In The Spotlight
Bringing a group together 16 or so years ago based on the idea that inclusion means everyone. A daughter who wondered why she didn't have sleepovers like the rest of the kids in the family sparked the idea in Cyndi Blair that the kid was right, "why doesn't she get to do the same thing other kids do?" As old as the story is, there's no stopping a mom on a mission. Getting a few friends together for sports events became a regular thing and then came the miracles. These kids began to interact with peers their age with more "normal" ability levels and the idea of "No More Sidelines" shattered all thoughts on what barriers meant.
A long time ago, No More Sidelines asked if I'd host their annual gala along with Dave Kaechele to help raise some funds for their organization. Taken a back a little wondering how they wanted us, we agreed and became part of an organization that gave us far more than we could ever give them. Some of the original families that began the org became better friends over the years and those original "kids" are now young adults. You're going to hear just how far the time lapse happens in today's story with Nicole Kary who's here to share some thoughts on ableism.
There's a minute or two of history and shared stories about to happen. Jeff Brinn is an amazing accomplished photographer who I go back with to almost the beginning of my career. Jeff and I have been in places that most don't get to be a part of and through our work have shared some times that we've expressed in different ways over the years. I try to share the stories, and honestly, it's getting harder to do. All that was....it's hard to talk about without sounding like a name dropper or braggart. I really struggle. Jeff on the other hand, was behind the camera and of all those experiences, he's got the photo proof and he's opening it to the public for the first time March 8th at the Doo Gallery!
Michelle Tyson is the founder of Taking Back Muskegon. She's a mom, a grandma, a former part of our contributing collective and one of the most giving people we know. There's also a very big part of Michelle that's a "momma bear" to a lot of kids through her Taking Back Muskegon organization. The program began in it's infancy about the same time we did at the Muskegon Channel and as it grew, Michelle's attention needed to go toward the kids, and with that, our attention stayed on her in an as needed basis. Taking care of kids...clearly a priority.
The school lunch menu. Mine was a little different than most. In elementary, I went to a small one hall private school and everything was home made every day. It was also the only place I ever got anything that was close to Hamburger Helper. In high school, it was on to the choice of burgers, fries, pizza or chicken nuggets, which like most I hung around with sooner or later drove itself down to a Coke and some chips from the vending machine, just enough to get you through the afternoon because...well, that was my tribe. Today, the focus is much more tuned in on those who rely on the schools for their meal necessities both during the year, and the summer and in the reshaping of what is served to kids in schools, trying to get kids to eat healthier and do better than I did....along comes the chance to try something new... "Global Eats"! It's part of the amazing ideas Chartwells brings to the service they provide as the schools meals service. Laura Vitale invited us to learn more.