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Seidman Club Director carries on a Youth Commonwealth tradition of caring

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Seidman Club Director Mike Remo and Executive Director Pat Gunnin.

Seidman Club Director Mike Remo and Executive Director Pat Gunnin.

Club Director Mike Remo (far left) and Officer Mike Harris singing with Seidman Club members.

Club Director Mike Remo (far left) and Officer Mike Harris singing with Seidman Club members.

The Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College recently announced the winners of their annual Giants Awards. This year, Seidman Boys & Girls Club Director Mike Remo will be joining the many prestigious community leaders to have received a Giant Award. Remo has been selected as the 2010 Walter Coe Public Award Recipient.

Walter Coe migrated to Grand Rapids from Nashville in 1916 to play baseball. In addition to being a local baseball celebrity, Coe became the first African-American police officer in Grand Rapids in 1922. Not only was he the first officer, but Captain Coe quickly rose through the rankings. He became sergeant in two years, lieutenant in ten, and became captain in charge of the Special Investigation Division within the detective bureau in 1950. Captain Coe was actively involved with the Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth program and took a genuine interest in inner city youth. He fought for the rights of those who could not fight for their own. Walter Coe died of a heart attack in 1957, but this award honors those who keep his spirit alive.

Seidman Boys & Girls Club Director Mike Remo exemplifies the character building qualities stressed by Coe. Remo has supported Grand Rapids youth since 1993 working for organizations such as the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center, Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF), and the David D. Hunting YMCA. Taking on his current role at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth in 2008, Remo’s leadership has consistently helped those in need. Along with his full time position, Remo serves part-time as a weekend Case Manager for the ICCF Family Haven Shelter helping homeless families find permanent housing.

“Mike truly has a genuine heart and knows how to reach out to our youth,” said Boys & Girls Clubs Executive Director Pat Gunnin. “He has a calm demeanor that makes even the worse situation seem okay.”

Mike Remo and all other Giants Award winners are selected by nomination and will be celebrated at The Giants Awards and Banquet XXVIII Celebration hosted by the Diversity Learning Center. It will be held at DeVos Place on January 30, 2010 at 6pm. This is an annual event to recognize African-Americans who have contributed to changing the quality of life in Metropolitan Grand Rapids. The proceeds from the event will go to support the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation scholarship fund.


Article written by Sara Schneider.

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