partnership and the result is a contest to find one deserving elementary or middle school in Kent County or the Thornapple-Kellogg district.

The contest is "an outgrowth of the Griffins’ commitment to children, education and West Michigan as a whole,” said Tim Gortsema, SVP business operations, Griffins.

He added that the team has "long supported local schools," citing hundreds of visits to read to classes, speak to assemblies and its Stick With School campaign.

The contest

Any school in Kent County or the Thornapple-Kellogg district can submit an application online. Applications can be submitted until April 1.

The only requirement of the application is to answer the question: “Why does your school need a media-room makeover?”

Schools can also provide an optional photo of their existing media room, computer lab or library.

Applications are accepted from principals, administrators or teachers.

More than 60 schools are expected to apply.

The initial makeover is estimated at $5,000, but Gortsema said that with partnerships, including ones with Case Construction and Comprenew, the total could be between $10,000 and $15,000.

Depending on a school’s need, the makeover will consist of new computer hardware, software, books, furniture, paint, carpet and light construction.

Following the initial application process, three finalists will receive a site visit, and the Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance will choose the winner by April 30.

The makeover will be completed by the new school year. 

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