Ladas Hoopes McNeill

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Help MATS and MARC Stuff The Bus in Muskegon December 9th

You're hearing the bells....the temps are dropping and if you're paying attention....your calendar now says December!

Muskegon loves the holidays and yes...there are plenty of opportunities to do your part to help those who may otherwise go without.

There are many options...but MATS and MARC have a chance to be part of something a little BIGGER!

MATS Online
MATS stands for Muskegon Area Transit System and MARC stands for Muskegon Area Regional Connections.  Yes...our public transportation system is in a festive holiday mood and they are hoping to get a hand from Muskegon area people to help assure that kids this holiday season have a reason to celebrate when it comes to Christmas.

Stuff the Bus is happening at the Herman Ivory Terminal Downtown Muskegon!  Bring a new, unwrapped toy for kids 8-18 to help the Toys for Tots drive in Muskegon this year to the "Morris Street Lot" on Friday December 9th from 7am-11am.  If last years event is representative of this'll find lot's of incentives to help out!

The Community always comes together this time of year...and I'll tell you....I love talking up the way we make sure that our next generation is seen after by the kindness of strangers.  That kindness should be enough....but....they will have some pretty cool goodies for giveaway

Corey Davis was able to join me at the MATS office again this year to talk about MATS community outreach as well as the specifics about the "goods" they have rustled up to lure you down to help out a little!  Take a listen to our chat below!

I love Muskegon.  I love that even our public transportation steps up to assure that at Christmas...we flex out collective muscle to make a difference for kids who would go without.  Regardless of the situation, kids deserve a day a year to think life offers so much more....just a sprinkle of magic for them.  I love being able to share the stories!  This is what makes Muskegon so incredibly special!  Stop down and drop off a toy for some kid you'll probably never meet....but you'll make a lasting impact on their life knowing them came from a community who cared!

What's it Cost to Ride a MATS bus?  Find out here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Stand Up To Mental Illness - 2 Day Comedy Event in Fruitport and Muskegon December 9th and 10th

Let's start off by saying that we'll probably be talking about a few things that generally get swept under the rug.  The first being mental illness and the second.....well, not so much swept under the rug....but whispered about...and that's comedy that might be considered "blue".   How do the two play off each other?  Keep reading.

Stand Up to Mental Illness is a 2 day event coming up to raise a few bucks for mental health awareness and in'll get treated to some pretty good stand up comedy, a variety of fundraiser auction items and a nice night out minus all the pomp and circumstance of the holidays.
Stand Up to Mental Illness on Facebook

Night one, will be at Popes Pub in Fruitport and from their Facebook page "Lingerie models and a silent auction with all kinds of naughty things to choose from. Not to mention, enough dirty jokes in one night to get you through the holiday season. This show is going to be highly inappropriate, because why shouldn't it be? Proceeds will go to The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan."  If you're easily might want to skip this. :)

Popes Pub FB Page

Night two...will be at the Stray Cat Night Club and again from their Facebook page "Do you like tacos? Of course you do. Tacos are better for you than water, which is why we made it a point to have tacos and Tomales and nachos at our Saturday comedy show at the Stray Cat in Muskegon, MI. We have a stacked lineup of hilarious Comedians from around the state that you will not want to miss. Also, there will be tacos.

Stray Cat Nightclub on FB
We will also have giveaways that include tools from Home Depot, a Pandora Bracelet from Sanborn Jewelers, gift cards to Handsome Henry's and Station Grill, and Christmas Trees from Slocum Tree Farm more to come. We're not stopping there though. We will continue to update you on sponsors as we go. 

Lastly, there will be tacos at this event. Tacos are delicious and you should come and eat some. Why would you not? See you there!"

You get the idea I think.  Justin Chupp invited me to Popes Pub to talk a little more about the event and purpose.  Take a listen to our chat below.

It's a different twist on one of our favorite pass times here in Muskegon....a fund raiser!  So, if some comedy is your thing...or maybe you'd just like to have an evening out with some friends....keep in mind Stand up to Mental Illness happening on December 9th and 10th.  Congrats to Justin Chupp and crew for bringing a fun new event to Muskegon for such an important cause!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Muskegon Rescue Mission Serving Since 1907

 It's hard to imagine that we've had to have a Muskegon Rescue Mission here.....since 1907.

1907.  Think about that.  That means that even through the "best of times" post lumber era here in Muskegon there has been a need to help people who have found themselves in a situation that no one can really prepare for.  It doesn't take much and just about anyone can come to need a helping hand.

Find the Muskegon Rescue Mission on Facebook
Like many in town...I don't know the scope of the work that goes on by the Muskegon Rescue Mission.   I see the men's shelter on Laketon when I drive by.  I always think, "Well it's a good thing they are there." and I keep on going.  Sure, I understand they need much more attention than that so when Tim Lopez got a hold of me to visit and learn more, I got a little research going and snapped at the chance to learn more.

The Muskegon Rescue Mission is one of the oldest ministries in West Michigan.  They have 2 residential quarters for people.  They operate thrift stores to help fund their work.  They host special events to help raise funds to continue the work..Soup for Suits coming up in February and the Foreshore Adventure Run a little later in the Spring of 2017 are just a couple.  They hosted a free community Thanksgiving dinner at Muskegon High School recently and fed over 1000 people.  I can tell you this.  The work is never ending and the need continues to increase.  One thing that always makes me proud of Muskegon is the fact that no matter the circumstance, we find a way to help.

Back to that invite from Tim Lopez.  I worked with Tim and had kind of lost track of him until I heard that he's appearing in the 2017 Dancing With the Local Stars.  I had thought he moved I guess but then, to find out that the silence was just from the work he's taken on to help the Muskegon Rescue Mission.  Fair enough.  It's a tough job, so catching up was a great thing on many levels.  Take a listen to our chat below!

We don't fail each other in Muskegon.  Period!  If there ever was a community that looked out for those who need a hand it's Muskegon.  To know that for 107 years, the Muskegon Rescue Mission has not only survived but grown into the role it has... well, that's something to be pretty proud of.  If you'd like to know more or help on the Muskegon Rescue Mission's logo below and visit their site!

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Celebrate New Year's Eve in Style in Muskegon With the Rockin' Oldies New Years Bash

What's to do this New Year's Eve?  Well, if you're in Muskegon you're in luck because there's going to be an elegant and fun affair that will not only give you a chance to indulge in great food and'll get a chance to enjoy some great entertainment in a classy and elegant atmosphere.  There's a fun theme to go along with the evening...The Rockin' Oldies!'s time to get out the poodle skirt and blue suede shoes if you have them, or business casual to tuxedo's are welcome.

Get Tickets to the Rockin' Oldies NYE Party!
Mona Lake Productions is Bob Scolnik's "retirement job".  Bob started off with a tool truck route and built up his business over the years to where he came to own Muskegon Brake.  As time went on, the business was sold and Bob found himself not being able to sit still much.  He's a Muskegon County commissioner as well as show producer.  Not to mention, husband....father....grandfather and  mentor to many.  He's a tireless advocate for Muskegon and devoted to making life better around here.

A fan of elegant gatherings, Bob has put on some pretty good shindigs all over town.  This New Year's Eve it's Verdoni's new Event Center on Seminole Road.  You'll find a two entree  dinner from The Harris Group.  You'll great Hors d'oeuvres  a DJ warming up the show and then some featured entertainment with Mr. Quentin Flagg, 50's and 60's singer.. and The Whatabouts from Detroit.  Mr. Flagg is a performer who's taken his act all over the world and The Whatabouts concentrate on "girl group" songs of the 60's!  Thus....time to get out the poodle skirt for this great evening of fun to usher in 2017!

Bob found a couple of minutes to catch up with me and talk about his endeavors.  Take a listen to our chat below to find out more details about this grand event!

Fun!  For those who complain and say "There's never anything to do in Muskegon" well, her's your sign!  Take a break from the bar scene.  Get some tickets to a truly elegant evening of fun, memories and of!  Enjoy the delicious menu....the great environment and walk away from a New Year's Eve you'll never forget!  My thanks to Mona Lake Productions for the sponsorship of the blog and putting on such a great event in Muskegon!

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Back Christmas December 3rd in Muskegon - A Return Visit

Early on in the Positively Muskgon blog..we were still trying to find our legs.  What was to be the true theme of PM?  Should it be me observing and reporting?  Should it be commentary about life here?  Should it be a platform for more?

Lot's of things to think about.

Shop Downtown Muskegon Tomorrow
As I worked through the first few posts....I got an invite to come share a story about a group of mom's who were putting on an event at the VFW on Apple Avenue to give kids in the Wolf Lake area a chance to make a Christmas card for a soldier....wrap a present or two for their parents....decorate cookies, visit Santa etc.  So, off to Wolf Lake I went.

We sat huddled around a GoPro camera in Andrea Rosema's "she shed" which was really the corner of her garage, and we talked to the women putting this on.  We had a couple crashes of the backdrop...we were crammed in to get the shot, we ended up backing down to just Andrea and me....but we did it!  I have told everyone I've met that wondered about the blog all about this.  The impact this story had on me and the direction of it all.  A small happening in Muskegon that needed to count.  Here....take a look.

Last Years Story

A year later...they are back at it out in Wolf Lake for the neighborhood kids.  Andrea and friends are ready for the fun and the direction that this blog took from this very story defined what we'd be doing.  Finding people in Muskegon who take on tasks...large and small to make our community a better place.  It might be a powerful exec....might be a group of moms.....but they are all important to the fiber of our community.

Andrea invited me back out and I am proud to say that Giving Back Christmas is happening once again in Muskegon.  Take a listen to our talk about this years event at the Apple Ave VFW December 3rd.

They set out to have a fun event for kids....they ended up shaping the way that we'd tell our stories!  This is how community is built.  This is the way we make things happen.  It's the cumulative work of everyone that makes Muskegon what it is.  I went in thinking "I am shooting a story in a garage....".  I walked out knowing how important things that start off in garages are and how much the people in those garages make a difference in Muskegon.  Please help me in humbly thanking Andrea......join her at Giving Back Christmas December 3rd!  More details in the picture below!

Giving Back Christmas 2016

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Hamburger Mikey - Muskegon's Third Street Revival Continues

The growth of Muskegon and in particular the Downtown Area of Muskegon continues at a break neck pace.  People have been thrilled with the emergence of the breweries...restaurants.....and destinations on Western Avenue, but the pace is equally fast on Third Street in case you were not watching!

We're rapidly getting a hip little stretch of town!

Shop Downtown Muskegon Nov. 26th
You'll find Third Coast Vinyl, The Orphanage Tattoo shop and now....the once hallowed grounds known as The Ice Pick will be a fun, unique and tasty new destination.....and to be honest....the much whispered about Hamburger Mikey is opening!!

I'll be more than honest.  I never went to the Ice Pick.  I have heard all the stories and recognize too that that spot had to be something awesome!  Enter Hamburger Mikey.

Hamburger Mikey on Facebook

Mike and Mary Jane Burling bought the building a few years ago and they decided on simplicity.  You can get a Mikey burger with a single meat patty or a Fat Mikey which is 2 burger patties...completely fresh and with an array of toppings for you to choose from.  Throw in some fresh cut fries....and boom!  You've got the menu....well, with a grilled cheese option for vegetarians.  The Meat Block of Muskegon is the source for their, we're growing 2 Muskegon Business'!

The pace has been deliberate to get to the doors open....some have been chomping at the bit to make it happen quicker.  Who doesn't want a fun concept of a restaurant in town?  Muskegon has been begging for unique places that we can call our own and watch grow!  We've been waiting for that new "must have" stop in town.  Not to say that we don't already have exquisite restaurants, but the image alone of a hamburger take out restaurant, locally owned with it own spin on food....who can pass that up?

I was able to catch up with Tim Taylor and Mikey himself at Hamburger Mikey's for myself to talk about the process, the concept and the hopes for a long term. ultra cool spot on Third Street that will continue the growth and maybe bring a new face or two in!  Take a listen to our chat below!

I'll tell's a great thing watching Muskegon unfold!  People are not giving up and the narrative...well, it's changing.  It's the effort of so many great people who are able to look past "what was" and say "what could that be?"  Areas of town that sat empty for years are finding new life....and people are digging it!  All the best to Hamburger Mikey!  Make sure you get down there and enjoy a burger or two!  If you're part of the Watch Us Go hub bub...good for you!!  Act on it and let's welcome Hamburger Mikey! bout a look at a burger?

Mercy Health Project

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Meet a Young Man Who's Got His Eye On the Spotlight in Muskegon

In any line of work, I think that the desire to pass on what you know is a key to maintaining the "balance" of what you do and why.

When I was young....I was very fortunate to have found mentors in pretty much the elite of the West Michigan broadcasting business.  I can honestly say that it wasn't always easy and that most of my lessons were about having thick enough skin to make it in the biz.

As time shifted and it became me that had the experience and background in the business....I always did what I could to help younger people develop, grow and understand just what a life in broadcasting is.  To me, the lesson always was.. "If you get this'll see that being in broadcasting is a's a chance to communicate with a LOT and the ability to use that influence to make things better for one or many."  All the while, you also have the opportunity that no paycheck can ever pay for.  You've got the access no one else get opportunities to meet people you only read about in books or see on TV.  Practiced responsibly being "out front" can add to a very rich existence and where you might now be a millionaire because of it...the ride is pretty remarkable.

As time has gone on, and the "good old days" of broadcasting are becoming more and more distant in the rear view....that desire doesn't really change, and when you see a spark in someone's eye....well, you can't help but want to see if the tiny bit of knowledge you've picked up along the way can continue on.

I first met Trevor Hilson when his dad introduced me to him.  What a spark.  Bright young man, really outgoing and happy in his surroundings.  He always made it a point to come up and say hi at a hockey game....bring some friends by to say "I know Andy this" and to be honest...even though I can't really see the thrill in meeting me....I remember too what a big deal it was to me to be able to brag up the fact I worked with Rick Beckett or Aris Hampers....or Mike Tinnes.....Tom Robinson....Danny Douglas...... you get the idea.

Street Cred!
A few months ago, Trevor came up to me at a fundraiser and presented me his card!  At first I kind of giggled...but as he talked...I saw it.  "I'm announcing at football announcements..."  I saw it!  My replacement is coming down the pipe :)  Do I fear him....or do I do the right thing and give him what I have?  Choice was pretty clear.

Called up the kids parents and said I have an idea.....let's introduce him to Muskegon.  So, without further adieu......Mr. Travor Hilson....announcer!

How bout that for some excitement?  I'll tell ya... at Trevor's age.... the future is limitless.  I guess time will tell if he sticks it out in the "broadcasting" field...or maybe life takes him in a different direction....on thing is for sure....if he needs a hand, I'll give it.  I hope too over time....that he can add a little perspective of Muskegon as the "Positively Muskegon Kids Beat" reporter.  This blog was started so that ALL of us in Muskegon could have a voice...and the most important part of that voice is the future of it....I think it's pretty safe to assume that the future is in pretty good hands with Trevor Hilson.

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