As we welcome 2018, it’s nice to take a moment to look back and reflect on the past year. 2017 was a great year and brought many changes for the Byron Community Wellness Foundation! We welcomed a new Farmers Market manager, a new Executive Director, created a new event and elevated events that already existed.
We held the 1st annual Fireball Charity Basketball Challenge March 3, 2017 at Byron Center West Middle School. Firefighters and Area First Responders played 3 on 3 basketball tournaments in a bracket style elimination until one team remained. The group from East Grand Rapids Fire Department prevailed after a grueling day of many non-stop games. Everybody who came out did a great job and their efforts were not lost. Byron Township Fire Department provided two teams, Dorr Fire Department provided a team and Byron Center High School basketball team provided many of their own players for the event. Most importantly, because of all the efforts, we raised $350 for the Great Lakes Burn Camp. This helped send a child to attend a camp specifically designed for child burn victims. It is a charity that is very important to the Fire Departments and it’s a wonderful cause.
We continued holding our Farmers Market in the grassy area next to the Post Office and Family Fare. We said good bye to one market manager and said hello to a new one, Phil Sattler. Phil has been a great match for the Wellness Foundation and the Farmers Market and we are excited that we will continue on as Manager throughout the 2018 season. We also have some new plans in the works so keep your eyes open for some exciting news in the near future!
The West Michigan Chalk Art Festival was extremely successful in 2017. The amount of artists that came out and competed was far greater than any number we’ve had in the past. But what really blew our minds, was the level of artistry they all brought out. The artists were all extremely talented and eager to win one of the prizes, including the Grand Prize of $1000.00. We are excited to see what the artists come up with this year! The event will once again take place at Tanger Outlets in Byron Center and as always, it will be held Father’s Day weekend. It will start June 15 with registration beginning at 9 am and it will end June 16. Artists must finish their pieces by 3 pm on Saturday the 16th and winners will be announced at 5 pm. Artwork will remain displayed at Tanger for at least a week after the event (weather permitting) so if you don’t get a chance to make it to the event, you can still see some of the pieces throughout the week after.
The Byron Center Christmas Parade was by far the most successful Christmas parade we have ever held. The event, which took place December 2, turned into a whole day event with many local businesses getting involved. Pete’s Tavern, Starbucks, Two Dutch Hens, Byron Center Chamber of Commerce, Edward Jones (Sheri Postma), Feather and Birch, Integrity, Byron Centre Historical Society and Pathway Church all had special hours or events planned. Byron Community Wellness Foundation brought Santa and Reindeer to the ROCK before their parade. We had approximately 30 entries from various churches, schools, businesses and new this year, families! There were lights, horses, dogs, people, lights, firetrucks, police cars, giant plows and did I say lights?! Everybody really came together and made it a memorable holiday for the community.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our many community events in 2018! The next one we hold is the Fired Up! Charity Basketball Challenge set to take place Saturday, March 24 at Byron Center West Middle School. Stay tuned for more details on this event and our other events.