GFA 2017 Extraordinary Event or Organization Finalists

906 Polar Roll

The 906 Polar Roll is part of the Midwest Great Lakes Fat Tire Bike Series. Only in its third year, it has become the largest fat tire bike race in Michigan. The event is operated by the 906 Adventure Team, a sub-committee of the Range Area Mountain Bike Association. All proceeds are given to local trail organizations. The mission of the race is to give riders of all abilities an event that focuses less on the racing aspect and more on the winter adventure aspect. The event brings people together, gives them something to train for in the winter and offers some good “ole” fun in the snow! The 906 Polar Roll has gained national exposure, drawing people from all over the country to Marquette to participate in the race.  Click here for video


Operation Fit

Operation Fit is a program developed by the collaborative efforts of Bronson, Battle Creek, BC Community Foundation, Regional Health Alliance, community agencies, organizations and the philanthropic community working towards decreasing the rates of childhood obesity in Calhoun County. Operation Fit focuses on increasing physical activity for all children throughout the school day, improving the nutrition environment, policy changes, and parent/community engagement. Operation Fit grew from three schools in 2015-2016 to eight schools in 2016-2017.  Some of the impacts of the program can be seen through the implementation of walking programs in the schools, a decrease in discipline referrals and an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption.  Click here for video


Fifth Third River Bank Run

The Fifth Third River Bank Run is celebrating its 40th year this May.  The 25K race started in 1978, drawing more than 1,000 participants and has grown to over 16,000 participants in the 25K, 10K and 5K. The Fifth Third River Bank Run is consistently ranked as one of the premier road racing events in the United States, and the 25K has been the site of the USATF National Championships since 1995. The Fifth Third River Bank Run also hosts the only 25K Wheelchair and Handcycle racing divisions. This event continues to positively impact the economy of Grand Rapids and its charitable organizations. The Fifth Third River Bank Run also offers ambassador programs, training programs and works in conjunction with the Feelin’ Good Mileage Club to help get 50,000 elementary aged kids active.  Click here for video