From day one, No More Sidelines has been all about what it's new campaign is saying, "Building Belonging". We know, because we've been there almost form the start. No More Sidelines first came to Andy and Dave and asked if they would be interested in being emcees for their "Set the Stage" Gala. Not really sure how two guys who kick each other in the rear all day would fit in to the suit and tie crowd of a swanky fundraiser, Andy and Dave first asked if they were sure that they wanted them...and almost 15 years later, they are still the event emcee's and the relationship continues to grow.
No More Sidelines was founded when Alivia Blair asked her mom why she didn't have friends like the rest of her brothers and sisters. Alivia has CP and Autism and was about 12 at the time. Like any mom, Cyndi Blair wanted her daughter to have a normal life experience, with friends, hang outs, events and more, but there was an invisible wall there....one that needed to come down so others could see just how little difference there was between "those kids" and the "normal kids"
A small group of families who had kids with "unique abilities" first started hanging out together for some fellowship and as the group grew, the began integrating the group with other teams, mostly centered around sports and the result has been that young people who were once thought different, are now seen in an entirely new way and some of those barriers are now gone. Loneliness became a bridge and a solution to the fear people have over differences.
They have called the Folkert Community Hub home for a while now, on Seminole Road in Muskegon. They have plenty of space, and some of it needs a little more TLC yet. They are in the final stages of the fundraising for the Building Belonging Campaign and they had an announcement on December 4th about the project and what's to come. The Muskegon Channel was on hand to catch the presentation for you. Take a listen.
"The Hub" has been a place for community gathering since the doors first opened. They have world class banquet and meeting space. They have areas for the No Moresidlines group and the building also houses some special educational opporunities for kind who need a little more one on one attention. It's an amazing gift to all of us to have an organization like No More Sidelines here in Muskegon. If you're thinking about a place for an event or meeting, keep in mind, renting their building helps fund the group and everyone is included....they stick to the mission.