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Tall Turf Ministries Celebrates New Beginnings




Tall Turf Ministries Event Celebrates New Beginnings

On Friday, afternoon, June 3, Tall Turf Ministries took time to celebrate all that is new with the ministry as it enters it’s 42nd year of serving youth and the community: new space for year-round programming; a new name; new program leaders; and a renewed focus on and commitment to racial reconciliation.

The afternoon and early evening celebration included a “ribbon cutting” ceremony followed by brief remarks from Tall Turf’s CEO, Mr. Jack Kooyman; Board Chair, Rev. Dr. Leanne Van Dyk; Board Vice Chair, Ms. Victoria Proctor Gibbs; and Campaign Chair, Mr. Peter Baldwin of AMDG Architects. Additionally, three young people involved in Tall Turf’s Leader In Training (LIT) program, provided some inspirational singing for those in attendance.

The public ceremony was concluded with a prayer of dedication by Pastor Bryan Blakely of Bates Place Ministry Center and First Christian Reformed Church. Immediately following the public ceremony, people were welcomed inside to see the newly renovated facility and enjoy a relaxed evening of conversation and refreshment. Pictures of the event can be seen by going to the following link on Tall Turf Ministries facebook page.

According to long-time Tall Turf CEO, Jack Kooyman, “This building provides a wonderful opportunity for Tall Turf to make a claim in the City of Grand Rapids, on the city’s near South East Side.” The newly renovated fire station at 816 Madison Ave. S.E. is the new home for Tall Turf’s offices and year-round programs. Tall Turf Ministries is the new name of Camp Tall Turf.  Today, Tall Turf Ministries includes the celebrated summer camp, Camp Tall Turf, along with a number of other programs with youth that occur mostly in Grand Rapids both in the summer and during the traditional school year.

Since it was founded in 1969, Tall Turf has offered year-round programming for youth from ages 8 through 17.  Today, those programs are continuing to grow and thrive and new programs have been added. So in addition to summer camp—Youth Camp sessions, Adventure Camp, and Asthma Camp—they are actively involved in the lives of young people including leadership training, mentoring and other school year programs involving service work, Bible studies and more.

Most important is the claim on the turf of the lives of young people. Over the past 42 years, more than 30,000 kids from West Michigan and surrounding areas have participated in Camp Tall Turf’s summer camps and community programs.  Most of these kids are introduced to Tall Turf through summer camp, and many remain involved through year-round programs all the way into high school and beyond.  Tall Turf’s series of age-based programs aims to create servant leaders in their communities by focusing on shaping leaders, building faith, and reconciling people with God, self, others, and nature.

Tall Turf’s Mission is Equipping Youth for Lives of Reconciliation in God’s World. This is a tall order. But the benefits from this endeavor are rich and sustaining—empowered lives, stronger communities and greater understanding.

For more information contact Jack Kooyman, Tall Turf Ministries President and CEO at (616) 452-7906 or (616) 634-1319 or @ [email protected]. Also, visit  Send gifts addressed to Tall Turf Ministries, 816 Madison Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507 or call the office at (616) 452-7906 to learn about other exciting ways to support Tall Turf.                            

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