Last year, we were excited to help welcome in a new and unique fundraiser for a couple of organizations in town.  Ivy Rehab wanted to do a karaoke event to help the non profit Renew Mobility in their work in providing refreshed equipment to people who need a hand with getting around but the staggering cost and in some cases, insurance limitations keep them from being able to get what's needed.  It's a place that most can't imagine as mobility issues are not the most common medical situations, however, for those that do have them, their entire life revolves around having the necessary equipment to even get around their own home. 

Michelle Tyson is the founder of Taking Back Muskegon.  She's a mom, a grandma, a former part of our contributing collective and one of the most giving people we know.  There's also a very big part of Michelle that's a "momma bear" to a lot of kids through her Taking Back Muskegon organization.  The program began in it's infancy about the same time we did at the Muskegon Channel and as it grew, Michelle's attention needed to go toward the kids, and with that, our attention stayed on her in an as needed basis.  Taking care of kids...clearly a priority. 

The school lunch menu.  Mine was a little different than most. In elementary, I went to a small one hall private school and everything was home made every day.  It was also the only place I ever got anything that was close to Hamburger Helper.  In high school, it was on to the choice of burgers, fries, pizza or chicken nuggets, which like most I hung around with sooner or later drove itself down to a Coke and some chips from the vending machine, just enough to get you through the afternoon because...well, that was my tribe.  Today, the focus is much more tuned in on those who rely on the schools for their meal necessities both during the year, and the summer and in the reshaping of what is served to kids in schools, trying to get kids to eat healthier and do better than I did....along comes the chance to try something new... "Global Eats"!  It's part of the amazing ideas Chartwells brings to the service they provide as the schools meals service.  Laura Vitale invited us to learn more. 

103.7 The Beat was founded by Paul Billings when the FCC began to issue low power FM licenses to non profit organizations who work in smaller communities.  Their license was granted in 2001 and the work began and has not stopped.  The focus has been on the urban community and a listenership of music from hip hop to gospel and they have a sincere focus on talk and educational programming on public affairs and politics.  The work has been sincere and like any other purpose driven endeavor, as more is learned, more ways to help are found.  One of those opportunities that has come along is to help young people understand their heritage a little more, and that sparked the Kids Free Trip to Africa program. 

We're growing at a pace many thought we'd never see.  With that growth comes the unique opportunity to be able to get some things right.  It might not be "right from the start" but it might be best framed as getting it right from "the new beginning" and the efforts of Marria McIntosh and her organization Thredz are aiming to help shape for our next 100 years here in Muskegon. 

To be given the chance to sit in on what could have been.....well, it could have been an ending of tragedy that plays out over and over again.  Depending on how you view the world and all that happens in it, it could be a great karma thing.  Maybe it was random luck.  A miracle?  There are plenty who believe that they happen all around us.  No matter the circumstances surrounding this reconnection of Dr. Dirk Bonnema from Trinity Health Muskegon and Kirk Antekeier who's a born and bred Muskegon champion, it was as close of a call as it comes and the good Dr. and Kirk are here to share the story. 

Need help with medical debt? Join us for an informative session where we look at how to deal with medical debt, options for care, community resource partners, understanding your rights in billing and empowering your knowledge.

We're in the position with the help of Tabono Law and Scherdel Sales and Technology to be able to help out the organizations in our area that benefit those among us who might have a need.  Be it food, shelter or assistance in some other way, the ability of Muskegon to circle the wagons around purposeful organizations that are a staple to the lives of so many is one of our signature assets in this community.  It's just part of our core values to be a oart of that.  We are pleased to be able to give MOKA $1000 for their work with those who are physically or developmentally or intellectually challenged. 

The Muskegon County Airport.  If you have ever flown out of it, you know that it's simply a marvel when it comes to travel.  In a "major airport" life can be a nightmare.  If you've ever been in New York, Chicago or LA and had a flight cancelled on know the level of misery I am talking about.  Now, Muskegon gets cancellations too, they are a frustrating reality of today's travel, but to be in an environment like Muskegon compared to a major hub is a major cushion to the blow.

One of the things we pride ourselves in the most is being able to meet the needs of Muskegon by using what we have.  It might be a fundraiser, or it might be a food truck to help those without, but there's not really a reason to go without in Muskegon because there are few communities that can strive harder for necessity.  What if that mentality was formed to begin to fil the void in the medical care pipeline that's been left with about a 4 year national gap post the pandemic?  It's happening in Muskegon for the first time.  Dr. Jerry Evans is here to share the story. 

If you have not been in tune to the latest new publishing that has expanded our coverage of Muskegon and the area you may have missed Muskegon, Better!  Muskegon, Better is a way to handle a couple of things at the same time.  One, we are hoping to bring in all new faces to help tell the story.  I don't mind doing the work, but seeing Andy O in every video is even too much for me. 

I do have the skills to help guide others to bring out the content they wish to share and the topics they wish to talk about, so...let's do that.  Second, what's improving us?  We see buildings, we see street projects, we see larger crowds coming for things.  That's good.  What's behind all that?  Where are the steps being taken and what are some of the smaller things that add to the betterment here, that might get missed.  One final thought too....we have another outstanding avenue for our advertisers and sponsors all of which have not been approached for an extra penny!  We've built the value with intent as we've grown. 

With that!  We welcome Renee Waird!  Renee will be one of the featured contributors on Muskegon, Better with "The Happiness Project".  Inspired by seeing this in other communities and the book of the same title,  Renee at first suggested I try it, but I replied with "Hey, I have a different idea......"  Renee doesn't seem like she backs away from many challenges.  Meet Renee! 

Let's talk the reality of medical debt.  It's pretty easy to begin any conversation about debt with looking down your nose and assuming that "personal responsibility" was probably a huge factor in the predicament.  Hindsight is also 20/20 so, walking a mile in the shoes of someone who one day was doing just fine in most or all aspects of life has a dramatic an accident or illness, maybe it's a child who needs long term medical care..."everything is fine" and "personal responsibility" become short lived if there's not adequate insurance or a job loss places people in a place they least expected.  Keeping in mind that 4 in 10 American's can't come up with $400 bucks for an emergency expense....think about how quick things evaporate....and when decisions have to be made about paying bills or losing a residence?