There’s still time to register for the 2019 Wheatlake Festival of Races

April 15, 2019 – BIG RAPIDS & REED CITY, MICH: With less than a month before the

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Team Brooks, supporting Shelly Brooks, at the 2018 Wheatlake Festival of Races.

annual Wheatlake Festival of Races, nearly 150 people are registered to fight cancer by participating in the series of races.

While day-of registration will be available the morning of May 18, those interested in participating are encouraged to register by April 21 to be guaranteed a t shirt.

“We’re excited to see the interest in the race and looking forward to race day!” said Danielle Wells, race director. “Cancer touches so many, and this is a great cause to support. We encourage runners and walkers to sign up by April 21 to be guaranteed to receive one of our race shirts!”

From serious runners, casuals runners to wellness walkers – everyone is encouraged to participate in an event, which includes a half marathon, a 10k, a 5k run, a 5k wellness walk and kids dash for children ages 10 or younger. Races begin at various times between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on May 17, and all routes will finish at the Bandshell behind Big Rapids Middle School.

To encourage early detection, free skin cancer screenings will be provided at the Bandshell from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event. New this year, participants can purchase a commemorative stake in memory or in support of loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer. Stakes are available by visiting and can be taken home after the race.

Funds raised during the annual event benefit the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Fund, an endowment of the Spectrum Health Foundation at Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals

The Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center serves 12 Northern Michigan counties as a comprehensive regional treatment facility. Featured within the center is a Wellness Center that includes a library, boutique and an integrative therapy room where free services are provided to assist patients like Shelly Brooks, of Canadian Lakes, through a cancer journey.

For information or to register, visit or call Danielle Wells, race coordinator, at 231.592.4208.


Meceola Tech to Offer Phlebotomy Instruction


Meceola Tech, in collaboration with Mid Michigan College, is now offering Phlebotomy training.

Beginning May 7, 2019, this program will prepare students to be competent phlebotomists.  After completion of this program, students will have the basic understanding of age specific or psychosocial considerations involved in the performance of phlebotomy procedures on various age groups of patients. Students will also gain the knowledge of the health care delivery system and medical terminology, infection control and safety, the basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of body systems and anatomic terminology in order to relate major areas of the clinical laboratory to general pathologic conditions associated with the body systems.

Currently the program fee is $1,400 plus the cost of your textbook, workbook and exam book.

Meceola Tech, located at 15830 190th Ave in Big Rapids, is a program of the Mecosta County Career Center. The mission of Meceola Tech is to positively impact Mecosta and Osceola counties through high quality Career and Technical post-secondary education.

For more information, including course schedule, job outlook, prerequisites, and more, visit

Big Rapids Lions Support SVOSH at Ferris State University    

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SVOSH students, Lions Club President Denny Finney, Professor, Michigan College of Optometry, FSU Dr. Dan Wrubel

The Big Rapids Lions Club presented a check for $3,000 to SVOSH, the student branch of Michigan Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, at Ferris State University.  As part of their optometry studies at Ferris, students have an opportunity to participate in mission trips to other countries and assist with eye care for the citizens of those countries.  In addition to students, the mission trips include Michigan College of Optometry faculty optometrists, alumni and other volunteers.  Used glasses are cleaned and sorted by SVOSH students for these trips.  During the trips, individuals from school age up to 75 years of age are seen by staff and students. The public is encouraged to donate their used glasses at any of the Lions club donation boxes found at 17 locations throughout Big Rapids, Canadian Lakes, and Remus or directly at the School of Optometry.  In addition to their volunteer mission trips, students in the program assist the Lions with the operation of the concession stand at Top Taggart Field during the fall football season. The Lions are very grateful for their assistance.


Vote for Big Rapids

IMG_20180427_142259116_HDR.jpgDowntown Big Rapids has once again been nominated for the America’s Main Street Contest! The goal of the America’s Main Streets contest is to help promote the importance and strong economic benefits of these Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive. The winning Main Street will receive $25,000 in cash and related prizes to help revitalize that Main Street.
Help Downtown Big Rapids to continue to thrive! You can vote once every 24 hours, so vote and share! Quarterfinal voting ends April 21, so make your vote count!

Gus Macker Returns to Big Rapids


Big Rapids basketball presents the Gus Macker 3 on 3 basketball tournament, Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th in Downtown Big Rapids.


The Gus Macker Tournament is designed for basketball players who love the fun of the driveway game – male or female, from age 7 to 70-plus, short and tall, the most experienced or those with little or no experience who just want to play. This year’s tournament will feature an 8 and under court.

Teams are computer-matched into male and female divisions in one of three categories: Junior, Adult, or Top. The age, height and experience of all four players on each team are considered in bracketing.

Teams receive at least three scheduled games each tournament. The Macker is a double-elimination tournament, but with a consolation bracket historically called “The Toilet Bowl” for teams that lose the first two games.

The tournament fee is $144. The mail-in deadline for registration is April 26th. The deadline for registering online is April 29th.

To learn more and to register, visit

BR Garden Club Annual Plant Sale

The Big Rapids Garden Club will host its annual plant sale Saturday, May 25, 2019, from bloom-blossom-flora-1301549:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at The Old Jail, located at 220 S. Stewart in Big Rapids.

There will be homegrown perennials, annuals, and some vegetables at bargain prices. Shop with during the Old Jail Yard Sale. All proceeds from the plant sale are returned to the community to Garden Club beautification projects within the City of Big Rapids.

Artworks presents “What’s in the Truck?”


Artworks, located at 106 N. Michigan Avenue in Big Rapids, has joined with area manufacturers to showcase the products and designs that have helped mold our area into a world class manufacturing community. Sponsored by Lake-Osceola State Bank and Michigan Works! West Central, this exhibit features Crankers Brewery, Galloup Guitars, Ferris State University Product Design Engineering Technology, Hamtech Inc., Hanchett MFG., Haworth, Ice Mountain, the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District, Original Footwear, Reed City Group, Simonds International, US Marble, and Utility Supply and Construction Company. As part of this exhibit, a detailed model of the Blue Bridge from Grand Rapids will be on display in the front lobby.

For more information, contact Artworks at (231) 796-2420 or visit them online at