Shon Cook Law

Shon Cook Law
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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Muskegon Pregnancy Services Welcomes Dr. Alveda King October 4th

It's a ways out, but getting the word out about an event that's as big as this, well, it might take a little advance planning. So...here we are.  Muskegon Pregnancy Services is welcoming in the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and is the Pastoral Associate and Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn.  She will be speaking at the Frauenthal Center on October 14th.  The topic will be "Redeeming the Dream - Defending the Unborn"



Muskegon Pregnancy Services has been around for 34 years now.  From their website, - "Muskegon Pregnancy Services is a relational organization that leads with love, grace, and compassion.  As a client of MPS, you are precious and valued and we are here for you first.  We want you to know, you are not alone. This is a safe place and confidential environment for you to share your feelings, fears, and dreams.  Our compassionate, non-judgmental care and support will help you in your time of need and will give you hope for the future. We know, when all is said and done, ultimately it is Your Choice, Your Body, Your Future but we would like to empower you with accurate information so that you do not look back on this time of need and wished you knew more information. You will not receive any pressure-just caring advice.  We will mentor to the well-being of the whole person emotionally, physically, and spiritually."

Follow Dr. King on Facebook
As part of their work, they are bringing in Dr. King to talk about how she sees the Pro Life movement as a continuation of the Civil Rights movement her uncle started so many years ago.  She will discuss her experiences with the subject and as an opening to the evening local students will have a chance to deliver their essay that they write sponsored by Youth for Truth and Life.  Not too much up on essay's?  Well, good news!  Youth for Truth and Life will be holding a workshop Friday July 6th at Fricano's on Muskegon Lake.  Doors will open at 1:30 and the workshops will get underway at 2.  The first will be "The Art of Persuasive Writing" followed by "The Art of Public Speaking".  After the seminars, you can enjoy delicious Fricano's pizza for $5 bucks!  The seminars will be hosted by Dr. Paul Jehle.  There will be some cash prizes involved for the essay contest so why not get a little head start on the competition by enjoying the seminars and learning a little about how to do something better?

Learn about Youth for Truth and Life Online
I was able to sit down with Debbie LaNore and Arline Helms to talk all about this weeks events and a lead up to Dr. King's arrival in Muskegon in October.  Take a listen to our chat from the deck at Fricano's and learn about this two part event.


It's an important message and an important event.  If you'd like to know more about Dr. King's appearance in Muskegon you can click on the photo below to visit the event page and get your tickets or maybe you'd like to be a part of the private dinner before the event?  The details for that are there too!  Many thanks to Debbie and Arlene for taking a few minutes to talk and save the date for October 4th at the Frauenthal!


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Muskegon Rockstock Celebrates it's 10th Anniversary July 3rd and 4th at Heritage Landing

It's been a decade of supporting local music and spreading some good cheer around town.  Yes, believe it or not, the little Hackley Park band jam that was set up all those years ago to give local bands, and local music fans a chance to enjoy some music out in the open and free of the "must be 21" to enter sign. 



Click Here to Follow Rockstock on Facebook


It also gave local bands a chance to bring their music to a larger crowd than just those who shun the light and head to the clubs and as Rockstock grew, a new location and a little bigger attitude came along.  Not too big..but healthy growth.

July 3rd and 4th 2018 will be the Return of this local grass roots festival.  Great music, plenty of food and beverage and of course, Muskegon's biggest and best fireworks display.  Rockstock will be turning 10 with style while keeping true to it's roots of giving the local bands a chance at the spot light and bringing in some of the best regional entertainment as well.  Kidstock will be back with a hand from Kangaroo Palace in Muskegon with lots to do for the kids.  Giant inflatable bounce houses and activities a magician will be on hand there will be face painting, a "build a buddy" station where kids can pick out and build their own plush toy.  Last year a separate wristband was required for the Kidstock area, this year, it's included in the price of the $5 admission for kids.

Wait....did you just read $5 admission for kids?  Yes, you did.  It's $5 for everyone.  It's an affordable way to come out and have some fun and it won't break the bank.  Plus, it's a community based event and the proceeds to to benefit organizations like No More Sidelines and Special Olympics.  You know your buck will be going to a greater good if you come down for the fun.  There will be ice cold Budweiser products on hand, there will be plenty of things to eat and of course, on the 4th you'll want to be there early so you can plant your blanket and chairs down for what will rival any fireworks show in Michigan.  Nearly 25 minutes of explosive and brilliant fireworks out over Muskegon Lake from the beautiful surroundings of Heritage landing.

I was able to catch up with Brandon Baskin, the organizer of the event for the last 10 years.  He talk about how he and his very small team of folks all come together to put this on and how it's grown from the small day in the park to the way we celebrate the 4th here in Muskegon.  Take a listen to out chat below.



A labor of love and a give back to the people of Muskegon.  It's a big endeavor to put these kinds of things on and as we talked in the video, as things have come and gone over the years in Muskegon, it seems to me that some one always finds a way to pick up the pieces and keep something going.  We are a roll up your sleeves kind of town and we get to work to make things happen.  Make sure you support this great event and head down to Heritage Landing July 3rd and 4th for Rockstock year 10!  We'll see you there!!  To visit the event's official website, click on the image below.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Pound Buddies of Muskegon Rewarded With a Mega Grant From the Petco Foundation

When you work so hard trying to do what's right for a community and the critters in it, it's really something to be noticed for your work and have that work recognized beyond all expectations.  It's also one of those moments when a job that's kind of an after thought for some, but others put everything they have into to because of their beliefs in life, better conditions for animals and better education for the public, well, it's one of those moments where you should stop and take notice.


Let's go back a few years first.  Located in the middle of an industrial park in Muskegon, Pound Buddies is Muskegon Counties largest animal shelter and has been serving the needs of homeless pats and pet loving people since 2002.  From their website - "At Pound Buddies, our core purpose is to care for homeless dogs and cats and find them new loving families. Our mission is to be a guiding force to ensure the well-being of every dog and cat in Muskegon County."  Pretty simple right?  At the core of their work, is essentially them trying to put themselves out of business if you will.  Spay and neuter.  Control the pet population so that the number of these strays goes down and the pets in Muskegon don't have to be in a shelter.  In a perfect world, that would be the case, but like anything it takes people and money so the idea of Pound Buddies putting themselves out of business...probably not happening soon.
Visit Petco Online

On to the money.  A short while ago, a grant application was sent in to the Petco Foundation explaining the work, the need and the mission of Pound Buddies in Muskegon.  Funding for animal shelters comes from grants like this as well as generous donors and supporters of the cause.  After the application was filed, things got quiet for a while and the staff at Pound Buddies thought that maybe the window had passed this time, so as they were rolling up their sleeves to keep doing what they do it was with the mindset that, it's just "gotta be done anyway"and they carried on.  Then, the phone rang.  It was the Petco Foundation calling to tell them that not only did they qualify for and get the grant, they got double the grant for 2 years!!  The work, dedication and perseverance to the pet population paid off and Pound Buddies was rewarded handsomely by a company who's stewardship of their customers is second to none.  It's a time for celebration!

Email To Reserve Your Tickets


The Petco Foundation is a big help, it provides a majority of the funding for the spay and neuter stuff, but the need is still there.  You can help with every day things like liquid laundry detergent, paper towels, fostering a pet, volunteerism etc.  You can also be a part of the solution by adopting a pet if your family is in the market for a forever friend.  If you really want to be a part of the fun, you can head to Hampton Green Farm on July 11th for a fundraising gala at Hampton Green Farm in Fruitport.  There will be a great dinner, a wonderful Dressage horse show and of course some lovable and adoptable pets you can meet on hand while a few more bucks are raised to help continue the work at Pound Buddies.






Lana Carson is the Executive Director of Pound Buddies.  We met up at the shelter while the big "Exec" was in the middle of her grounds keeping duties at the shelter.  We caught up on the last 4 years and learned a little more about the incredible grand from Petco, the work at the shelter and the shindig coming up at Hampton Green.  Take a listen.


Lana's great huh?  Incredible people doing what they can to save lives, find forever homes and keep the pet population in control in Muskegon.  It's a LOT of hard work and dedication.  So many pour their heart and soul into the work that it's really great to see their efforts noticed in such a grand fashion.  Petco sets an amazing example of stewardship and they put their money where their mouth is when it comes to their mission and the mission of Pound Buddies.  There are any number of ways you can pitch in too.  To learn more about Pound Buddies you can click on their logo below and visit their website!  Look forward to seeing you at Hampton Green Farm on July 11th!!  You can call 231-578-0850 for tickets or click on the event photo on the left above.




Monday, June 11, 2018

Be A Part of Disability Pride Day in Muskegon June 16th at Our Savior Lutheran Church

It's something not everyone takes the time to think about every day, but then again, not everyone has to face the challenges some do when it comes to the day to day aspects of life and how we go about our daily endeavors.  Those with disabilities struggle with things that able bodied people take for granted every day and it can lead to a frustrating set of circumstances and it can also lead to a feeling of isolation in what causes those struggles.



As I have long believed, there is power in groups.  Not only to get things done, but to help remove that isolation and let others know that they are not alone in what they face.  It can be any number of life's issues that bring people together, but when one voice becomes two and one person can see that there is someone else who shares their challenges that isolation we spoke of earlier becomes a little less intimidating and the work can begin.  This is the case with the Disability Justice League West Michigan.
Follow the Disability Justice League on Facebook

From their Facebook page - " The Disability Justice League West Michigan is a collective of people with disabilities and our allies committed to disability rights and disability justice in the West Michigan area. This group will be consumer controlled (disability-led), with emphasis on leadership by the most marginalized voices prioritized. The Disability Justice League is powered by individuals with significant disabilities and our allies and is supported by Peer Action Alliance, Disability Network West Michigan, and the HumUnity Center."  There is no doubt there is purpose and meaning behind their mission to advocate and stand up for those who feel that their voice isn't heard.

Saturday, June 16th there will be an event at Our Savior Lutheran Church on Southern Ave in Muskegon where you'll be able to hear first hand from those who have a disability and how some of the things others take for granted effect their lives.  You'll also be able to learn from groups in town who work to advocate for those with a disability and you'll be able to lean as well how you can best take an active role in being part of the solution.  The event goes from Noon till 3 at the church.  There will be refreshments provided, some music and community togetherness as well.  It will be a day of education, information and hopefully some will walk away with a new outlook on some of the struggles faced day to day by others in our community.

Amanda Rupert is part of this organization and she invited me down to Our Savior's Lutheran Church to meet with some more from her group.  Meet Elenor Canter, Chris Poniatowski and Frank Minor all from the Disability Justice league and hear from them about this great event and why you should make it a point to attend.


A willingness to see life from a different point of view.  To try to understand the struggles that some face while others just go about their day.  We all face challenges, but to understand them a little better and to be willing to learn more is a step in the right direction.  Saturday June 16th is the day for everyone to come together to learn a little more and hear what the Disability Justice League stands for.  You can link over to their Facebook event by clicking on the photo below!




The Lakeshore Art Festival July 6th and 7th Downtown Muskegon

Art.  How do you define it?  Is it visual?  Is it an experience?  Could it be a participation thing or just something you gaze upon and wonder what the inspiration for it is all about??  No matter how you look upon art, one thing is for sure.  It draws a crowd.  It draws conversation and it draws a community together when it's gathered and displayed with those who produce it and try and make a living at it.  This is the case with the Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon.



July 6th and 7th, the streets of Downtown Muskegon will be filled with all of the above.  Sights, sounds, interpretations.  "Highbrow" art and practical and fun stuff that makes any house feel like a home and yes...you'll probably find a sampling of some of the stuff that makes a garage feel like a man cave or the deck out back, feel more like a neighborhood pub so when your friends and family come by, they are comfortable and casual.  You'll find it all and you'll find it in a way that only Muskegon can package it.  The park and the streets will be filled with the sights, the sounds and the camaraderie and it will honestly be a little bigger than ever.  It's been going on for decades, but as things come and go in Muskegon...you wonder what's to come of most anything.

Follow the Lakeshore Art Festival On Facebook
Well, for what's come and gone, the Lakeshore Art Festival faced some changes and became a stand alone event a few years ago.  I think more than one eyebrow was raised, but for those who questioned it was sincerely a great thing as the focus became the Art Festival itself and it provided some room for growth and an opportunity for what was great to become even greater!  In 2018, you'll find the crafters and fine artists, you'll find the artisan food and kids activities, live entertainment, craft beers, fine wines, interactive and community based art projects and of course...some of the good old fashioned "festival food" if you're just looking for "meat on a stick" or an elephant ear!  There's truly a little something for everyone at this flourishing festival all centered around togetherness.

Won't cost you a penny to stroll around and see the sights.  You are welcome to come from near or far and you're sure to bump into some friends and neighbors and catch up on everything going on.  If you or your group would like to pitch in and be a part of the festival, they could use a volunteer or two.  It's a great source of pride for all of Muskegon and if you have not been here in a while, a great chance to come see Downtown growing and some of the new additions that we've got open or opening soon!  Things are booming down there as well as in the rest of the county!  When you hear "Watch us Go" this is one of the better viewing opportunities.

Carla Flanders is with the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and they are behind the organization of the Lakeshore Art Festival.  We sat down to talk about everything going on.  Take a listen.


Plan ahead.  Come on out for a great time and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere of the Lakeshore Art Festival in early July in Muskegon.  I hope that I am not the only one that feels like 2018 is a truly remarkable year when it comes to what's happening in Muskegon and how things are growing and people are engaging with what we have, instead of the "what was" mentality that we all seemed to carry for so long.  We truly are a community on the move and there is much to be proud of!  Thanks to Carla for the few minutes to talk and the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber for their sponsorship of this blog and The Muskegon Channel.  To visit the Lakeshore Art Festival's website, click on the photo below.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Celebrate Family Reunification Day in Muskegon June 21st at the Muskegon Farmers Market With the Muskegon Family Court

The idea of a child going to live in foster care is the ultimate nightmare to most parents.  To be honest with you, it's a nightmare for anyone involved.  There are times however when for the good of everyone things have to happen that will lead a child into foster care as guided by a court and while it might feel like a punishment, it's more of a situation where steps are being taken for the protection of the child while the parents gain the skills necessary for them to regain their role in their lives.


It's played out on social media today.  It's a horrific situation and there is always a lot of grey area in the story, but sending a child into foster care is really the very last thing in a succession of steps to try and improve the family dynamic.  It's no one's favorite day by any stretch of the imagination to remove the child from their family and those who have to make those difficult choices are equally hurt by the process.  Then, the foster family steps in and has to love a child on a temporary basis with full knowledge that they will have to return the child to their family at some point.  A difficult issue in and of itself. The complexity continues to grow as I am sure you can imagine....until that moment when the parents have completed what it takes to regain their children and carry on as life was meant to be....and then....it's time to celebrate.
Click Here to Visit the Muskegon Family Court on Facebook

As we said, it's not an easy process for anyone, so when all the pieces fall into place, there darn well outta be a reason to celebrate and you can do just that June 21st at the Muskegon Farmers Market.  Family Reunification Day will be celebrated and all hands will be on deck to talk about the accomplishments of the family who's reunited with their children, the fosters who help them in their time of need as well as some of the others who help make it all happen.  You will also have a chance to be a part of some area agencies that focus on family needs.  They are in the process now of adding some interesting and fun informational spots, you can follow the Muskegon Family Court linked on the right to learn more as the event draws near.

I was invited down by Jenny McNeill, Alicia Kaja and Holly Spoelman to talk about the Family Court and the work they do.  Take a listen and see the real human effect that this has on all parties involved in the foster process.  You can also learn more about the event coming up on June 21st and what you'll be able to see and learn there.


For every time we hear of some family being taken a part for whatever circumstance, maybe now is the time we stop and celebrate a family that is put back together.  The work that went into making sure that the most important part of a family, the kids will grow up in a safe and secure environment and be a part of a growing and thriving community.  As you heard in the video, this isn't a job that anyone wakes up one day and thinks "Man, I hope I get to dismantle some families today".  It's a job that sadly has to be done sometimes but when it's over...a stronger and healthier family unity is built and that leads to a better community for all of us.  Stop down and be a part of Family Reunification Day June 21st and be a part of a miracle happening right here in Muskegon.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Girls on The Run Muskegon Needs a Hand June 2nd

We're going to cut right to the chase.  We're using this Positively Muskegon post to ask for your help.  Girls on the Run is happening in Muskegon on June 2nd and they are in need of some extra help on the course of the 5k the girls compete in.  There isn't much to it.  Maybe some direction of runners, maybe some hooting and hollering to cheer them on and you might even get to stop a little traffic.  Sound fun?  Keep reading.



Girls on the Run is a remarkable program that is dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.  It's a truly remarkable program and beyond inspiring to be a part of.  We're proud to support Girls on the Run by sharing their mission.  We've helped with their events.  We've welcomed their founder Molly Barker and talked to her in the past about her inspiration to start this and we donate our time to be part of the event as well to see the overwhelming power of good that culminates the day of the 5k and the pride built in these young people.  Any step in the right direction is a good one. 
Click Here to Sign Up to Help

We are coming to you today asking for some help however.  There are going to be hundreds of runners on June 2nd.  There will be a 5k course set up in Downtown Muskegon and along the way, they need a hand with some folks to help man the course.  It won't take much of your time.  It's a remarkably rewarding and you'll walk away feeling pretty inspired yourself.  If you'd like to be a course marshal, please click on the link over to the right and sign yourself up for a shift. 

I was able to catch up with Sue Gifford to talk a little about the program and the need for a few more hands on deck the day of.  Take a listen to our chat below and be a part of this awesome day and see for yourself how Girls on the Run helps shape our young people into our future leaders. 









Many thanks to Sue and please.  Find a few hours to be a part of this awesome day in Muskegon.  Be there for the kids.  Be there for the inspiration.  Be there for the community.  Most of all, be there for yourself...and let that inner bubble swell as you see the achievement of these girls happen right before your eyes.  It's an amazing day.  You'll want more when you're done!  To visit the Girls on the Run page, click on the link below.