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.

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!  

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.  

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. 

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.  

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.  

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.

Mood changes during and after pregnancy.  Quite often, what we see and hear about the subject is dealt with in the movies and TV as a woman crying about some mundane situation or what should be a simple task, but,since she's just had a baby she's a disaster and her hair is filled with curlers while she stands there in a robe with a house full of screaming kids, the phone ringing, the dog barking, the door bell buzzing and of course...something is boiling over on the stove....it's the classic household mayhem scene all because "postpartum depression" has set in.  Well, it's a little more complicated than that and the reality is that it's a pretty serious situation and the subject is being seen in a new light and something that should be talked about.

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.