Summer....got a little more fun on the Lakeshore this year with the announcement today of the 7 Steps Up Summer Sessions Concert Series at the beautiful new Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium in Grand Haven.  Opening the series this season will be Los Lonely Boys on July 1st and July 18th the super sounds of the 70's with Poco, Pure Prairie League and Firefall to get your retro vibes going.  Two more shows will be announced as the Summer progresses but the ball is rolling and great show experiences will be growing as the years go by and it's from the dedication of some pretty visionary promoters who brought what come consider one of the most unique live music experiences to West Michigan ever. 7suFor Tickets to The Summer Sessions Click Here

Gary and Michelle Hanks own 7 Steps Up in Spring Lake and have built a reputation of putting on jaw dropping concerts, for no more than 100 people and change in their intimate setting.  Big names, like John Waite, Johnathan Edwards, Albert Lee and more.  You'll also find up and coming artists and unique bands that break the mold of the "norm".  It's a spot for music adventure, a very up close and personal experience with those who make music and if you've ever been there, you know it's a night you won't son forget.

As they have worked to book their club, they have also grown to book an outdoor concert series as well as music for the Grand Haven Farmers Market and the logical next step is to go a little bigger and the clear spot...Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium.

Seating 2500-3000 at the new spot on the channel in Grand Haven, the new and improved stadium will offer plenty of different uses for occasion.  Maybe it's the fireworks to accompany the Coast Guard Festival, The Musical Fountain or the new Summer Sessions Concert Series, it will be big enough for "large" shows but, it will still feel like the intimate setting that 7 Steps Up has perfected in bringing their shows to the area.  Tickets for any of the Summer Sessions shows will be available at the new 7 Steps Up website and prices will be in line with any tickets for current shows, maybe a little lower even. 

I met up with Gary and Michelle at 7 Steps Up for the big announcement and to talk about their path to getting here.  Take a listen.   

 

Bring it!  It's a beautiful setting, it's a short drive and it's another reason to celebrate great music on the shore this season or any.  Could they be building to give Meijer Gardens a run for their money?  Time will tell, but the fact is that every music fan comes away a winner with more options to enjoy in spectacular settings.  Gary and Michelle of 7 Steps have put so much heart and soul into growing their venue simply for their love and passion for music.  To see them elevate to bigger productions is a HUGE victory for dreamers who work on passion for what they do, and work tirelessly to give back to all of us.  

ls stadiumPhoto Courtesy Progressive AE

It was quite an honor to hear from the 6th largest brewer in the country saying "Hey...we'd love to reach the good people of Muskegon and let them know about a party we're having....can you help us spread the word?"  Ya...we sure can.  We'd LOVE to get people in on a concert the size of Founders Fest and work on that whole idea that somehow....Grand Rapids and Muskegon are so far a apart that it takes FOREVER to get there.  It's a half an hour or so....in either direction....so being neighborly is in the best interest of everyone. 

Let's go back a few.  Founders Brewing got rolling in 1997.  Now, I know the craft beer thing is big, but as I recall...back in 97, it might have been the very infancy of the resurgence of smaller brewers who applied the crafts of their predecessors to bring different flavors, textures and boldness to one of America's favorite ways to quench their thirst.  Staple breweries had grown to dominate the entire beer world and the "crafters" were few and far between with the exception of imports, home brewers and a very few "flavors" in the USA.  Well, when the new keg was tapped on the craft beer market...it was a gusher.  Beer became as much of an art as a beverage and with it, an entire new approach to consumption and appreciation.  Founders was right there from day 1 in the craft beer world...and their hard work has paid off. founders festClick Here for Tickets to Founders Fest

With the growth, has come re-investment.  Growth on both a local and national level and remembering to keep their roots grounded in West Michigan.  Creating jobs, a hip image, revitalizing an entire downtown neighborhood and more.  Re-investment too has meant that Founders has always kept beer as something to celebrate.  Founders hosts music events year round.  They have a state of the art tap room with concerts, food paring events, special evenings and more.   

They also throw a big party from time to time and now and again... thus...Founders Fest 2019.  June 22nd is the date and it's a week long festival packed into one day!  Government Mule headlines, Macy Gray, Toots and The Maytals, The War and Treaty and more!  Food trucks...dj's to fill the gaps...cool people and a setting of a city block, covered by beer and music lovers from all over the Midwest!  A good time??  Yup.  I met up over at the Founders Taproom with Luke Sass...one of Muskegon's best exports..we talked about the festival, some history of Founders...and Luke's mom's condo.  (Huh?)  Listen in and hear more!

 

Fun! I have to admit...it was my first trip to Founders.  They were just gearing up for lunch and it smelled great!  If you're into the craft beer scene...and who isn't, celebrate with one of the USA's biggest innovators in the practice.  Maybe you want a diverse and awesome concert line up?  Doesn't get much better or maybe...you just want a change of scenery for a good time.  Head over to Founders Fest on June 22nd.  It's quite an honor for us at the Muskegon Channel to get a nod from such a great company to help partner in spreading the word.  Our very humble thanks to Luke, Isabelle and the Founders Team for thinking of us!!  Click on the pic below to visit Founders website!

founders logo

It's always a true pleasure to sit down with my good friend Mary Suarez with The Hope Project of Muskegon County.... recently Mary and I were joined by Debi Jo Kett... also of the Hope Project...to talk about a very important annual event that raises important funds and awareness for The Hope Project which is doing all it can to help young girls and women in our community who have been victims of human sex trafficking. hope usaDetails about the Fremont Freedom Dinner on Facebook
 
The 3rd Annual Fremont Freedom Dinner & Silent Auction to benefit The Hope Project will be held on Monday, June 24th at the True North Center located at 6308 South Warner Avenue in Fremont.   Doors open at 6pm ....at 6:30 a very delicious dinner and dessert being prepared by Two Hot Tamales ....a silent auction...and a very special keynote speaker, Senator Jon Bumstead.
 
All the funds raised from this event will go directly to The Hope Projects efforts of providing much needed counseling for the victims...as well as transportation to and from couseling sessions, work, school and to offer safer living conditions.
 
This is truly an event you don't want to miss... Join the fight against Human Trafficking!
 
 
 

 

The 3rd Annual Fremont Freedom Dinner & Silent Auction Monday, June 24th At True North Center 6308 S. Warner Avenue, Fremont MI 6pm doors open....dinner served at 6:30pm $25 per person.... For tickets in advance call Debi (231) 245-3597 or Mary (231) 747-8555.  You can visit The Hope Project USA by clicking below.

 

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Some come with 900 pounds of ribs to cook and sell because that's the kind of draw the Grand Haven Ribfest has.  It's an event filled with food, fun and purpose and it's set early in the season so the excuses for you to have something else going are slim.  When you add in that it's a fundraiser to help our Veterans of the Lakeshore and there is plenty of entertainment, beer, activities for the young and old and a feeling that your good time is going to help some pretty incredible people. ribfest 2019Ribfest 2019 on Facebook

It's been going on for 15 years, and it's been growing steadily.  It's a competition between those who fancy themselves as pit-masters and those who see themselves as foodies.  Different cooking styles come into play, secret rubs...sauces and techniques.  Cultures palates come along next to see who's made what and which restaurants of food trucks they will be following around all Summer.  Names like A&E BBQ, Big Moe's, Daddy Pete's, Famous Dave's, Holy Smokers, Old Iron, Paisley Pig, Pork N Stein and Stable Inn will be applying their tricks of the trade to impress the crowd and judges. 

Music, they have that.  Mr. Whoo Ha, Perfect Storm, Northbound and more.  For the kids, there will be face painting, underwater robot building, balloon animals and more.  Something sweet?  Goobers and Ma's Kettle Corn will be there too.  Add in plenty of frosty cold beverages and NO COVER CHARGE and you have the makings of a great party. 

Do keep in mind though, this is at the VFW.  Yes, everything you're up to is benefiting those who have served in the military and were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.  Mike Baauw is the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs for Muskegon County and the work they do extends way past just Muskegon.  They serve thousands and thousands and they continue to grow who and how they serve.  Anything from a food pantry for some essentials to helping navigate the rather difficult system for Veterans benefits.  The hold group meetings, they help special specific needs and they also advocate for veterans needs on a higher level.  Amazingly good things happen out of the Muskegon Department of Veterans Affairs, and our support is the least we can give.

Mike and I sat down for a chat about this year Ribfest.  Take a listen.

 

Save the date - or dates.  They may need a hand with 900 pounds of ribs from just 1 vendor, may need being the key phrase.  It's going to be a foodies delight and a place to party like no other and the purpose is one anyone can agree with.  It's a great time for a great cause.  Head to Grad Haven and enjoy the 15th Annual Ribfest and do a good turn for some incredible hero's. 

If you are looking for something fun to do I have just the thing. Cast members from the Central Park Players Presents Sylvia a play by A.R. Gurney. I had a chance to sit down with some of the cast to get some inside information.  cppFollow the Central Park Players on Facebook
 
Sylvia is about empty nesters that are trying to find who they are in their new relationship without children in the home. I was also told that one of them go out and get a dog to try and fill that void but their spouse is less than happy with them. Shoot I'm not an empty nester and that already sounds like my marriage, I got a dog for the kids and I and my husband was not too happy about her. I do have to mention that there are some scenes that contain strong language so this is not something that would be fit for younger viewers.
 
Sylvia will take you through all of the emotions. You will be laughing so hard you cry. You are going to be able to sympathize with both Greg (the husband) and Kate (the wife) as they go through some of the biggest changes in their marriage. In the end you are going to walk away with such a warm feeling from the base message of the road that their marriage takes.
 
 
 
 
You will be able to find your Tickets and other information on this production along with others fun information about Central Park Players in the link below.
 
sylvia

We live in our own little pocket here.  Honestly, it's not a bad problem to have.  Things are generally safe, we don't see some of the issues the "rest of the world" has to deal with, at least we don't thing we do and quite often it takes one of our own to get out in to the world and come back and bring a realization back that what we think we're protected from, well...it's happening here and now and it's not always under the circumstances we think.  

We're talking about human trafficking, and while the perception of it might be some unmarked van in a parking lot of a mall or supermarket, the reality is it's more often than not a friend of the family or a trusted role model or worse yet, a relative.  We have seen it pop it's head up right here in Muskegon and it's prevalent everywhere.  It's a taboo subject and leaving it swept under the rug does nothing to help bring awareness to it or put a stop to it. grandstand music festivalGet Tickets to the GrandStand Music Festival

Back to one of our own.  Kayla Green is a 2014 graduate of Mona Shores and went off to Michigan State to study music.  In her time away from home, she found out about the harsh realities of trafficking through her investigating.   Her big dream is to make it into the Detroit Symphony, but on the way...she's also got some plans to put a dent in human trafficking and raise some awareness about this modern day slavery.  Kayla decided that it was up to her to do something...anything to bring a little awareness and hope to the cause and those who are effected by it.  

She grabbed the bull by the horns and organized an event to not only get some information out there, but to help get rid of some of the misconceptions around the problem.  The GrandStand Music Festival is happening at the JW Marriot on Sunday May 5th.  It's from 3p-6:30p and it includes a multitude of different musical styles.  Like hip hop?  You're covered.  Need some violin?  Yup.  There's a little something for everyone and anyone can agree that the cause is so important.  You'll be able to enjoy food and drinks, music and information about the realities of human trafficking.  

Kayla and I met up at The Coffee Factory to talk about her event.  Please note, the event is Sunday May 5th, not Saturday as mentioned in the conversation.  Take a listen.  

 

Pretty amazing endeavor.  We've done what we can to help further the cause in the fight against human trafficking on the Muskegon Channel and we'll continue to.  Kayla?  We think there are big things to come from this woman.  She's got her sights set on her future and helping the future of others whom she's never met, and when you combine passion, purpose and the drive she's got......get out of the way.  You can follow the GrandStand Music Festival Facebook page by clicking on the picture below.

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We introduced you to Dan Salas, award winning photo journalist a couple months ago when he came out to tell the story of us here at The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  His history in West Michigan media is deep and his stories show a very human side of people in and around all of Michigan.  We saw in a big hurry that his work certainly had a home here on The Muskegon Channel and we'd help get the word out about those who are not right in our back yard, but have a pretty amazing effect on their community and the projects that are important to them.

Today's story comes from Dan at PositivelyMichigan.net as a remembrance of Paul Krupp.  Paul and his family are farmers over between Sparta and Rockford.  Sadly, Paul was lost this year in a car accident, but his life had an impact on people for years in the area and as they diversified their endeavors, Paul and his wife Nancy operated a travel agency to help others attain the dreams they dreamed of by getting to destinations all over the world.

Paul taught pretty much every area kid the value of working hard, after all, getting a strawberry picking job in the summer at Krupp Farms quite often meant that the rest of the summer was going to be well funded when it came to all things someone 12-15 needs.  A long time friend of Andy O'Riley, Paul would bring in a flat of berries to the Bow Tie Bar every season for everyone to enjoy, and had a famous question about dusk.... "Think the bees are in bed yet?"  Meaning he had to go finish up the day after a burger and fries for dinner at the legendary Bow Tie.

Dan Salas takes you on a memorial of Paul Krupp on PositivelyMichigan.net

We'll keep you up to date on Muskegon, Dan will show you the rest of Michigan.  Make sure you book mark his page and follow his delicate and interesting story telling!  You can find more at Dan's webiste below.  Click on the picture to visit PositivelyMichigan.net

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  We quite often tout the amazing things that go on at the library now a days.  The days where the library was defined by the somewhat short tempered lady behind the desk who was quick to get her index finger to her lips and shush anyone who dared speak above a whisper are long gone.  Yes, the library is still a place where courtesy is still best practiced when it comes to shared space with others, but they have also become centers for cultural happenings, media outlets and community gatherings centered around interesting speakers and topics that you'll probably not hear anywhere else.  They are especially important in communities to share historical knowledge and to bring in exhibits that you'd be very hard pressed to find anywhere else on topics of any kind.  Books are great, but what if you were able to bring those books to life for people and invite in those who fill the pages?  What if too, you were able to bring in someone to speak first hand on someone who left a lasting impression on their field and inspired so many others?  Well, that's happening tomorrow night, November 16th at the Loutit District Library in Grand Haven. grimshaw posterLearn More About the Grimshaw Event on Facebook

  Laura Grimshaw is the widow of renowned artist Gary Grimshaw.  Back in the 60's Gary spent some time in the Navy and while in San Francisco, he got to spend some time at some "psychedelic" concerts.  He went to the Avalon and the Fillmore and saw the light operators at work.  After his time in the service, he came back to Detroit and Russ Gibb hired Gary to perform light shows at his new venue called the Grande Ballroom.  Gary designed the first poster to spread the word about a show coming.  The show was to be "A Dance Concert in the San Francisco Style" by a band called The MC5.  You might have heard of them.  Gary went on to design not only a great deal of the art for shows and venues around Detroit, but he also did commercial work for other companies and endeavors and worked with some other remarkable artists along the way.  He was pretty politically active at points.  His artwork appeared in "underground" publications like "The Berkeley Tribe" "The Fifth Estate" and "The Ann Arbor Sun".  He spoke out against the Vietnam War, he was arrested on a marijuana charge which he later beat in court and for a while there, he was an associate art director for Creem Magazine, if you can remember back then.

garyart logo guitar2018 2See Gary Grimshaw's Art Online

  Well, all of that art...and all of that experience is now being told by his wife of 25 years Laura Grimshaw.  She's still in Detroit, right in the same neighborhood where it all went on all those years ago, and she's brought her collection to Grand Haven to speak about and for you to see until the end of November.  On display will be some of the bigger pieces.  Some of the commercial art as well as some of the more famous pictures that you'll recognize.  As we were setting up to tape, I was even kind of surprised at how many passers by stopped and said  "I remember that".  Sure, it was just before I was hatched...but those memories for some are like yesterday.  

  I had a chance to meet Laura Grimshaw as she was just coming in to Grand Haven to start getting set up for the show.  Take a listen to our chat below. 

 

  A pretty facsinating topic, from a pretty fascinating time.  Head down to Grand Haven to meet Laura and hear her talk about Gary.  I am sure there will be plenty of fascinating stories and you'll get a chance to see first hand some of the amazing art she's kept over the years and brought to share.  The exhibit runs until the end of November but you get one night to meet Laura and her her stories.  Don't miss it.  For more at the Loutit Library, click on their logo below.

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Unbelievably horrible, unthinkable crimes are being committed against our young people here in West Michigan!... Yes Folks.... Sex Trafficking does actually take place all throughout our West Michigan communities... And NOT just in the inner city areas...but everywhere! hope project 4Follow the Hope Project on Facebook
 
The Hope Project of Muskegon County's mission is to bring as much awareness and support to our West Michigan victims as possible....    and that is why we are so grateful to Mary Suarez and the whole staff at The Hope Project of Muskegon County for their tireless efforts.
 
To find out more about WHAT actually is "Sex Trafficking"?.... And WHERE and HOW is this happening in OUR communities, please attend the FREEDOM DINNER "restoring hope to victims of human trafficking",  taking place in Fremont on Wednesday, June 27th... with very special guest Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon...who is the Ambassador and former General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church.
 
I had a chance to sit down and talk with Mary Suarez about the event, take a listen:
 
 
Please attend this very moving, motivational, inspirational and educational dinner on Wednesday, June 27th at the Fremont Middle School with doors opening at 6pm....dinner served at 6:30pm...   You can find out more information about this important event online The Hope Projects webiste.  Click on the photo below to visit!
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It's time to start thinking about the meat sweats.  Yep, we're talking ribs as far as the eye can see and more smokey good flavor, fall off the bone tenderness....I could go on and on, but it's honestly making me hungry...so, let's just say...if you like ribs, beer, music and a great cause, you need to save the dates for the Grand Haven VFW Rib Fest.  It's going on May 25th and 26th and all the proceeds go to benefit our local veterans on a number of levels.  It's an awesome and rapidly growing event.  Rib Fest 2018 Poster with AddressRib Fest 2018 On Facebook

It's been going on 14 years now and you know when an event gets to the point where it takes up the whole street, things are going in the right direction.  There is an interactive tent for the kids sponsored by the USS Silversides Museum where they will have some underwater robot building going on.  They will like that.  There will be food form Big Moe's, Famous Dave's, Daddy Pete's BBQ, Stable Inn, Old Iron Bar and Grill, Up in Smoke, Paisley Pig Pub and Porkensteins!  Bands??  Foundation and Perfect Storm play on Friday night and Saturday it's Bill Ellingboe, Three's a Crowd and Mr. Whoo Ha.  

But you know, it's really all about so much more than that.  Sure, it's all packaged up as a good time and all, but the proceeds to go help those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us at one point or another.  Our local veterans.  Men and women who served in our military need our support and it's provided at places like the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, The area Department of Veterans Affairs branch offices and more.  They host a multitude of things for them.  Everything from support groups to pantry needs.  There are services specializing for women veterans with WINC which we've featured here on The Muskegon Channel and there is help for all vets to navigate the system to get the benefits they so truly deserve.  

Locally, Mike Baauw is the guy in the Muskegon County Dept of Veterans Services.  If memory serves me correct, Mike is retired US Navy and he makes sure that our area's vets best interests and needs are all met and then he goes on to help organize things like this to help even more. Take a listen to our talk about the Rib Fest and lick your chops!

If you're just in need of an early season outdoor festival or you want to enjoy some of the best ribs around with a couple of cold ones and some friends, or maybe you'd like your dining dollar to benefit some true American hero's...it's pretty clear you need to be at the Grand Haven VFW 2326 VFW on May 25th and 26th.  Out thanks to Mike and his staff for their dedication and hard work and our thanks too, to the men and women who served.  We hope it's a great weekend for the festival!  

 

It's all we've heard about for the most part over the last weeks and months.  Quite honestly, probably with good reason as the world we live in seems to have changed dramatically.  At 47, I have to honestly admit that I look at life today and scratch my head a little.  How did we get here?  How did things get to be so scary.. and why do we seem to be losing a generation of kids under us?  I mean, it's a tough world and it's getting tougher...but have we honestly gotten to the point where it's so bad we need to go shoot up a school?  Are our entertainment venues really just giant corrals for maniacs to shoot in to?  

I know this.  There is only one quick and fast answer to this and that is securing the schools.  Period! delia raptorThe Delia Raptor Made in Muskegon - Click to Learn More

It's got to be our number 1 priority at the time.  We've got to have a plan to assure that any new school built meets a strict set of security standards.  Older schools need to have doors locked and access limited and they need to be retrofitted to meet stricter safety codes.  All options have to be on the table.   

I go back a ways with Kurt Delia.  Way back a ways.  He grew up around the corner when we were kids.  He took off on a police career and now he's trains other police departments and security outfits nationwide on proper tactics and procedures in such situations.  He also manufactures a tool for first responders in Muskegon called the Delia Raptor.  He invited to meet up with me to share a little of his knowledge on what it takes to secure an environment like a school.  He also brought along Fremont Chief Of Police Randy Wright who had just come from the Fremont 17 minute walk out observation on Tuesday.  Sandy's Harley-Davidson was kind enough to give us a little space to work in so we could meet a little closer to Fremont for the Chief.  Take a listen to their thoughts on school safety.

 

 

 

 

 

I know there is a lot of personal perspective in this.  Hey.....I have a wife, a daughter and a an entire herd of grand critters all in schools.  I am not one to think that an object is the cause of a problem, but I am scared.  We have a mental health issue here in our country and we also owe it to our younger people to protect them.  It's time for all of us to get to work on some answers.  There are many paths to take and it's time to be open and honest with ourselves about what's important....to me....that's our kids.  My thanks to Kurt and Chief Randy Wright for their time today.  If you'd like to visit the Fremont PD website...click below.

 

fremont pd

 

It's Fall Ya'all. Today I had the pleasure of visiting the Baby Bears Boutique to talk to Andrea about fall fashion for the kiddos. While I was at the visiting we had some littles join us to show off some of the hot new fashion items you will be able to find.

The hot colors for this season are going to be the burnt oranges, dark purples, brick read, and turquoise. You will be seeing a lot of fringe and foe fur. Boot socks and leggings are also making a comeback this season as well. Check out the video and you will see that most of the outfits can also be carried into fall from summer and the from fall into winter.

The First little that we had model for us is Isadora, she is wearing an outfit by Meme and Maggie designers out of California. A long sleeve baby doll tee with precious flower embellishment around the neck, leggings with the most adorable leg warmers sewn right in.

Next model is Carley and she is wearing a little red dress. This dress has beautiful gold star detail across the neck. You can very easily take this dress into the fall and even the winter by just adding a little sweater and then some white tights and sparkly boots.

Lastly, we had Morgan who was wearing a grey long sleeve shirt dress with houses along the bottom paired with baby pink leggings. On the leggings they had a sweater like leg warmer sewn in with button detail. 

 

I took a big step this year.  I was asked to make a run for State House of Representatives in Michigan and after much thought, I decided that if I was going around town telling everyone to believe in themselves and believe in Muskegon, I had best back it up when opportunity knocks.  It's a giant endeavor and I know that it's going to be a year filled with high's and low's and I am going to meet many people along the way.  One of which I already met, and would like to introduce to you. dr robDr. Davidson on Facebook

Dr. Rob Davidson is an ER Doctor in Fremont.  He's running for the US Congress 2nd District in 2018 and I asked if he could find a few minutes to sit down and have a chat early on as I think his schedule is going to get really busy, really quick.  My first impression is that Rob is truly a humanitarian.  He's a caring father and husband, loves his work as a physician and when you hear him talk, it's minus the "edge" that so many people who want to work in politics seem to have on their voice.  He wants to make sure healthcare is available to all, public education is protected, our environment is safe and that wage equality is there for people.  Yes... people.  He's actually worried about people.  

The election is a year off, but as I mentioned...it's going to get busy.  I asked for a few minutes with Rob o introduce you to him and he found the time.  We'll be sure to keep our platform open to all candidates as the year goes by, we think that a shared platform is fair and everyone should have a chance.  But for now, spend a few minutes getting to know Dr. Rob.  We met at his house in Spring Lake for a chat.

It's going to be quite a year for both of us.  I am thankful to the Dr. for a few minutes and I wish him the best in his run.  We still don't have the 2017 elections out of the way yet, but you can count on the Muskegon Channel to do our best to give the candidates running for 2108 seats a chance to connect and tell you what's important to them and why they are seeking public office.  If you'd like to know more about Dr. Rob Davidson, please, click on the link below to visit his campaign page.

dr davidosn

There are several layers here....try to follow along.  There is a venue called 7 Steps Up in Spring Lake, they host Pin Drop Concerts.  The venue is owned by Gary and Michelle Hanks who also have a non profit called Courtyard Concerts which they use to help bolster needs in Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Muskegon and more.  They also handle booking music and musicians for a host of other events around the area and if that's not enough their venue is also used for event rentals for everything from weddings to political events!  They are busy people to say the very least.  They are also very community minded and they see things a little differently than the "locals". 7suVisit 7 Steps Up Online

To the Hank's, it's all just one big area the Lakeshore.  A need in Muskegon is equally important as it is in Grand Haven or Spring Lake.  A food pantry might have an emergency need, or there might be a family with an urgent issue. The non profit is there and ready to be of assistance.  But like any non profit, it takes some fundraising, and how better to do that than by what you are best at, booking concerts.  

They take the small, intimate feel of 7 Steps Up and move it outside for a show.  Sunday September 10th Courtyard Concerts presents Seth Glier+Birds of Chicago.  Special guests Jessee Terry and Loren Johnson.  It will be in the courtyard at 116 S. Jackson Street in Spring Lake and the proceeds as you've probably guess by now go to the fund that helps them plug the holes that pop up in the surrounding communities they are surrounded by.  

I caught up with Michelle Hanks at the Grand Haven Farmers Market.  Yes, one of the many places she books music for and we talked a little more about the show and the outreach she and husband Gary operate for the area with Courtyard Concerts.  Take a listen.

Mark it down!  A great way to spend a Sunday in Spring Lake and you'll know that the event goes a little further than some bottome line somewhere.  It will go back into the communities that surround the Hanks family and the people that keep them in business!  I can tell you from personal experience, 7 Steps Up is a one of a kind concert experience, Gary and Michelle are true friends to all of us and to the musicians they serve...they are the biggest advocates that can be found!  If you'd like to check out the show, you can find tickets by clicking the link below!

courtyard concerts

Let me start off by saying, being part of the Sandy Corely Memorial Run for as long as I have has been one of the greatest sources of accomplishment in my career.  When I first came to Muskegon, making sure the radio station did all it could to help the cause was paramount.  The Corley family and the staff at the shop....not to mention the Fremont HOG Chapter are remarkably dedicated to their purpose and their event.  In my mind, the least we could do was get all hands on deck to aid in the battle of treatment of cancer for Muskegon and the Lakeshore area.  scmr 29SCMR on Facebook

We helped promote the event, we helped promote the pre-parties, held some pretty spectacular radio auctions.  We talked to the rock stars coming there to perform, we took listeners back stage to meet them.  All the typical radio stuff.  But there was one moment of selfishness for me every year, and that was being asked to stand on stage while the bike raffle and recognition ceremony was going on.  To be allowed to introduce Rick and the family and to know that the loss of Sandy was not in vain.  

In fact, in the 29 years since we lost the patriarch of the bunch, to fill that hole with the over $2,000,000 dollars for the treatment of area cancer victims has been a testimony to the man.  It all started off with a handful of people at Mt. Garfield and now, is probably the second largest event that the Double JJ Resort sees every year.  There are still plenty of people in tents, but there are also some pretty big dollar rv's coming in to enjoy the event, and our community.  The best part of it all, the fellowship.  You take a ride through the campground...people are laughing, partying, talking and sharing.  I have been known personally to roam the lot looking for the best food...might even do that this year again.  :)  

I caught up with Rick Corley at Sandy's Harley-Davidson to talk about this years event, the new date and his personal feelings on the growth of the event and the size of the checks they are still able to present to The Johnson Center for Cancer Care at Mercy Health.  Take a listen to our chat below!

It's a huge event.  It's one of the Lakeshores liongest running events and it keeps growing eveyr year.  Get there!  Be a part of the fun, enjoy some or all of the concerts, enjoy the fellowship and purpose started 29 years ago to remember a guy who may have lost the battle, but left a leagacy of friends, family and fellow riders that will remember his name by doing what they can to help others fight cancer.  My sincere thanks to Marilyn, Rick Karen and everyone for giving me the chance to be part of the family that makes up the Sandy Corely Memorial Run!  Click on that beautiful Harley below for the SCMR page, tickets and more!

29 bike

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