- Sponsorship -

EGR’s Community Giving Big Bear Hug Through Hearts of Gold

This year’s annual East Grand Rapids Hearts of Gold community effort honors two men who died too young, yet their legacy lives on through giving.

Each year, East Grand Rapids Public Schools raise money for a cause through Hearts of Gold, an effort which began in 2009 when the EGR football team wanted to  make a difference in memory of EGR graduate Reid VanGelderen who passed away from childhood cancer.

This year, proceeds raised during district-wide events at the Friday, Oct. 14 Pioneers football game against Caledonia High School will go to Billy Bear Hug, The William B. Wondergem  Foundation for Children, a Grand Rapids-based non-profit organization.

Billy Bear Hug was started in honor of William “Billy” Wondergem, who died unexpectedly in his sleep at age 24. Wondergem planned to become a pediatric oncologist, and worked as a research technician at Van Andel Institute on cancer research when he discovered a gene that could change the way kidney cancer was diagnosed.

His brother, Charlie Wondergem and longtime friend Matt French, started Billy Bear Hug. Through the organization, people can donate teddy bears as a gift of comfort for West Michigan children who have terminal illnesses.

For Hearts of Gold, people can purchase T-shirts, hats, bears, and jerseys at all East Grand Rapids schools and at at the EGR Spirit Shop at East Grand Rapids High School, 2211 Lake Drive SE.

CONNECT

 
 
- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

Fourth-grade hockey fan gets a magical hour on ice: ‘I made the shot!’

Raised as a Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins hockey fan, Jackson Solow lights up while skating on an ice rink wearing his favorite hockey jersey...

‘This time it is continued learning’

One school’s switch from in-person to virtual education last week was nearly seamless, especially when compared with the forced school closure in March...

Foundation grants $28,285 in fall funding requests

Virtual phys ed and art experiences, materials to improve classroom focus and books on social issues aimed at middle-schoolers are among the grants approved this fall...

Latest school closings expand on state-ordered high school mandate

More Kent County districts continue to announce temporary school building closures, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Short stories, tall tales

A collection of short stories by Mark Pullen’s fourth-graders at Lakeside Elementary shows what they have learned in their realistic fiction writing unit...

Bringing ‘positive intent’ to work every day

Heather McKinney-Rewa is the new East Grand Rapids Middle School assistant principal. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet the Principal...

Fifth-graders find beauty in science by dissecting marigolds

One teacher used readily available nature just outside school to introduce this year’s science unit, as well as flowers from home to study the parts of plants...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS