We welcomed a new sponsor this year, the West Michigan Business and Craft Fair, which will be happening at the beautiful and centrally located Hackley Park this coming Saturday June 22nd.  It's the 4th year for the event and the 3rd time they have set up in Hackley Park for the occasion.  The event continues to grow and so does the added fun around the event with food vendors, fun drawings, plenty of hand outs and most importantly, exposure to business people who are on the rise, but might quite not be ready for a brick and mortar store front just yet. wmbcf flyerFollow the WMBCF on Facebook

Look at it like this.  Home based business people do a lot of work, and business in and around Muskeogn.  Their products, crafts and services might not get the exposure that some get...but if you spent a little time on sites like Etsy, or Ebay or did a little hunting on some of the referral sites around, you'd see... there are a lot of very unique artisans and incredibly talented business people out there who offer what you are looking for and the great part of it all is, you're supporting LOCAL small business.  

Could it be a jewlery maker?  Maybe it's a crafter who makes local organic products?  Fun things for kids, artful decor for your home or maybe a service you didn't even know was offered here in town.  That's the objective of this grass roots effort put together by Vanessa Davis and her crew!  Her growing crew I might add.  Along with all of the crafter and vendors, you'll find live music, tasty food and beverage and a community based atmosphere where friends and neighbors meet up to catch up on things going on around town and see what there is to find at the fair!

Vanessa and I had a chance to meet up at Hackley Park.  It was just after Taste of Muskegon wrapped up so as the crews worked behind up to finish up one event, another is getting ready to happen and that's an awesome sign of moving in the right direction.  Take a listen to our chat about this years event.

 

 

There is still space for more!  Do you have a product or service from a home based business and want to be a part of this fun and growing event?  Get a hold of Vanessa by visiting the official website for the West Michigan Business and Craft Fair!  This is a great opportunity to show what you do and maybe even make some money while enjoying the company of business owners like yourself and shoppers who are out for something unique and fun that came from Muskegon. 

wmbcf 19

It's time once again for us to come together to have some good ole' fashioned-family-fun AND raise some very important funds and awareness for not one...but TWO wonderful Muskegon area causes... the 2019 Muskegon County Community Run to raise funds and awareness for NO MORE SIDELINES and the MUSKEGON COUNTY SHERIFF'S MOTORCYCLE UNIT will be held 
on Saturday, June 29th at the Folkert Community Hub located at 640 Seminole in Norton Shores. mkg comm runClick Here For the Muskegon County Community Run on Facebook
 
I recently sat down with the co-founders of this great event, John Fredricks and Mike McCarthy to talk about all the fun activities that 
will be taking place at the Folkert Community Hub. There will be a KID-friendly Poker Run ...with motorcycles, cars and trucks with a very scenic route through our beautiful Muskegon lakeshore areas planned...including the traditional stop for ice cream! All are 
encouraged to join in the Poker Run in any kind of motor vehicle.
 
The Poker run registration begins at 11am...with the run leaving the Folkert Community Hub at Noon. the Folkert Community Hub will have all kinds of family-friendly things planned from Noon to 4pm. There will be a judged classic car and motorcycle show....kids games and activities...the annual TOW TRUCK RODEO COMPETITION that has become a Lakeshore tradition...a large silent auction...music...snacks...and huge raffle prizes!!! Right now you can even go to the MUSKEGON COUNTY COMMUNITY RUN Facebook page and put your charity auction bid in on tickets to the SOLD OUT Electric Forest Music Festival for 2019!
 
 
 
 
It's a win-win event for all!!!... If you would like to find out more information or get ahold of the organizers of this wonderful event 
simply go to their MUSKEGON COUNTY COMMUNITY RUN Facebook page.
 
2019 MUSKEGON COUNTY COMMUNITY RUN
Noon - 4pm (pre-registration for Poker run at 11am)
FOLKERT COMMUNTY HUB
640 Seminole, Norton Shores
Contacts: John and Colly Fredricks

This is the time of year that I look forward to every year. The sweet smells of all the fresh blooming flowers, fresh cut grass, children are out of school and all of the different types of festivals are happening. If you have been following the stories here on the Muskegon Channel you will have already seen our stories about some major happenings around town. Well I have one more for you, The Lakeshore Art Festival is back and bigger than before. laf 2019Lakeshore Art Festival on Facebook
 
The goal and theme this year for the Lakeshore Art Festival as well as for many of us here in Muskegon is to bring life and color back into downtown as Muskegon as a whole. One of the ways that Carla and her team have come up with is to partner with the Nuveen center. With this partnership they had local students paint canvases as well as have a community Create a canvas on 3rd and western. All of these canvases will go up for auction and all of the money raised will go toward future art education and the Nuveen center in White Lake. Other Fun changes are the mural created by Kelsey Montague that is on the side of the Frauenthal Center for you to view and take pictures with. There will also be kayaks in the children's lain painted in the butterfly theme as well as on in the park that will be painted in the constellation theme. These Kayaks will also be up for auctions as well with the proceeds going back to local organizations. Also new in the children's lain this year, John Ball Zoo will be here talking about the lifecycle of the butterfly and Weesies Brothers Garden Center will be handing out milkweed seeds for the butterflies.
 
All of the fun, friends and feasting starts on July 5th &6th from 10am-6pm this year. As I had mentioned this year is bigger and better than before. I was able to get all of the details from Carla Flanders from the Chamber of Commerce. Carla shared with me that Clay Ave and 2nd Ave will have more vendor booths for you to visit. This expansion will also help blend everything together to make a nice loop through downtown.
 
 
All of this and so much more is going to be happening downtown on July 5th and 6th this year. If you have a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) head on down to join in the fun. I hope to see you there. You can even stop me and say hi, I love meeting new people.  Check out the Lakeshore Art Festival online by clicking on the photo below!
 
laf crowd
 
 

During the last week of school, I met with some future leaders of our community, and quite possibly, the world! You will get to know them a little in this interview.  They are sixth grade students in Mr. Jarvis’ science class at North Muskegon Schools who worked to create monarch butterfly “waystations” at the school, on North Muskegon city property, and at some nearby homes. 
 
Monarch waystations are places that, quite simply, are planted with milkweed and other Michigan native plants.  The milkweed plant is essential to monarch butterflies.  Monarchs need them for their spring and summer breeding in North America – it’s the only place where their life cycle stages occur --  the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and finally, the adult butterfly. Without milkweed plants, these iconic butterflies are not able to produce the successive generations that migrate back to Mexico for the winter and then make the trek back again the next spring and summer.  And then the cycle starts all over again.
 
It’s a need around the world, not just here in Muskegon County, as scientific studies show a sharp decline in the monarch butterfly population. The decline is due to loss of forest habitat in Mexico, disappearance of milkweed plants in the main flyway of the monarch, harm from pesticides and other toxic chemicals, and the effects of the climate crisis. Most significantly? No milkweed, no monarchs. 
Why save monarch butterflies?  They pollinate many types of wildflowers and they are an important food source for birds, small animals, and other insects. And, of course, they are beautiful. 
 
The students first did a “walkabout” to learn about local environmental issues.  They also heard from experts and then decided to help the monarch butterflies.  The students, more than featured in this interview, took up the challenge and  were genuinely enthusiastic about making a real and positive difference in their own community. Not just “book-learning,” but real-life learning! They researched  Michigan native plants, learned how to plan, build and install a butterfly garden, established criteria for landowner participation, planted a wide variety of native Michigan plants, and communicated with the landowners and members of the public about how and where to install the waystations. 
 
The Monarch Waystation Project is just one of many similar projects at North Muskegon Schools and other area schools. Partners on this project included the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, Muskegon Conservation District, Girl Scouts, the City of North Muskegon, and Arconic.
 
 
Mr. Jarvis has had a longstanding and significant focus on encouraging his students to be environmentally aware and to act on their education.  The best environmental education projects usually combine research and learning with getting outdoors in nature, like this one. And too, studies show that young people who experience nature – get outdoors -- are more inclined to protect it.    When you watch this interview, you will see that the students are passionate about the topic and they truly care.  It is inspiring to me, and I hope to all viewers, as well! Thanks, Mr. Jarvis and North Muskegon students!  Click below to visit the student website, to see their work! 
 
monarch waystation
 

Today I had the pleasure of talking with Roger Zuidema is the president of West Michigan Offshore about Muskegon’s Powerboat weekend. The fun gets started on Friday June 14th 2019, when they will be getting a police escort to 3rd street downtown Muskegon next to Hackley Park for the taste of Muskegon. You will be able to come up close to the boats and take pictures if you would like. The GVSU dance team will also be there for you to meet, talk to and take photos with as well. (if they are not preforming that is)  taste 19Visit Taste of Muskegon Online
 
Saturday June 15th, Roger and the rest of West Michigan Offshore would like to invite you to come on down to the Aquastar around 10-10:30am. You will be able to board the Aquastar at 11am for the price of a donation but it is first come first receive a seat as they are limited. The money that is raised for your donations will be going to the Make A Wish foundation. While you are on the boat you will have an up-close view of all of the powerboats that will be following behind. Even if you don’t receive a seat on the Aquastar you are still welcome to join in down at the Muskegon channel to view the parade of power as all of the boats come through the channel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you would like any more information about the events listed please send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit  the linked pictures to find a complete list of times and dates for each of these events.
 
wmoffshore

Duty.  Pride.  Tradition.  They are the three words that permeate the culture at the Dalton Township Fire Department.  Now, your first thought might very well be, "That's nice, but it's probably just something they came up with for the logo."  Well, not really.  Dalton Township is situated centrally in Muskegon County and it's service are includes a lot of the major parts of our community.  From our commute on US 31 to our recreation at places like Michigan's Adventure or maybe some of the inland lakes with growing home ownership in the northern part of the county, the Dalton Township Fire Department is a hub for so many services.  Fire, auto accidents, water rescue, medical calls and more, a "small" fire department like Dalton has to be well versed and ready for almost any challenge, day or night and like just about any agency, they have to do it all on a minimal budget and make the best of what they have.  They take their duty seriously.  dfdFollow the Dalton Township FD on Facebook

Time goes on however, and even for the smaller municipalities, costly improvements need to happen.  A little over a year ago, the Dalton Township Fire Department asked their voters for a big, and I mean BIG improvement.  The need was there for a brand new fire truck.  As you might guess, a brand new fire truck with every modern necessity on board and the ability to carry 1000 gallons of water to the scene as there are not a lot of hydrants up around Dalton, well, it was a big ask for the voters, but the need was real and the community made the sacrifice to vote yes and provide the new truck.  They took the pride in making the ask for what was truly needed, and voters responded in kind.

Well, Monday night at the Dalton Fire Station, it was time for the dedication.  The community gathered for a first look and some refreshments offered up in the fire bay, which Chief Alan Styles was very quick to point out, "This building is yours, we're just here to watch over it, please have a look around and enjoy the treats."  It was pretty clear though, the star of the show is 1222.  The new truck has been in house for a short while, but shifting over the equipment and accessories takes a little time.  As the truck sat there awaiting the blessing and official welcome to the community, it was time for one of the greatest traditions in the fire fighting world to happen, in fact, it's maybe a once in a career happening according to Chief Styles.  Take a listen here and learn what the "Push In Ceremony" is all about.  Here's your lesson in deep tradition. 

 

Pretty cool huh?  Our thanks to Cheif Styles for the invite up to share this incredible tradition with all of us.  The community turn out in Dalton Township was great and the atmosphere was one of togetherness.  As you heard the speakers, the hope is the truck isn't used all that much.  No one wants a visit from a fire truck for any circumstance, but...if it's needed, it's there.  

If you build it, they will come!  We've seen it more than once if it comes down to building your own in Muskegon.  There is something about the allure of getting some friends or co workers together, or maybe a church group or civic organization and trying your hand at building something for a fun competition and seeing if your idea can "float".  In years past, we've seen 1000's line up for Build Your Own Bobsled at the Double JJ just north of town and for a couple years too, we had some pretty great showings at Build Your Own Boat up that way too, but...what if we move it a little closer to home and place the event right in the middle of one of the areas best community parties there is?  It's happening! cardboard boat regattaRules, Regulations and Entry Form for Cardboard Boat Regatta

The North Muskegon Family Fun Fest kicks off August 8th and will be filled with all kinds of things to do.  It starts with the legendary parade on the 8th.  The Taste of Northside on the 9th and then Saturday the 10th things get really busy with a day filled to the brim with things to do like the Kids Expo, the Fireman's Water Battle, a wonderful art fair, the Community Picnic and this year the The Cardboard Boat Regatta. 

The Regatta gets underway at Bear Lake at 4pm.  There are 2 classes to compete in and 3 divisions in each class.  This is a free event for participants and viewers.  There is a complete set of rules which you can find linked along with the registration in the photo to the right.  There will be prizes for fastest time, judges choice, peoples choice, most outrageous, team spirit and the "Titanic" award.  This is where your creativity and adventure comes in.  Get your people together and come up with a theme.  Advertise your business!  Promote your cause!  Brag up your favorite team or maybe crow about yourself.  This is a really fun way to spend an afternoon testing your creativity and your ability to build a working vessel.  There will be inspections of all of the entries and all the entries are welcome to show off what they have at the Taste of the North Side event Friday night for the judges inspection.  

The Cardboard Boat Regatta is sponsored by J.Nedeau Realtor and The Nedeau Group.  Click on their logo to visit their website!

Realtor and group logo 2 cropped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a chance to meet up with Lee Ann Clausen and Sabina Freeman from the City of North Muskegon to talk about the event and get you the details so you can get building!!  Take a listen!

 

This will be an AWESOME day that won't cost you a penny to come and watch or if you want to participate...get as creative as you can to build...sail and win!  North Muskegon is rolling out the welcome mat for everyone and if you've never been to the North Side Family Fun Fest, here's your day!  We'll plan on seeing you at the Cardboard Boat Regatta on August 10th.  Go get that cardboard and tape!  Let's roll!  To visit the City of North Muskegon's website for the full schedule of the Family Fun Fest, click on their logo below!

nmkg

We've got a very active and very people centered Department of Veterans Affairs in Muskegon County.  The VA can be a very difficult system to navigate and quite often the struggles result in veterans not getting the services they are afforded for their service.  Luckily for us, we have a staff that not only helps to make sure the necessities are met, they go above and beyond when it comes to some human services not needed.  Things like food pantries, support groups, extended services and even special events like the Veterans Job Fair presented by Goodwill Industries on June 13th. veterans affairs logoMuskegon VA Online

The LC Walker Arena is the venue where employers will converge and be looking to hire.  It is a veterans job fair, but it is open to the public and it gets underway at 10a.  You'll find employers from all kinds of fields and maybe some from fields you never considered you might work in.  It's best to come prepared.  Bring resume's, bring a great attitude and bring your willingness to work.  You hear and see about how many people are hiring on the news all the time, it's up to you to take them up on it and get that job you've been after.

Michael Baauw and I sat down to talk about the job fair and who's going to be there.  Take a listen and then pack up and get ready for the job fair!  

 

  

 

Veterans, these employers are looking for the skills you have.  Drive, determination, willingness to get the job done and achieve results.  It's a free event to Vets or anyone and participation is key in making sure the event continues in the future.  Stop down to the LC Walker Arena and see how you can get to work, or improve your current working situation.  

I love the White Lake area’s unique history. As a lifelong resident and local columnist for years, I’ve been glad to learn many fascinating stories. Our local theater, which many might know as the Howmet Playhouse, has actually had a few different names over the years, was recently renamed the Playhouse at White Lake. It was built over a hundred years ago in 1916, for local residents who wanted a place for their amateur theater group to put on plays – a fad in small towns across the country in the early 1900s. The historic structure has seen many changes since then, but fortunately remains one of our community’s main attractions. It’s a gathering place, and a cherished treasure. I was glad to be on Whitehall’s city council in 2006, when we took ownership of the theater from Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and supported its continued role as our community venue for theater, music and other events.  grand re openingFollow The Playhouse at White Lake on Facebook

With the help of a local friends’ group and the city, funds were raised to support a nearly $4 million-dollar renovation project, which has been ongoing for the last two years. A big goal was improved handicap accessibility, as well as making sure the theater is safe for patrons and performers. The expansion is 7,000 square feet and includes a new box office and concession, larger and accessible restrooms, a 1,500 square foot lobby with glass front, rehearsal space, dressing rooms, new carpet and seats, new sound and lighting systems, stage rigging, and drapery and upgraded heating and cooling systems.

Work is scheduled to be completed this month and the “new” playhouse will be unveiled at a June 26 open house, featuring an official ribbon cutting, self-guided tours, refreshments, and music by the Oat Bran Boys. Following the open house, the season is officially underway with a June 29 performance by Max and Ruth Bloomquist, Karen and Eric Smith. Mike Snell and the FAN Club of Tommy Foster, Justin Avdek, and Scott Nesbit.

Listen to this interview of Whitehall Mayor Debi Hillebrand and playhouse manager Beth Beaman for their take – they are excited and relieved!

 

 

Click on the photo above for the link to The Playhouse at White Lake on Facebook, and their official website is linked below for more information and the full season lineup of events. The show must go on!

playhouse at white lake

There are days, when even for those who write for a living, that coming up with the words are just impossible.  It's a never ending dance to see if you can come up with the right inflection to convey your thoughts.  The right tone through your use of grammar, punctuation and verbiage.  You have to really apply yourself to get emotion to come through in written text and when you work in volume....while you are generally more practiced, but you are also under a little more scrutiny for what you say and how you say it.  We could add in the challenge too of taking the communications you write to the spoken word but we'll just leave it to the challenges of writing for now.

Now, let's say that you are not a well practiced wordsmith?  Let's say that you are just the average working class person who needs to say something...but doesn't really know how to say it.  More over, what if you feel what you say won't be heard?  What if you feel like it's all been said and that if you try, you're only going to be met with skepticism, or even worse...what you have to say will go in one ear and out the other of the listener?  What do you do to get your word out and share what's inside you and how you need and want to do your part for the betterment of something?  What if you could communicate with a picture? ccdCoalition For Community Development on Facebook

That's the goal of the South Heights Photovoice Initiative.  Quietly, for months, residents of Muskegon Heights have been working together with the Muskegon Community Health Innovation Region to take photos that represent their lives.  The photos were taken, the photographers met in groups to discuss the photos and what they mean to them.  How they represent an aspect of their lives that people should understand but getting the words out...presented a challenge, for whatever reason.  The residents were given cameras, some photography lessons and then asked to take pictures of what they saw as challenges, positives and other areas and as the discussion built...so did the narrative of each photo.  Your first chance to see these photo's and hear the stories is Friday June 7th and Saturday June 8th at the Louis A. McMurray Conference Center on 6th Street in Muskegon Heights. 

I met with Kerri VanderHoff who is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Community Development and Marquis Childers who has a photo and story on display in the exhibit.  She will tell you the nuts and bolts of the importance of this exhibit that is just a catalyst for more to come and Marquis will share his photo and story and explain to you more about it.  Take a listen.

 

 

It's kind of short notice, but to see this display and hear what the people have to say is important!  Vitally important to understanding all of us together more.  Take a few minutes out of your Friday or Saturday and stop in to the MATS office to see this incredible collection and hear the stories.  Voices that want and need to be heard.  Stay tuned as well for more about this amazing project.  Our thanks to Marquis and Kerri for coming out today to get the story started.  

 

Everyone looks forward to Wednesday because it’s the middle of the week and you are that much closer to the weekend. Well I have something else for you to look forward to. Once a month for the next three months there will be a Food Truck Rally downtown at the Farmers Market. Make sure to mark these dates on the calendars so you don’t miss out, June 26th, July 24th, Aug21st from 5-8pm.

This event Is a family friendly event. You will be able to dance to the live music, try all of the awesome local and West Mi. cuisine and the children will be occupied with activities for all ages. Each of the tickets are $1 each with the total prices varying depending on the truck. You will be able to purchase your tickets from one of the ladies roaming through the market or at the market window. The Womans Division Chamber of Commerce is going to bring back the dance floor for you to boogie the night away.  I met up with Ann Meisch from the City of Muskegon to learn a little more and find out about who's coming for the entertianment portion of the evenings, take a listen.

 

 

If you need more information please visit the Muskegon website linked in the photo below . I hope that I get to see you there.

food truck rally lead

It's a story I look forward to every year.  Why?  Well, let's go over what goes on at the Wings of Mercy Care Affaire happening at Executive Air.  Starts off with a 5K run...(that I have nothing to do with) then it's a pancake breakfast put on by the Lions Club (at this point...I am all in).  They have a classic car show going on, the Chris Boes Memorial Run for those who like to ride.  There will be plenty of static airplane displays, maybe even some helicopter rides and more.  It's a really big and busy day that continues to grow and grow every year because the lives touched by Wings of Mercy, well, they continue to grow yearly as well.  Let's give you the quick story. wings logoFollow Wings of Mercy on Facebook

Let's say you or a loved one is diagnosed with a rare disease.  One that is not only nearly impossible to fight, but locally...there isn't the technology or the proper specialists to get in there and really go after it.  You have to seek out treatment at The Mayo Clinic or Duke University or some place where advances practices are every day occurrences and could be your only hope.  Scary right?  Combine that with the cost of the treatments and the travel to the designated treatment centers...you can see fairly quickly that some may just have to give up on seeking the treatment they need.  Talk about a defeat.

Well, this is where Wings of Mercy steps in.  Wings of Mercy has volunteer pilots who donate their time, and talents and treasure to make sure that those patients get the flight they need to the providers that can help make a difference and Wings of Mercy steps in to coordinate the flights and families and helps pay for the expenses of the endeavor like fuel for the plane.  Amazing givers who step in when so many feel "all is lost" and restore hope in those who are suffering not only for themselves, but for humanity in general.

Grace Spelde has become one of my all time favorite guests.  I guess, why not.  Her job is making all this happen.  In essence, she facilitates miracles and she's exudes happiness and rightly so.  If you spent all day helping make this kind of thing happen...you'd be pretty happy too.  Take a listen to our chat from this morning at Executive Air.

 

If you're all about the cause or you're just all about the fun, Saturday is looking like an AWESOME day for everything outdoors and to include the Wings Of Mercy Care Affaire in your plans...couldn't get much better. Head out for a few and enjoy the sights and sounds of everything at the event. Maybe surprise your kids with an airplane ride... and if that's a little out of your budget, at very least, enjoy the pancake breakfast and let the proceeds help Wings of Mercy.  An amazing organization with an incredible purpose.  For more about them, visit their website by clicking below.

2019 MKG Postcard 1080x675

When you hear someone talk about Goodwill chances are you are thinking about the thrift store, but goodwill is so much more than the store. Goodwill offers programs to the community that most people do not know about. Did you know that when a purchase is made inside of a Goodwill Thrift store 89.7% of that total revenue is then put into programs such as job placement and skills training.  
 
Today I got a very special invitation from Tom Dake, Muskegon's Board of Directors Chair, to take part in the Goodwill Industries Achievers of the Year Award luncheon held at Trillium Event Center.  According to Goodwill “The Achiever of the Year is someone who has shown significant progress and accomplishment in achieving independence and self-sufficiency, and who also represents Goodwill's efforts in employment, education or health — the equal pillars of our mission.”     goodwillFollow Goodwill of West Michigan on Facebook
 
The presenters of today's awards are Jeanette Hoyer, President and COE and Kiesha Guy, Mission Services Director. These ladies started the awards with Mark. HealthWest referred Mark to Goodwill’s Work Readiness program to gain the experience with job skills while having some extra assistance. Mark was placed in a paid vocational training through Goodwill’s Industrial Services Center. Here he learned light industrial work contracted with area manufactures this includes tasks such as packaging and shipping. From this position Mark was supported by Michigan Rehabilitation Services and was enrolled in Goodwill’s Supported Employment program.  Mark then had the help to land a full-time production associate job at Seaver Finishing where he is still at today.  
 
Alex was the next young man that was presented the Achiever of the Year Award. Alex loves to make everyone smile through his wise-cracks and Elvis impersonations. Although he loves to joke and have fun Alex finds his job at Dutch Treat Foods in Zeeland very important. Two days a week Alex is transported to work for two hours in the food production facility. Alex works closely with Goodwill’s Skills Development Trainer Alexis Lubbers. Alexis trains, supervises and accompanies Alex to insure quality standards.  
 
Kiesha Guy then Told us about Joe who started the Goodwill’s Janitorial Occupational Training (JOT) while he was a student at Muskegon Area Intermediate School District. Through this program Joe learned all of the necessary skills and developed the confidence that he would need to apply for a job after he graduated. That day came six months after he completed his training, A position opened up for the Janitorial Services Staff. Joe applied and for and awarded the position where he now runs the floor scrubbers the carpet machines and the elaborate detailed work in “finishing the floors”.  
 
Not only were these three gentlemen awarded the Goodwill Industries Achievers of the Year, their employer partners were awarded the Goodwill Industries Employer Partners of the Year. This was not the end of the award giving.... two generous Muskegon County Police Officers volunteer their time thorough conducting mock interview’s with Goodwill’s ex-offenders' program. These two officers were awarded the Goodwill Industries Volunteers of the Year award.  
 
 
This was an amazing day for so many people and I am so honored to have been able to be there. For more information on Goodwill of West Michigan, click on the photo below to visit their website.  
 
gw rp

At the Muskegon Channel, we work very hard to bring you the "good news" about what's going on around town.  We think that there are plenty of other organizations that focus on what divides us and their focus tends to pick scabs and continues to pit neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend and might even tend to muddy the waters between citizens and the municipalities that serve them.  We're not blind to the fact that not everything everywhere is all "peaches and cream" but to keep pushing what divides us isn't really a part of the long term solution so when we find out about a dust up we try a little different approach to sharing the story.

Today, "Both Sides of the Story" focuses on the proposed development of "The Docks".  It's a residential area that has been proposed for the area up in the Bluffton Neighborhood right on Muskegon Lake.  I was first approached by the group in Bluffton who is opposed to the idea.  Their concerns are increased traffic, both on land and the water.  The preservation of the dune land is a priority to them as well as the disruption of their neighborhood in both the short and long term.  

On the other side of the coin.  The Docks is being built on private property by a developer.  From the City of Muskegon's point of view, it's additional residents to help rebuild from those who have moved out over the last couple of decades and it's growth in a positive direction.  

There will be a City of Muskegon Planning Commission Meeting June 13th, held at the Beardsley Theater to hear from residents who have concerns and those who support the project.  It's an open meeting so anyone can attend. 

For today, Ben Evans was chosen to speak for the Bluffton Neighbors and LeighAnn Miksell from the City of Muskegon joined me to share their side of this.  Take a listen and decide for yourself.  We're not here putting any kind of spin or slant, we just want you to hear "Both Sides if the Story"

 

Thanks to both Ben and LeighAnn for their time in sharing the separate view points. We are happy to share the platform with both and keep it as a conversation. Not everything needs to be finger pointing and name calling ya know.  If you have an opinion you'd like heard, make sure you are at the meeting at the Beardsley on June 13th and take part in the discussion.  

There is nothing better than being able to spend time with your family making memories together. It is so important that you are able to be yourself without worrying how it's affecting others or worrying about what they might think. If you or someone in your family has an ability different then the “norm” you sometimes are not able to go certain places because it either is not accessible or you are afraid that your or their abilities will disrupt the others around you. family hope foundationFamily Hope Foundation on Facebook
 
The Family Hope Foundation and Celebration Cinema Carousel has partnered up together to bring you just an event and space you may be looking for. Sensory Showtimes are for people of all ages and abilities. Celebration Cinema Carousel sets up the time 1/2hr (usually at 10:30am) before all of the other show times so that you are able to come in and get all of your goodies without worrying about all of the crowds. There is also so many awesome things to expect like, the lights will be a bit brighter, the volume of the movie will be turned down, and you will be able to get up and walk around in the theater while the movie is playing. You can also expect to hear others talking during the movie.
 
The Family Hope Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides funds for therapy to families with children that have special needs, Support, recourses and activities here in West Michigan. Their Mission Statement says “Family Hope Foundation invests in children with special needs through family support, engaging community experts, advocacy through collaboration, and financial assistance to provide access to therapies.” The Family Hope Foundation does this through there recourses and programs such as Family Fun Events (like Sensory Showtimes), Advocacy and Education, and through their ever-growing Resources and information that is shared in an email or from the Community Calendar shared on the website.
 
 
If you happened to miss the Show Time today but would like to experience one your still in luck. The upcoming schedule is as follows:
 
June 15th @ 10:30 am Showing The Secret Life of Pets
 
June 29th @ 10:30 am Showing Toy Story 4
 
July 27th @ 10:30 am Showing The Lion King
 
We hope that this is a fun event for you and your family. The cost of this event is the regular matinee price but families that are participating in the Sensory Showtimes may visit the Family Hope Foundation website and print off a barcode for $2 off of that price. (You are only able to use this discount toward the Sensory Showtime movie only.  You can visit the Family Hope Foundation website by clicking below.
 
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