Ladas Hoopes McNeill

Ladas Hoopes McNeill
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Your Teeth! Let's Talk About a Chance to Get Them Taken Care Of At Community Dental Day Feb 11th

In a world where insurance is expensive and budgets have to be met, it's all too often the case that dental needs are some of the first to be sacrificed when it comes to making ends meet.  It's a tough decision to say the least...but...there's a resource for you if you need a hand and wonder if you might need a little more dental attention.

Community Dental Day will be held at The Lakes Mall on February 11th from 10a-2p!


Muskegon Volunteer Dental on Facebook

What better time than the dead of Winter in Muskegon go get out and take a breather from cabin fever and stroll The Lakes Mall with a purpose?  You can learn about different aspects of oral and dental care.  You'll find oral health screenings, how tobacco effects your oral health, the impact of diabetes or a pregnancy have and you can learn how cavities are formed.  There will be demonstrations on proper care of teeth and dentures, a fluoride varnish for adults and kids and some pretty cool giveaways.  Everyone who comes gets a free toothbrush and toothpaste!

This event is being put on by several organizations that see the need for better oral care in Muskegon. Groups like Muskegon Volunteer for Dental Care, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, The Muskegon District Dental Society, The Michigan Dental Association and the Muskegon oral health Coalition!  That's a lot of interested parties that are coming together to offer you everything we talked about.... FREE!  Rumor is that you may get a once in a lifetime glimpse at the Tooth Fairy as well!

Lindsay Bowen is the new Community Outreach for Muskegon Volunteer for Dental Care and Suzanne Tanis joined us.  If you're not familiar with their work, if you offer to pitch in around town, they will find you a dentist to take care of your teeth.  We live in a community of good people who go above and beyond to take care of each other.   Take a listen to our talk about the event and the opportunities you'll have to get a quick check of your choppers!



Your teeth are not only your first impression in many cases, they are also a key indicator to your over all health!  It is possible to make your teeth last a life time and no matter where you stand with income, or insurance, you should take advantage of the chance to be a part of the Community Dental Day Feb 11th.  You've got plenty of time to set aside an hour or so between now than then....so don't miss it!



Community Dental Day on Facebook

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Party in Your Parka at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex January 21st!

It's the "big one" and if the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex has snow....or doesn't have snow....the party goes on!

Party in Your Parka is set to take place this coming Saturday at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex!

This free all day event has a little something for everyone!




Party in Your Parka on Facebook
Everything gets underway at 11am at the Complex.  Weather permitting, you'll find plenty of things to see and do.  There will be vendors, displays, the "Made in the Mitten" art tent featuring Michigan artists and musicians.  You'll have access to the ice skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and luge. Again, Mother Nature may dictate the events and ability to participate in them. The whole family is welcome and you'll only need a State Park sticker to park.



This is also a celebration of all things Winter and Michigan just happens to be celebrating it's 180th birthday thank you very much, so...if nothing else, it's a birthday party on the grandest of scale!


Once 6p rolls around, the party shifts to a little more adult oriented event.   Remember, this event is a co-production of the Winter Sports Complex and Watermark Live who know how to put on a party!  You'll hear music from Nordlund and the headliner will be Flexidecible will be the headliner.  Modern Entertainment will fill in the blanks with their Dj's.  Michigan craft beers and wine will be available.

Above all, it's a chance for people of Muskegon to gather and have some fun and it's a chance for people who are not here day in and day out to come and enjoy one of our premiere attractions.



The Winter Sports Complex is an amazing place and we've got much to be proud of in it.

I caught up with Bill Bailey to talk about this years event, take a listen to our chat below!




If you're a season pass holder....occasional visitor or you've never been to the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex this is the time to get out there and experience the splendor.  What was once considered one of our "best kept secrets" is becoming a focal point for year round fun.  Plan on getting there early for a full day of fun.  Muskegon knows how to put on a party...no matter the season!   Click on the photo below for more details on the event!  Our thanks to the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex for their sponsorship of Positively Muskegon

Party in Your Parka!

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Gracies's Book Store - A Story Better Than Any Book Ever Sold

From the Mission Statement of Gracie's Bookstore -

"We are a faith based, pay it forward business here to promote literacy among all people of all ages.


100% of our books are donated.

All of our staff is volunteer, including our owner.


We donate to many organizations, like: elder care homes, men and women missions, shut ins, women's shelters, United Way, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school organizations, or basically anyone who makes a request. We have also donated to a school and library in Kenya, Africa. And many more.
We offer free books to those that may not have the financial means to purchase a book."

Gracie's Book Store in Lakeside is all of the above and more, and now, it's nominated for a pretty prestigious award in West Michigan.

Gracie's is in the running for the Pay it Forward business of the year award form Fox 17.  If you recall way back when the local television station started the Pay it Forward Challenge, some local clown named Andy O got involved and brought the first Pay it Forward honor back to Muskegon for the Group No More Sidelines.  The Pay it Forward feel has never left Fox 17.  They continue on with stories of good people doing good things for others, because, it's the right thing to do.  They also have an opportunity for business to be spotlighted in the Pay it Forward Business of the year contest.
Find Gracie's On Facebook

Cindy Thoma found herself in an unexpected place.  After an accident and subsequent 8 surgeries Cindy found herself addicted to pain killers and eventually addicted and homeless.  Addiction strikes anyone...there is no judgement on the part of drugs...prescription or not....anyone can become physically dependent and have nowhere to turn.

With books being an escape mechanism for her,  to beat the physical addiction and to combat the depression she was first a customer of the book store, then struck a deal with the owner to take the place over.  Most of her inventory is donated, and her goal is simple... "to make enough pay the rent and the bills".  It's amazing how life changes for people post addiction.  Like many...all she asks is to be able to live out their days happy, joyous and free.  Upon quick glance...I can personally see 3 or 4 of the "12 Step Promises" at work right here and right now.  It's an amazing thing to see.....

Cindy invited me down to talk a little about her nomination for the award and why she finds such joy in the ability to give others that much needed escape that is so often found on the pages between the covers of a good book.  Take a listen to our chat below!



Book nut...local shopper....value minded or maybe you just want to stop into a place that not only has what you are looking for, but a little magic that can't be explained, you should stop in to Gracie's.  We wish Cindy the very best in the contest and hope too, that the book story continues on for years to come.  Muskegon needs more places to escape...what better place than Lakeside!

Gracie's on Twitter


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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Positively Muskegon's Kids Beat Reporter Trevor Hilson's First Story - Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon

It all started as an idea. The three women realized that they had to do something to keep boys off the street. Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin, and Elizabeth Hammersley came up with the idea back in 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut. It was a problem that had to be solved. 

That one idea has led to the hundreds of locations of the non-profit organization, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.  



Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon on Facebook

In Muskegon, it’s the same idea. Concerned citizens got together, and decided to start a club. Conversations rose, and before you knew it, Tom Izzo was knocking on the door before a Muskegon basketball game talking about the new club. If you thought that was cool, the club opened! Lots of kids filed through the doors and the club got into business. All of the donations and board meetings paid off, it was official. By that time, the board said,”Why not a location in the Heights?” Before you knew it, a Heights location opened.

I had a chance to meet Dakota Crow who is the Executive Director of The Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon Lakeshore.  Take a listen to our talk below.





Going forward, I would think the club will do some more community mixers, some events, and also more annual galas with lots of fireworks. The club has so far been a huge success, and I wish the best for it going forward. So, to end my first story, I would like to thank my family, for pushing me through and keeping my confidence up, my friends and teachers, who have supported me a lot as well, and last, but not least, Andy O’Riley, who gave me this awesome opportunity.  If you'd like to know more about the Boys and Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore, click on the image below.


Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon Online

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Muskegon Risers Getting Set for the 2017 Season!!

The Muskegon Risers are rolling out the carpet.....literally across the floor of the LC Walker arena and they are ready for the Arena Soccer season to begin on January 13th!!

It's not only an exciting time for the team, it's an exciting time for the communities as soccer, and the young people playing and the families who are growing the fan base by leaps and bounds!


Muskegon Risers Website

The Muskegon Rises were formed as a soccer club in 2015 adding to the great offerings locally for sports.  They have an indoor season as well as an outdoor season so fans can enjoy great soccer anytime of the year and young players can have pro's to look up to.  The Risers have been met with some pretty good success as well drawing fans from all over the Lakeshore.  In August of 2016 the Muskegon Risers were voted in unanimously to the Premiere League of America.

As the indoor season gets set to roll teams like Chicago, Cincinnati, Waza Flo, and Youngstown will be making their way to the LC Walker Arena.  The risers too will be heading out all over the place as ambassadors for Muskegon.  Having another sports team in town not only gives everyone here a chance to enjoy some sports...it gives us a reason to welcome fans in from other cities.

As the 2017 season gets set to roll, I was able to catch up with Head Coach Ben Ritsema at his "day job" in Fruitport.  Have a listen to out talk about the Risers and the upcoming season.




What an awesome endeavor to have going in Muskegon.  A great entertainment option....a team that so many young players can look up to and prices that can't be beat when it comes to a great ticket for a night out.  Soccer fan or not, make sure you head Downtown Muskegon to check out a game or two this season.  Our community depends on all of us to support these kind of events!  Take the family out to a game and you might be surprised at how much fun you'll have supporting the home team!!  Click on the schedule below to follow the Muskegon Risers on Facebook.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Take The Polar Plunge For Special in 2017 in Muskegon February 4th

The years come and go.....some bring a Polar Plunge that's not much more than a jump into some cold water.  2017 however has seen to it that the "Polar" part of the Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics of Michigan will truly be that.  It's been cold and those who make the jump....well, it's not going to slow them down!

Save the date!!  February 4th 2017!


Visit Special Olympics Michigan



It would be great if the Plunge was what you got to come see, but true to form in Muskegon, the Polar Plunge has become a true event with all the bells and whistles.  You'll find the plungers....you'll find the panel of judges to decide who was the most creative and fun, you'll find food, music, libation and true to all things Muskegon...you'll find purpose.

The Polar Plunge in Muskegon is put on to help out Special Olympics of Michigan!  Special Olympics gives people with special needs a chance to compete, participate and belong.  They host a number of events around the state for their competitors as well as great events like the Polar Plunge to make sure that their work continues.


Muskegon Polar Plunge on Facebook


Muskegon's event is held at Fricano's on Muskegon Lake.  The Plunge is February 4th.....but it gets underway a little early on the 3rd with the pre plunge party.  Refurbished will be playing, you'll find plenty of raffles and prizes a nice 50/50 drawing and a cover of only $5 to benefit Special Olympics.  If you're ready to take the plunge...it's only $3!!

As this event has grown, there is always more and more to talk about with sponsors and events, you almost have to catch up with Brian Harris and who works every year to put the party on!  Take a listen to our chat below!












Need to get out of the house?  This is your invite!  If you're willing to take the plunge....good for you!  If you're willing to come out and whoop it up a little while others throw themselves into the "crisp" waters of Muskegon Lake that's good too.  The important part is the purpose of it all, to make sure our Special Olympians have a chance to do the things everyone else gets to, most of all...belong.  For more details and registration, click on the photo below and we'll see you at the Polar Plunge Feb 4th.




Sunday, January 8, 2017

Coach Doug Burse From Mona Shores Carries A Message

Eddie Sanders Jr. is back and in his first report of 2017 Eddie invited Coach Doug Burse from the Mona Shores Varsity Basketball team to come in and talk a little about the path it took him to get to the position and in a remarkable fashion...it's certainly not the road most traveled.

Honestly...could you think of a better coach than a guy with the nick name "Dr. Dunk?"




Coach Burse played on the 78 and 79 Championship teams for the Muskegon Heights Tigers.  After a stunning career on the courts, life caught up with Doug and like anyone can, he fell into the throws of addiction.  Crack was his drug of choice, and like so many who never plan to end up addicted, it happened and it took 10 years of his life away while he struggled.  The bottom was hit 20 years ago and Western Michigan Teen Challenge was where Doug went to find a new path.
Mona Shores Varsity Basketball Schedule

Those who have suffered an addiction know, life changes dramatically.  What once seemed impossible and unattainable become the benchmarks of life post addiction.  There is an overwhelming drive to share the experience and message with others.  It's particularly important to most that they reach young people before they fall into the same path.

Coach Burse couldn't be in a better role now.  Working as a para-pro, security person and coach at Mona Shores was preceded by his role at Muskegon Heights schools.  Today, he carries the respect of the students, families and community with great pride.  He's able to speak to kids on a level that few can understand, but being sober since 1993 is a better life education than any book could ever teach.


WM Teen Challenge



Coach Burse sat down to talk with Eddie Sanders Jr. and share his story of what life has become since his miracle happened.  He talks about how he reaches kids today and how much his family has been a part of his "new life".  It's an interview you can't miss.  This is honestly one of the most positive stories we've ever had on Positively Muskegon.  Take a listen below.











Speaking first hand...to know that people like Doug...and Eddie are out there sharing their story, working to make a difference in the lives of young people and our community is elemental in the future.  The ability to overcome and inspire is a gift that only comes from Divinity and as anyone who's struggled knows...it's a gift that has to be given away to be kept.  We have truly remarkable people in Muskegon and Coach is living testimony of our great community.