News & Events


Children’s Grief Center to Open in Flint

Ele’s Place will partner with Genesys, Hurley and McLaren

A grieving father from Grand Blanc has spearheaded an effort to open a children’s grief center in Flint.  Jim Bappert and his family traveled to Ele’s Place in Lansing every week for six months after the sudden death of his wife, Jodi.  Today, over 70 community leaders and organizations have joined Bappert in the effort. 

“Ele’s Place in Lansing made a tremendous difference for my boys and me,” said Bappert.  “The support we received put us on a path to healing and helped us move forward with life.  I am thrilled that families in the Flint area will have the same opportunity.”

Ele’s Place leaders anticipate starting its school-based program in the spring with a pilot at Beecher High School, and a family-based program later in the year.  The Hagerman Foundation has donated office space in the Dryden building in downtown Flint and is providing early financial support of Ele’s Place-Flint.

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Thanks to everyone who attended

Ele's Place Innaugural Fall Reception in Grand Rapids

Special thanks to:

 Clebrity Guest, Mickey Stanley and Guest Speaker, Greg Meyer

Sponsored by



Rite Aid Foundation names Ele's Place as a KidCents Charity

Ele's Place was the recipient of a $10,000 donation on behalf of the Rite Aid Foundation and has been selected to receive contributions by Rite Aid customers.

KidCents is a program created by the Rite Aid Foundation that allows Rite Aid customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to help support qualifying kid-focused charities. 

If you would like to help Ele's Place, visit and follow the steps online to become a Rite Aid wellness+ member.  You can join this program at no cost.

After you join wellness+, or if you are already a wellness+ member, login on and click "Select a Charity" on the website menu.  When you find Ele's Place, click on the "Select this Charity" button so that your KidCents round-up change will be designated to Ele's Place.   Please share this with your family and friends!  Imagine the change that your change can make!


Ele's Place - Lansing Names New Managing Director

Dan Layman has been appoint as the Managing Director of Ele's Place - Lansing.  Read more!


Ele's Place - Grand Rapids Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary

Ele's Place-Grand Rapids will celebrate 1 year of supporting grieving children and teens by hosting two Tours of the Heart.  All are invited to attend, but please RSVP.  Dates for the Tours are:  July 10 and August 14, from 9 - 10 a.m. Read more!


Gerilyn May, Managing Director of Ele's Place- Grand Rapids, shares how grieving children and teens are helped in West Michigan. Watch video.


Ele's Place Video wins National Silver American Advertising Award

Click HERE to watch Overweg Story

Such Video, a Michigan-based high-end production and post boutique received national recognition at the American Advertising Awards in Boca Raton, Fla. on May 31. Such took home the Silver award for Public Service - Audio Visual for the Grand Rapids nonprofit Ele's Place "Overweg Story."

Sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, the awards honor excellence in advertising and cultivate the highest creative standards in the industry. The competition begins at the regional level with the 210 AAF member clubs nationwide from which local winners proceed to 14 district competitions, and those winners proceed to the national finals. Attracting more than 40,000 entries each year, the mission of the American Advertising Awards competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

At the regional competition in February, Such was honored with best in show, three Gold honors and three Silver honors for multiple entries, all of which advanced to district competition. Two of the district entries advanced to nationals after winning Silver awards, but it was the “Overweg Story" that was selected for national Silver recognition. National recognition is a rare occurrence in a minor market. 

"This award is a big win for us, but also for small business in Michigan. It shows that big work comes out of small creative studios when you understand what you’re good at. For us, it's storytelling. It is the foundation of everything we do," said Such partner, Karen Stefl. "The bottom line is that when you are passionate about your work, your clients are the big winners," said partner, David Such.

That makes Ele's Place, a center for grieving children in Grand Rapids, the big winners in this case. Ele's Place has additional locations in Ann Arbor and Lansing.

“Such Video has fully embraced our mission of supporting grieving children and teens and we are extremely grateful to them for generously donating their time and talent to our organization for almost 20 years," said Laurie Strauss Baumer, Ele's Place president and CEO. "Such Video has expertly shared our families’ stories with honesty, integrity and sensitivity."

According to Strauss Baumer, the "Overweg Story" video created by Such is emotional, thoughtprovoking and inspirational, capturing the painful reality of grief, while presenting an honest sense of hopefulness.

Such’s nationally recognized "Overweg Story" and other award-winning entries are available for viewing on their website at


Support Ele's Place with your Paramount Coffee purchase!

CLICK HERE to order the newest flavors of Paramount Coffee to benefit Ele's Place!  Paramount is donating $1 to Ele's Place for each bag of coffee sold. Simply use Discount Code elesplace during checkout.


Click HERE to read about one of our Grand Rapids facilitators, Dr. Carrie Sandborn, who was recently featured in Women's Lifestyle Magazine.


Click on the links to the left to learn more about upcoming events and latest news at Ele's Place!