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!

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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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