By Blace Carpenter
Grand Rapids Community College will host the Annual GIANT Awards for its 40th anniversary this Saturday, Feb. 25. GRCC has hosted this award banquet since 1983, celebrating Black leaders and organizations who have helped create the history and culture of the Grand Rapids community.
This year GIANT Awards will highlight past GIANT honorees, and two nominees will receive a unique “lifetime” award exclusively for the 40th anniversary. They are also putting together a history book in honor of all the previous GIANT among GIANTs honorees through the past 40 years.
“GRCC is tremendously proud to host the GIANT Awards each year, recognizing the people who have played key roles in making West Michigan a stronger, better place to live,” GRCC President Charles Lepper said in a press release.“The 40th-anniversary milestone is a perfect time to pause and reflect on those who have been honored over the decades – to hear again their stories, appreciate their impact, and celebrate their important places in our history.”
The banquet will host keynote speaker Dr. Jacqueline Walters who is a philanthropist, health expert, women’s advocate, TV personality, award-winning OBGYN, and two-time cancer survivor who has shared her story nationwide through her organization 50 Shades of Pink. She also has appeared in the drama hit “Married to Medicine.”
Everyone attending the event will enjoy a chocolate treat created by students and faculty from GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, the Manufacturing Department, the School of STEM Mechanical Design department, and the College Advancement team. The students and staff created around 1,000 chocolate bars with the GIANT Awards 40th-anniversary logo.
“The learning experience here is that to mass produce a simple food item, such as a special occasion chocolate bar, we need to have an interdisciplinary approach,” Absenger said in a press release. “Mechanical designers conceptualized a mold for plastics engineering students to create, and be used by culinary artists to pour the chocolate into. Communication and planning were the keys to an awesome product.”
The event will take place at the DeVos Place Exhibit Hall at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person but can no longer be purchased online because the event is almost sold out. For ticket information, contact (616) 234-3933.
Editor’s Note: This story was edited at 9:18 p.m. Feb. 23 to correct the description of the awards program that is planned for Saturday.