Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer

Growing Opportunity: A Partnership Celebration Set for May 15 in Grand Rapids

Growing Opportunity Event 2018-Paul Doyle
PHOTO CAPTIONS: The images above and below are from the 2018 Growing Opportunity: A Partnership Celebration event. Above is alumnus Paul Doyle, speaking at the event. Below, is a second scene from the 2018 celebration.

GRAND RAPIDS – Ferris State University has unveiled plans for a celebration of its longstanding West Michigan collaboration with Grand Rapids Community College at its Growing Opportunity: A Partnership Celebration. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15 in the Kindel Room (Goei Center) in Grand Rapids.

Growing Opportunity stands as the signature fundraising event of the Ferris Grand Rapids Council, a volunteer group of alumni and community members dedicated to building Ferris Bulldog pride in Grand Rapids.

“From its founding in 2017, council members were asking, ‘How do we tell the story of Ferris in Grand Rapids?’ The more they learned about Ferris’ work, the more they envisioned a partnership-based, narrative-driven event that combines the practicality of Ferris with the heart and vision we share for this region,” said event organizer and Executive Director for Leadership Giving and Relationships-Grand Rapids Barb Benda. “The city and the university have embraced the event, both through a willingness to share their own stories and through sponsorships and volunteerism.”

The event’s social hour is an opportunity for guests to visit booths that represent the five featured programs to assemble backpacks of emergency supplies for housing-and food-Growing Opportunityinsecure GRCC students. As the materials are collected, the activity is a platform to learn from faculty, advisors, students and staff about collaboration and its impact in the Grand Rapids community. Following the event, the backpacks assembled by the Growing Opportunity participants will be donated to the GRCC Food Pantry.

“Growing Opportunity is unique in the way the mission and vision for both Ferris and GRCC are shared through genuine relationships and stories, and the way collaboration is emphasized within and beyond the featured partnership,” Benda said. “The contributions of sponsors are highlighted as part of this great work, and guests will be invited not just to give as patrons, but to be engaged as collaborators.”

Event proceeds are matched dollar for dollar and benefit the West Michigan Opportunity Scholarship fund, which helps students from Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties as they pursue a Ferris education.

Contact Barb Benda at (616) 643-1115 for more information and visit the website.

2019 Growing Opportunity: A Partnership Celebration Sponsors

  • Ferris Grand Rapids Council
  • Grand Rapids Community College
  • Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation
  • Kennari Consulting
  • Lacks Enterprises, Inc.
  • Mercantile Bank
  • Plante Moran PLLC & Rich Antonini
  • David and Patsy Eisler
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum
  • Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Jim & Jeanne Giroux
  • HNI Risk Advisors
  • JK Elder & Associates
  • Linda Vos Graham & Kenneth Graham
  • MLive Media Group
  • Rockford Construction
  • RoMan Manufacturing