Cedar Springs West Michigan Stories

CEDAR SPRINGS, MI – While some towns may be known for their generosity, Cedar Springs could be the epitome of giving. The city has just wrapped up two major fundraisers not only making their goals, but exceeding them. Residents certainly place a high priority on investing back in the community.

As an example, $50,000 was raised  for construction of a new library. The current library is only two thousand square feet and they’ve simply outgrown it. Thus far, more than $500,000 has been raised, donated, or saved over the years for a new location and building. Hundreds of books are donated annually to the library, but due to space limitations, older books must be purged. No date has been set yet for ground-breaking on the new facility.

Another huge fundraiser in Cedar Springs led by strong community generosity was raising $60,000 for the Kent Theatre. The money was raised in less than one year and will be used to bring in state-of-the-art equipment. According to Theatre Association President Len Allington, “the new system that’ we’re getting will be fully digital and it will really save us a lot of labor as far as the projectionist and setting up the films, and tearing them down and shipping them out.”

That means traditional films will no longer be shown, but movies from either a digital hard drive or off a satellite…now industry standard. The old days of making film prints and delivering them to theatres are basically a thing of the past.

Often refered to as the gem of northern Kent County, the theatre was built in the 1880s as an opera house, and the lobby is still reminiscent of the 1930s. The original wooden dance floor still remains in the theatre, and some local folks remember the film schedule from 1938. Jack Clark says “Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday would be the same show. Thursday and Friday usually, a double feature with a lot of westerns. Then, Saturday and Sunday were the big ones…Will Rogers and people like that.”

Click here for more information and show times at the Kent Theatre.

Another example of more community generosity was the construction of Veteran’s Memorial Park. Everyone from residents to veterans donated time and money to complete the park. Trees, benches, flags, lights, walkways, and memorials are all part of the facility on the north end of the downtown area.

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