This summer has been nothing short of amazing. To see so much happening at such a strong pace with attendance being great and the atmosphere being on filled with incredible energy and a feeling of real togetherness, being in the middle of it all is RIGHT where we want to be. The other awesome thing to see is that of our events, both new and old, they are all continuing to flourish...even the 39th year of Parties in the Park in Downtown Muskegon on Friday nights.
For those 39 years, Parties in the Park has been the staple hangout for the community while sneaking in a benefit for local non profit groups who help staff the events with volunteers to grab the proceeds to take back to help their organization continue to succeed. On July 15th it's the Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore. From the Boys and Girls Club website - "Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore (BGCML) was founded in 2014 by a group of community members dedicated to addressing the need for high-quality out-of-school time programming in Muskegon County. This team, which became the founding board of directors, developed a campaign to raise the seed money necessary to open a Club. In January 2015, they hired their first team member to open the doors of the first Boys & Girls Club in Muskegon. BGCML opened these doors in Nelson Elementary School to its first 30 members on April 20th, 2015. By the end of 2015, the Club’s membership reached over 300. Within that year, the Club served over 7,000 meals and set operating hours Monday-Friday from 3:00-7:30 pm, to be open when youth needed it most." Today, those numbers have grown. "From those original 30 members in 2015, membership has soared to over 1400 youth. BGCML is now serving 460 kids a day in the summer, and an average of 132 a day during the school year. In 2018, BGCML served over 50,000 meals and snacks to these youth." Richard Vanderputte-McPherson is the development director and joined us for a little talk about how this amazing organization has grown.
Beginning at 5p the West Side Soul Surfers will be helping usher in the evening with their show which is no stranger to local music fans at all. Their following in and around Muskegon isn't matched by many and with the early in happy hour and you need to pick out the perfect spot in the sun or the shade is the reason to come on Downtown! The sights, sounds and smells are AMAZING in the park with every kind of food you can imagine and of course the cold beer and wonderful time with friends and neighbors. It's literally one of the best ways this community has found to bring people together while helping out amazing organizations.
We'll see you at Hackley Park on Friday night from 5-9!