Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ferris In The News

Ferris Public Safety Donates Leftover Bikes to Underprivileged Children

There is an old saying that goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Each year, as students return home for the summer, dozens of bicycles are abandoned around Ferris State University’s campus. In past years, leftover bicycles were sold at auction. In more recent years, Ferris has decided these bicycles can serve a greater good for underprivileged local kids. So, this year, the Department of Public Safety donated approximately 60 bicycles to Muskegon River Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters and local foster care facilities in a gesture that will bring smiles to the faces of dozens of area youth, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. “We’re really the conduit that helps get these bikes to people who would love to have them,” said Marty Bledsoe, director of Ferris’ Department of Public Safety. “We’d love to have owners of these bikes take possession of them, but we recognize that’s not always the case with these bikes. We decided that we could donate these bikes, they could be fixed up and then go to people in need.”

Internship Gives Students Opportunity to Educate Pere Marquette River Visitors

If you have been on the Pere Marquette River recently, you may have noticed two uniformed Forest Service volunteers kayaking there, reports the Lake County Star. The Pere Marquette Watershed Council has partnered with the United States Forest Service on a “River Watch” program. The program involves two college interns, studying Criminal Justice, who volunteer their weekends to help educate users about regulations and etiquette on the Pere Marquette River. “As law enforcement interns, our strict goal is to patrol the Pere Marquette River and help maintain its facilities,” said intern Jordan Straley, a Ferris State University College of Professional and Technological Studies student in Flint. The students have been interning with the USFS since May in order to monitor behavior on the river, as well as for visitor contact and education on Saturdays and Sundays when the river is busiest.

Hockey Alumni, City Police and Firefighters Raise Money for Hockey Fund

Kenzie Homer has many fond memories of Big Rapids and Ferris State University. But, what stands out most isn’t the hockey games he played as a Bulldog in the late 1990s or the classes he took, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. What stands out in his mind is babysitting Kevin Courtney Jr. So, when the softball game benefiting the Little Kevin Hockey Fund was organized shortly after Kevin Jr.’s death in 2002, Homer knew where he’d be spending the first weekend of August. “I know every year that I am going to be in Big Rapids the first weekend of August playing in this great game for a great person,” Homer said. The annual game pits former Ferris hockey players against local police and firefighters to raise money for the Little Kevin Hockey Fund, which provides opportunities for disadvantaged youth to play hockey. This year, Kevin Courtney Sr. said more than $1,000 was raised to benefit the fund, with nearly 30 former Ferris hockey players returning for the game. “This has been tremendous for youth hockey in this area,” said Tim Blashill, organizer of the Learn to Skate program at the ice arena in Ferris’ Ewigleben Sports Complex.

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