We're in full swing Summer mode in Muskegon now, that means that Hackley Park finds itself more busy than not and that's a great thing.  From food festivals to Party in the Park and events that combine a little of everything, Downtown Muskegon's continual growth and engagement continues to grow.  Coming hot off the heels of Taste of Muskegon, we're pretty sure everyone knows the way to Downtown,  so let's get the park sun around and ready for another great day of entertainment, fun and togetherness with a little twist focusing on some area business you might not even know about. craft fair leadFollow the West Michigan Business and Craft Fair on Facebook

We've got a pretty good thing going with our small business incubator places in town, they continue to give opportunities to those who have an idea but need a spot to get it kicked off.  There are the chalets on Western.  If you are a chef...you've got Kitchen 242 to use to help you grow.  The Farmers Market not only provides a place for agriculture, but it's also a spot for flea market type events and outdoor fun.  Where do you find out about the home based business?  The jewelers....the artists....the makes of pet treats, kids clothes, urban art area non profits who are looking for some awareness and more?  Well you head to the West Michigan Small Business and Craft Fair.

We first met Tony and Vanessa Davis last year. They are the organizers of this great event.  Vanessa had a family emergency, so we were unable to tape a segment with the couple, but with any growing event we try to cover what we can to help people grow and help them help others.  The festival will run from 9a-3:30p at Hackley Park.  It's family friendly.  There will be plenty of food and drink  with everything from ribs to tacos, shaved ice to soul food, baked goods smoothies and more.  Entertainment will abound with music, dancing and more.  There will be 60 or more booths to see and plenty of opportunities for you to register to win cool stuff from the supporting sponsors and vendors!  The newly crowned Ms. Shoreline is even expected to be on hand to meet and greet visitors.  There is also an incredible twist this year, a portion of all the booth registration fees will go to support Kids Food Basket in Muskegon.  That will make everyone feel good.

It's an effort to help support small business here in town.  It's an effort to spend some time together in a relaxed setting where you can stroll and enjoy the goings on and maybe get an idea or two for yourself.  Hey...you never know what's around the next corner.  It could be you next year in the West Michigan Business and craft Fair showing off your awesome creations.  Stop down and be a part of this fun event and help some of our area small business entrepreneurs grow!!  You can click on the photo below to visit their official website.

WMBCF 2018 flyer2

 

It's a WIN WIN.... Support West Michigan Families.... Support our local Police.... AND have a great time with family and friends all at the same time!   The 3rd Annual MUSKEGON COUNTY COMMUNITY RUN is coming up on Saturday, June 23rd from Noon - 5pm at the Folkert Community Hub located on Seminole Road in Norton Shores.
 
This event will be raising funds and awareness for NO MORE SIDELINES which is an organization that helps kids and young adults in our community with special needs....giving them the opportunity to play sports and enjoy community activities.    This event is also helping to raise funds for the Muskegon County Sheriffs Motorcycle Unit that helps serve and protect during large community events....  this event is also hoping to bring awareness to the dedication and safety of our West Michigan Towing Companies who's drivers put themselves in harms way every day to help others.  community runFind the Muskegon County Community Run on Facebook
 
On Saturday, June 23rd from noon- 5pm this event will feature a motorcycle AND vehicle Poker Run... leaving the Hub at promptly Noon (preregistration starting at 11am with a $10 donation per person)... The Poker Run is very family friendly stopping at scenic Muskegon stops and favored Ice Cream places (no bars) along the route...and of course there will be prizes for winning hands.  
 
There will also be live music ....a silent auction... The "Dunk a Cop" dunk tank.... A car & bike show....a motorcycle stunt show...  And the TOW TRUCK RODEO, which has become a fan favorite...all taking place at the Folkert Community Hub...   The Tow Truck Rodeo will feature all of the best drivers from our areas Tow Truck companies competing for trophies (and bragging rights) while completing really fast, fun, exciting-to-watch tow truck timed events.
 
I have absolutely loved hanging out with the incredible group of people who put together this awesome event... I sat down with John Frederick and Jeremy Dykstra to chat about all the super fun stuff they've got planned for your whole family on the 23rd.... and more importantly, the incredible groups that they are doing this all for.
 
 
Please come join me on Saturday, June 23rd at the Folkert Community Hub from noon- 5pm.... I just may have to be dunked in the dunk tank a time or two....  It will be an absolute blast for the whole family!  For more details, click on the photo below to visit the Muskegon County Community Run Website!
 
community run 2

There is plenty of evidence out there that hiring a veteran is a smart move.  They come with the training, the skills, the drive and discipline that only come from the training they receive in the military and what they learned there, applied in the civilian world is irreplaceable in the work force.  In today's world too, finding the right candidate for the job isn't always the easiest task.  There seem to be about a million websites all promising you the best of everything.  The best jobs, the best employers, candidates and on and on.  Resume's, applications, interviews over the phone....what happened to the good old day's where you walked in, shook someones hand, talked a while and walked out feeling a little ahead of the game?  Well, Friday June 15th you'll have that chance in Muskegon. veterans affairs logoVisit The Muskegon Veterans Online

The Veterans Job Fair is happening again this year at the LC Walker Arena.  Employers form all over the lake shore will be on hand to meet with those looking for jobs.  This job fair is being put on by the Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs but it is open to all and if you are in the market for a job, or maybe an improvement in your working situation, this is the place to be.  There will be 72 companies on hand looking to hire and one of them is looking to fill 92 positions.  That's an awful lot of hiring going on.

The event is free to attend and gets under way at 10am on Friday morning.  Mike Baauw joined me at his office for a few minutes to talk about the job fair and some of the opportunities presented.  Take a listen. 

 

 

 Opportunity awaits!  They say the jobless rate is at an all time low.  Now's the time to get in and get yourself a job on great terms or improve your working situation.  Stop into the LC Walker Arena Friday between 10 and 2 and see who's looking.  If you're a veteran, thank you for your service.  We wish you the very best in your job hunt Friday!

Come hungry.  That's the word when it comes to Taste of Muskegon that's happening June 15th and 16th at Hackley Park and surrounding areas in Downtown Muskegon.  Probably wouldn't hurt you to come thirsty and looking for a good time too.  Taste of Muskegon is another rapidly growing event in Muskegon where the best of the best in culinary creators come together to showcase their goods and compete for your growling stomachs attentions while the air is filled with wonderful smells, laughter and great music provided by some of the areas best bands.  Sounds like a typical Summer weekend in Muskegon right?  It's what we're best at!

Taste of Muskegon has been around a while, and like many other "foodie" type events in recent years, it's seen a growth spurt.  Tastes from around the world and around the corner will be represented.  Want to try something from Ghana?  They have it!  How about a trip to the Mediterranean for your taste buds?  You can do it!  Want to stick to a hot dog or a hamburger?  Ok, you can do that too.  Not everyone is a world traveler when it comes to grub...and that's ok.  There will be Cole's Breads inspired brews...after all, Cole's is the presenting sponsor of Taste of Muskegon this year in Celebration of their 75th Anniversary!  You can enjoy a tequila sampling area, wine and other craft beers, sweet treats, frozen concoctions and a feeling of community togetherness you won't find just anywhere. taste logoVisit the Taste of Muskegon Facebook Page

Entertainment?  They have entertainment coming out the wazoo.  Friday night kicks off at 4:30 with a powerboat street show.  Giant offshore racers line the streets for an up close look and lots of picture opportunities.  There will be face painting for kids, bounce houses,  a chance to meet the Muskegon Risers Soccer Team, music from Merchant and Corbin followed up by the Accidentals.  Saturday gets underway at 8a with Ride United and some other great Downtown Muskegon events.  The food and beverage gets served at 11 in Hackely Park.  It's another full day of activity with chances to meet The Ironmen, The Clippers and The Lakehawks.  A Kids Saftey Saturday with the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department, the Sports complex is bringing a 200 foot luge down for the dare devil in you, there will be a petting zoo award show for the vendors and then The Electric Red and Let There Be Rock take the stage to keep the party going into the night!

It's going to be an awesome weekend to celebrate community and there's an open invite to anyone to come and see just how fun Muskegon is....so....load up the family truckster and come on out!  Ann Meisch is the Clerk in the City of Muskegon.  She is also the event planner, the doer of all things and the glue that keeps is all together.  We met up to talk Taste at the Chalet's on Western to get the 4-1-1 on what's going on.  Take a listen!!

Since you're probably drooling already, we'll just say get it on the calendar and get down to Hackley Park.  It's going to be one for the record books as Muskegon continues to rise and our traditions continue to grow and flourish.  Bringing in new people and your friends and neighbors for a great time in beautiful surroundings sampling some of the best in food and drink you'll find!  We'll look forward to seeing you at Taste of Muskegon June 15th and 16th!  For the events official website, click on the photo below!

taste 18lead

How about an alternative way to get yourself to work?  Day in and day out...you get up....you get ready....you head to the car, you might stop for a cup of coffee, you make the same drive with the same atmosphere and the same people around you...it's called the "routine" and once in a while, it might be a good thing to break up.  smart commutersVisit the Muskegon Area Smart Commute Facebook Page

Kind of the idea behind the Muskegon Area Smart Commute Week happening June 11th-15th.  Think of your morning commute on your bike as a way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Muskegon we are so lucky to have.  Think of using the MATS system to see how our public transit system operates efficiently and on time.  Taken a walk lately?  Can you walk to work or a meeting?  Maybe call some friends and car pool....catch up on the gossip and news.  It's all an effort to do a few things.  Reduce the amount of pollution in the air, help you be a little healthier if you choose to walk or bike and it's a great effort to showcase Muskegon instead of going through it at 75 miles an hour on 31 as you try and do your hair and get in that last cup of coffee on your way in.

Sounds fun, but what's in it for me?  You might ask.  Well, area business and organizations have teamed up to provide some pretty cool prizes and gifts for those who participate.  You could find yourself dining out at one of our great area restaurants.  You could get your hands on some Lakeshore Community Cash that can be spent at any number of participating retailers and it's all based on the honor system.  You do the work, you enter your points and a the end of the week, they will be tallied up and you could be the big winner.  Of course, it's really not about the prizes...it's about a different way to do things, if only for a week and a chance to make a little difference in your life and the community.

Scott Blease is with the Muskegon Area Smart Commute and we met up at his office Access Health to talk about the event, the incentives and how you can participate in all of it.  Take a listen.

 Give it a shot!  Spend a day doing something different or spend a week trying different ways of doing the daily grind!  Get out of the "rut" and enjoy a little Muskegon Summer with the Muskegon Area Smart Commute Week.  To visit their website and get signed up, click on the photo below!

smart commute

It's asparagus season in Michigan.  A delicious vegetable that annually Michigan produces 20 million pounds of on 9,500 acres of land and is raised by 120 Michigan family farms.  Michigan ranks #2 in the nation for production of asparagus with California being first and Washington being 3rd.  Asparagus is actually part of the lily family....bet you didn't know that.  We have until the end of June in the northern part of Michigan to enjoy it fresh off the farm as the growing season ends then and the average lifespan of a field of asparagus will last 20 years.  All these fun facts come from Michiganasparagus.org.   chef char ebChef Char's Cooking Events on Event Brite

Chef Char has several upcoming cooking classes scheduled for the summer in Muskegon.  Tickets and a list of upcoming classes with Chef Char are available on Eventbrite.  You can click on the photo to the right to learn more and sign up!

Follow Chef Char on Facebook for updates on where she is cooking and what she is making.

Now that you know a little about the star of the show in this episode, let's take it into Kitchen 242 with Chef Char to let her work her magic.  Today, it's a cheese and kielbasa soup and it's delicious!  She'll show you the process and the recipe will follow at the bottom!  

Easy huh?  Now, here's the recipe!  Grab some delicious asparagus from your favorite neighborhood roadside stand of head to the Muskegon Farmers Market and support our local growers!  We've got a great season in Michigan to enjoy this scrumptious and versatile stalk...eat it up!!  Here's the recipe from Chef Char!

Chef Char’s Cheese & Kielbasa Asparagus Soup
Ingredients:
32 oz. (4 cups) chicken broth or chicken stock
5 cups redskin potatoes, diced
2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
16 oz. kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound asparagus, fresh or frozen, cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch segments
Salt and pepper to taste
½ oz. fresh chives, minced

Directions:
In a large pan, boil the potatoes in chicken broth (or salted water). In another pan, sauté the vegetables and minced garlic until onions are translucent and a slight caramelization starts to appear on the carrots and peppers. Add the cooked carrots, onions, peppers and garlic from the sauté into the soup pan with the potatoes and reduce the heat of the soup pan to a low heat. In the sauté pan, cook the kielbasa until the cut up sections of sausage turn a light brown and add to the simmering soup pan. Add butter to the sauté pan until melted, add flour and stir to make a roux. Cook the roux until it turns a very light brown. Add milk to the roux and stir until dissolved. Add the shredded cheddar cheese to the milk and roux mixture and stir until dissolved. Last, add the cut asparagus to the soup pan then also stir in the cheese and roux mixture to the soup pan. Continue to cook the soup on low, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir until all cheese is melted and soup appears to thicken. Serve soup immediately, garnishing with shredded cheese and minced chives.

It's a year long celebration of the United Way of the Lakeshore.  100 years of service in and around Muskegon. In that time, so much has been done for the community that you'd think it should all be done, right?  Well, that's not quite the case unfortunately.  The United Way's work continues to help bridge the gap for so many in and around Muskegon.  They work tirelessly to help raise awareness about community issues.  Raise funds to help meet needs, provide funding for other community programs as well as be a spot for community engagement to to happen on both a large and small scale.  Everything from the United Way's Day of Caring to community labor partnerships, youth activities and engagement the Urban Safety Corps and emergency food and shelter programs are all facilitated through the United Way.  uw 100Visit the United Way of the Lakeshore on Facebook

Gets to be Summer, and The United Way could easily be part of our tourism here in Muskegon too.  What a chance you have if you a cyclist to enjoy some of the most scenic views in Michigan while you peddle away on your choice of courses from 6-100 miles in the annual Ride United event that's happening June 16th.  It kicks off for the 100 mile riders at 8am in Downtown Muskegon and as the ride unfolds, not only will you find the picturesque beauty of the shoreline, you'll find plenty of respite stops and aid stations along the way.  Need a drink or a snack?  They will be waiting.  Need a repair along the way?  They will be on hand to assist.  It's a first class cycling experience for any skill level and one you'll want to come back and do again.  Best part is, the whole experience will help you raise a few bucks for the United Way to continue their great work.  When it's over...you're returning to Downtown Muskegon and as luck would have it... Taste of Muskegon is going on and you'll probably need some "carbs"...so there will be some beverage tickets waiting for you to help wet your whistle while you talk about the days adventure.   

I was joined by Jana Routt and Kara Zielinski of The United Way to talk about the day and the event.  Take a listen to our chat about all things Ride United.

It's a great way to get out and have some fun...for a purpose.  Ride United is a purposeful event designed to showcase the best Muskegon and surrounding areas have to offer with the natural beauty of it all as well as help an incredible organization out who's focus for over 100 years has been making this community a more stable place for everyone.  If Ride United sounds like something you'd enjoy, click on the photo below to visit the United Way's page and get yourself signed up!  We'll see you here June 16th!!

 

ride united 2018lead

 

74 years later.  It's an unimaginable reality that the majority of people alive today will never understand.  D-Day was an unspeakable endeavor that was undertaken by a President who faced a great amount of backlash from people who didn't want the US involved.  In the long term tho, it had to happen, the European theater was under siege by Hitler and he was showing no signs of stopping until he rid the world of anyone he deemed secondary.   74 posterVisit Muskegon D-Day on Facebook

It's been said that history that is forgotten is doomed to repeat itself.  While we certainly hope no one ever has to endure the horror or war, we can't let our younger generations go without the knowledge of just what a war does.  Our WW2 vets are dying at about 400 a day now, and it won't be long until there is no one left to tell the tale of the "Greatest Generation".  They were not the generation that was known to talk much about their accomplishments or even more, what haunted them in the long term.  We can't risk letting our future generations not knowing what it took to defeat the Access of Evil. 

D-Day Plus 74 is happening again this year at the Mart Dock and the LST 393 Museum.  It's a commemoration encompassing a history lesson, some entertainment, some opportunity to learn hands on and above all, it's a day to be a part of the community and remember together.  It's a free event with lots to see and do.  There are activities Friday night and all day Saturday, including a mock air raid, free tours of the LST 393, the Northside Lions Club will be doing their pancake breakfast on Saturday morning.  Need to bust a move 40's style?  There is a swing dance on board the LST Friday night for a small donation, like pin up girls...there will be some very tasteful period inspired pin up's.  It's a BIG couple of days.  

It's all being put on by Rolling Thunder Michigan Chapter 4.  It's a group that works to remind people that there are still POW/MIA men and women out there.  In fact, they are still finding soldiers from the Vietnam War today and bringing them home.  Part of the mission is to advocate for the POW's and part of their mission is to educate people on what we can't forget.  Chris "Lefty" Johnson is the guy we've been working with since D-Day plus 72.  We caught up with him at the LST 393 to hear about this years event.

 

Bring the family.  If you've got kids, slip in a history lesson while you give them and activity they won't soon forget.  It's going to be a beautiful day on the lake and Muskegon is excited to welcome you.  The LST 393 was part of the original landing and now rests here in Muskegon.  It's a natural treasure and we're happy to share it with those who visit.  Rolling Thunder will continue their mission to help the POW and MIA soldiers and if you'd like to learn more about their group, you can click on their logo below for more information.

 rolling thunder

75 Years is a milestone in anything, but when you think of 75 years for a company in Michigan, and even Muskegon Michigan, it's time to think about a serious party!  Cole's Quality Foods was founded back in 1943 as Cole's bakery by Caroll L Cole.  They made it all.  Cakes, doughnuts, specialty items and more.  They had a quaint store front a humble delivery van and a desire to make sure that quality and deliciousness were in every product they sold.  As time went on, they became the very first company to sell frozen garlic bread when Wes Devon took the helm in 1973.  From there...well, let's just say they had to build a 9 story freezer for a reason.  Things kind of took off and spaghetti night and the family barbecue was forever changed by the taste, ease and affordability of a ready to heat and serve loaf of delicious garlic bread that went from freezer to table in about 10 minutes.  Innovation happens in Muskegon every day and we can proudly say we innovated garlic bread.  Coles Quality FoodsVisit Cole's Website to Learn More About Their History and Products

Since then, Cole's has expanded and continued to offer new and exciting products.  Recently, they have added a line of gourmet flavored breads, tantalizing bread sticks and the most recent addition are "Middles" where you'll find bread, bagel and pretzel food items stuffed with cheesy goodness and flavors that will delight any palate.  The manufacturing continues in Muskegon.  The have some offices in Grand Rapids as well as North Liberty Iowa and the continue to employ a lot of great people who take a huge amount of pride in the products they make and communities they work in.

Now, on to the party!  It's free to get into at Heritage Landing this Saturday May 26th.  The events get underway at 5 with music fro Pop Fiction, The Ultimate Taste Band (Motown tribute), and Yard Sale Underwear leading right up to the huge fireworks show that's said to rival the 4th of July.  It's open to the public to enjoy the music and entertainment.  There will be food trucks and beverage tents.  It's open to all ages, but if you plan on drinking you will need your ID.  For the kids....lot's of activities...games, face painting, interactive activities and more.  There will be a VIP area for Cole's employees and guests, why shouldn't there be...it is after all their company party and we're being invited!  What a night it's going to be at Heritage Landing. 

Alexis Reininger is the Consumer Ambassador for all things Cole's.  We're going to talk a little about the history of the company, their outreach into the communities they serve and this big, massive, huge, fun and free party for everyone this weekend in Muskegon.  At the end of our chat, stick around because you are going to get an exclusive look into what goes into making some of Cole's products.  It's a really great thing to watch happen and to be there filming...the smell....heavenly.  Take a listen.   

 We have an awful lot to be proud of with Cole's rich history in Muskegon and for the company to make the party open to all says a lot about how they feel about their hometown.  It could be a swanky affair at a country club, or maybe they could just have cake at the plant...but they want a party for everyone, so pack up the kids and head to Heritage Landing Saturday night.  Gates open at 5 and we can all enjoy a night celebrating one of our longest standing business in Muskegon... Cole's.

 

coles party

CANCER.... Ugh!!!!.... It touches everyone's life in one way or another.... Whether we know someone or we, ourselves are battling this beyond horrible disease.   But we all can help.... This coming Friday, June 1 at 2pm through Saturday, June 2 to 2pm we're encouraging everyone to join us at the Mona Shores High School track for the annual, bigger and better than ever MUSKEGON COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE.  realy mkg fbFind Relay for Life of Muskegon County on Facebook
 
After sitting down with Jim Engels, Kasey Rose and Taylor Chrisman I found out so much more about the incredible staff of volunteers that is putting together an incredibly inspirational, uplifting, fun 24 event to help raise as many funds and awareness as possible for our Muskegon County cancer patients and families.   Not only are these important funds raised helping to find cures through research....but they are also helping patients and families handle life more easily while going through treatments. 
 
On June 1 and 2 at the Mona Shores High school track there will so many different touching, moving, fun events happening non stop for 24 hours.   Amazing opening and closing ceremonies. ... Drum cardio, costume parade and contest, the Luminaria Ceremony, Fit Body Bootcamp, Kids Ceremony and kids activities, Silent Auction and so much more!
 
If you would like to sigh up yourself or a team there are multiple registration dates and times. Mercy Johnson Family Cancer Center located on Sherman Blvd.....1pm to 3pm on these dates:
5/17, 5/21, 5/23, 5/25....  
 
 
 
 
For more information on the Muskegon County Relay for Life event, or to join up and help the cause... click on the photo below to visit their website.
 
RFLCY18NationalBanner

We've shared the journey of the MARS 4004 Robotics team of Muskegon.  They are the group of kind from area schools who convene at Pribusin here in Muskegon to compete in building robots for competition in local, state, regional and world competitions called The First Competition.  Most recently, they headed to the Motor City to compete in the World Competition and they came home with the 2018 Industrial Design Award.  That's right....world wide....the award came back to Muskegon!  So much to be celebrated by these young people and advisers who help guide their career.  But the competition is only part of the year for these young people, and you might wonder what they do in their spare time after their robot has done it's thing and won it's awards.  Well, here's your chance to find out.

Michigan Kids on the Move is an organization who's mission statement reads as follows - "MI Kids On The Move's mission is to overcome obstacles to mobility in special needs children through the use of mobility aids. MI Kids On The Move's purpose is to enhance the quality of life in special needs children by providing modified toys that allow independent movement to children with limited mobility in order to promote social, physical, and cognitive growth".  It's a group founded by a mom who saw her own child having some problems with the same things other kids did day in and day out as well as fitting in wit the other kids who had "regular" circumstances as part of growing up.  It's a powerful experience to see some of these little ones getting their first taste of "normal" which you'll see in our video here in a little bit.  They also make mini wheel chairs for kids at MI Kids on the Move. mini wheel chairClick On the Mini Wheel Chair to Visit Mi Kids on the Move on Facebook

Being an upstart organization and knowing that it takes some talent to adapt your average electric toy type vehicle to work for a kid who might not otherwise be able to manage such a toy, the group reached out across the state to other robotics teams like MARS 4004 and asked if they were up to the challenge of lending a hand and the response was a resounding YES!   Today, there is an application process for a parent who wishes to have a car done up for their kid, then a fundraiser is generally held and the robotics teams take over to customize these bad boys to be adapted to the needs of the child that gets them.  Remote control operation, roll bars for safety, 5 point harness placement for the safety of the riders, the only thing missing is NOS Nitro and one of the kids dad's kept insisting he get a tank or two for his boys ride.

Kathryn Vancamp is the driving force of a mom who started all this.  As we've talked before, there is no greater force than a mom who wants to get something done for her child.  Her idea of adapting a car for her child has blossomed into something so much bigger and its connecting people who would have never met otherwise and bridging the gap between people and the unknown.  What was once a difference is now only a challenge and young minds are getting to work on how to make life better for the next generation.  If I may get right to the point....we're watching a miracle unfold right before our eyes.  Meet Kathryn and see how a miracle happens.....

 

 

 

 

I have said it time and time again.  Muskegon is a town of miracles.  I believe it and I live it.  There is no greater reward to me than to be a part of something so incredibly special and to watch a moment of life transformation like I saw at Pribusen with the MARS 4004 team.  I'd like to add too, that meeting Kathryn was a special treat because the greatest hero's to me are the ones that stumble into it and change the world because they saw something that needed to be fixed.  If you'd like to know more about MI Kids on the Move, you can visit their website by clicking below.  If you have a heart...and I know you do....you might even consider making a donation to the efforts so more of this kind of thing can go on.  This how the world changes.  

kids on the move

According to the MDHHS youth binge drinking 2015 in Michigan survey 12.8% of teen Boys and teen 12.2% of girls admitted to have at least 5 or more drinks on any one occasion. If we look at drinking by grade in the High School then Seniors would lead with 23.4% of all teens in Michigan who binge drank at least once in a 30-day time period and Freshman are the least amount with 6.2%. To make this number more personal in 2016 there was 690 students in the Orchard View High School. Taking the statistics that I have just mentioned, out of those 690 students 88.32 Teen boys and 84.18 Teen girls would have drank 5 or more alcoholic beverages on just one occasion. mkg aliVisit Muskegon ALI Online
 
Because of these statistics and many more the Ride with Pride Pledge was born. Ride with Pride is a collaboration between the Muskegon Township Police Department, Orchard View High School, the Muskegon Alcohol Liability Initiative and Great Lakes Ford of Muskegon. Ride with Pride is to promote safe driving and positive behavior. At the beginning of the school year the students have to sign a pledge with terms and conditions that they have to be able to follow. Some of these terms are: I pledge to not drink alcoholic beverages, I pledge to not text while driving, I pledge to wear a seatbelt, I will not get suspended, I will not exceed the attendance policy.
 
If the students are able to follow all of the terms the students will be entered to will some awesome prizes including a Moped and Car! After the local law enforcement and the school have checked the records of all the finalists each will be entered into a drawing that is completely random. From the drawing 5 students were chosen for each the Car and Moped to then have a chance to pull a key out of a bag to then see who the final winner was. 
 
I was able to join in on all of the fun at the assembly that was held to end this awesome event. The atmosphere was filled with happiness and so much pride you couldn’t help but feel it. I hope that you are able to feel the emotions through the video, so join me as I talk with Vice Principal Samantha and the winner of the car and moped.  Take a listen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We're very thankful for the sponsorship of Shoreline Recycling of The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  We welcomed them last year and we started to show you a little about what they do and why.  This year, we're going to do a series of stories about exactly what Shoreline Recycling is all about.  jamie and kurtFollow Shoreline Recycling on Facebook

The first thing.  There's a pretty rich history here.  Shoreline Recycling is a division of Padnos a company that's been around since 1905 and they help keep Muskegon and all the areas they serve clean and they will even pay you for your help in doing just that.  They take recyclables of all sorts.  They pay top dollar for your recyclable metal, electronics and more.  They have the facilities to have you drive on the lot with your truck or trailer filled or they can get you a roll away or dumpster delivered and you can load it right up.  Got a big job?  Think about Padnos as your partner in clean up.  They have staff who will establish a relationship with you and help you get every bit of value from what's being removed and you will be returning our precious resources back into use somewhere else instead of some landfill somewhere.

The next thing.  The customer service.  Any time I've been down at Shoreline Recycling, they seem to know their regular customers by name.  They are welcoming to everyone and strive to build a relationship with those who do business with them.  The reach out into the community to support events and causes and they are active in making Muskegon a better place for everyone in practice not just talking about it.

Kurt Alderink is the point guy in Muskegon and over the course of the next couple of months, Kurt is going to take us on a stroll across the facilities down on Ottawa Street in Muskegon.  Today, we make an introduction and we take a look at stainless and cast iron recyclables.  What they are worth...where they go and how you can make a few bucks!  Take a listen!

Stay tuned!  We'll be showing you more of what goes on at Shoreline Recycling this Summer!  There are some pretty interesting shows coming up and they all feature ways you can make a few bucks for helping keep Muskegon clean and beautiful and preserving natural resources for years to come.  If you'd like to know more about Shoreline Recycling and Padnos, click on the photo below to visit their website.

padnos

This week I had the extremely rare privilege to sit down with a truly amazing woman... Her name is Sharon Gabris...a lifelong Norton Shores, Muskegon native but once you hear about her long list of unbelievably amazing skills, talents....gifts...you would think she was raised personally by the Dalai Lama, a high ranking Indian Healer, the Surgeon General, a Geology Professor and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
 
Sharon is a Reiki Master Teacher... So what is REIKI?  When I asked her that question she said that, "there is no simple, quick explanation....but I'll do my best to sum it up"...  She has learned the skills to (as she says simply) be the "jumper cables" for another person's body.  Everything on our planet is made up of energy...and by naturally tapping into these energies... skilled individuals (like Sharon) are able to read the energies and simply discover what bodies are feeling, lacking, ailing from, mentally-physically dealing with, etc....the list goes goes on and on.  The study of REIKI will tell you that every single person's body knows how to heal itself...and by simply "reading" aka "feeling" the energy of a person they will know more of what is "going on" inside. reiki 2
 
Honestly, it is truly difficult to describe... Sharon actually teaches others (anyone) on how to understand, learn REIKI for themselves through the seminars she teaches.   Just sitting with her, while chatting on her back porch...I asked her if she could perform a quick REIKI on me?... She simply placed one hand on my shoulder and her other hand on my knee (for literally less than a minute) and was able to detect things going on in my body that externally nobody else would have ever guessed.   AMAZING... In that one minute it blew my bind!  ...and through a more extensive REIKI session she would have been able to see much more...for me, or anybody.
 
Sharon absolutely DOES NOT claim to be "magical" or "psychic" or any other "unworldly being"...REIKI has been used for thousands of years but she also firmly believes that Western Modern Medicine is also very vital to one's health.  Sharon also is an expert on so many other natural remedies that can (and should be) used by everyone, every day.  Sharon also teaches the art of Belly Dancing...with SO MANY natural health and wellness benefits that you can learn more about in this interview.  Also, Sharon is an expert in Massage, Essential Oils, Crystal Therapies and even reading the "energies" in the Earth itself...assisting Farmers on their crops.
 
 
If you are interested on learning more about Sharon and all of her talents...and learning more for yourself please contact her any time.  Just click on the image below to visit their website!
 
reikilead

Nestled away behind an unsuspecting store front on Western Avenue in Downtown Muskegon, you will find a lesson that should be learned by all of us.  Yes, there are bars and restaurants....breweries and pizza places....some business and apartments that line Western Avenue but there is one very unique and very important place that shows off what life was like in Muskegon for the people here and the work they did over the years.  The Muskegon Heritage Museum is the place and although it's location and setting is a little unexpected, the history and exhibits are amazing and rich in the history of us!  mhm free community dayFollow the Muskegon Heritage Museum on Facebook

The Muskegon Heritage Corporation was founded in 1973 and in 1983 the museum itself was established to house the Corliss Valve 90hp Steam Engine.  It's been a labor of love done by countless volunteers since and in 2009 a revitalization project began with the entire museum adding space next door, up a flight of stairs and expanding over and over to accommodate the items preserved to help us preserve our industry, our homes, historic happenings and people in Muskegon.  You'll find an ode to those who harvested ice from Mona Lake.  You'll see an actual working Brunswick Pin Setter.  There is the Corliss Steam Engine... Raggedy Ann....Lumber...Foundries...Continental Motors...Bennett Pump.  The list goes on and on, and yes...you might eve find some more of the odd-ball things like celery farms and a butchers block from a long forgotten staple in every neighborhood...the corner store. 

Today, for a $5 admission for adults and $2 for kids, you can stroll the museum and see first hand all of the incredible things we're known for.  Our famous ships...our long gone industries and ones that are still here, but have changed names over time or have recently become part of our history, like the Cobb Plant.  They have just added a 1:300th scale model of the entire plant from about 1965 when it actually had 5 smoke stacks instead of the one big one.  Some of the exhibits have a hands on element and others are strictly for observing, but they all give you a feeling of days gone by and what life was like in the era they represent up till today.

Anne Dake invited me down to see the new displays on opening day.  I was given a tour of the place just before the doors open for the season and brought the camera along to give you a peek as well as talk to Anne about her passion for all things Muskegon and our rich history of good people who've worked so hard to make us who we are.  Take a listen.

Hey, there's your free tour.  Now, it's up to you.  Pack up the kids and check it out.  You can enjoy lunch right next door at the 557 Cafe or any of the other fine eateries on Western.  You'll see some things you may have forgotten about and you'll be able to share with your kids what it was like to visit the corner store.  We have an amazing place in the Muskegon Heritage Museum, if you're coming in from out of town, don't miss this.  Come see for yourself that there is a rich and vibrant heritage in Muskegon matched by an outstanding path forward and it's all taken care of by people like Ann and her volunteers who LOVE MUSKEGON just like we do.  To visit the Muskegon Heritage Museum online, click on the photo below!

MHM logo horizontal sign 2

We're seeing the signs everywhere in Muskegon of the corner being turned.  In every corner of the county, there is new business and a healthy mix of business going on.  We've got new destinations for food and drink, new construction happening when it comes to places to live.  We have expanding business and business relocating to take advantage of good people who are ready to work and a community that has seen it's fair share of up's and down's and now...stands ready for the next phase.  Watch Us Go still applies, but...watching has turned into action and with that action..well, there comes a few questions about where to find the resources for all of this growth and how can people best put to use what's available out there?  You could really spend all week chasing after this lead or that...or...you could pencil in a chance to immerse yourself into a day where all the resources come to one spot...and you'll find some coffee and juice to help kick things off.  brc muskegonReserve Your Seat at the Muskegon Business Resource Connect

The Muskegon Business Resource Connect Event is in it's 3rd year.  It's taking place at the Muskegon Innovation Hub at 200 Viridian Drive right Downtown Muskegon from 8a-11a and it's a free event.  You are asked to RSVP to it so they can have an accurate count and there is limited seating, so please, if you plan on attending use the image to the right to click and reserve your spot.  The event will be a concentrated effort to get anyone looking the right services to make your business prosperous.  Need a hand on workforce development?  How about strategic planning for growth?  Employee safety on your mind?  Talent recruitment and retention an issue for you?  It will all be discussed and much more at this great event. 

Highlighting the day will be Key Note Speaker Rob Ptacek who's topic will be winning at recruitment and retention through company culture.  It's one of the hottest topics on the minds of business owners today.  Rob will bring his expertise in the subject up from his work at Competitive Edge Training and Consulting where he's a principal with over 25 years of practical experience implementing continuous improvements in a variety of industries. 

I was able to catch up with Dawn Johnson at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce to learn a little more about this upcoming event, and while I had her..I figured I'd get the 4-1-1 on some of the other business happenings around town, take a listen.

 

 We're all in it together and if the resources are offered....grab 'em!  This is a great opportunity to network, learn, expand your horizons a little and see what other business owners and start up's are facing.  It's a much easier world when you know that others are working with you and can share in resources available!  If you'd like to know more about the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber or Muskegon Area First, click on their logos below. 

 

 m chamber

 

maf

 

 

 

It's a milestone!  We've hit 50 episodes of Fit and Healthy with Becky on the Muskegon Channel.  It might be a couple more than that, we have had a couple of "special editions" but as with anything of this magnitude....you've gotta have a "special" once in a while!

Becky's mission?  Hey, it's a simple one.  Finding a way to get you into a little better shape, feeling a little physically, mentally and emotionally.  She's got groups...she's got individuals and she's got the show here.  She pulls out all the stops.  There are dancing lessons for those who might not want the high impact and fitness challenges for those who want to compete.  Wrap it all up inside a kind heart and passion for people....you've got Becky!

Let's get to it!!  Episode 50 of Fit and Healthy with Becky on The Muskegon Channel.

There you have it!  Come back and do it again tomorrow...come back and do it again later today.  Share this link with friends help celebrate the 50th episode of Fit and Healthy With Becky!  Oh, hey, by the way...we talked a little about the dance lessons...if you'd like to know more about those...call the number below!

beg swing dance

Look out Broadway!  I recently caught up with a very talented group of students and staff from Reeths Puffer Middle School to chat about this weekend's production of PETER PAN Jr....  Taking place at the Reeths Puffer High School Rocket Center for the Fine Arts.

I'm here to tell you that this one show you don't want to miss!....fun for the whole family! reeths puffer schools logoClick Here to Visit the Reeths-Puffer Schools Website
Reeths Puffer Schools music and theater programs have the reputation of being second to none in the state....even in the country!....  so I'm not surprised to see the unbelievable talent coming from these young students  
PETER PAN Jr. is Reeths Puffer Middle Schools annual production being put on by the Middle School's choir and theater students.... The really cool thing is that every student enrolled in the choir and theater programs is involved in this incredible production.   Actors, lighting, sound, costumes, stage crew, set design and marketing and ticket sales all done by the students...all done under the wonderful direction of their Choir Director, Diedra Ross.
Shows taking place at the Rocket Center this Friday, May 4th and Saturday, May 5th.  I encourage everyone to see the magical, musical production...  Come support the arts in our schools....Next stop is Broadway for these talented kids!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
REETHS PUFFER MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIRS PRESENT...
PETER PAN JR.
7pm Friday, May 4th
2pm Saturday, May 5th
7pm Saturday, May 5th
Reeths Puffer High School Rocket Center for the Fine Arts
Tickets are $8
 Call (231) 744-4721. Ext. 4401
Click Below for tickets online
 
ppjrlead
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It’s easily the simplest way to help support our local food pantries from a giving stand point there is. You gather up some non-perishables, you put them at your mail box on May 12th and you’re done. Magically, those nonperishables get picked up and delivered to those in our community who are in need and that’s that….right? Well, from a giving standpoint, yes…that’s that, but like anything that is seemingly so simple, behind the scenes there are hundreds of people coming together to make it all happen and it’s time for some of the unsung heroes in our community to get their due recognition in this project. nalc food driveConnect With Stamp Out Hunger on Facebook

The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is actually a project of the National Association of Letter Carriers Union. They are the men and women of the United States Post office and this is the 26th year that this event has been going on. Since they are out through rain, sleet and snow anyway, why not take advantage of a beautiful spring day and use the routes they run to help out some who may be food insecure and the pantries that supply people. Along with your letter carrier, you will also find a giant hand form other labor unions as well as other volunteer’s in the area who relieve the letter carriers trucks, bring the food back to the sort site, then at the site it’s sorted packed and delivered to the distribution points all over the area. The best part is…it stays local….right here in Muskegon so you know your donation will benefit s friend or a neighbor, and chances are it might be someone you know but would never suspect might be food insecure.

This isn’t limited to food donations either. There is a need for other supplies. Personal care supplies, like soap, shampoo, deodorant are all in need. Feminine products, diapers, baby formula, baby food. All some of the staples that people need to make life happen day in and day out will be collected on May 12th. Just put your donation out by the road, or at the mail box and it will be taken care of.

Conducting the band behind the scenes….Jana Routt. Jana is the AFL-CIO Community Services Labor Liaison and works out of the United Way office in Muskegon. She does a lot of events in the area that are designed to help great causes and she also works to keep labor up to speed on where needs can be met and how they can take an active role in making the community a better place. Our labor in the area not only work their tails off, they go out of their way in their spare time to find ways to make the place better for everyone, and the NALC Food Drive is one of those days. I sat down with Jana to talk about the event and her role with labor. Take a listen to the details about the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive coming up!

Let the folks behind the scenes handle it all. If you’d like to be a part of it, get a hold of Jana and tell her you want to pitch in. If you just want to do your part to help make sure someone doesn’t go hungry, grab some canned goods and leave them by the mailbox Saturday May 12th. This is a great example of how we as a community can all come together to meet a need and how some who will never be seen in the process will make sure that those who might otherwise go without, won’t have to worry so much. Nonperishables, personal care items, canned goods and more at your mailbox in May 12th is all it takes.  Click on the photo below to visit the NALC website to learn more.

so hunger

100 years!  What an amazing thing to think about that the United Way of the Lakeshore is 100 years old and we're here when we get to celebrate it.  And, celebrate it we should!  Think about all that goes on through the United Way of the Lakeshore.  Not only the giving...but rest assured, there is plenty of that.  But, what about the advocacy?  Their push for the ALICE program in Muskegon.  ALICE being an acronym for asset limited, income constrained, employed.....yes, we're talking about the "working poor".  How about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library - to inspire little learners?  Ride United? Day of Caring?  It never ends.  The United Way of the Lakeshore is alive...awake and active in so many ways it's something to celebrate.  100 year logo v4RSVP for Free Admission

With everything going on today, you would think that in the last 100 years, it's not been all that busy.  Well, if you're a student of history at all, you know...things seem to repeat themselves again and again, and in the last 100 years, the story of the United Way has been much of the same as we're seeing now.  There are always needs that need to be met and those who roll up their sleeves to help meet them no matter where we are on the historical tie line.  Which is another really unique perspective about the 100th anniversary party of the United Way of the Lakeshore celebration.  It's going to be a very rich look at the history of Muskegon.  Who were the people who helped get things started?  Who were the "famous firsts"?  If you are thinking about heading to the party on May 10th, be ready for a serious history lesson on our home town.  You'll be hard pressed to find a better crash course on Muskegon history anywhere.

Along with the history, you'll find out about some of the current projects, some volunteer opportunities, maybe some future plans.  There will be a great silent auction.  A historic video presentation, live entertainment, singing, dancing and an all around feeling of community togetherness.  Something that everyone who's been shut in all winter could really use a dose of so plan on coming on out for the event where things get underway at 5p on May 10th at the Frauenthal Center. 

Christine Robere is the Executive Director of The United Way of the Lakeshore, we sat down to talk about the history and the event, take a listen! 

As we talked in the video.  We're pretty lucky Christine and I.  We see both the needs and the needs that are met and it's a pretty incredible view point.  Makes you pretty optimistic even in a world filled with pessimism.  If not for the get together, you should at very least head down to the celebration for the history lesson on what the United Way of the Lakeshore has done here in 100 years.  What better way to move forward than to know where we've been?  For more about the United Way of the Lakeshore, click on the photo below to visit their website.

 

uwls

 

Everyone wants the very best for their kids.  The best education, the best nutrition, the best opportunities and more...but where does it all start?  It's a pretty broad question, and of course, there's not one specific answer but...one thing has been proven and that's the ability to read is a key element to success early in life as well as later on down the road in any endeavor.  It's known pretty well too that early reading leads to a lot more than just the ability to read, it leads to a better one on one relationship between parents and kids and helps develop a bond that will serve a lifelong purpose.  

The Great Start Collaborative in Muskegon is an agency of educators, healthcare providers, parents and business leaders who all come together to work on some key factors like all children are born healthy, they are developmentally on track until 3rd grade and reading proficiently levels are where they need to be.  It's an all hands on deck effort and it all begins before birth actually.  The sound of the parents voice reading pre-natal and beginning right at birth...the chances of a successful entry into the school career are almost guaranteed.  It's a key factor not only for development but confidence and self assurance to have that bond formed. 

REROWeekCalendar25APR18resized Follow Read Early Read Often on Facebook

Research shows that children who are read to at home, from birth are exposed to as many as 30 million more words before kindergarten as children who are not.  That's staggering figure and it doesn't always have to be "at home".  Think about where you are and what you are doing.  Are you in a store?  Is reading a box of your child's favorite cereal an incentive to get them to use some words?  How about a toy store?  Can they read a little about the toy they want as a goal to get it?  Can you just window shop and look to find words in things that are every day items?  It doesn't have to be you in a rocking chair reading, reading can be an adventure, it's all in the mind of the one in charge...and as a parent...that's you! 

Of course, The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District has an interest in this, after all, it's their job to help students perform at their highest level at any age, so they work very hard to help make sure that Read Early, Read Often is a message that gets out loud and clear and everyone in Muskegon gets the word.  Read Early, Read Often Week begins May 12th.  You will find a huge list of events and fun things to do all surrounding reading, libraries, story times, museums...some cool contests and special events.  There will also be a book drive all month with drop off points all over Muskegon County where you can re-purpose the books you've already read early, and often with your youngster so others can do the same.

I had a chance to meet up with Allison Keeson with The Great Start Collaborative, Dr. John Severson and  Stuart Jones both of the Muskegon Area ISD to talk about the importance of Read Early, Read Often and all of the excitement building around the events coming up in early May.  Take a listen!

 

 

As we spoke in the story, growing up at our house....reading was first and foremost.  It went on long into my teen years.  Cat in the Hat became Word Power out of the Readers Digest.  Lap time as a kid turned into a mind challenge to understand words, word origins and to be able to figure out what words were even if I wasn't quite sure of what was the meaning.  Take advantage of all that's going on in May to help get that spark underway in your family for the Read Early, Read Often campaign.  The resources are all here for you and there is no better time to start than now on the future for your kids.  To learn more about Read Early, Read Often, click on the photo below to visit their website through the MAISD.  

rero bookweek promo

 

book drive

 

Its that time of year again. Time to get out with your favorite gal pal and help raise some money for multiple of the non-profits and different organizations here in Muskegon County. WDCC logoVisit the WDCC Online

The Tickets for this event are running out so if you want to be one of the lucky ones to partake in this event you will have to act fast. Tickets are just $35 and all you have to do is call 616-550-6084.0 This year there is a new auction called a Mobile & online silent Auction. This Auction is going to open the Friday before the event for you to preview the items that are available as well as pre-bid before event. Ticket holders are also going to be able to enjoy Dinner at 6pm with a cash bar, the style show and the Vendor Market place.

In 2017 this event is raised $39,587.95 and this year they need your help to reach the goal of $40,000.

The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce is holding their 14th annual Fashion and Frolic. This event is going to be held May 3,2018 at the Holiday Inn & Conference center down town Muskegon. Today I talked to CeCe Taylor one of the Fashion & Frolic Co-chairs about the event, Take a listen!

The WDCC does incredible things all year round in Muskegon. Fashion and Frolic is another on of them.  If you'd like to know more, or get tickets, click on the image below to visit their page for the event and help support the work they do all over Muskegon for so many worthy causes.

fashion and frolic

 

It will be a fun night with purpose May 11th as Music for Meds is set to take place at the Folkert Community Hub on Seminole Road in Muskegon to benefit Mission For Area People.  We've been no stranger to the work MAP does for the people of Muskegon.  Located right across from Muskegon Heights High School, MAP has been serving those in need in Muskegon for 50 years now in a variety of ways.

They have the Healthy Choice Food Pantry, with an added urban garden coming this Summer...there is the clothing and household needs pantry where people can come and get what they need for their home or wardrobe, rental assistance, help with holidays, back to school and more.  It's an amazing outreach and the purpose of this particular event is to help secure some funding for their medical and dental assistance programs.  music for medsClick to Get Tickets for Music For Meds

People who need a hand are often forced to make some pretty tough choices.  Like say for instance, do you get a tooth fixed or do you buy groceries?  Do you visit an urgent care or pay for a utility bill?  It's almost unimaginable to think that some are faced with choices like this day in and day out, but it's our reality and to know MAP works to help those who need a hand, it's a pretty heart warming feeling.  It takes all of us though, so if you are able to contribute, great and if you need a little incentive to do that...well, Music for Meds might be right up your alley!

It's a dueling pianos event.  It's a mixture of music and comedy featuring Matt Giraud of American Idol fame as well as Billy Ryan.  There will be an auction as well as some great heavy appetizers a cash bar if you like and an atmosphere guaranteed to be fun with a purpose as we come together to help out friends and neighbors who might otherwise not get the medical attention they need.

Dianna Stubbs is the Director of Mission For Area People.  She's no stranger to the shows.  A dear friend and undying advocate to help those in Muskegon who need a hand.  Take a listen to our chat below and find out more about this great event.

 It's a fantastic organization with a deep reach and very humble surroundings.  The work they do touches so many lives and we're always proud to be a part of helping spread the word on what's happening at Mission for Area People.  If you're looking for a great night out, or just looking to do your part to help out in the community, Music for Meds will be an outstanding time and it's priced affordably for you to come on out and enjoy.  To learn more about Mission for Area People, click on the photo below and visit their website.

MAP

 

 

It's been a while since we first told you about Muskegon's MARS FIRST Robotics team.  In fact, it was back in January that we first met Michael Gerstweiler and his team of kids from Muskegon area schools including Reeths-Puffer, North Muskegon, Orchard View, Oakridge and a few home schoolers.  Together they meet up and form the MARS Rovers robotics team and when we first talked they were minutes away from getting their orders on what this years project was going to be.  Once the task is assigned, there is a 6 week window for these teams from all over the world to design, build and make their robot function in the FIRST competition.  It's a STEM competition that pushes young people in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (thus STEM) and it's an intense experience for all of the competitors.  mars rovers robotClick Here to Help the MARS Team Get to the World Championships

As we wrapped up our fist story, the group grabbed their seats and waited for instructions.  Flash forward to today, well, our MARS First kids from Muskegon are on their way to the World Finals to be held in Detroit April 25th-28th.  28 countries 400 teams, Cobo Hall and Ford Field will be in use.  Need a hotel in Detroit that weekend?  Good luck on that.  It's going to be filled with brilliant young minds..and probably some college and business recruiters who are looking for future developers and leaders.  The best part of it is....Muskegon has not only the MARS First team but the Wavelengths fro Mona Shores heading there to represent us on a world stage.  Possibly the best in the world....right here in Muskegon. 

As we wrapped up our story in January, I told the MARS team that I'd be excited to come back and follow up.  Actually was kind of wondering if I would hear from them again recently to be honest with ya, and just like that, Mike pops up on my instant messenger and says "Guess what...we're heading to the World Championships...want to come do another story?"  Threw the camera in the car and off I went to visit Mike and his son Nick.   Let's talk world championships!

What a bright future for these kids huh?  It's going to be a great weekend for them and a great weekend for all of us as they head to Motown to show off what they have accomplished and try to stack up against the best of the best on the planet!  Weeks of dedication, planning, preparing and competing to be a part of the excitement and hopefully bring back a win for themselves and all of us!  Our very best to both the MARS FIRST team and the WAVELENGTHS!!  For more on the FIRST Program, visit their website below.

FIRST Vertical RGB 

I recently visited Diane Smith with Agewell Services of Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa Counties to talk about their 5th annual HEELS FOR MEALS fundraiser event taking place this coming Saturday, April 21st at Bella Maria's Event Center.  heelsformealsleadClick Here For Tickets to Heels for Meals

 This annual event gets bigger and better every year!.... Proceeds benefiting Agewell Service's MEALS ON WHEELS program.... Feeding individuals in the Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa County areas who are over the age of 60 and in need of fresh, hot, delicious meals delivered to their homes.    Not only does Meals on Wheels provide much needed nourishment....but also much appreciated friendly interaction with others. 
 
This year's HEELS FOR MEALS event will feature a delicious meal, dessert bar, signature cocktails (with hand painted wine and martini glasses), live band, contest shoe fashion show, live and silent auctions and much more!  Tickets are still available but going very fast.... Each ticket is $45 per person and available by calling (231) 733-8636.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It's so important to make sure our senior citizens are taken care of.  It's an elegant and fun way to make sure that our most vuneralble are provided for and that we give back to them what they paid forward as they raised us.  If you'd like to know more about Agewelll Services of Muskegon, please click on their logo below for more information.
 
agewell

Being part of West Michigan is truly a blessing. We have some of the most beautiful beaches, lakes and trails all at our disposal. If you have not been out to the Michigan State Park on Scenic drive you really should go.

DUNEiversity is geared toward student groups and corporate groups. These adventure-based team building activities are tailored you your groups needs and budget. While you participate in this program you will learn how to become a stronger team through education about the local environments history and how to conserve it. adventures moreFollow the Muskegon Sports Complex on Facebook

It is important to stay active throughout the summer months. One way to help our children do that is through a week-long summer camp that engages them through multiple outdoor team building activities. There are two different age groups for the half-day dune adventures camp: Salmon (7-11) and Eagles (11-14) and are held Mon-Fri for three hours. If you are interested in the Full day dune adventures camp that will be held on specific weeks. This camp will be from 8am-4:30pm and will be for ages 7-12 years of age.

No matter your age and group there is always something for you to do. Some of the things that you may look forward to trying are: Paddle boarding, archery, summer luge, Kayaking, a Trail Quest and ropes course. If you are looking to just visit the sports complex without a group you can try your hand at one of the many trails or even have a picnic lunch at the beautiful beach right across the street.

Today I stopped out to talk with Bill Bailey about the new program that the Sports complex is launching called DUNEiversity, take a listen.

Thanks to Bill for taking the time to talk a little about this exciting program at the Muskegon Sports Complex.  If you'd Like to know more, click on the image below to visit their website!

 

Duneiversity Logos e1523304863710

Jerry Maxwell!  Adventurer...cook....renaissance man and more!  The guy just loves showing off his passion for things and sharing his love for all things artistic, miniature and creative.  We picked up on Jerry a while back and asked if we could share his world with you on The Muskegon Channel.  He politely agreed!  

This episode, Jerry takes you to a a galaxy far away as he shares some of his miniature Star Wars collection and talks a little about some of the figures etc.  Enjoy!

We've worked on both Positively Muskegon and The Muskegon Channel to share the platform when it comes to kids and schools and what's truly needed at the area schools.  Yes, we are aware that there are plenty of people out there that think any time a millage comes along that it's to pad some slush fund account, fill in a gap somewhere hidden in a budget or it's just a school trying to make a grab for more money.  Well, we're always very open to the idea of sharing the need and what we ask from the schools who want to share the story is some transparency in what they are looking for.  It seems to be a fair trade that if they want to share their need they can just join us to talk about it.  We don't cut it up into sound bytes, we don't edit it down to fit into 30 seconds...we just talk and explain the need.  In this particular segment...you will see one bump, that is from our end...our camera records in 15 minute segments, and we did have to string two together for this and we did have to adjust the video a little because the camera wasn't centered properly.  We're up front too.

I was invited out to Orchard View by Superintendent Jim Nielsen to talk about their upcoming ballot request on May 8th.  There has been a tremendous amount of work done in advance of this request and it's all essential work that needs to be done on school properties that is long over due, and if neglected longer will end up costing much more in the long term.  It's also a great way to look at long term cost savings by adding more efficient mechanicals, assuring the roof's don't fall in and making sure the urgent needs of piping, maintenance and ADA requirements.  Are they the most flashy and cosmetic improvements, nope...but they are truly essential and they are a long term investment in the kids of the OV District.   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Click to Email Questions Directly

In a nutshell, it's going to come down to about $4.17 a month of a tax increase.  You can link over to the particulars by clicking on the image to the right, and you can also take a listen to my chat with Jim Nielsen, Jack Timmer and Matt Vandervelde of Orchard View Schools to learn a little more about the need, where the money will and won't go and how it legally has to be spent if the voters of the area approve this on May 8th.  Take a listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 I never had my own kids.  I have never too voted against something asked for by the schools.  I am not one that is all for more taxes, no one is, but our schools are truly one of the key factors in our community.  We don't pay into schools just for our own kids, we pay into them so the kid down the street can get an education.  We pay into them so that our future generations can do better than we did and this time around in Orchard View they are asking for the bare minimum to fix what needs to be fixed to maintain and improve what's there and start taking steps in the long term preservation of the facilities.  It's about $4 bucks a month that they are looking for over 10 years and in my humble opinion, it's a very small investment in our kids.  My thanks to Jim and the staff for taking a few minutes out of their day to explain the need.  For more, and some examples of what needs to be taken care of, there is another informational video below produced by some trying to help the millage pass.  If you'd like to know more about Orchard View Schools, click on the image below to visit the district website.  

 

 

ov logo

 

 

17 years strong and the event keeps growing!  Guns and Hoses is the annual benefit hockey game between area police and fire fighters, with a few corrections officers and EMT's thrown in for good mix that's put on to benefit some pretty amazing causes here locally and it's done with the care and compassion that is needed to help grow an event to the gigantic reach it's attained. 

Going back to 2002 when it all got under way, the idea was sprung to raise a few bucks for charity and develop some goodwill among the community with the local police and fire fighters, because let's be honest..most of the time when we encounter a police of fire fighter, we're not exactly in the best possible predicament, so a little goodwill can't hurt.  In 2013 the event found some new direction with a leadership change and renewed energy which has solidified Muskegon Guns and Hoses into one of the marquee events in town.  Any event that can command the crowd they draw and the ability to raise over $20,000 in one day to be shared among 4 beneficiaries...that's a marquee event.muskegon gnhFollow Muskegon Guns and Hoses on Facebook

In 2018 the event will once again be out to help some pretty incredible people.  Eric Zurlaut is a baby with a heart condition, Gavin Wilcox had a benign brain tumor which caused him to be found non responsive in school, and Craig Jones is dealing with a pretty aggressive form of brain cancer.  You can read more about their stories on the Guns and Hoses Page which you'll find linked at the bottom of the page.  There will also be a portion of the proceeds going to the Old Newsies and Goodfellows of Muskegon who work yearly to help make sure no child is forgotten at Christmas.  

It's an all hands on deck effort in Muskegon for this event.  From the list of people who donate time, talent or some money to this, it's really a great example of community togetherness and concentration of energy to do something good.  Conducting the whole thing are Lacey Koens and Chris Wilks and their teams of "Guns" and "Hoses" and the list of event volunteers and countless people who chase down donations, sponsorship's and generally go all in on making sure that the event is a fun way to raise a few bucks to help some really worthy people.  We sat down at Lakeshore Sports Center to talk about the event coming up April 14th, take a listen.

 

 

 The purpose is so good, the people involved don't give up and the togetherness around a great time for a great cause can only be found in Muskegon.  17 years of raising money and making sure needs are met and more over, going above and beyond the call of duty by so many awesome police, fire and EMT workers to assure that people that need a hand get it.  There is a lot to be proud of in Muskegon and you'll be hard pressed to find something more to be proud of than the Guns and Hoses hockey game.  To learn more about this years beneficiaries of the organization itself, click on the photo below for more details.  

guns and hoses

 

It's getting to be that time of year.  Prom season is right around the corner and the temptation for our younger folks to go out and party will be present as it's always been.  I wish I could say from a personal angle that I was one of those kids who was always on the right path when I was that age, but as it's been told over and over, I was one of the group was was out securing the party supplies for everyone.  As a teen, we're all 10 feet tall and bullet proof, but a few years under your belt...you see just how very young the teen years are and just how much risk and gravity are attached to some of the bad decisions that were made, and you have to add in a lot of gratuity that through those bad decisions, nothing bad really happened.

Today, it seems the stakes are so much higher for our young people.  Back in the day, you got caught with some booze or maybe pulled over driving...you got an $80 MIP ticket or a call went home to your parents to come and get you off the road with the police pretty much leaving it up to them to give you the "what for".  Today, getting pulled over drunk driving will cost you $7000-$10,000 bucks and it's not a problem that you just pay the fine and move on from.  We have come to a point in society where we know the dangers of teen drinking are a lot more damaging than just a financial hit too.  The development of the young brain is still going on and the introduction of alcohol inhibits the proper growth as well as offers an early crutch in the ability to deal with situations by offering an easy way out.  mkg aliMuskegon ALI Online

In Muskegon, we have the ALI Program, which is conducted by The Health Project, a community coalition of Mercy Health.  The Health Project is also a sponsor of The Muskegon Channel.  It's a group of law enforcement officers and concerned citizens who's mission is to reduce underage drinking and alcohol related injuries in Muskegon county by giving teens and parents the educational tools needed to make better choices and lead to a healthier and safer community.  There is the educational effort as well as the enforcement portion of things, where they will send a decoy into retailers to try and purchase alcohol, the decoy is underage but not carrying a fake ID, to make sure that the retailer is abiding by the rules.  This will be going on in the month of April in Muskegon County.

I met up with Shane Brown of the Muskegon County Sheriff's Office and Sara Delarosa to talk about the work they do to help prevent underage drinking as well as how this decoy operation works.  Take a listen to our chat.

 

 

 

 

It's hard to look back over some of the personal choices I made as a young person.  The risk doesn't seem to carry the weight it does when you see life through the eyes of the invincible young person.  But with a few years under your belt and a few years away from alcohol now, man...some of the chances I took were enormus.  The fact that I never was hurt, or hurt anyone was a miracle and today, to lend a hand to help young people avoid the mistakes I made....the very least I can do.  Parents, please know what your kids are doing.  Kids...please know that all of this goes on because adults care.  We've already made the mistakes and all we hope is that you can avoid the same things we messed up on.  It's really that simple.  You can connect with Muskegon ALI on Facebook at the link below for more information.

ftb mkg

He's an unlikely adventurer and that's one of the things we love about Jerry.  Jerry Maxwell is a local artist and story teller.  He's also an avid gamer, photographer and contributor to society in so many ways.  Not only will he make you a mean hamburger down at Hamburger Mikey's, he'll take the time to show you what he does in his "off time" as he works on building miniature scenes, painting articulate figures and sharing his passion for creativity.

Today, a little head scratching is going on as the 3-D printer Jerry is working with seems to have a bit of a mind of its own. 

How about a nice night out for a great price and a great cause?  Well, it's happening on April 14th beginning at 4p at the Holton United Methodist Church at 9530 Holton Duck Lake Road and it's being put on by the Holton Fire Department to help benefit their canteen service that accompanies them to the scene of some of their work to provide some relief if needed.  Be it a fire or rescue type situation, sometimes a call to a fire department takes a long time and the canteen services provide things like food, water, coffee...shelter, warmth or a place to cool off while the work is going on by the men and women of the fire department.  The canteen services are not exclusive to the bigger departments you see in the city, and in fact, if you take a good look at the Holton FD canteen services, quite often it's made up of the spouses or family members of the Holton FD, so it's really a family affair.  holton fd logoFind the Holton Township Fire Department on Facebook

Holton's FD serves a pretty large population for a rural department.  There are lots of well traveled roads that run right through the area as well as plenty of rural homes on dirt roads and tucked away places for some rest and relaxation or maybe some secluded privacy back in the woods.  There are plenty of lake front properties they service and their types of service are right in step with what any fire department sees day in and day out.  Fire, rescue, medical, they are even seeing some of the same things seen in the city when it comes to responding to calls for people who are trapped in the opiate crisis.  It's hard to believe that problems like that effect a small community like Holton, but they do.

Now, on to the good part.  The Holton FD puts on an annual roast beef dinner with all the trimmings to help benefit their canteen staff.  The beef is slow roasted for hours first then carved up and served with everything you love for only $9 bucks!  You can't even buy a sandwich for that!!  The dinner will be held April 14th and Holton Fire Cheif Mark Hawk joined me to talk a little bit about the Holton FD as well as the dinner and some of the other fun events that happen in Holton over the course of the year, take a listen.

 

 

 

 It's still a thrill to visit a fire department and to know that so many good people risk life and limb to make sure the people in the northern tier of the county are taken care of is a great thing.  To know too, that there is a group behind our first responders in any community speaks volumes of everyone in our area.  It's a great dinner for $9 bucks.  You can get it dine in or take out and the proceeds will keep those who support the Holton Fire Department doing what they do to be a part of the fight!  I am thankful personally to the Holton FD as they would be one of the departments on the scene if we ever had a problem at the cottage up in Twin Lake.  We joked a little in the video about the cottage, but I know we're in good hands.  Thanks to Chief Hawk and the men and women of the Holton FD!  To visit the Holton Township Website, click on the image below.

holton mi

 

 

Here's to a new week!  If you notice too, here's to Spring!  We taped this a few weeks ago, and if you pay close attention, you'll see hopefully the last of something in the background. 

With that, Easter is over and Spring has sprung.  Becky has a little something new for ya!  It's called PiYo.  It's a combination of Pilates and yoga!  She sneaks in all the cool stuff and you don't even know what hit ya.  Here comes episode 45!

Whoop!  Like that?  Well, Becky has group and individual openings for personal training.  She works at The Gym in North Muskegon, The Muskegon Country Club and even offers private in homes.  You can click on the photo below for more info.

bb7 

As a mom of three young children having family friendly activities that are close and that doesn't break the bank are important. This coming week is Spring Break for a lot of local schools and not everyone is going to be able to leave town on vacation. If you are like my family and I you may be staying home but would still like to have some fun. I have done a little searching and I have come up with some ideas that are free or nearly free and are right here in Muskegon county.

The first stop on this staycation trip will be to the Lakeshore Museum Center to talk about their Spring Break Open House. The open house is going to be on Tuesday April 3rd from 10:30 am – 12:30pm. During the event you will be able to join in on the #hashtag game that is going to be going on. (Ask front desk for more information on how to play) You will also be able to visit one of the new temporary exhibits that will be at the museum until September. The secret of Bees exhibit is a fun way for you and your little ones to get a hands-on learning experience and don’t forget to visit the mastodon after you play in the wind tunnel.

Next I stopped at Frauenthal Center to talk about the free family movie night that they are having. On Wednesday April 4th the Frauenthal will be showing Where the Wild Things Are at 3-5pm. This is a completely free event thanks to some special donors. If you need more information you can call 231-722-9750.

The last stop is going to be the Muskegon Museum of Art to talk about their Pajama party that will be held Thursday April 5th from 6-8pm. At this party you will be able to listen to a story read by someone from the Hackley Public Library, participate in an activity with friends from the Lakeshore Museum Center. And you can get inspired by all of the art around you when you are making your own in the art activity provided all while you are having a hot drink from the hot cocoa station.

If you are looking for something outside to do with your family we have some of the most beautiful parks, trails and beaches in West Michigan. Pack some drinks and a sack lunch and take a literal hike with the kiddos.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and safe family spring break Staycation here in Muskegon Michigan.

If you're not quite familiar with this annual show, please do yourself a favor and check it out!  It is the absolute best way to catch a glimpse of the most incredibly talented, brilliant, dedicated High School Students in our West Michigan communities.  Over the course of two nights this show highlights the very best high school Athletes, Scholars, Literary Artists, Visual Artists and Performing Artists... All are honored for their dedication and for being considered the very best chosen from their schools.   Many of the Showcase honorees will be competing amongst each other for cash prizes as well as bragging rights for being chosen best amongst all their West Michigan peers.

The 2018 West Michigan Student Showcase will be honoring 216 High School Students from 32 different area schools from Muskegon County, Ottawa County, Oceana County and Kent County.  If you would like to find more information about the two-evenings performances and which schools will be featured on each night and also, if you would like to read all of the Literary Arts Honorees written works please click on the picture to the right.  showcase
All of this years Visual Arts Honorees pieces of artwork will be displayed in the Reception Gallery on the 2nd floor of the Hilt Building attached to the Frauenthal Theater from April 3 to April 29th...and I highly urge you to see these amazing works in-person.
If you were to look back over all 38 years of past and present "Showcase Kids" you would be absolutely amazed at all the incredible accomplishments!   They've gone on to become World renowned actors, athletes, poets, painters and musicians... But also well respected advocates, activists, business professionals at the very top of their chosen fields...and so much more.  So please help us celebrate the very best in our West Michigan Student Achievers at the 2018 West Michigan Student Showcase.
It was my great privilege and pleasure to sit down with my dear friend and the Executive Director -  Producer of the 2018 West Michigan Student Showcase... Joel Selby.   In its 38th year...this incredible two night program will take place at the beautiful, historic Frauenthal Theater in downtown Muskegon... Wednesday, April 11th and Thursday, April 12th.  Each evening's performance starting at 7pm....doors opening at 6pm with general seating.
 
 
 
2018 West Michigan Student Showcase 
Frauenthal Theater, Western Avenue...downtown Muskegon
Wed., April 11th & Thur., April 12th...  Doors at 6pm... Show at 7pm
Tickets:  $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 students. (All general seating)
1-800-585-3737..... Or...www.startickets.com
For Information log onto:   www.WestMIShowcase.org

It was an exciting day in Roosevelt Park on Tuesday March 27th.  Sport Clips opened it's doors right on Henry Street across from Meijer and with the opening comes some new excitement and some clean new looks in style for the guys in the area.  Sport Clips has had a location out by the Lakes Mall for quite some time, but as the client base grew, it made sense to think about a second location in the Muskegon area and Roosevelt Park has been seeing quite a spike in new development and business openings lately.  Combine that with the location close to area staples, high traffic and population to draw from it was a perfect fit for Sport Clips. sport clips rpClick Here For Sport Clips of Roosevelt Park

Stacey Patulski is the owner of both Muskegon locations, and if that name rings a bell, it's with good reason.  He and his brother Jeff owned the Muskegon Lumberjacks for a few years.  Stacey has had great success running his Sport Clips stores and credits a lot of his success to the community outreach that goes on outside the shop.  They are heavily involved in supporting local athletics for kids.  They like to be a part of community events and bring something fun and unique to the things they participate in and they work to find charitable organizations that they can help along the way as well using some of the assets they get from the corporate level to thank their customers for helping them, help causes.  This first week, they are working to help No More Sidelines of Muskegon with a portion of every haircut going to help those kids and families.  

If you've never been in a Sport Clips, well, it's the place with "Guy Smart Stylists".  You get pampered while you relax for a few...a massaging shampoo...relaxing neck and shoulder treatment and finish it all off with a legendary hot steamed towel.  NICE.  No appointments are necessary, you can use their handy online check in to save a spot for ya and if you need more...you're immersed in sports everywhere you turn inside Sport Clips.  It's a pretty great experience. 

I was able to catch up with my long time friend, and new sponsor of The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon to talk a little about the new place in Roosevelt Park and their philosophy about community involvement.  Take a listen to our chat.   

We're excited to welcome Sport Clips as a sponsor to The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  It's been great to work with Stacey and his team on a number of levels over the years and his commitment to Muskegon and it's people is from the heart.  If you're a guy and you're looking for the MVP treatment when it comes to a new doo...stop in and see them at Sport Clips at their new location on Henry Street or if you are a traditionalist, you can always visit the shop out by The Lakes Mall as well.  We wish them much success at both locations and say thanks again for helping us continue our work here!  

Sports Clips logoClick Here For Sport Clips of Roosevelt Park on Facebook

What we've seen on the news lately, well... it sucks.  We won't skirt the issue and we won't deny that seeing and hearing tragic events...it takes a toll on us.  We're exhausted on the lack of sense any of it makes.  We're tired of being the victims.  We're suffering from the feeling of helplessness if that situation were ever to happen to us and we all seem lost in the middle of the arguments on either side of the debate.  

Current news aside, tragedy often is the mother of necessity and tragedy isn't always what's portrayed on the news.  Think about an accident at home?  How about an accident at a work site?  Maybe you are the first on the scene of an auto accident or maybe you're the one who know's CPR or the Heimlich Maneuver.  What if you were the one on hand and someone was experiencing a traumatic blood loss event?  Would you know what to do?  Would you be able to maintain your cool and help calm the victim?  What can you reach for in a pinch and what are the steps you need to take to get things under control until EMT's can arrive?  Well, there' a free class for that.  stop the bleedRegister Online for Stop the Bleed

Mercy Health is presenting a Stop the Bleed class on March 31st at the Youngberg Auditorium on the Hackley Campus.  The class is in conjunction with Safe Kids West Michigan and The American College of Surgeons and is designed to teach you the immediate, front-line aid techniques you need in the event you encounter a sever bleeding problem.  The class goes from 11am-1pm and as we mentioned, is free to attend, but you do need to register in advance.  You'll find a link to register over to the right.  There will also be the same class offered on April 11th and May 2nd so if the March 31st class gets filled up, you can always sign up for a later date.

I was contacted by Heather Ruffin from Hackley Hospital about these classes as well as her upcoming visit to Lansing to educate some of our State Lawmakers about some critical funding needed in the State of Michigan, because if you can believe it or not...we are one of only 2 states in the entire nation that doesn't have permanent funding in place for trauma systems.  We were joined by Holly Alway from Safe Kids West Michigan for our chat about the class and the upcoming Lansing visit.  Take a listen. 

 

 

We all spent time with "Resussa Anny" learning CPR.  Chances are you were taught the best ways to prevent choking or poison control, now, it's time to learn another way that can save a life and make a difference.  The class is free and what do you have to lose by having a little more knowlege in the back of your mind incase the next time comes along an you need to know how to properly and effectivly stop bleeding until the professionals can get there?  It all comes back to the old saying "The More You Know".  My thanks to Heather and Holly for having me down today.

According to the July 1st, 2016 U.S. Census Bureau Muskegon MI. had a population of 173,408 people 15.9% of which were 65 years of age and over. This means that you should personally know at least one of those people. Today I was able to talk to Heather from AgeWell services of West Michigan. 

AgeWell Services of West Michigan provides meals and health and wellness opportunities to seniors in Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa Counties. Like I said before I was able to talk with Heather about one of the Events that they are hosting at Bella Maria's called Heels for Meals. This is a fun way for you to get out of the house and help out raise money to help provide meals to our older community members that may be unable to make it for themselves. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Get Tickets for Heels for Meals

This is the 5th annual event and the second year being held at Bella Maria's. Tickets are just $45 a person and include a plated meal provided by Bella Maria's and a chance to win the door Prize. These tickets for this event are going fast so if you would like to attend you need to contact Heather at (231) 733-8636 or click on the photo to the right to email Heather.  One of the main events are going to be the heels hence the name. This will give you the chance to get crazy with your creative side and show us what you’ve got. There is going to be multiple categories for you to be in so don’t hold back, you may even win a prize. Being creative not your thing, you can join in on one or all of the other things available some of which include tasty signature cocktails, hand painted wine and martini glasses ($20) a delicious dessert bar, auctions and a live band.

The two of us meet at Bella Maria's to talk about an event that is going to be held on April 21st to help the seniors in our community.

 

To learn more about Agewell Serivices, click on the photo below to visit their website.

agewell people

 

 

 

 

We introduced you to local artist and adventurer Jerry Maxwell not too long ago.  Jerry works at Hamburger Mikey on 3rd Street in Muskegon and when he's not there, he's working on his photography, his art and he's making the world a better place by sharing his passion for what he loves.  

Today, he's showing off some of his miniatures, talking about the process to make them, paint them and put them to use.

Jerry is Jerry...he's a story teller on his own....so....take a listen to today's installment on Adventures With Jerry

According to the Arthritis Foundation pediatric rheumatic diseases also or more commonly known as Juvenile arthritis affects almost 300,000 children in the United States. The term juvenile arthritis is a broad term for various types of juvenile arthritis that share also of the same symptoms including pain, swelling of the joints, redness and warmth. Today I was able to visit with one special little lady and her mom. Blank Mackenzies Sidekicks Logo 1 300x256Visit Mackenzies Sidekicks

Mackenzie has Juvenile Arthritis. Her parents first noticed a bump on her hand when she was two years old. This led to many doctor appointments and a whirl wind of emotions for both Mackenzie and her parents. Mackenzie feels the affects from this disease daily. You see Mackenzie has to have a shot twice a week as well as taking meds daily. There are times when Mackenzie wakes up and has a hard time moving her legs or open and close her hands. Some days are better than others but she wants you to know that she is just like other children and can do the same things, maybe not as fast but she can do it.

Mackenzie and her Sidekicks would love for you to come and join them at one or both of her events that are happening to help raise awareness and raise money for Mackenzie in the 2018 walk to cure Arthritis in Grand Rapids on May 6th at Millennium park. The first event is Pizza & Painting for a Cure held at North Side Pub on March 24,2018 at 12-3pm. Lacey with Crate A Frame studio will be leading everyone in a painting all while you get to enjoy the pizza buffet, Cesar Salad, and breadsticks provided by Northside. This special event is a couples painting (parent or friend and me) and includes two canvases per pair along with all of the necessary supplies and professional instruction for the painting. (this also includes the food Buffet) If you do not have a "pair" you may still come and paint as the painting chosen was one that is able to be one half of a whole. Along with the painting you will also be able to have a chance to win something from the Chinese and Silent Auctions as well as a door prize.

The second event is Cocktails and Canvas for a cure held on April 13, 2018 6-9pm. This event is going to be at Create.a.Frame Studio. You will be painting for a cure all the while enjoying refreshments, appetizers a silent auction and door prizes. Tickets for this event is just $45 each and includes a 16x20 canvas, all appropriate supplies and professional instruction. It is important to know that this event is a 21year an older event.

For more information about Mackenzie her story and to purchase tickets to these events you may click on the image below to visit Mackenzies Squareup page.

 

MackenzieProefrock FaceOfArthritis Sign24x18 768x576

As we spoke a couple weeks ago, the people at the Muskegon County offices asked if we'd be interested in helping them get the word out about the workings of the government.  What we do here at The Muskegon Channel and our sister page Positively Muskegon is really about giving people a chance to sit down and talk about what's happening in the community and our focus has generally been on smaller organizations and individuals who make an impact with what they do.  However, as we've grown and are working to fill the voids of news and information here in town, it's become more and more apparent that the people of our community and their contact with our local governments has led to way too much speculation, armchair quarterbacking, "he said she said" situations and question marks all over the place. 

I understand that it's always important to question government.  It's our civic duty to do just that, but...I also don't think that anyone in our local governments is up to any intentional trickery, that there is any slight of hand going on or that there is some hidden agenda happening.  I have been wrong before, but I just don't see it here.  I also understand that to the average guy on the street, how governmental budgets, bonds, millage's and everything works...it's pretty confusing.  It's remarkably complicated so in an effort to help explain it in plain English, I grabbed Mark Eisenbarth, The Muskegon County Administrator and Beth Dick who is the Director of Finance and the Assistant County Administrator and asked them to put it all in layman's terms for us so we can better understand the workings. MuskCnty LogoFBThe 2018 Muskegon County Budget

It begins with a Standards and Poor's global rating that the County just received.  We got a Double A Rating which is considered "stable".  For the panic you hear on social media and the street, it's probably just best that as Mark and Beth take a few minutes to explain and YES...I even take the time to ask them about the jail and all the stir it seems to keep causing about how and when it's going to be paid for.  Take a listen to our talk and learn a little more just like I am.

  

 

 

 

 

 It's as simple as a contacting Beth.  CLICK HERE to find her contact info.  It's as simple as finding the time to head to a County Commissioners meeting.  You're not being a pain in the butt for wanting to know more and a simple direct question to those who are responsible for how our government works, and works for us is a lot better than going with what you hear and see on social media.  My thanks to Mark and Beth for taking the time out today to explain more.  If you'd like to visit the Muskegon County Website, please click on the photo below.

 

muskegon county building

Use it or lose it.  Hey, we're not starting off the story with a threat or anything, but like anything if we're not making best use of what we have, we risk another loss and in the time of such incredible rebirth in Muskegon keeping our airport active is not only a great idea for those who may be coming in, it's a great idea for those who might want to get out for a little rest and relaxation without the hassle of going to a giant airport.  You've been to some of the bigger airports.  Giant parking areas with miles of cars, huge lines, traffic nightmares not to mention the cost involved of getting there...a possible hotel stay.  Imagine all of that gone.

It's just not like that in Muskegon.  The Muskegon County Airport offers one of the easiest and user friendly travel experiences you'll find. They have also been a long time sponsor of Positively Muskegon and The Muskegon Channel, so when Jeff Tripp got a hold of me to see if we could talk about what's new, I grabbed up the camera and took the short drive to Norton Shores. ashvilleWin a Trip For 2 To Ashville NC

First up.  Some prestige.  United Airlines has named The Muskegon County Airport the Tier 4 Station of the Year nationally and internationally.  That means a level of excellence has been achieved when it comes to things like on time arrival and departure, proper handling of baggage and more.  They are also offering more direct adventure flights to places like Laughlin Nevada and Atlantic City for some casino fun.  A personal note...I have been to both and love them.  The Atlantic City flights with S&S Casino Tours are so much fun and so affordable you can't even drive there for the price you pay for a direct flight.  

Now, some ease.  Parking is cheap and easy.  The lines are short.  The service is friendly and the atmosphere is of friends and neighbors while you wait to embark.  You don't have to pay for a hotel to catch an early flight and wonder if your car is going to be ok in some giant garage in some other city while your away.  If you are a regular traveler the beginning or ending of the trip is met with ease or if you are an occasional traveler, you won't have the jaded business travelers looking down their nose at you with you while you find your way.

As mentioned, Jeff Tripp and I sat down for a chat.  Take a listen to the details about the award, the upcoming fun stuff and the possibility of an added morning flight for the business traveler.  Take a listen!

We're very fortunate to have the ease and convenience of the Muskegon County Airport.  We brag it up here for sure.  We're proud of their sponsorship of out work but we also believe it's one of Muskegon's greatest assets.  All they ask, CHECK MUSKEGON FIRST.   You might find a better deal elsewhere, especially if your flying with the entire family, but..take the time and see if all that goes into flying out of the big airports is really the value.  You might find a better deal with more ease and less pressure right here at home.

united air

 

Until now students have not been able to work with their teachers and other faculty members on making their school experience one that is a positive and enjoyable experience that they had a hand in planning. In previous years the public-school system has been all about testing and making sure that student reach all of the necessary benchmarks. Teachers and faculty members were the only ones who had a say in what and how things were going to be done day to day for the students.  ov cardnialVisit Orchard View Schools Online

Orchard View is working on changing just this. Mr. Simeon the curriculum director has worked closely with his staff to put a program into place to give the students of Orchard View a chance to voice their opinion how they feel they will have the best educational experience.

Today I was able to meet with McKenzie, Alexis and Mr. Simeon at the central office of Orchard View. McKenzie and Alexis took a 171-mile trip to Novi Michigan to the to the talent summit where they presented their ideas to state leaders and Govenor Rick Snyder in making Orchard View a better place to go to school. The girls told me that at first, they were intimidated and felt like no one would listen to what they had to say but they soon grew the confidence in themselves and in their ideas. As they day went on the girls were able to work with the other eight students (who were all in high school) as well as other state members and education directors on making student relationships to staff and their peers as well as the overall school day a positive experience.

Alexis and her peers came up with an idea called a "Hope Board". The idea behind a Hope board is to have students write down what they hope for. Alexis's goal is to put a board in each of the different grades halls as well as the lunch room and the main hall they all share. She will put "I Hope For" at the top and the students will have to opportunity to write down what they hope to see at or for the school, this will give the facility a chance to come and see the different ideas. This is one way they are hopping to bridge the communication gap between student and teacher.

McKenzie worked closely with other members of the student counsel to come up with the idea of an "in person group support". This is a mixture of students from sixth, seventh, and eighth grades that are coming together and learning about and supporting each other in their strengths and differences. This is also the time for the students to come together and talk about a problem that they may be having so that they can all help to come up with solutions to help them fix or make better what is going on.

Please click on the video and see what these inspiring young women have to say during our talk today. Thank you for taking time out of your day to join me on the Muskegon Channel.

 

 

 

One of the great thing about getting The Muskegon Channel underway has been spending a little more time on YouTube as we use their platform for all of our videos.  I am not one to spend a whole lot of time there unless I need to look up something specifically, but I think a lot of that has to do with age and where I am used to watching things.  Younger people....they are watching more and more stuff online and even us "old timers" are too with things like Roku, Fire Stick, Chromecast etc...it's all streaming content and it's all coming online instead of a transmitter like we're used to.

Well, another great thing about the online viewing idea is this.  You have a chance to see things that no network, television station or cable outlet would touch.  You can see things how the creators of them want you to see them.  No consultants...no slanted agenda...no laugh tracks...just honest and genuine people doing and sharing what they love.  The other great thing is, it's getting to the point where just about anyone can share these things at a pretty affordable cost to set up and of course...it's free to share on YouTube and, you might even be able to make a buck at it. jerry 3You Can Subscribe To Adventures With Jerry Direct Here

This brings me to Jerry Maxwell.  Jerry works here in town at Hamburger Mikey.  He was a concrete worker before, but an injury keeps him from practicing his trade, so..he does what he can.  Like anyone, Jerry also has another side to him and that's art.  He loves photography, he loves moves, role playing, and has gotten into 3-D printing and mini set making in his spare time.  What caught me about Jerry though was watching his videos....there is really a sense of true joy in him.  He's so happy doing what he loves...he genuinely loves showing people what he's doing, the process that goes into making what he's making and the end result.  I sat and watched a video of his a month or so ago and was just pulled in, couldn't quit watching.  So much so, I invited Jerry to be a part of The Muskegon Channel to share his stories...take a listen.

 

 

 

 

 

Today, anyone can be the star of their own show.  Jerry brings so much to his sharing of what makes him happy.  So often, we all think that it's how much stuff we have or how big our roles are or where we fit in....but the secret of life, lies within everyone of us, and Jerry manages to bring it out beautifully.  It's a pleasure and great honor to welcome him to The Muskegon Channel.  We're just going to share his story...it's Jerry's and his alone.  If you get to where you think life is getting a little hectic...take an adventure with Jerry once in a while.  It will help you re-center things.  If you'd like to see the video that pulled me in to being a fan, take a look below.  Welcome to Jerry Maxwell and Adventures With Jerry!

 

 

Did you ever thing that one Spring day in Muskegon Michigan you'd find a bunch of Camels racing around to benefit the programs that the Greater Muskegon Optimist Club does year round for kids?  Well, it's happening March 24th at the Polish Falcons on Hackley Avenue and as we speak..,,camels from all over the planet are being imported, and groomed for the high paced excitement of the hoof pounding, hump riding "hee-ya mule" action.  Well, kind of.  camel racerFind the Camel Races Event on Facebook

OK, that was "fake news".  You got us.  The real story is this.  The Greater Muskegon Optimist Club was formed in 1945 and works to give back to the community and enrich the lives of young people here in town.  Over the past 70 years they have worked and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help scholarships, summer camps, sports teams and classrooms. 

One of their biggest annual fund raisers...you guessed it.  Camel Races!  They have some camels, they are not real...they are somewhat like wooden rocking horses, they are done up in themes and special costumes to add a little personality to them and then throughout the evening dice are rolled and the race is on.  The fund raising aspect comes in the betting on the races and of course, you'll find some other opportunities to help raise a few bucks during the evening as well.  There's dinner...there's drinks...there's the fun of being at the Falcons and there's the opportunity to do your part to help some pretty awesome kids here in town with much needed things.

Denise Sabo joined me for the talk about the event.  We met up at the Polish Falcons as they were setting up for another big event and got the details on the evening. Take a listen to our talk here!

Great people pitching in to make sure that our next generation have what they need to make it.  It takes all of us.  There are SO many who find ways to make a few bucks drop out of the sky to help what's needed and you know....we've gotten pretty dang good at finding a way to make it fun for folks in Muskegon to help.  If you'd like to know more about the Greater Muskegon Optimist Club, or maybe you'd like to join them and help out, click on the photo below to visit their website and learn more.  Many thanks to Denise for taking the time to come by and talk about the club and the work.

optimists

 

We're all pulling on the rope to make Muskegon better.  We work in our own ways to help make things better, we work as groups, we work as complete communities.  Some efforts are small and unnoticed, while others are of the grand scale.  We team up under giant umbrellas like the United Way's Day of Caring or, you know...we might just pick up a piece of trash blowing down the street.  We are all digging in to what it takes to up the game...  Recruitment flyer Winter 2018 Page 1 2Click Here to Apply For The Americorps

In Muskegon, we have some blight.  Yes...it's true, there are a few black eyes around town that need attention and they are held by The Muskegon County Land Bank.  When a property goes into tax foreclosure, which if you recall we did a story on a while ago on how to avoid that being your home, it goes into the Land Bank until such time it can be properly taken care of and sold to recoup the costs.  As the property sits there blight grows.  Eventually, the homes end up back in the hands of people who will be good stewards of their residence and community...and we make another step in the right direction.  

There is an opportunity here for people to help.  The Americorps Team is looking for some people willing to be a part of the work that goes into cleaning up these houses and neighborhoods.  These are compensated positions that also come with an educational incentive at the end of the assignment.  They are looking for 10 people to work 6 months.  You'll not only get a chance to help make our community nicer, safer and more valuable...you'll gain great experience on the ground level.  Networking in communities, fostering goodwill in neighborhoods, cleaning up what's wrong and helping restore our homes.  

I was able to catch up with Tim Burgess and Amanda Grover at the office of the County Treasurer today to talk a little about the Land Bank and how it works as well as how you can get involved in the effort to help with the clean up and make some money for the efforts.  Take a listen.  

 

This is a great opportunity to get involved, make change happen and add to the greater good.  This is community in action and it's boots on the ground to improve things for all of us.  We've done stories on Americorps in the past and the work they do in communities and strengthen neighborhoods.  This is your chance to take an active role in all that is good to make Muskegon a little better and make a few bucks while doing it!  If you'd like more details or to apply, click on the photo above and get the ball rolling!  

MuskCnty LogoFB

 

We base the season around sports and of course with sports...you want something good to eat.  Are you getting all pumped up for the onslaught of March Madness?  Well, Chef Char fro Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market has just the recipe for you this go around!  She's got enough enough spice to tempt your taste buds and the recipe is as simple as can be.  Kitchen 242 Logo png

If you're one of those types that considers snacking a bag of chips and a can of dip you have to pull a tin cap off, well, it's time to expand your horizons a little with this pair of super easy to make stuffed jalapeno popper recipes!  As luck would have it, one of these recipes also calls for bacon and the last time we checked... the bacon craze is still sweeping the nation.

So, snackers....bacon lovers...fans of all things heat....prepare yourself....Chef Char is ready to roll on The Muskegon Channel!

 

 

That's how it's done!  She makes it look so easy.  She also makes it easy for you to follow along.  You'll find the recipe below.  If you like what you see, why not join Char for one of her incredibly fun cooking classes at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market?  They are a great way to make some new friends, have some fun learning some thing new to make and you get the experience of working in a real professional grade kitchen with professional instructors in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.  You can click on the Kitchen 242 above. photo for more details.  Now the recipe!

poppers

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

& Buffalo Chicken Poppers

Awesome appetizers or snacks for watching the big game!

Chef Char Morse

www.chefcharmorse.com

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

INGREDIENTS:

24 fresh jalapeño peppers

1 pound bulk sausage, cooked and drained (chorizo or hot Italian sausage work great!)

2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

2 (1.25 oz. each) packages taco seasoning mix

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

2-4 pounds thick-sliced bacon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a wire rack set over the baking sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese, sour cream and package of taco seasoning mix. Mix until smooth. Add the cooked sausage and cheddar cheese and mix until all ingredients are disbursed throughout the seasoned cream cheese mixture.
  3. Cut the jalapeño peppers in half, lengthwise. Carefully remove the seeds (wearing gloves for this is a great idea) and membranes.
  4. Stuff the seeded jalapeño halves with the seasoned cream cheese mixture.
  5. Wrap each of the stuffed jalapeño halves with a long slice of bacon. Place each bacon-wrapped stuffed pepper on top of the wire rack or the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bacon is to a desired crispness.
  7. Remove pan from oven and allow the poppers to cool for a few minutes before eating.

Buffalo Chicken Jalapeño Poppers

INGREDIENTS:

24 fresh jalapeño peppers

1 cup shredded, cooked chicken (Rotisserie chicken works great)

2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

2 stalks celery, cut small dice

½ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce

4 oz. crumbled blue cheese

¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs for coating

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a wire rack set over the baking sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese, sour cream and Franks Red Hot sauce. Mix until smooth. Add the celery, chicken and blue cheese, continuing to mix until all ingredients are dispersed evenly.
  3. Cut the jalapeño peppers in half, lengthwise. Carefully remove the seeds (wearing gloves for this is a great idea) and membranes.
  4. Stuff the seeded jalapeño halves with the seasoned cream cheese mixture.
  5. Coat each stuffed pepper with panko breadcrumbs and place on top of the wire rack and baking sheet or the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake the stuffed poppers in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are at a desired crispness.
  7. Remove pan from oven and allow the poppers to cool for a few minutes before eating.

Chef Char teaches cooking classes at Kitchen 242 in the Muskegon Farmers Market in downtown Muskegon. Chef Char also works locally as a private chef and as a culinary consultant for restaurants and food manufacturers. Like Chef Char on Facebook www.facebook.com/chefcharmorse or visit www.chefcharmorse.com

One of Muskegon's best annual events is coming up to celebrate it's 14th year!   Mercy Health is proud to announce its 2018 THE RIDE... Taking place on Saturday, March 10th inside the Lakes Mall located on Harvey Street in Muskegon.  mercy health muskegon surgical weight 32Visit Mercy Health Online 

THE RIDE takes place inside the Lakes Mall.... Featuring hundreds of stationary bikes set up for volunteer riding teams.  The race starts promptly at 12 noon and goes until 4.    Each team is made up of 8 team members....that can be aged anywhere from 8 to 80 years of age...and of any fitness level.    Each team member will have a 25 minute turn on their designated bike....  And each teams goal is to reach the highest amount of miles peddled within the 4 hour race time-span.  
 
Not only are the teams racing for high miles, but they are also competing for the team with the most Spirit, the Best Costumed Team,  the most amount of donation funds raised and so much more!    Speaking of donated funds...  All the money raised at this fun event go directly to funding the important, life saving works of the Mercy H.E.A.R.T. Center Rehabilitation programs as well as the High School Student Heart Screening program.... Also these donations will help fund other important services that will be offered at the new Mercy Health Center coming in 2019. 
 
I recently sat down with THE RIDEs Event Coordinator, Amber Wallace.... She filled us in on all the super fun details!
 
 
Mercy Health's 2018 THE RIDE is a super fun, competitive, fast paced event with great music, costumes, prizes and much more.... All for a great cause!   Please come out to the Lakes Mall on Saturday, March 10 from noon to 4....with the award ceremony at 4:30.    If you would like to volunteer, be a rider, submit a donation, enter a team or just want to come out and cheer the riders on.... Please contact Amber Wallace at Mercy Health for more information.  
 
MERCY HEALTH 2018 "THE RIDE"
Saturday, March 10th
Inside the Lakes Mall
Noon to 4pm... Award presentation at 4:30ish
 
Contact: Amber Wallace (231) 672-6876 or click on the photo below.
 
the ride 2

Here we are again!  A very warm welcome back and thanks for joining us for the 41st edition of Fit and Healthy With Becky!!  You might be finding yourself starting to slump a little on that New Years Resolution, but Becky is here this week to help keep you on track.  Let's face it.  It's not too far off till we're all back at the beach, out on the boat, up at the cottage....out in the yard....you know...we're going to be out of the caves and out in the public!

Like any other exercise program, please...consult a physician before you begin.  Drink lots of water, stretch out...warm up....get those things for your legs like that lady in "Flashdance" had...but after that...let's get to it!  Episode 41!

Hey, as Becky mentioned at the top of the show.  That swing dance class is a good time.  Get out, meet some people, hob knob a little at the Muskegon Country Club, have a nice dinner at Seasons a night or two and enjoy learning some new moves for the upcoming wedding season.  People are getting sick of you trying to moonwalk at receptions anyway.  Here's the list of dates. You'll enjoy them and you'll get to hang with the star of Fit and Healthy With Becky!

swing dance march

Spring is around the corner and it's on everyone's mind is on getting out...getting the house around, getting the yard fixed up and maybe getting their hands dirty with a little do it yourself project work that's long overdue around the place!  Well, it's one stop shopping for all you'll need to do it at the Muskegon Lakeshore Home, Garden and DIY Show Happening March 9th-10th at Fricano's Event Center on Muskegon Lake.  It's put on by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and this year there will be over 50 exhibitors on hand to show you the "how to" the "what for" and the "I didn't know that" type of things you've been wondering about. hgdiyFind the Home Garden and DIY Show on Facebook

This event has grown in size and popularity over the last few years, and in 2018 you'll find more of the favorites you've come to expect and even some added amenities that you might not find at every other expo type event.  There will be awesome floral design demonstrations, some of which you can even take home with you, you'll find cooking demonstrations with The Muskegon Channel's own Chef Char from Kitchen 242, beer and wine tastings and more.  You'l get to get up close and personal with awesome professionals for your home if you need them.  You'll find everyone from contractors to help you get the job done to banks and credit unions to help you get it all paid for and the best part of it all, it's all set up in a relaxing atmosphere where you can stroll along and enjoy the visit. You'll find friendly and helpful people who what to make your project a breeze!  Did we mention the Bloody Mary bar?

As the event draws near, I grabbed a few minutes with Carla Flanders and Kristin Knop of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce to talk a little about what to expect in this years event.  Give a listen for a preview of what's to come at this year's Home Garden and DIY Show!

 

 

 

 What's best about the Muskegon Lakeshore Home Garden and DIY show?  I'll tell you myself.  These are our local business people who are coming together to show you what they've got!  These are your friends and neighbors who are in the business of making your home more beautiful....teaching you the tricks of the trade and over all lifting up Muskegon.  It begins at home and it can begin with your home!  Head down to the Muskegon Lakeshore Home Garden and DIY show this year and take a look around and see what you can learn!  Click on the photo below to visit their website for a complete list of vendors, demonstrations specials and more!!

Muskegon Home Garden DIY Show

 

 

Are you interested in helping out your community? Today I had the pleasure of talking with Patty and Jen this morning at the Coffee Factory about that very thing. nims neighborhoodVisit the NIMS Neighborhood Assoc Page on Facebook
 
Nims Neighborhood Association is having a fundraiser to raise money for the local playground and the community gardens. This all started with the community garden that currently holds 8 different beds. Jen got ahold of the local Cole's bakery to try and work out a partnership.
 
Lucky for us they said yes, Cole's agreed to use some of the herbs that are grown in the garden to make a spread. Do you want to know even better news? Cole's agreed to do all of this at 100% no cost. That means that all of the money raised will go directly into the fund for the playground and community gardens. Fatty Lumpkin's has also agreed to make sandwiches out of the bread to help in the efforts in raising money. They are working closely with Jen in hashing out the details of when the special "Nims Neighborhood" sandwiches will make their debut.
 
 
Take a listen to the conversation that the three of us ladies had this morning just click on the video and check it out.
 
If you would like to order some of this delicious garlic bread you can contact Patty and Jen through the Facebook page linked above or visit the Coffee Factory and sign up on the ordering sheet that is available.
 
 

Recently I sat down with Jon Felske, the Chief Executive Officer of Covenant Academies Foundation and Covenant Hall of Muskegon County.  Wow!.... What an amazing organization!

 Covenant Academies Foundation and Covenant Hall of Muskegon opened its doors just over 3 years ago when community leaders, educators and law enforcement officials decided it was far overdue time to establish a way to offer our community's highest at-risk young people a nurturing, supportive, safe way to be educated.    Covenant Academy and Covenant Hall's mission serves to prevent youth homelessness and youth incarceration in Muskegon.  Within the past 3 years they have succeeded in educating hundreds of Muskegon's youth between the ages of 16 to 23....and not only providing them with their well earned GED diplomas, but a safe living environment and also life changing career and life building skills. 
 mkg covVisit Muskegon Covenant Academy on Facebook
Thanks to the generosity of wonderful Lakeshore based companies, organizations and individuals Covenant Academy and Covenant Hall of Muskegon has received all-too-important funding...making this important community change possible.  Donations and community support are always welcome. 
 
As you can imagine housing, feeding, educating and emotionally caring for these driven young students YEAR ROUND is a huge undertaking.  Covenant Academy and Covenant Hall has enlisted only the very best educators, councelors, life skill mentors and living facility care givers for these young people.   They are provided a truly safe family-oriented learning and living situation whereby allowing these students to flourish and succeed at their own pace with complete support that they would not otherwise have been provided.
 
It is so encouraging to know that there is such an incredible organization in Muskegon where our highest at-risk young people have an opportunity available to them to learn, grow and succeed in life....and not simply fall through the cracks.
 
 
Thank you again to Jon Felske, CEO of Covenant Academies Foundation and Covenant Hall of Muskegon County.  By-the -way, make sure to cheer on Jon as he is a returning dancer to 2018's Dancing with the Local Stars lineup this February.
 
If you would like more information about Covenant Academies Foundation and Covenant Hall of Muskegon please feel free to check out their website. Click on the photo below to visit!
 
cov academy

More often than not, we here at the Muskegon Channel like to use the platform to show you the who, what, where, why and how around Muskegon to get things done.  Where things are going on that will have an impact in your life, our community and how there will hopefully be a long term benefit from what's happening.  This however, is not one of those times.  :)

This time, it's amusement.  Pure and simple.  Tom Bitson got a hold of me the other day and said that The Plaza 1&2 had something special planned for Groundhog Day and wondered if I could stop by.  So....since Celebration Cinema has never once said they couldn't help me with something I had going on, be it a donation for a charity thing or enough popcorn to feed an army...I figured I'd return the favor.  Celebration Cinema does a LOT for the communities they have theaters in, including the Celebrated Service Award and I honestly think that a little recognition in return is due.   C LogoVisit Celebration Cinema Online

So, here's the deal.  The classic Bill Murray film "Groundhog Day" returns to the screens of The Plaza 1&2 this weekend for a few shows!  Yes, you've seen it once, you've seen it 10 times...but...it is 25 years old this year believe it or not, so you may have missed the chance to see it in the theater!  Well, not anymore!! You've got 4 showing happening this weekend to get out and enjoy the movie for next to nothing combined with all the great movie treats and the comfortable setting of The Plaza. 

Tom Bitson joined me for a little chat about the film and while we were at it, we talked about what was coming to the Plaza as well at Cinema Carousel this Spring and Summer....take a listen.

 

 

 

 

 

Always great stewards to their markets.  I am so thankful to Celebration Cinema for all they do for Muskegon and our community!  Go enjoy the fun of Groundhog Day.  Who knows....maybe we're on to the next big "Rocky Horror Picture Show" cult following.  Can you believe 25 years?  Wow!  Thanks to Bitson for coming on.  For more shows and showtimes at the Plaza, click on the photo below.

plaza

We live in "Small Town America" for the most part.  Our community is small enough that we have fairly easy commutes, we have access to all the modern amenities that make life cool.  We've got great restaurants, an evolving night life, sports teams, good schools....MILES is priceless water front, great people, communities that work together for the most part - schools that do a great job education kids who want to learn...museums, maritime treasures...beautiful woodland areas...rivers...in land lakes...

And then one day....a pipe bomb goes off at an indoor event with over 1500 people at it because a lunatic wanted to make a point.......

You know it's only a simulation.  

An event like this is what's being trained for at the Frauenthal Center Monday the 29th and Tuesday the 30th.  Our area first response teams, doctors, nurses and others are coming together with the help of the Muskegon County Medical Control Authority this week.  What's happening is this.  It's an exercise where doctors are going to be able to experience in a remarkably realistic situation, more on that in a minute, just what it's like to do the job of the first responder team.  Be it EMT, police or fire and rescue....these professionals all know their role, but...what happens when you flip flop those roles and give the players on either team a chance to see what the other group endures?  Cameron Taylor invited me down and as we talked, he brought up a fairly new "buzzword"  "silos".  Yes, we all have our own little "silos" of specialty, what's happening today and tomorrow at the Frau is to build a bridge between the silos so our people have a better understanding of what the complete job entails when the unthinkable happens.  1WMRMC Logo webleadFind WMRMC On Facebook

Now, since this is a live event happening right now, I can't tell you what the group will be experiencing, but...I got a walk through while there was some lecturing going on in the Beardsley Theater today and I am here to tell you.  The scenario's that these folks will be placed in are the stuff nightmares are made of.  There will be more than one life and death situation and it involves every nook and cranny of the Frauenthal Center.  We were in the bowels of the basement up to the rafters of the roof previewing the drill...and simulation or not...no one will leave there tomorrow without a sincere realization of just what it is to encounter a disaster of magnitude and how everything has to flow all together after to do what they can, for who they can in proper order.

As mentioned, I was invited down by Cameron Taylor to learn a little more about how all this works, why the training is so vital and how all of these collective teams work together and learn what it takes to handle a mass casualty event where we least expect one.   Right here in Muskegon.  Take a listen.

 

 

 We hope it's never needed, but...we also know that this is a big scary world.  It's great to know that the people are being trained and cross trained to know how to handle the unthinkable.  We also wanted to cover this story as a thanks to those who quietly and purposefully stay behind the scenes to make sure that those on the front lines of an emergency situation like this are up to speed and can handle whatever is thrown at them.  If you'd like to know more about the West Michigan Regional Medial Consortiom please click on their logo below to visit their website.  Our best wishes to those in the training tomorrow.  

WMRMCC Logo 400

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday night, January 25th at Baker College, a panel of law enforcement officials and advocacy groups met at Baker College along with about 200 members of the community to discuss human trafficking in it's different forms.  It was a great discussion and much information was shared.

At The Muskegon Channel, we believe this is the kind of programming that should be covered.  We set up our live studio and got rolling to bring you the discussion live on our Facebook feed and have embedded it here as well to archive it for those who missed the live event or would like to come back later and review the message. 

A programming note, there is some low audio during a video presentation.  For that we apologize.  We didn't know that we'd need to patch in to another device to add their audio.  We will correct that for future events.

0:00-0:37 Presentation
0:37-0:43 Intermission

0:43-1:29 Panel Discussion
1:29-End Q&A

Everyone loves animals and everyone loves pizza.  You should go to the one event that combines your love for both on February 3rd at Fricano's Event Center on Muskegon Lake.  Now, some writers might stop right there with the article, because really, that's all you need....pizza, puppies and kittys...done deal.  There is quite a bit more to the story though and since the Muskegon Channel is all about the quite a bit more...stick around. pizza for paws 2Pizza for Paws Event on Facebook

The Muskegon Humane Society is a 501c3 No Kill Animal Shelter that was established in 1972.  From their website - "We have made it our mission to encourage animal welfare, promote education, work against abuse, but above all, serve as a shelter for mistreated and abandoned animals until a new forever home is found."  The also receive no financial support form city, state or federal governments.  It's based on community giving and sponsor donations. They have also done an awful lot of work recently not only to improve the shelter for the animals, adding all kinds of great amenities for them, they have extended the mission to outside of the shelter.  They take the animals out to schools, assisted living centers, community groups and they even have people come in to spend time with the animals there at the shelter to enrich lives of both the pets and the visitors. 

All of that takes a little money, well, it takes a lot but if everyone does a little...well, it becomes a lot in a hurry.  So....let's do something fun to make it happen and let's get behind the great work going on...right?  Saturday February 3rd, Fricano's Event Center will be the place to be for Pizza for Paws.  It gets underway at 6pm.  You'll find great music, great food and fun, a silent auction, a photo booth some raffle prizes and more.  There will be a cash bar and as the party continues on into the evening, late night pizza will be available as well!  All of the proceeds of the event will go to benefit the great work done by the Humane Society.

I was able to catch up with the Executive Director of the Muskegon Humane Society Alexis Ogborn and Paula Smith who's a dog trainer as well as service dog handler to talk a little about the party, the cause, the work and the guy they have coming to help host the shin-dig....take a listen!

Hey, it's the middle of winter, you're looking for a reason to get out of the house and the Muskegon Humane Society sure could use a hand in taking care of the critters they serve.  It's a win for everyone!  Make sure you get some tickets for the great event and plan on attending!  We're excited to help spread the word and applaude the work done by these great people in Muskegon!  For tickets, click on the photo below and if you'd like to visit the Muskegon Humane Society online, click on the photo below that!

pizzaforpaws2leadGet Tickets for Pizza for Paws

 

humane sociteyVisit The Muskegon Humane Society Online 

I was at a meeting the other night, and the County Treasurer Tony Moulatsiotis said that April would be when they started to foreclose on properties that had taxes due from 2015 and that if people needed to make arrangements to get caught up, now is the time to get a hold of his office.  Well, I immediately knew that I needed to tug on his shirt after the meeting and set something up because, well, I have been there and I really wouldn't want anyone to live in that fear like I did when there are ways to make things right and ways that can benefit everyone involved in the process.  Let me back up a minute though. step forward print hub 10x10inches fullVisit Step Forward Michigan. Org

A couple years back, I was "under employed".  Meaning I had a job, but it wasn't paying enough and even though I had the one job and the work I did at home and a weekend gig...I was getting behind on things and really doing all I could do to hang on to what I have.  It's not much, but when you're 45 and starting to get notices in the mail that you may lose your house it's not only frightening, it's a pretty big blow to your ego because it's not for lack of effort that you're behind.  People can beat their knuckles bloody and still go in the wrong direction with the circumstances around them.  I needed to take action but I didn't know where to start.  To make a long story short, I had to get with my mortgage company, explain the situation and then begin looking into the HARP program to see if I could get a hand in finding a way to get the payment to where I could afford it.  I didn't get a break on the principal of what I owed or anything, but they were good enough to work some numbers and help me get a little easier payment and kept my in my home.  Not asking for a handout, just a hand until I could get to where it wasn't hanging over my head like it was, and it worked. 

Now, let's say you find yourself in the same situation with taxes.  Hey, it happens.  Here's the thing...no one wants your house or property.  The last thing anyone wishes is to see someone out on the streets and in all honesty, a foreclosure will end up costing everyone involved more in the long run than finding a way to help you keep what's yours and get things made right.  Thus..my visit with Tony and Jennifer Matthews who is a property tax specialist at the Treasures Office.  We're going to talk about the process it takes to get you on the right track.  Protect your home or property had how the treasurers office will work to help you find ways you never imagined to get caught up and back on your way.  It's a fascinating interview with a LOT of valuable information.  Listen up!

Government working for you.  Hey look, I know it's kind of scary to hear that there might be a foreclosure.  I know too that it's intimidating to go in and say that you need help.  But as you just saw, and heard...the Muskegon County Treasurers Office truly wants to help find a way to keep you from going into foreclosure for the good of you and all of us in Muskegon County.  Take that first step.  If you are in danger of a foreclosure, NOW IS THE TIME for action.  Click on the Muskegon County Seal below and take that first step to getting the government to work for you!

 

county sealjpg f5d80d1b2d4f43ad

Recently I sat down with lifelong Muskegon native Marian McDermed who is the Executive Director of Family Promise of the Lakeshore to chat about the incredible way they help families in our Muskegon area.    Since 2009 Family Promise of the Lakeshore has been offering a secure place to stay for parents with young children who have fallen upon hard times.....but also, so much more than just a place to stay.  Family Promise offers ongoing financial budgeting education, child care-parenting classes, life skill development assistance, food and household item donations, children's activities and library as well as daily warm meals and fellowship with other families and no pressure church organizations. fp lakeshoreFamily Promise of the Lakeshore on Facebook

Families who are in need of a secure place to stay can simply contact Family Promise of the Lakeshore by calling 231-747-8855...after a general intake interview, qualified selected families can then stay with the secure Family Promise organization while agreeing to work towards being educated on budgeting, learning valuable parental life skills, looking for steady employment and a permanent secure household of their own.  Family Promise of the Lakeshores' main objective is to offer the tools and skills to help empower families to the ultimate goal of achieving an independent, financially secure life.
As you can imagine it is quite a huge undertaking to offer so many goods and services to so many deserving families in our community.   Family Promise of the Lakshore is a non profit organization with a large ongoing need for donations.   Monetary donations are the primary driving force behind offering a clean, secure place to stay as well as for the ongoing educational services...but item donations are equally in need and very much appreciated....all of which are tax deductible.  At the very top of the list of suggested donatable items: toilet paper, paper towel, disposable diapers, laundry detergent, all general cleaning supplies, etc.  Also in great need are household items to help families restart their own independent household such as: new or gently used pots & pans, linens & blankets, lamps, etc.   For a complete list of suggested donatable items....and for any other general information about Family Promise of the Lakshore please check out their website, youll find it linked on the photo below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Big Thanks to Marian McDermed for chatting with me about one of Muskegon's brightest stars with a huge heart, Family Promise of the Lakeshore.
By the way...a recent study told us that Family Promise of the Lakeshore has a 100% success rate with Muskegon families that have been part of this program over the years!  All the Family Promise families are maintaining their own financially sound, happy, healthy, independent households with the ongoing assistance of Family Promise of the Lakeshore.
 
family promise faces

After reading this OP-ED From Christine Robere of The United Way of The Lakeshore, The Muskegon Channel asked if we could publish this on her behalf.  This is new for us.  We're not overly political on purpose, but...our kids and our kids futures are so very important and so vital our world.  We don't think that anything should stand in the way of protecting kids....no political agenda from either side should come first and Christine explains the impact very well here.  Thank you to Christine for allowing us to share her thoughts. 

 

 

OP-ED

The Clock Ran Out on CHIP:

116,000 kids in Michigan at risk of losing essential healthcare unless Congress Acts

By Christine J. Robere, President & CEO

United Way of the Lakeshore

Your child is on track.” As a parent, there’s nothing like the relief of hearing your pediatrician share that good news at the annual check-up. And to know, that if anything happened, from strep throat to a broken arm on the playground, your child would have quality care.  That’s why we’re celebrating that 116,000 Michigan children have affordable access to health insurance, thanks to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and calling on Congress to reauthorize this successful program before funding finally runs out in March (the program was authorized through September 31, 2018, but programs that have money can spend it through March). Congressional reauthorization is required to continue CHIP for another five years.

 

CHIP was enacted with broad bipartisan support in 1997 to provide funding to states to reduce the numbers of uninsured children in the United States.  CHIP helps low-income children from working families who do not have access to employer-based coverage, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.  Before its enactment, over 23% of low income children were uninsured. Today only 5% of children remain uninsured, nationally.

 

CHIP provides healthcare coverage that is necessary for a child’s early development.  For the first three years of a child’s life and beyond, access to quality, pediatric-centered healthcare is critical for their brain development and social, emotional well-being.  Health plans offered through CHIP are specifically designed for children, with a long track record of recognizing their unique developmental needs, providing regular wellness visits, developmental screenings and immunizations.  Decades of data tells us that access to early quality healthcare has predictive short and long term educational outcomes for a child’s success in school. 

 

CHIP also supports the financial stability of working families.  In Michigan, 116,000 children in working families are provided CHIP coverage because these families make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to be able to purchase coverage on the private marketplace. CHIP is often more affordable for working families in both premiums and out-of-pocket costs than most marketplace or employer-sponsored plans. It is also important to recognize that the success of CHIP rests on the shoulders on a robustly funded Medicaid program.  While nationally there are 9 million children who receive healthcare through CHIP, there are an additional 50 million children who receive coverage from Medicaid.  Together, more than 40% of US children depend on Medicaid and CHIP for their healthcare coverage.

 

Without action from Congress, funding for this critical program will run out completely by March putting millions of children at risk of losing healthcare coverage.  There is no such thing as “safely delaying” action on CHIP; the consequences have already started.  CHIP directors are already preparing cancelation letters and freezing enrollments.  Working families are growing anxious that the coverage their children depend on will disappear.

 

The solution is simple: Extend CHIP funding for five years to ensure that children from hardworking families retain access to affordable and comprehensive health coverage.

 

CHIP is critical for early childhood well-being and development.  With continued coverage, working families will be healthier and more self-sufficient. Let’s support what works!

It's one of our not so hidden secrets here in Muskegon. With one of the only three “kunstbahn" style luge tracks in the country, the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex has a little something for everyone. Attracting visitors from all around the United States and Internationally the Winter Sports Complex is the place to be with or without the snow. mwsc logoFind the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex on Facebook

Did you know that the Muskegon luge track is the world's first track that is universally accessible? This means that no matter your mobile abilities the sports complex has adapted to help you enjoy all that they have to offer. It started in 2007 with a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The $700,000 Access to Recreation grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation allowed them to make this all possible. Some of the ways that they have adapted the different activities would be to have sleds with a bucket seat and skate blades attached to the bottom along with pick sticks to help make you glide along. They also have specially designed skis that allow you to sit on a seat and move by pushing with ski poles and if you would like to try your hand at the luge and are unable to ride on the traditional sleds they will take you to the top on the back of a snowmobile and place you on a specially designed luge sled that has handles for you to steer with.

Do you like to spend time on the ice? The Winter Sports Complex has 2 acres of Ice skating. The Complex has a family skating rink, hockey rink and lighted, ¼ mile skating trail. These are all open every day from 10:00 am to 9:45 pm, weather permitting. They have a link available on their page that will let you know about the weather conditions so be sure to check that before you head out.

Ice Skating not your thing, don’t worry they have 9.32 miles of trails for the classic cross-country and skate skiing. On your adventure through these winding trials you will find yourself skirting alongside the sand dunes, finding Lost Lake Bog and Lake Michigan. Don’t forget that while this is the longest lighted trail in the Midwest and it is groomed daily (when conditions allow) you be a part of some of the BEST that West Michigan has to offer.

If you click on the little video and listen in on my chat with Bill Bailey from the Winter Sports Complex you will hear about the State games of Michigan Winter Try-Athlon.

 

 

 If you are interested it is on February 4th at 10am – 4pm. You will be competing in three Winter Olympic sports which include luge, ice speed skating and cross-country skiing. This is meant to be fun and allow you to try something new that you otherwise may not have thought that you would. You can find more information about this event on the Winter Sports Complex calendar, click on the photo below.

try athalon

We Appreciate Our Sponsors...

Weather

Muskegon
United States
69 °F Cloudy