It's been a busy summer at the Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore. Lot's or programs have been implemented, lot's of kids are being impacted by the work that countless volunteers from our community and around the country have all been pitching in on and better futures are in store for these kids as well as Muskegon.
It's been a summer of recreation, education, experiences and understanding. We should throw in some life skills, sports, health, arts, character and leadership skills. All foundations of what the Boys and Girls Club is all about. Some have even called it... The Best Summer Ever. But, it is back to school time and like any grand summer, it's got to come to an end and as the kids prepare to head back to the books the Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore didn't want it to go out without a bang.
Friday August 18th the kids were treated to a bass like no other. Burgers and dogs prepared by Chef Jack Page who also took the summer to make sure daily lunch was prepared for the kids, there were dunk tanks, arts and crafts, back to school kits field activities and a host of partner agencies on hand that help the Boys and Girls Club out on a number of different levels. As I was setting up to tape the story, the grill was just getting going, the kids were gathering and beginning to get rowdy and the party was just about to kick off!
I grabbed Molly Kristofferson and Brian Rivera just as it was about to pop for a quick chat... take a listen.
It's a quick switch over into after school mode from the summer programs into the after school mode and what a way to go out of the summer of 2017. Our thanks to the Boys and Girls for their tireless work and building the futures of our young people to be brighter and better tomorrow.
Back 40 Predators is back with Episode 9 on the Muskegon Channnel and this time it's a bear hunt in New Brunswick! Rory Rought is the host of the show, he's also part of Northern Michigan Outfitters who specialize in guided hunts like these in the UP of Michigan. All of that, and Rory also serves as a police officer in Muskegon Heights.
It's an exciting adventure as they head out hunting for bears. Do keep in mind, this is a hunting show. They are hunting. Viewer discression s advised. On to the woods!
Our thanks to Rory and the team from Northern Michigan Outfitters for the adventure. If you'd like to know more about their hunts, you can visit their facebook page for now. They are currently working on a new website and will have it up soon. Find them on Facebook by clicking below!
We're always happy to hear about a new spot in town. It's also nice to see something pop up on Main Street in Muskegon Heights and see that growth is not exclusive to one neighborhood or another here in town. Mayor Kim Simms declared "The New Normal" a year or so ago and part of that includes making the effort to revitalize the Broadway Avenue portion of Muskegon Heights. The Muskegon Heights Farmers Market is a great attraction, Read Muskegon has recently moved their center to the block, Rowan Park is home to movies in the park and what was promised is becoming reality.
I got a message from Eve Zwolinski not long ago asking me if I had heard of the shop and what they did, which I hadn't and since it's been a bit since we've ventured into the Heights for a story, I headed down to see what's going on. Located at 46 E. Broadway this unique boutique shop offers hand made gifts, custom one of a kind jewelry they carry the Eve's Organic Essentials line of products and they also offer an aray of classes on lots of skills that might be getting lost in the shuffle of modern life. Crochet, sewing, painting are all valuable skills and at risk of being lost to video games, snap chats twitters and more. They teach all of them in the back.
One thing they didn't get into in the video.. the compassion offered. They have things like a prayer bear, they have a small ministry, they have a wish jar.... they have a gentle approach to togetherness and healing and they strive to bring settlement to peoples minds. It's a slice of small town America right in the "inner city" which in reality, is just that...small town America.
Take a listen to our talk below!
It's a new day dawning, all over the area. What a pleasure to see a one of a kind shop, with locally made items putting down roots in a once "forgotten" area. Take a few minutes out and stop in. Better yet, if you'd like to learn some of the skills they teach or possibliy consign some items you make, talk to the gals at Sisters Gifts and More and help be part of the revitalization of Downtown Muskegon Heights! All of our neighborhoods are better off in good health.
The Summer of 2017 has been spectacular and it's not even close to being over! September 2nd marks 12 years that Shoreline Vision has been putting on the Run for Sight which is a 5k run or walk, however you choose and the focus of the event is to benefit those who need a hand when it comes to the car of their eyes. Shoreline Vision is a remarkable group of physicians. As they have grown and the services they offer expanded, they have also kept sight on the fact that being a good community steward is important and that lending a hand to an organization like the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) is not only the right thing to do, it's good business and a caring approach to help others in the profession of eye care.
100% of the proceeds of the Run for Sight go to benefit the ABVI. ABVI goes beyond just vision care too. They help people who are learning to cope with vision loss with support groups, clinics, daily living skills, vision aids and appliances, youth programs and counselling. It's got to be quite a frightening thing to be in the beginning stages of vision loss and ABVI is there to support those who need the helping hand. It's a remarkable outreach and Shoreline Vision is proud to support their work.
Back to the run. Are you up for a competitive chipped 5k? Maybe you'd like to enjoy the scenic beauty of Pere Marquette? Maybe it's a first or maybe it's the run you wrap up the Summer with. No matter what you like, be a part of a fun day with a great purpose and an amazing way to ease into Fall on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Shawn Cook joined me to talk about the event from the Shoreline Vision Surgical Center. Take a listen to our talk about the event!
It's an affordale run/walk and it's something everyone can get behind to support those who are experiencing vision loss. It's also a chance to invite friends and family out from all over the area to come and enjoy a cool September morninig on the shores of our beautiful lake! If you'd like to reserve your spot, please do before the August 14th deadline and save yourself a few bucks! Click on the photo below and you'll go direct to the Run for Sight registration page. Hats off to Shoreline Vision for their commitment to Muskegon and all of our vision!
We had a delay in getting this out. Please accept our apologies! Becky is ready to rock your world with week 16 of Fit and Healthy with Becky on The Muskegon Channel. These are special 4 minute work out's designed to help you tone up, slim down and keep that heart pumping! Please...make sure you warm up first and before you start this or any exercise program, consult a physician to make sure you are able to handle a work out!
Lace up the sneakers...bust out the mat...grab your water and let's get to it... here's Week 16 on The Muskegon Channel
You can go do it all over again right now if you'd like! That's the beauty of our work out. Do it when you want, as often as you want and at your own pace! Becky is also available as a personal trainer! You can find her at The Gym in North Muskegon or, you can follow the link in the photo below to find her webpage!
Stay tuned too! Becky has taken on the insurmountable challenge of trying to help Andy O get into a little better shape. Follow the progress right here on The Muskegon Channel.
It's a disease we're all becoming more and more familiar with. It might even be classified with the "unspeakable" diseases like cancer, HIV, heart disease and more. Alzheimer's Disease is a baffling and progressive disease that really takes no prisoners. The idea of a loved one slowly losing their memory and functions is one of the most horrific ideas anyone could face. I watched it happen to my grandfather and I can only imagine what my dad faced when his dad didn't know him anymore. 98-99 years of life all seeming slipped away thanks to a currently incurable and not fully understood disease.
The work continues, world wide. The disease isn't really concerned with boundaries or boarders. The medical field strives to understand, while the common folks try to cope and all hope that their family isn't the next one facing the dreaded diagnosis that Alzheimer's has set in. Where to we begin to understand in terms we can all grasp? Well, the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan is bringing Dr. Bruno Giordani back to Tanglewood Park August 10th to speak in plain English about the current state of knowledge, research and the future of Alzheimer's. He spoke last year and it was met with great interest and this year his return is once again set.
I was able to catch up with Kayla Meyers from The Alzheimer's Association at Tanglewood to hear some of the details, take a listen to our chat below.
Information is key, however, I am not quite sure that until there's a cure, the fear will ever be removed. The fact is that we'll all probably be faced with a loved one or have to face Alzheimer's ourselves one day. Know what you can, and hear the facts and the up to the minute information from someone who speaks in plain English and makes all the medical jargon easy to understand. The Alzheimer's Association only asks that you let them know you're coming in advance so they can plan accordingly. You can reserve a spot by calling 1-800-272-3900
The dog days of summer are nearly over and as back to school looms for many. You might be sitting there wondering what can be done on a budget, close enough to home that would be fun for the whole family, or maybe a group of friends. Well, a short drive to Saugatuck is all it will take and when you get there, you'll be able to step back in time and enjoy a really great cruise on a vintage fiberglass boat for an hour and a half from Retro Boat Rentals!
The idea came to life as Lauren Stanton and her boyfriend John were hammering out what to do with their "spare time". Lauren is of course the morning news anchor at WZZM and John works for Airgas, so as you can imagine, there's plenty of "spare time". But like most..when there's a dream involved, the time is found and the passion can come to life. As they kept eyeing an old building in Saugatuck which was primarily used to gut fish, the idea come to be that it might be cool to find some vintage boats and rent them out! Thus...the birth of Retro Boat Rentals and The Old Boat House which you'll find right on the first turn as you head down Water Street in Saugatuck.
The boats are remarkably charming. They are clean, restored and best of all, what looks like a classic engine.. it's actually a shell encasing a silent, eco friendly electric motor that will provide you a very relaxing site seeing cruise on the Kalamazoo River and out to Lake Michigan. The boats too, are all named. You'll find "Stella" and "Jane" along with "Dottie" and "Ruby" and a host of other boats currently under restoration in The Old Boat House awaiting their grand debut.
I hopped in the car and headed south to see Lauren and turn the tables on her some. In my career, I have found no one more willing to help me on things, no bigger advocate for Muskegon and in all honesty there are not many with a kinder heart than Lauren....so without further adieu....
I have to admit, it's been YEARS since I have been to Saugatuck. The last time I was there, all I really remember about it was getting stung in the eyelid by a bee that wanted the cotton candy I had. Your first thought might be "that was probably last week" but I think I was more along the lines of 7 or 8. It's remarkably charming, it's a beautiful setting and I wish I had more time to have seen more, but fear not.... Mrs. O got one look at this and is not planning a trip so we'll be back soon.
It's my sincere wish to Lauren and John that their business is a hit for years to come and that the people that take them up on the chance for a spin in a Retro Boat enjoy the scenic beauty as well as the relaxing atmosphere provided. What a fun day to be had and what a great way to wrap up the summer! For more, click on the image below to visit the Retro Boat Rentals website and reserve your ride!
I will be the first to admit....I don't get it. I don't understand the Rocky Horror Picture Show, I don't think I have ever seen it in it's entirety and that's beside the point. I do know that there are generations of fans who LOVE the experience and all that comes with the Rocky Horror Picture Show and that many people can't be wrong. So, I was intrigued enough when the invite came from Kevin Kilbry of The Denton High Drama Club reached out to see if we'd take a few minutes to talk about the upcoming production of the classic at the Harbor Cinema's located in Lakeside in Muskegon on August 19th.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show first hit screens in 1975 and to quote Wikipedia "The story centers on a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. The castle is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention. They discover the head of the house is Frank N. Furter, an apparent mad scientist who actually is an alien transvestite who creates a living muscle man in his laboratory. The couple is seduced separately by the mad scientist and eventually released by the servants who take control."
Critics first panned the film for the most part, but over time, fans began to interact with the film at the midnight showings and dressing up like the characters in the film. They act out what's on the screen, thus the "shadowcast" experience and if you can believe it or not, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is still in limited release and after 4 decades, it's the longest running movie in film history. Amazing!
All the history aside, we're here to talk about something fun to do in Muskegon and starting on August 19th at Harbor Cinemas you have the chance to relive the fun, or experience it for the first time. Kevin Kilbry joined me in the lobby to tell me a little more about it, take a listen.
First time or the next time...which ever you are seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show head in with an open mind, be ready to laugh and help support the actors of The Denton High Drama Club. We're proud to help shine a light on things happening in Muskegon and if you could use a night out with some laughs check it out. You can find a link to Facebook event page below!
Earlier this Spring, Positively Muskegon visited Dan Gentz as Great Lakes Fresh Market was just taking hold in Muskegon in the former Plumbs locations. We spent a little time getting to know Dan and learning his philosophy about being a local grocer in a world of giants, and so far, from the looks of things, Great Lakes Fresh Markets have been doing a pretty good job holding their own while keeping an eye on what the area needs and wants when it comes to quality, affordability and customer service.
On our first visit, the future of the Norton Shores location was still up in the air. The new company wasn't sure if they were going to re-open the old store at 1663 W. Sherman and the comments from readers of the Positively Muskegon Blog were all hopeful that they would someday return. Well, the news broke today that in fact Great Lakes Fresh Market would be re-opening the store on Sherman and in time, their offices would be moving there too from their current location at the Colby Road location in Whitehall.
I owed Dan Gentz another visit anyway to see how things were settling in for him here in Muskegon and like anyone else, he and his family are loving it. The sunsets, the people, the community and the opportunities are all amazing. They have found a great way to give back by partnering with Kids Food Basket and you'll begin seeing them more and more in the community in a number of ways in the days to come. Dan and I sat down for a quick talk, hear from him directly about the timeline for the Sherman store and believe it or not...what's being thought of even past that..I promise you this, there is no moss growing under the feet of The Gentz family or Great Lakes Fresh Market...take a listen.
EVEN HIS PARENTS are moving here! Ladies and gents.....can you say boom town? I love it! We'll continue to follow the success and growth of Great Lakes Fresh Market here in Muskegon. To be honest, to know that we're not the only one's that don't mind taking on the "big guys" when it comes to local stuff...kind of makes us feel pretty good. Work will be getting underway at the Sherman location soon and if all goes to plan, by November you'll see a great shopping option in Norton Shores run by a local family with your friends and neighbors working there to make your shopping experience that comfortable neighborhood feeling you love. To visit Great Lakes Fresh Market online click on the photo below.
We're on to week 15 already! Are you feeling better? Are your pants looser? Shirts fitting better? It's showing and your drive and commitment to stick to it is showing! Becky is back with some new ideas to change things up and keep you motivated! We're back at The Gym in North Muskegon. Shoes on...get your sweat band out and let's get to it!
Whew!! You did it yet again!! Nice job! Want more? Stop into The Gym at the 4 corners in North Muskegon! Take a tour, meet the staff and see what a great atmosphere they have! It's easier in groups to get things done. Becky is a certified personal trainer that you can connect with at The Gym if you need some guidance! We'll be back with week 16 next Monday! For more on The Gym, click on the photo below!
We're honored to welcome The Muskegon Polish Festival to the Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon as a sponsor. We like to celebrate all of our new partners with a welcome honestly as our work is a reflection of the work of so many others here in town who make things happen. The Muskegon Polish Festival Happened for the first time last year and boy, did it ever happen. Almost too much happening....but let's take a step back a second.
First off, you may or may not know this, but Muskegon is truly a hot spot for polka music. Tom Sanocki has kept his Polka Melodies show going for 21 years now on the radio and trust me when I tell you this, his audience is fiercely loyal. You may remember, I have some previous experience in the field and know what it's like to have an audience like his. His fans drop everything when the show comes on and that's what's going to be the entertainment. Second, we've got some great Polish halls. Never been to an area hall? Cheap drinks, friendly people, affordable rental space and a comfortable atmosphere. Hard to top. Finally, Muskegon is all about festivals...right about now...you should be starting to see why the first Muskegon Polish Festival was such a hit. A perfect storm was brewing for a party. 7000 people showed up. :)
Year two, well they have had a chance to plan a little better, add a few things and get ready to go on Labor Day weekend. It kicks off with a lunch time free admission. Yes, head to Hackley Park for a great lunch with a Polish flare and you'll get a wrist band good to get you back in for later that night. They have polka bands lined up to go all day, they have food, imported Polish beer, kielbasa, kapusta...(do keep in mind...a good part of my youth was spent on the west side of Grand Rapids...I am slobbering all over the keyboard). That's day 1.
Tom Sanocki joined me at the corner of 4th and Western to talk about the event a little and we'll continue to keep you updated as it draws near. We're excited and honored to be a part of the fun and to watch yet another new, fun festival get off the ground is a great thing for all of Muskegon. Take a listen.
Here we go! Mark the calendar for Labor Day weekend and make sure you stop in to Hackley Park to roll out the barrel! It's a dream come true to watch so many things continue to grow here and more over, it's amazing to watch how an idea can explode like it did last year with the Polish Festival. To me, it tells me that Muskegon's rebound is strong and true. It tells me too that our belief in ourselves is getting stronger every day and our sustainability...it's growing! If you'd like to know more about the Muskegon Polish Festival, click on their image below.
A couple of weeks ago, we visited the Dalton Township Fire Department to talk about a much needed millage vote coming up and while we were there, they gave me a sneak peek at a new apparatus they were just about to complete for training of fire fighters in a number of scenarios. As promised, we headed back for the dedication of the structure as well as a demonstration of some of the techniques they will practice on this device.
Inspired by the loss of two fire fighters, sadly this is how most innovation happens, what now stands in Dalton Township will be open to for departments all over the area to work with. In fact, they are already getting requests from fire departments state wide for the blueprints for the Saving Our Own prop. Imagine that? Dalton Township is taking the lead state wide in innovation and protection of our first responders.
It took some work to get this done. There were plenty of donations as well as volunteer hours spent to build the structure and of course some planning and consideration to be done by the Dalton Township board, but in the end it all came together to provide a much needed way to add some training options for our local fire departments. On top, the floor has a removable panel to simulate a second floor collapse. It also has a window for fire fighters to practice rescuing people from a structure on a ladder. You'll see it in practice in the video. The lower level, you'll find a very narrow couple of hallway simulations as well as a breach wall where fire fighters practice going right through the wall. Did you ever imagine that they would have to not only punch their way through the wall, but also avoid getting tangled up in all the wires hidden in the wall? Crazy and remarkably dangerous.
Fire Chief Alan Styles was my guest this time to talk about the structure in more detail Take a listen to our talk about this really cool "prop" as he calls it.
As mentioned a week or so ago, we focus an awful lot on the immediate Muskegon area, but Fruitport to Montague is what "Muskegon" is to us. We're proud to help showcase the great things in all of our communities and the Dalton Township FD is really doing what they can to not only improve their department, but offer others the chance too. Their outreach continues to area schools grows, their commitment to protecting the area residents is resolute and their excitement and pride over the Saving Our Own Devise is contagious. Our thanks to the Dalton Township FD for letting us debut this awesome tool!!