The Rapidian

Highlands Golf Club invites community to hunger-fighting buffet

Feeding America West Michigan will benefit from this week's Charity Wednesday at The Highlands.
The Highlands Golf Club began a new series called Charity Wednesday, in which banquet room sales support local causes.

The Highlands Golf Club began a new series called Charity Wednesday, in which banquet room sales support local causes. /The Highland Golf Club

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On May 21, The Highlands Golf Club will host an all-you-can-eat buffet to benefit Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank.

The second entry in a new series called Charity Wednesday, the buffet features a taco bar for $6.95 per person; 20 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank. The Alzheimer’s Association was the series’ first beneficiary.

The Highlands has been a public course since 2008. Owner Steve Scheuermann is hoping the Charity Wednesday series will introduce the club to people who may have never considered visiting before.

Most importantly, Scheuermann said, it’s about giving back.

That same spirit of community involvement is behind The Highlands’ First Tee program, which teaches kids life skills through the game of golf. Golf is a natural channel for teaching honesty, integrity and responsibility because players are trusted to keep their own scores and call penalties on themselves, Scheuermann said. The club provides scholarships for low-income families.

“We see these kids year after year, and we see them mature as they get older, and they’re just quality kids,” he said.

In the same way, good nutrition is essential for a child’s physical and mental development. In West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, food insecurity affects 1 in 5 kids. They lack consistent access to nutritious food and commonly rely on cheaper, high-calorie junk food to survive, negatively affecting their school performance and increasing their risk of diabetes and obesity. Their predicament is worsened this time of year, when summer vacation pulls the plug on the school meal programs so many depend on.

“Going into the summer, the Food Bank needs all the help it can get to meet the increased demand,” said Feeding America West Michigan CEO Ken Estelle.

“We have more than enough food to meet the demand, but we need the financial support of our community to keep our freezers cold and our trucks on the road,” he said. “These are still tough times economically for thousands in Michigan, and the need for our services has never been higher.”

The Highlands’ donation applies from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21. The club is located at 2715 Leonard Street NW in Grand Rapids. To learn more, visit highlandsgr.com.

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