We were given the great honor to be invited to help out on Veterans Day of being asked to accompany The Director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, Zaneta Adams on a tour of West Michigan to meet Veterans and find out from them first hand what their needs are and how her office can assist them. Making sure that what's in place to help those who were willing to protect our great freedoms are being used to their full potential and that every benefit they are entitled to, they are aware of and that they know that if they are not aware of them... there is someone there to help them understand how to access the help they have coming.
During a recent interview, Mary Suarez of The Hope Project has revealed that Sex Trafficking is a very real problem in Muskegon County. The Hope project is currently helping 68 women & young girl that had been the victim of trafficking in the county, with three new 'clients' just this week.
It was a great event to be a part of last year as Padnos Muskegon (formerly Shoreline Recycling) came to us to ask if we'd be be willing to partner with them on helping out the Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs with some of the things that they do that go so far above and beyond what's required of their services. It was an even greater day when Kurt Aldreink got a hold of us again this year and asked if we'd return to help the push and spread the word so that Padnos Muskegon could again give a hand to some remarkably deserving folks the Vet's Affairs takes care of, as well as their customers who donate a little something who will be given a little incentive for their participation.
Like last year, the Padnos customers are the key to this. If you're bringing in a load of recyclable material that Padnos handles, bring in a canned good or two, up to 10 and for every canned good you'll get an extra $1 per ton on your pay out. This also applies to personal care items too, like soap, toothpaste, deodorant etc. The do have to cap it off at 10 items per ton, but don't let that slow down your generosity if you are able to give more. Padnos will also be looking for a Veteran here in town who can use a night out and gifting them some tickets to a hockey game, dinner out and an overall relief from the day to day.
Padnos as you may remember back to a couple months ago is undergoing some major renovations on their property. They are located on Ottawa Street in Muskegon and they are one of the first places many see as they come in to town from the North. With their long time presence here in Muskegon, and long standing building, the time had come for a major face lift and it's just now getting under way. Don't let that stop you though. As the work gets underway, watch it happen! See the renewal happen first hand and help support a company deeply rooted in Muskegon and who places so much stewardship in it's people. Business as usual for the customers of Padnos outside of a new spot for the scales and a temporary new spot to collect the cash for your recyclables.
Kurt Aldreink and I sat down to go over this years canned goods drive and talk a little about the renovation again. It might very well be the last piece of video ever filmed in the old building... take a listen.
Love what Padnos does for our community. Padnos helps reclaim finite resources, keeps the level of junk down in Muskegon and all surrounding areas while providing top dollar to their customers for doing what needs to be done anyway. Add to that their commitment to making sure that our Veterans are taken care of in return for being willing to pay the ultimate price for all we know and love.... Padnos Muskegon is exactly the kind of company Muskegon should be proud of! Make sure when you stop there in November you get that added bonus and even if you're not in the scrap world, stop in to Padnos and help the effort. You can learn more about their renovation project if you click on the photo below! It will take you to our story from a couple months ago when Kurt joined us for the announcement.
Rotary in any community has a simple creed. Service above self. The idea from their website is that Rotary is where neighbors, friends and problem solvers, join leaders to take action to create lasting change. Not a bad set of standards at all in a world where we are increasingly drawn into our own little silos more and more. There are currently about 1.2 million Rotarians in 35,000 clubs who actively work to improve their communities and the people in them. From working to end Polio, to helping provide clean water, Rotary digs into some heavy tasks all to make the world a better place.
The White Lake Rotary is made up of members from Whitehall and Montague. They have worked tirelessly to make improvements around the area. New band shell to name one, and of course other areas that need a hand from community minded people who want to see better things happen. Their meetings are held in a picturesque setting and like a lot of other Rotaries...they are a great place to connect. To meet others who'd like to do the same you do when it comes to something good.
There is a great night of fun coming up to benefit the group. It's going to be November 2nd at the newly renovated Playhouse at White Lake and it's got two levels of fun! Country artist Matt Williams is coming from Nashville to play. If you really want to do it up, you can get the $100 ticket that includes food, a silent auction a concert and more. If you're just in for the concert, you can get a ticket for the show only for $25. For the premium ticket...talk to a member of the Rotary or maybe stop in to the White Lake Chamber. If a ticket for the concert will suit ya you can find a link for that in the picture to the right!
Amy VanLoon and Jeff Johnson are members of White Lake Rotary and they joined Andy O to talk about the event, the White Lake Rotary Group itself and how you can be a part. Take a listen.
A great night out and a great chance to see the newly renovated Playhouse! It really is remarkable inside and an awesome venue to see something in. Head up to Whitehall for a fun night with some purpose behind it on November 2nd and maybe find a spot for yourself among the Rotary bunch. It's a great way to get involved and make a difference. To learn more about White Lake Rotary, click on the photo below to visit their Facebook page.
It's a tradition 10 years strong in Muskeogn. A living history lesson provided to the community about some of our more prominent members over the years in Muskegon. The names who made us who we are and got us to where we are! Stand out names like Hackley, come to mind immediately, as do names like Walker, Torrent and or Hume. But there are also names like MIllie Peck, Nelly Torrent, Emily Easton and Alberta Catherine Vandervwerf. They all have a story to be told and it happens this weekend at the Evergreen Cemetery as the cast of the City of the Dead Muskegon bring their annual living history lesson to life!
What a call to get! "Something awesome is happening at Edgewood Elementary tomorrow, can you be there?" The call came from the United Way of the Lakeshore and Dominique Bunker was on the other end of the line, and when that call comes in, arrangements get made to be there, because it's no April Fools joke. Upon our arrival at the school bright and early the sights and sounds of the kids, faculty and guests echoed the excitement because a gift had been given to all of the students there!
Mission for Area People of Muskegon County is gearing up for a Fall fundraiser that will help with their incredible outreach for those in our community who need a hand with the essentials that are sometimes just not able to be met because of one reason or another.
In November, voters in the White Lake area are being asked to approve a millage for a 5 year period where they are asking for 1.65 mills for some incredibly necessary upgrades and improvements. It's not an indefinite period of time and it's being asked by those who daily, put their life on the line to protect the rest of us. We at the Muskegon Channel have always sided with those in public service and what's needed at the White Lake Fire Authority, you'll see is truly a small ask for what's provided.
Let's go back a bit. The current main station in Downtown Whitehall has been there since the 50's. It's unable to hold the equipment and tools needed in today's line of first response work. What was once a "fire barn" with a dalmatian out front in the classic minds eye has become a central spot for fire trucks, EMT's, water rescue, life saving supplies, implements to extricate people from crashed vehicles and more. The current building isn't even properly vented for the exhaust the trucks put out when started so, when a call comes in and the vehicles roll out...the lingering cloud lasts a while. The administrative area of the fire department is smaller than a single axle travel trailer and as the need for services has increased space has gotten so tight, even holding a department meeting requires the moving of all the vehicles out of the bays and the garage becomes a makeshift conference room. There's one essential vehicle that can't even fit inside the old facility.
There is also a very large need to replace 2 of their trucks. The average life span of an emergency service vehicle according to Pete McCarthy who you'll hear from in a little bit, is 20 years and White Lake Fire has one that's 25 and one that's 29. Their life span has passed and and replacements are needed for the safety of their expansive community. With the size of their service area, knowing what it's going to cost the average homeowner is best answered by calling your local municipality or consulting your taxable value of your home by .00165. So, for an example if your house has a taxable value of $100,000 it will cost you $165 dollars. No one wants to pay more taxes, but imagine if in your time of need the services are not there. Makes $165 bucks seem pretty paltry.
As we mentioned, Pete McCarthy is a Captain with the White Lake Fire Authority and I caught up with him as he was setting up for the WLFA Open House held Friday night at the station. We took a few minutes to talk about the growth of their services as well as the cramped space they have grown past and what's to come should the voters agree this is a necessary improvement for the booming White Lake Area. Take a listen.
We stand with our first responders. We have yet to come across any ask from a public safety organization that's not been thoroughly researched and proven needed. The White Lake Fire Authority is just that. The White Lake area is filled with everything from multi family to huge stately mansions. The calls for service range from dirt roads to one of the busiest highways in the state. Showing up with a pumper truck is still a service, but so are calls for drug over doses and other modern social plagues. A request like this is why society is set up. Community is built on combined resources to take care of each other in time of need and supporting those who take the job. Please know the facts and vote November 5th and help the White Lake Fire Authority serve their beautiful part of Muskegon County.
To break character a little is a way to draw a little attention to something that can often be a difficult subject to address. When that difficult topic happens to be the abuse of women, it takes a little more of an effort. For years now, in Muskegon, the men of the community have broken character, away from their day jobs and their normal demeanor to strut the runway in front of the community with designer purses that come in from donors all over the area and are combined with some incredible opportunities. Is it a night of silly fun? Yep. Is it an effort on the part of all to raise a few bucks and a lot of awareness about domestic violence and the organization in Muskegon that's been at the forefront of the cause since 1975, Every Woman's Place.
The work of Every Woman's Place goes so far in Muskegon. They work to offer safe shelter, counselling, advocacy and supportive services to women and children surviving sexual and domestic violence. Services also include parenting education, sexual assault crisis intervention, information and referrals and and a 24 hour crisis line. And all of this is free to those who need the services. Over the course of the year, the program relies on some fundraiser events like Power of the Purse, Cheers and Chocolate and more. They also work to secure grants and donations in other ways to continue the essential and vital work they do for all they serve.
This year, the fun is set to take place at the Fricano Event Center on Muskegon Lake on October 10th. 300 plus guests will be in attendance...15 or more purse models will be competing for top bids and the food and drink will be second to none as always at a Fricano's event! There will be silent auctions going on as well as music and more. The highlight though....the runway. Some guys embrace it....some nervously stroll up and down it, others....well others think they are on a Broadway stage and go all out! Women leave with top notch designer handbags and the guys leave knowing that while they let their guard down, hey did their part to help women in crisis.
This year, Subaru of Muskegon, part of the My Auto Family has stepped up to be the headline sponsor of the event. Elisa Hopper of Every Woman's Place and Maria Secord of My Subaru joined Andy O....who by the way....continues to show up Norton Shores Mayor Gary Nelund in the battle of U of M vs. MSU purses year after year...to talk about this years event. Take a listen.
Fun huh? Does it have a bit of the "town follies" feel? It sure does, and it's such an incredible thing to be a part of. When we hear about domestic violence or sexual trauma...we all stand there, shaking our heads and asking "What can I do?" Well, here's your sign. You can be a part of an event like this. You can make a small donation to Every Woman's Place. You can learn the signs of domestic violence and you can advocate for those who are victims. We hope to see you at the Fricano Event Center October 10th for Power of the Purse. You an learn more about Every Woman's Place by clicking on the image below.
For the 25th year, The International Buster Keaton Society’s will host their Buster Keaton Convention in Muskegon, Michigan, the summer home of Buster Keaton and his family in Bluffton / the Actors Colony, during many of their years on the Vaudeville circuit. Members of the society, who call themselves The Damfinos, will come to town from all over the world and participate in this three days event.
For the regular fans, one of the main events is set on Oct 5, 2019 at 8PM - the the showing of the double feature: One Week (1920) and The Camera Man (1928) at the Majestic Frauenthal Theater with LIVE organ accompaniment by Dennis Scott on the mighty Barton Organ. This event is open to public with tickets for $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
Orchard View Adult Education is an AMAZING resource for those who would be considered "non traditional' students. For some, the setting of a school wasn't ideal, or maybe it was a learning disability that was unknown and discouraged them from completing their diploma. Maybe it was a life circumstance like the need to go to work or raise a child that took someone away from the ability to complete their education. There are any number of things that can get in the way, and in days gone by, those who couldn't complete the K-12 process the way others do...well, we all know how that worked out. It was generally a hill often hard to climb for anyone.
Today, the approach to education has changed and the shame and stigma of that classic mold not being completed as it should be isn't seen as it was. Hey, sometimes life is hard and the path has to make some twists and turns. That doesn't mean that when things are back to a little more normal that anyone should be denied a diploma or GED. That's where Orchard View Adult Education Comes in.
Offering specialized focus on the student and customizing a learning experience for them is the key to their success. No matter where the students are on their educational path, OV Adult Ed will access there needs and custom tailor a program with the support they need to get past the hard parts and give them the self confidence along with the paperwork that says that they did it! Their campus out off Apple Avenue is still open and embracing students, but not long ago their Downtown Muskegon location had some changes and that left their students in the area in a bit of a lurch.
To the rescue came Muskegon Community College in the beautiful new Strurrus Center right across for Hackley Park which not only had the room to welcome the teachers and students, but they also have the technology in place to make the move in quick and above all....the students working on getting those basics done, they get a first hand look daily at just what the future can hold for them if they choose to continue on to a certificate or degree program with MCC. This is an amazing win for all involved and getting the word out about the new Downtown Muskegon location is what spurred the call from Stephanie Agard to come down and learn a little more.
We did just that. We met with Stephanie, Elizabeth DiRitio and Amber Silvis who are teachers with OV Adult Ed and Ashley Battle from Muskegon Community College and we talked about this amazing meet up of educational opportunity....take a listen.
Don't let the stigma of "what was" stand in your way. Orchard View Adult Education is right there to help you every step of the way! So, no matter the circumstance that kept you from completing high school or how long it's been, now is the time to grab life by the tail and finish it up. There is help every step of the way and you will not find a better opportunity anywhere from people. Click on the image below to get started.
I was back at the GVSU-Annis Water Resources Institute last week for a chat with Dr. Rick Rediske, scientist and professor of water resources. I have known Rick for decades. His work and assistance have been absolutely essential to cleaning up White Lake, as well as advancing Muskegon Lake’s restoration. Rick was always available to meet with me and other citizens to help us understand pollution issues, and he was the lead scientist on many important studies that helped to define environmental problems in the two lakes, as well as solutions.
My guess is that many in Muskegon County may not know that he helped citizens in Rockford, Michigan raise the issue of PFAS to the attention of state environmental regulators and public health officials and he is one of the state’s top experts on the subject. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are a group of chemicals used in the industrial, food, textile, and even firefighting industries. They break down very slowly in the environment and are highly soluble, easily transferring through soil to groundwater.
Rockford citizens became concerned about pollution in their community almost 10 years ago. They were frustrated by the lack of attention by city and state government and asked Rick to help. What they uncovered was a massive pollution problem, extending throughout 25-square miles, and contaminating drinking water for almost a thousand households. The offending pollutants were PFAS-related chemicals in Scotchgard, the product used to waterproof shoes made by Wolverine. The state is now studying the pollution at sites across the state, as PFAS-type compounds are used in firefighting foam, and other products. Rick notes that they are also in many everyday products such as fast food wrappers, dental floss, and Teflon cookware.
PFAS compounds have numerous harmful health effects. They can affect the growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children, lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant, affect the immune system, and increase the risk of certain types of cancer. And to make matters worse, the federal guidelines are considered inadequate by many scientists. Fortunately, Michigan is developing its own guideline, which will lower the amount allowable for safe exposure to people.
To find out more, you can check out the state’s website, which provides all of the testing done to date on public water supplies. Muskegon County’s health department also provides information on this topic. A Great Lakes environmental group, Freshwater Future, is offering affordable tests for private drinking water wells.
Have you heard about these little things called the Little Free Library? Well let me tell you.. The Little Free Library is a non-profit focused to put books into hands that may not otherwise have had the access to them. These Little Free Library’s are meant to inspire the love of reading in all ages. When you visit a location you are able to pick a book out to take home, you can choose to keep it, bring it back or exchange it for another.
I know that we have a few of these amazing library's around Muskegon county. Orchard View has one at the OVEE, OVE and OVM schools. You can also find one on Palmer Ave downtown Muskegon. Today I had the pleasure of meeting with Lindsay who is the one behind the newest Lazy Oak Little Free Library here is Muskegon located at the end on Lazy Oak Trail. on the turnaround in the cul-de-sac. Lindsay had said that she loves the idea and knew that she wanted to add one in her neighborhood. With the help of her husband and a filing cabinet from Ikea the Lazy Oak Little Tree Little Free Library was formed. Lindsay says that she wanted everyone of all ages to feel welcome to come and visit. You are able to take/leave a book, donate a bookmark or even leave a note of thanks or an uplifting message for the next person.
If you are able please go and visit one of these amazing fixtures in our community. Below is a short video that I took of the chat that I had with Lindsay. You can also click on the photo to the right to see some of the books that you can find at this location.
If you would like to have more information about Little Free Library’s, where they are or maybe how you can add one into your community you can find that information by clicking below!
So...you learn the family business, you get to know all the in's and outs of it, you grow a little on your own and then you spread your wings because you realize you can "fix anything that creates a stitch" and you've quietly built yourself a little empire in Muskegon providing a service that is essential, but most don't realize they need until it's the very last second and they are in a pinch. Over the years, you grow to not only have a shop in a quiet little unsuspecting area, but you're travelling the region and country doing what you do and keeping sewing machines...all kinds of them, from home use to industrial applications up and running.
This is the story of Wildig Services of Muskegon. Family owned and operated, Wildig services is located out on Apple Ave. by the corner of Maple Island and while they have spent their time fixing up what failed for those who like to use a sewing machine for business or pleasure, they have also been incredibly resourceful in their business by building up their own stock of sewing machines. Some came in on trade, some came in broken past repair....some were just let go because of an upgrade but all of them have very specialized parts that you can't just run into a store and get, so...the smart thing to do was to hang on to what you have to help with what you need! Not everything in society today is disposable like we all think.
So, with their years in business... the Willdig's have piled up over 1500 sewing machines. All makes and models. Some antique, some fairly new. Some still in good working order and some are even ready to be run with a foot pedal should the right customer come along and want that option. Their shop is quaint and they have also expanded in recent years to offer custom upholstering for cars and boats at their Apple Ave. location with their SoWild Custom Interiors, along with some more current sewing machines for sale...but the real story is what you find at their storage facility.
Shelves....stacks and and square feet of floor covered in sewing machines. It's such a site to see that when there was a Facebook post with a snapshot of one small area of the sewing machines...we reached out to see if we could come tell the story. Sarah Wildig graciously agreed to let us show up with the camera and show you what's going on. Take a look, and listen.
Wow! It's a bit of a quirky story, sure...who would think of such a collection? Smart, resourceful and practical when it comes to having what you need for your business! As Sarah said though...they are looking to liquidate the collection and are deciding on how. An open house maybe or possibly one buyer? Time will tell, but our thanks for now go out to the Wildigs for a fun story...a very unique business in Muskegon and for keeping us "in stitches" of all kinds for years! You can call their shop if you like. 231-788-6127 and if you need a sewing machine looked at, think of a local, family run small business that would be happy to see ya!
Last week I met up with Dr. Steinman, Al, as I have known him for many years, to talk about the Institute’s important role in Muskegon County and a few of the top environmental issues of the day.
Here we are. It's the final segment of our conversations with Kelly DeVos. Kelly is an Event Chair with the Walk to End Alzheimer's which is coming up September 21st at Heritage Landing. It's an event to raise awareness and some funding for the fight against this horrible disease. It's also a time for those who suffer and those who care for them a chance to get together and find some support and comfort in knowing they are not alone.
Kelly has been absolutely incredible in sharing her story. Her father has Alzheimer's Disease and as we've heard her story from the first signs and diagnosis, we're now at the point where the disease has progressed to the point where home care for her dad is no longer an option. It was 5 years of her dad living with her as a single mother, career woman and advocate for the fight. The tension of agitation from Alzheimer's is building...memory loss is getting worse and physical limitations are growing. It was time for some professional, monitored care, which means it was time for Kelly to let go a little.
In our final talk, hear from Kelly the struggles of letting go as well as her feelings of relief to a degree. How do you process the feelings of having to give up some care for the best her dad, but getting a little of your own life back? We also talk about where her dad is now and how the constant care is helping her dad. We also talk a little about her feelings of the possibility of the disease and it's generational tendencies. Yes, we confront Kelly's own fears about Alzheimer's.
Take a listen to our final installment of Tuesday's with Kelly. We've also added the first three below this weeks final chapter in case you've not seen what we've talked about so far. These are intimate, honest conversations. There are some moments of laughter, some of tears and the whole thing is a deeper conversation about Alzheimer's Disease than you'll probably hear anywhere else. Kelly is a remarkable story teller. Take a listen.
Powerful words and emotion. It's been an incredible journey to share with Kelly, to share this story of an all consuming disease without many answers, no cure and an increasing number of those afflicted. There will be a time, in the very near future, that much like cancer...we will all know someone who's been touched by Alzheimer's Disease. While there might not be an answer yet, the hope is the first survivor of Alzheimer's has already been born, and the work will continue and intensify until the day it's eradicated.
Our most sincere thanks to Kelly for her willingness to share so openly and honestly. What would be the impossible for some, Kelly faced with the attitude that if she reaches one person who's dealing with the circumstances she is and has, she's made a difference. This all stemmed from Andy O being asked to be the Spokesmen for the Alzheimer's Association in Muskegon and for the Walk to End Alzheimer's, but it's pretty clear to see....Kelly is the real spokesmen....or spokeswoman if you will, and the power to make a difference in the lives of people doesn't come from the loudest voice or the face most recognized, it comes from those who can share their experience, strength and hope from living it and healing is a gift anyone holds, if only they are willing to share.
You can see the rest of Kelly's story by clicking on the first three segments which you'll find below.
To visit the Alzheimer's Association's website, please...click on the photo below.
The 40th West Michigan Annual Labor Day Parade took place this beautiful morning with close to 50 organizations participating in the event. The event was organized by West Michigan United Labor. The parade starts on Western Ave and 4th, head east to Jefferson Street, Right onto Clav Ave. and ends at Forth and Clay for a huge after-party at Hackley Park complete with Food, Drink, Music and Kids activities which everyone was welcomed. This year's Honorary Grand Marshal for the parade was Rita Kosheba of UAW local 1243.
We've seen a shift lately in what it takes to get workers in place, trained properly with the skills needed to get to work right away and make a difference for their company and community. For years, all we heard was that no one was going anywhere without a 4 year degree from a prestigious university and a mountain of debt that would be a pretty heavy toll to pay for most of anyone's working life. Then, a couple years ago, we heard that the skilled trades are in high demand and that you could get a job that pays more or better minus the debt. Now, none of this is to say that you should take a quality education or anything and thumb your nose at it, we all need essential life skills and mastery of talents that will carry us through life, but life...it sometimes gets in the way and the best laid plans have to be but on hold for a while. Sadly, that "while" can sometimes too, lead to never going back and finishing what you started and you never really get the chance to become who you wanted to.
Well, what if you knew that right now, you have the opportunity through a very unique program offered through Michigan Works and Muskegon Community College to go back to get that diploma or GED and get a certificate to be a Certified Nursing Aid at the same time? How's that for a jump start to a future? It's a program being offered currently for those enrolled in adult education programs here in Muskegon, working toward the completion of that high school education and then on to the next level to become a CNA through Michigan Works. Best part of it all. Doesn't cost you a penny. That's right.. it's free for those who qualify and you'll walk out ready to get to work and then on to the next level of education to maybe become an LPN, RN, Paramedic or any number of fields in the medical world. The important thing is, that you call 231-332-3911 before September 9th to register!
There are some in's and out's to qualify, and, time is short for this round of registrations, but, Kathy Rohlman of Michigan Works in Muskegon spells it all out for you in this quick chat! Take a listen.
Opportunity is knocking!! Open that door! Don't let what was stand in the way of your future and don't let any preconceived notions about what it takes to get an education, or a great start on a path to a rewarding career stand in your way! Get involved today and make a better future for yourself and your family. The ball is in your court! Call 231-332-3911 before September 9th and get yourself in the program. For more on Michigan Works, click below!
It was a few years ago now, Muskegon had been assaulted by some who thought their message of hate was either cute, important or would be somehow effective. Well, they were met with a quick clean up, no notoriety for their deed and a community who quickly rallied to make a clear and effective statement....hate has no home in Muskegon, in fact, Love Lives Here.
It was a rally organized by Rotary of Muskegon, but it turned out to be so much more. It was a moment of defiance in the face of people who were working to divide instead of unite. It was a gathering of people from every walk of life, cultural background, faith and economic level. In a time where we kind of all live in our own little "silo" we all came out to say no more to the spikes that try to keep us away. From being there, I remember first hand how cool it felt to just be one for a while. I saw members of the community I have never seen anywhere else. Not in the store, at the park, at an event or anything. Why was it that it took such an act of villainy and cowardly behavior to get us all to come together?
Not only did the message permeate the afternoon at Hackley Park, it carried...far and wide. To this day, you can still find "Love Lives Here" yard signs that were given out at the rally all over Muskegon County. It's a great message to see in a yard, but to those who know what's behind the sign...it's a statement that they are there to defend what's right and that they are committed to standing in the way of divisiveness and hate.
The 2019 Love Live Here event is coming up soon. In fact, September 9th at Hackley Park 5-7pm is where it takes place. We have not attained the perfection of a Utopian society just yet... it will always be a work in progress but the steps continue to be taken and as we watch Muskegon continue to grow, it's important to continue that unity and continue to bridge the gaps.
Muskegon Police Chief Jeff Lewis is a member of Rotary in Muskegon and invited me down to talk about the 2019 event. It's going to be a little bigger, with a few more things for you to do. Some food on site will help and music and dance will be part of the event as well. We caught up at the Muskegon City Commission Chambers to talk about this years event, take a listen.
Love Lives Here! Love Grows Here and Love is a part of our future here! Make sure you take some time on the 9th and head to Hackley Park to join in. We stand as one.
2019 Behind the Mask Masquerade Ball on November 2nd
The HOPE Project
1516 Peck Street, Muskegon, MI 49441
Please contact MARY SUAREZ at (231)747-8555 or (231) 670-4923
It's really a staple if Muskegon. Sitting down on Ottawa Street since the 30's when Fisher was the original spot for scrappers in Muskegon and then Padnos came along in 1999 to take over the operations the front of the building has pretty much remained the same. It's seen it's better days for sure, and it might be a little past the "beautiful" stage of things...but all of these years the practicality and purpose of the operation has remained the same. The business of recycling finite resources is essential not only for the environment and overall appearance of the area, it's also a great way for some to make a living, add a supplemental amount of income to what they make elsewhere and if that's not enough for you, it's an industrial ally in the fact that all of the "leftovers" from manufacturing and building have to go somewhere.
Well, like so much we're seeing happening in Muskegon here and now, Padnos Muskegon decided it was time to spruce things up a little on the front! What's to come over the next few months on Ottawa Street is going to match up nicely with everything Muskegon is seeing elsewhere in the county. Renewal! A HUGE project is getting underway right now...in fact, the old office space has been consolidated into a site trailer and the staff is currently "cozy" in there while the old office is empty and awaiting the construction crews! They are coming quickly and by Spring, the renovations, upgrades and new facade will be complete and as people come into town from the North, they will be greeted by an incredible site to see at Padnos Muskegon.
Business as usual, for the most part while the construction is going on. There are some way finding signs on the lot now to point you in the direction of the new scales that are in operation and the pay out area for their scrapping customers is also in that "cozy" site trailer, so once you empty your load and head in for the pay day, you'll just find it a little tight till Spring, but it will be so worth the wait and of course, Padnos is still your best bet for top dollar paid for all of the items they accept for recycling.
Kurt Alderink is the head of Padnos Muskegon and invited me down to not only share a few stories about the business over the years, but we also captured a last glimpse at the outside of the building as well as grabbed the designers rendering of what's to come. Take a listen to what's going on at Padnos Muskegon!
We're proud of our partnership with Padnos over the years and we're so excited about their investment into Muskegon. Even the name shift from Padnos Shoreline Recycling to Padnos Muskegon speaks volumes of the pride they take in being part of our community. It's a great improvement for all involved and we'll be first on hand in the Spring to show you the results! Plus, Padnos Muskegon is also gearing up for another benefit for the Muskegon County Veterans Service Center's food bank in November, so keep your eyes on Positively Muskegon for details on that! Congrats to all at Padnos and let those hammers start swinging! Click below to visit the Padnos website.
It's the 5th year of a remarkable event in Muskegon, Chef Prize is returning to tempt the taste buds of foodies from all over West Michigan from restaurants all over the Lakeshore and even into Grand Rapids. It's an event like no other celebrating food and libation along with elegance and purpose at the Hampton Green Farm in Fruitport which is know for it's Olympic level PRE Horses and for being a steward of helping are non profits spread their message and raise funds for their incredibly important tasks.
Chef Prize has grown in size and scope over those 5 years. Honing their event and always working to perfect what it's all about. Last year, it would seem that the perfect partner was found in the Kids Food Basket of West Michigan which works daily to feed over 8000 young people who will leave school in a food insecure state, meaning they are not sure if they will have an evening meal provided for them when they get home. Hear that again....over 8000 kids in our area who don't know if they will get dinner. It's a staggering figure and what's more....there's a waiting list of schools that need the support of the Kids Food Basket. So hard to believe that we struggle to feed kids in the world we live in today, but we do.
How do we combat that? We combine the areas love of food and the talents of our local chef's to come together at one spot, over one grand event and work to win YOUR vote for their dishes, and what dishes! Exotic main dishes....fun pub fare....indulgent desserts and some of the finest craft beer and local wine you'll find. A blue ribbon panel of judges...peoples choice awards.....local celebs....the list goes on and on and it's all to make sure that our precious kids don't go without.
It's a public event and it's your chance to see the stunning Hampton Green Farm and their championship horses. It's an opportunity to spoil yourself a little while you know your ticket price is going to help the most vulnerable and if nothing else...you get to rock out with Yard Sale Underwear, one of the areas most popular bands while enjoying the sites, sounds, tastes and smells!
I met up with mother daughter super combo Claudia Kerr Bryant from Hampton Green and Stephanie Kerr Cathey from Kids Food Basket to talk about this years incredible event. Take a listen.
An incredible team and an incredible event. Chef Prize is a rapidly growing and impact-full event that makes a real difference in the lives of our kids. It's becoming one of the "must hit" events on the Lakeshore and with the word spreading over to the restaurateurs of Grand Rapids....the future for Chef Prize and Kids Food Basket is looking very bright. Don't miss the fun on September 8th at Hampton Green Farm. We'll plan on seeing you there! To see a list of participating restaurants, breweries, confectioneries and more...click on the Chef Prize logo below! If you'd like to know more about Hampton Green Farms, you can follow the link by clicking on their photo below.
We've been featuring the story of Kelly DeVos over the last few weeks. Kelly is an event chair for the Walk to End Alzheimer's in Muskegon this year which is coming up at Heritage Landing on September 21st. It's not only a great event to raise a few bucks to help those who battle this horrific disease, it's considered one of the biggest "support groups" as so many who are effected by Alzheimer's are able to get together and see that they are not alone in their struggle. It's a very taxing disease on both those who have it, and those who love them as they watch their loved ones minds wither and with no real treatment outside of trying to combat the symptoms, the helplessness is often the biggest source of anguish.
So far, we've learned a little about Kelly and her memories of her father from her younger days, and in our last conversation, we dipped into the fist signs of Alzheimer's disease, what triggered them and how her dad tried to manage day to day living on his own still. Like any progressive disease however, as time goes on, the person who's dealing with it becomes dependent on help from others. The simplest of tasks, like a quick run to a party store or even a familiar face that someone should know from a life time of memories is now a stranger and some frustrations begin to build as life gets a little harder to manage. Kelly is very much all about family, so the logical step was to have her dad move in with her and her family to return the care she was given as she grew up and before the disease began to steal her dad.
Segment 3 of our Tuesday visits with Kelly is all about her father moving in with her and her family. There are dynamics to this move that can't even be imagined by most unless they have lived them. Kelly had been a single mom for quite a while, but luckily, her husband Matt is now in the picture in her life and he too had to battle Alzheimer's with his mom ands dad. Matt became a source of strength, experience and knowledge but it sure doesn't make dealing with Alzheimer's any less painful or less of an ordeal for everyone under the roof.
Kelly is speaking from the heart. She's speaking in intimate details that you might not hear anywhere else about the true reality of life with Alzheimer's and her hope is that her story will bring some courage, strength and hope to others who are experiencing the same. There are moments of laughter, there are moments of tears, it's raw, honest and wide open about how trying it can be to manage life and take care of a parent who's mind is failing. Take a listen to part 3 or Tuesday's With Kelly on The Muskegon Channel.
It's almost unthinkable, but it's the reality for 5.8 million Americans and their families who are living with Alzheimer's Disease today. There was recently a talk in Muskegon about Alzheimer's and for every exciting promise that comes along, it seems that another complication gets in the way and it's back to the drawing board. It's mysterious, it powerful and it's utterly devastating. It's also on par to be like cancer...sooner or later, everyone of us will know someone who's been touched by Alzheimer's Disease. You can learn more about Alzheimer's at their website, linked below. You are also welcome to join Kelly and all of the folks from the Alzheimer's Association at the Walk to End Alzheimer's at Heritage Landing. Get a team together, walk as an individual or just come down to support the event.
We are so very fortunate in the city of Muskegon to have a United Way that is such an active and positive part of our community. The United Way of the Lakeshore is an action organization as much as it's the name. After all, United Way is a big name and a lot of people but what's behind the name? The United Way is all about strong communities through their work. If it's the Dolly Parton Imagination Library providing books for kids all over the area or the ALICE program advocating for those who are considered the "working poor" to their extended community partnerships that help other organizations achieve their goals, the United Way is a clear leader in the Muskegon area when it comes to advocacy in action and one of their bigger days is coming up quick, the United Way Day of Caring on September 6th.
It's a day when area companies and individuals set aside some time to put back into the community some of what they have been given. Yes..it's a day of elbow grease and getting a little dirty, but the collective projects that get accomplished add to the over all good in and around the area for both individuals as well as municipalities who could use the hand. This year, along with some homes of area veterans that need a little TLC and sprucing up, one of the major projects that will happen is the overhaul of the Johnny O Harris park in Muskegon Heights. Named as a memorial park to fallen police office Johnny O Harris, the park needs some clean up...needs a little work on the baseball field, the swing sets, the play equipment and the over all image. It's still a very useful park that people enjoy, but shrinking budgets and projects with more priority have put the park on the back burner for a while and the revamp is much needed.
The day begins at the United Way Downtown Muskegon with a breakfast and a little pump up activity, then..teams are sent to their respective locations to get going. Shovels, rakes, lawn and leaf bags. Chansaw's, limb loppers, weed eaters and lawnmowers are all the scene at first, followed by paint brushes, swing seats new benches...what ever needs to be done is handled by throngs of volunteers who give up a day of normal work to invest in all of us.
I met up with Dominique Bunker at the site. We're no stranger to Johnny O Harris Park. After all, there's a pretty great winter sledding party there every year which is more fun than grown up's outta be allowed to have. We talked about the park clean up as well as the overall scope of the Day of Caring, take a listen.
Ready to pitch in? There is so much more opportunity with the United Way than the weekly contribution some make with their payroll donation. Not only does your involvement give you a little skin in the game in our community...yes...you get to look back and say "I helped do that", you get to network with friends and neighbors who are also out making a difference. There are some friendly competitions among business that participate, but the over all winner is Muskegon and the people in it. If it sounds like something you'd like to be a part of, click on the United Way's logo below to be a part!
It's a tradition in Muskegon 26 years in the making! Sportsmen for youth is happening once again on September 7th at the Muskegon County Fairgrounds out on Heights Ravenna Road and it's a day filled with education, opportunity and above all, a chance to get away from the endless screen time in front of a phone, tablet or TV and to get some real hands on time with things like nature, animals and community members who look out for all of us. It's also an event that has grown in size and scope over the years and boasts a couple thousand kids and families who come to enjoy the atmosphere and free opportunities.
Made up of so many incredible organizations who all come together to promote things like fishing, hunting, hunting safety, conservation and the importance of all of our roles with nature, Sportsmen for Youth is directed by a staff of volunteers who want to give kids the opportunity to actually be hands on with knowing what the pelt of a mink feels like, or maybe the bristles of a warthog. How does a fishing lure work? What's it like to catch a trout? Can you handle a BB gun properly? Ever had a chance to meet a professional fisherman? Did you ever get up close and personal with Police, Fire or EMT? They will be on site too to show kids what they do and why, and it gives kids a chance to see that our first responders are in fact people too and what they do, it pretty awesome.
Youth attendees will also be provided a "swag bag" full of goodies, a free lunch and a complimentary t-shirt to commemorate the occasion. The best part of all of this too, is it doesn't cost the kids a thing. Actually, it's free to get in for everyone but if the parents want part of the lunch, there's a nominal charge for that. There are plenty of raffle prizes and opportunities to visit vendors who bring unique and fun opportunities to young people from fun ways to get the most of the great outdoors to educational opportunities that might lead them to a career in the outdoor world!
I met up with a couple of the board members of Sportsmen for Youth. Norton Shores Police Chief John Gale and Brian Harris who work behind the scenes all year to make this event happen along with their team of dedicated sportsmen who want to share their love of the outdoors. Take a listen to our chat about the event!
Get them out! Enjoy a day of free fun for the kids that isn't Fortnight or Snapchat. Our Muskegon County Fairgrounds are an expansive and beautiful area for all of us to enjoy and the dedicated group behind Sportsmen for Youth are working day after day, all year long to make this great event a possibility. Click on the photo below to visit the Sportsmen for Youth website and then plan on heading out on September 7th for a great day of family fun.