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Football Game Collections Give Back to the Community

Thornapple Kellogg cheerleaders carried buckets for donations up and down the bleachers at a recent football game seeking Gridiron Giving donations for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

More than $1,000 was raised by the 27 cheerleaders, said Abby Kanitz, cheerleading coach and science teacher. “It went well,” she said. “The girls were really into it.”

The fundraiser is personal for the community as one of the district’s students, Eathan Callihan, was paralyzed in a diving accident in August and is being treated at the hospital.Thornapple Kellogg cheerleader Katlynn Hall who asked for Gridiron Giving donations from the crowd

This is the second year of the Gridiron Giving, which involves high schools from OK Conference teams, said Devin Pierson, development coordinator for the Spectrum Health Foundation. More than 15 schools are participating, including Grandville, Rockford and Wyoming.

The funds raised will support programs for children being treated at the hospital and their families. Nearly 9,000 inpatients and 190,000 outpatients are treated annually at the hospital, with most of them coming from the West Michigan area. Gridiron Giving funds will go to programs such as the Child Life Department, Center for Child Protection, pediatric cancer care and the Congenital Heart Center.

A celebration announcing the total amount raised will be held in November, Pierson said.


Thornapple Kellogg Schools News

Gridiron Giving program

Eathan Callihan Go Fund Me

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Linda Odette
Linda Odette
Linda Odette is a freelance writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism. She’s worked primarily as an editor in feature departments at newspapers in West Michigan, including the Grand Rapids Press, the Muskegon Chronicle and the Holland Sentinel. She lives in East Grand Rapids near the Eastown edge, has a teenage son and a daughter in college. Read Linda's full bio or email Linda.


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