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Local angels come through as answer to Greenville woman’s prayer

Life is a journey bereft of maps, navigated without compass, sextant or global positioning satellites; from cradle to grave there is no sure thing, no guarantee, no promise that — should you do this and this — certain outcomes are your due. We are all motes upon a larger mote, circling a still larger mote as it hurtles through the empty blackness of space; the best we can hope for is to share what love and light we have, while we still have it. Rarely are these rough truths so apparent as at Christmastime, when the disparity between those who have and those who have not is thrown into stark relief.

Bree Town and her mother, Jennifer, received news this week that doctors have found a bone marrow donor. — Courtesy photo

Search for bone marrow donor finds almost perfect candidate

It’s an ideal match. After learning in November the cancer she had been in remission from the past year had returned, the hunt for a bone marrow donor for 10-year-old Bree Town was underway. The Greenville student’s elementary school, Baldwin Heights, led the search by hosting a bone marrow drive earlier this month.

More than 28,000 food items were distributed to 18 food pantries throughout Montcalm County during the annual Montcalm Challenge Food Drive. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Montcalm Challenge Food Drive distributes 28,000 items to pantries

Years ago, the back-stock facilities at the former Meijer grocery store on North Lafayette Street housed thousands of commercial items and various goods that consumers could purchase on a day-to-day basis. Today, those back rooms sit mostly vacant and unused, with the exception of events such as the food drop-off day for the Montcalm Challenge Food Drive.

Greenville residents, from left, Shane Philipsen, Kelly Stapp and Chris Pelfrey pose for pictures outside the studio for popular game show “The Price is Right.” The three made it into the crowd and Philipsen even heard his name called to “come on down.” The show will air at 11 a.m. Thursday. — Courtesy photo

Greenville resident makes his bids as a contestant on ‘Price is Right’

“Come on down, you’re the next contestant on ‘The Price is Right!’” Millions have tried, few have heard their names called to take a spot at one of the four contestant podiums on the popular game show. But that’s exactly the case for first-time audience member Shane Philipsen, a Greenville resident.

Spectrum Health United Hospital President Tina Freese-Decker will leave the hospital this month to take on a system-wide role of longterm planning for Spectrum. Freese-Decker began as president in 2011 and oversaw several large renovations, expansions and growth of the hospital. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

United and Kelsey president says time in Montcalm will resonate

In 2003 when scouting United Hospital as a potential candidate for joining the Spectrum Health system, then vice president of strategic planning and development Tina Freese-Decker knew the hospital was headed in the right direction. Eight years later she joined United, now part of Spectrum, as its president and after three years is turning the reigns over to a longtime business partner.

From left, Janine Cornell, Victoria Klumpp, Hunt for a Cure Chairwoman Trisha Haist, Matthew Mingori, Director of Respiratory and Oncology Spectrum Health United Hospital Jeremy Bainbridge, E.J. Paas, Foundation Director Shelly Westbrook, Wayne W. Kreitner, Deborah Kreitner, Andrew Hurst and John Moy, stand together celebrating two donations totaling $8,000 from the Greenville Lions Club and Hunt for a Cure organization. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Donations bring iPads to Spectrum Health United Cancer Center patients

Chemotherapy is a long, grueling and dreaded process for countless patients who give every ounce of strength in their body to stay on the road to recovery while battling against the deadly disease of cancer. But thanks to two local organizations who came together with donations for the Spectrum Health United Cancer Center, a little bit of comfort will be available in the form of iPads that will now be available for patients during their chemotherapy sessions.

Greenville High School graduate Madelynne Wager is shown in Africa’s Kalahari Desert. Wager was recently named Top 35 Under 35 by Young People in International Affairs for her efforts abroad. Wager is an intern at The Brenthurst Foundation, which works to improve economic stability in Africa. — Courtesy Photo

Greenville grad honored for her efforts to help economic growth in Africa

As a coveted Machel-Mandela intern at a foundation focused on economic growth in Africa, Madelynne Wager was recently honored as one of the most impactful young people on international affairs. Wager, who graduated from Greenville High School in 2009, has spent the last five months in South Africa working with policy makers to form ideas to help encourage economic growth on the continent.

Students exit the north entrance to Greenville High School as school lets out Monday. New legislation expected to be voted upon soon by the state Senate will replace one required fire drill with a “lockdown drill” at schools. Currently, the law requires six fire drills, two tornado drills and two lockdown drills. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

New bill would require additional ‘lockdown’ drill to replace fire drill

Legislation is pending in the Michigan State Senate which will require school districts statewide to implement an additional lockdown drill in place of a fire drill. Local school officials say the change will be relatively easy to implement and beneficial for students.

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Greenville girls form strong bond over leukemia struggle

Friendships can come in all different shapes and sizes, but few are like the relationship between Bree Town and Lola DeYoung, two Greenville girls diagnosed with different forms of leukemia. It’s a friendship founded on understanding — the understanding each has of the hardships the other goes through, something few other friendships have. And even fewer are as strong.

Small puddles of standing water are shown on the stage of the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center. The center received wind and water damage after a portion of the rubber membrane roof was torn open in Sunday’s storm. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

GHS Performing Arts Center suffered damage by storm

The Greenville Performing Arts Center suffered minor wind and water damage, causing at least one event to be postponed, after strong winds and heavy rain swept through the area Sunday evening. Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Peter Haines said a large amount of rain poured into the auditorium and onto the wooden stage after a large portion of the rubber roof membrane was peeled back during the storm, which also knocked out power to more than 2,000 people in Montcalm County.