Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Family Promise Supermarket Sweep at Great Lakes Fresh Market November 16th 2018

  The tickets were sold and the stage was set.  It was time for the fin of the Supermarket Sweep to get underway at Great Lake Fresh Market on Friday morning November 16th on Sherman Ave in Muskegon.  Just shy of 800 tickets were sold to benefit Family Promise of the Lakeshore.  Family Promise keeps families together in a homeless emergency.

  It's a completely community supported organization, and Marian McDermod and her staff work tirelessly to make sure that needs are met.  Food, personal care items, education on running a household and making sure that once the time with Family Promise is up, the families who do have to rely on their service, have more knowledge and won't have to face the same crisis twice.  It's a tremendous outreach and something everyone in Muskegon should be very proud of.

Visit Family Promise of the Lakeshore Online

Ed and Marion showing off the register tape
  Ed Wosinski was our contestant.  His wife's ticket was actually drawn, but she's a teacher up at Holton Schools and had a test that had to be given and couldn't make it out of work, so Ed stepped up.  We all met up at the store about 8:30 to go over some of the rules.  No alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets or gift cards.  There is a 5 minute limit and other than that...the store is yours.  Ed did a couple of pre-sweep walk through laps to see what was where and of course the Mrs. gave him a list.

  Here's the twist though, Ed's plan was to get only a handful of things for himself.  The rest was all going back to Family Promise or another organization that Ed and his wife are passionate about working with refugees here in the area.  Ed's the Youth Minister at First Lutheran Church and wanted to show by example that giving can so so much further.

It's a wild run, so give yourself a few minutes and take a look and watch for the total at the end.  The Supermarket Sweep is on.  Go Ed Go!!

  What a unique and fun fundraiser for a remarkable organization.  Ed's generosity will go far beyond the $10 ticket it cost he and his wife to be in the drawing and his example is one for all of us to follow.  Our thanks to Great Lakes Fresh Market for their generous support of the  Family Promise of the Lakeshore.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Bells are Ringing - Busy Season Starts for The Salvation Army of Muskegon

  You'll hear the bells soon, you'll see the Red Kettles and you'll know that the season is upon us.  What would the holidays be without The Salvation Army outside your favorite place to shop with that familiar gentle ring and the sounds of "Thank You - Merry Christmas"?  In an ever increasing and fast paced world it's the small stuff that makes it feel like home and the nostalgia of the bells goes back across generations.

  Well, there are plenty more ways you can help out the Salvation Army than with just the pocket change.  Although, that pocket change, it adds up.  If everyone in the county gave less than a dollar, the Salvation Army would make the Kettle Campaign goal for the year and that would be that.  Less than a buck!  Imagine that?  But it's so much more than just the spare change.  The Salvation Army's reach is deep and your chance to be a part of what they do and how they help comes in a variety of ways.
Click on the Sweet Season Pass Pin to Visit the SA Muskegon on Facebook

  Want to be on the Turkey Run?  You can help Thanksgiving morning by delivering dinners to those in need around Muskegon County.  Want to get a sweet lapel pin that shows you have a "Season Pass" for the bell ringers?  You can make a donation to do just that and sport some snazzy attire accouterments for some holiday bling.  Want to be part of the Kettle Campaign Kick Off?  Show up at the Community Tree Lighting event at Hackley Park November 24th at 5:30p.  Want a starring role?  YOU!  Yes YOU!!  Can be a bell ringer!  Imagine the glory and honor or being out and seeing friends and neighbors with you and your chest puffed out doing your part!  You can do one or all!

  I sat down with Robin Henshaw-Hard and Captain Chris Carlin to talk about the "busy season" at the Salvation Army of Muskegon and how you're part in all of it can help it come off without a hitch.  Take a listen. 

  There is a lot of good that comes out of the Salvation Army and if it's some spare change or if it's some time you can spare, your part of the total adds up quick!  If you see a bell ringer, pennies nickles and dimes add up.  If you want to see the face of someone light up on Thanksgiving, consider the Turkey Run for a few hours and if you can give a little more, please do.  Our community is better because of the work of the Salavation Army.  We'll plan on seeing you out soon ringing some bells somewhere in town!  If you'd like to know more about how to be involved you can visit the Salvation Army of Muskegon on their website below!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Meet Asia Hughes - Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon and The Lakeshore's Youth of the Year

It was a night of celebration and anticipation at the Holiday Inn Downtown Muskegon on November 8th.  The Boys and Girls Club of The Muskegon Lakeshore had the ballroom to celebrate some of their members for their accomplishments in and out of the club.  Factored in are things like how they do in school, personal achievements and more.  But this year, there was a twist.  There was a voting element among the attendees and of the 3 finalists, it could go to any.

Founded in 2015 after a monumental effort on the part of so many in Muskegon, the Boys and Girls Club has begun to start to show that the  It's a safe harbor to some, to others a place for character development or academics, others might learn about healthy lifestyles and some might need it for a sense of belonging, healthy relationships and fun.  The impact is monumental and it's growing.  There are now over 1000 registered members of the club who take part in the activities provided and they are given the opportunity to flourish year round.

Find the Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon on Facebook
With the programs and activities come the need for an occasional fund raiser and celebration of accomplishments.  The tables were set, the guests arrives and the honorees were all mixed in with the crowd.  There were some proud parents, some grand parents sprinkled in for good measure.  Board members, contributors and the average joe who just wanted to see a nice program celebrating young people.  As the night unfolded and the program got underway, we heard from the top three of 6 finalists as to what the Boys and Girls Club has meant to them, what some of their life circumstances were and how they have applied what they have gleaned from the club to be part of their life going forward.

Elroy, Michael and Asia got up and shared some thoughts with the audience of a couple hundred people.  Not an easy task for anyone, but they injected personality, insight and even some humor into their presentation.  Hopes and dreams were shared, some of the bumps in life were as well and you could have literally heard a pin drop when you heard what some of these young people have lived through.  None of which is even a senior in high school yet.  To say they have lived more life at 15 than most of us will ever see is an understatement.

After the stories, the voting took place on Ipads and cell phones and when the announcement was made...Asia was the Youth of the Year.  She spent her younger days in foster care and the experience was less than ideal.  Instead of letting it consume her, at 15 she knows that her mission in life is to make sure those who are in foster care in future generations don't have the same experience she did.  She joined me for a quick conversation in the afterglow of the ceremony, you can still heat the buzz going on around us as we talk.  Take a listen.

Smart, powerful, determined and strong.  Her story on stage brought the room to a stand still and her presence in person is one of a remarkable future leader.  I have done enough around people in my life to know that there are some who have been touched by their life experiences, those who have helped shape them...both for the good and bad and they are able to take all of that and become a force.  Asia is all of that at such a young age and her future...limitless.  It was a great honor to be part of the evening and to spend a few minutes with the kid, I promise you...there will come a day when we all say "We knew her when."

If you'd like to know more about the Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon, click on their logo below to visit their website.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Help the Family and Friends of Pam Allen Saturday November 10th at the VFW on Grand Haven Road

In a past life, I had a job and was told that, "No one gets on the air unless they pay.  Even if it's a benefit spaghetti dinner at a VFW Hall, cash is king and we don't give out air time".  I kinda scratched my head and did it anyway, because what's the worst that could happen?  Getting fired?  Been down that road before and you always seemed to work out.  Whatever.  Thanks for the pep talk.

As time has gone on, I have found that there is a whole lot more to a spaghetti dinner than just a benefit.  It's a chance for all of us as a community to find a small way to give a little something back to someone and get together. It's a chance for some fellowship, a chance for some local business to show that they care and a chance to help defer the burden that people find themselves in from time to time when it comes to medical needs, final costs, catastrophic name it.  It takes a village and there is no better village than Muskegon when it comes to taking care of our own.
Pam Allen Benefit Event on Facebook

One of the "care takers" is Jack Allen Jr.  He's a devoted husband to Pam and he's out every chance he can get helping others benefits if it's for veterans causes, those with an illness or whatever.  He does it without expectation of recognition or return and he's gone on about it while doing all he can to take care of Pam who was attacked by a blood born virus years ago that hit her spinal cord and left her paralyzed.  In all the years I have known Jack, it's always been about someone else.  I didn't even know he had a wife, let alone his devotion to take care of her.  Jack has spent countless hours helping others, and it's pretty clear to see why.  He understands how hard it can be.

This Saturday, the favor will be returned.  You guessed it.  A spaghetti dinner with all the fixins'.  Raffles, music, silent auctions, donations, good cheer and maybe a tear or two.  A thankful community will come together to return the kindness paid in advance for all the others who have been given a hand by Jacks silent behind the scenes work.  The event will be held at the VFW at 5209 Grand Haven Road by the Muskegon County Airport.  Barb VanBoglen is part of the group working to out the event on.  Barb had the original idea to get the Sandy Corely Memorial Run going, so she's got a little experience in putting on a good benefit, take a listen to our talk.

You can't even get a hamburger out anymore for $10 bucks.  A fantastic spaghetti dinner, a chance to help someone who spends more time helping others than themselves and a chance to win a 50/50!!  Way better odds than the lottery.  :)  Jack is the kind of guy who'd never ask, so let's all do what we can to help get Pam what she needs and remind them that a grateful community stands behind them. If you can't make the benefit.  There is a link to the Go Fund Me page if you click on the photo below.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Win a Supermarket Sweep to Benefit Family Promise of the Lakeshore from Great Lakes Fresh Market

You may remember the old game show, "Supermarket Sweep".  It ran on some cable channel and created quite a buzz for a short while there with it's cheesy approach and campy feel, but people watched and people played.  The idea was people did the quiz show part to win time and then at the end, they got to race through the aisles to see how much they could gather up in their time. It was a lot of fun, and your chance to play is happening!

Your chance to play comes as a benefit for Family Promise of the Lakeshore.  It's a fun spin to raise a few bucks for the work they do to keep families together when they experience a temporary homelessness emergency.  So often, if a family finds themselves with no place to go, they are broken up and the father has to go to a men's shelter while the mother and children have to find accommodations elsewhere adding to an already incredibly stressful time by dividing up a family.  Well, Family Promise of the Lakeshore provides them a safe place to remain together as a family while they bridge the gap and work their way back to their own home again.  The can get some education on proper running of a household, money management, nutrition and so much more.  The outreach of Family Promise is amazing and it's 100% funded by community support.  If you want to see miracles in action, a visit to their campus on Crozier in Muskegon will be proof positive that they do happen every day, right here.
Click Here to Get Your Raffle Tickets for the Sweep!

Partnering with Family Promise of the Lakeshore is Great Lakes Fresh Market.  They came along a couple years ago and we were happy to introduce you to them.  They have three stores in the area.  Their remodels are complete, their shelves are stocked full and they bring that neighborhood grocery store feel back to Norton Shores, North Muskegon and Muskegon Township with their store on Apple Ave.  As they have settled in, they thought it a good idea to start to share some of the good fortune they have found and chose this fun way to help Family Promise raise a few bucks and some awareness of their mission.

Tickets to be in this raffle are $10 bucks!  You can get them at your local Great Lakes Fresh Market or by stopping in to Family Promise of the Lakeshore.  You can also follow the link to the right to visit the Family Promise website to buy a ticket.  The drawing will be held on Facebook live on November 12th and the sweep itself will be held at the Great Lakes Fresh Market on Sherman in Muskegon November 16th and will be broadcast on Facebook live too!  No, David Ruprecht won't be there, but Andy O is just as cheesy and he'll be the host for the fun.

Marian Mcdermed is the Director of Family Promise of the Lakeshore and Lisa Gentz is with Great Lakes Fresh Market.  Take a listen to our chat and get the details!

How's that for a fun way to help an amazing cause?  Get your tickets while you can by stopping in to any Great Lakes Fresh Market or Family Promise of the Lakeshore on Crozier in Muskegon.  You can also use the link above to purchase your tickets online!!  We'll keep our fingers crossed for you to be running the aisles of the store soon, listening for that familiar "beep" as we have some fun with a Supermarket Sweep.  You can visit Great Lakes Fresh Market online by clicking the photo below.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Serenity II Life Skills and Dynamics Magnifying Your Identity and Owning It November 10th - Pathway To Owning You Home

A year or so ago, we first met Priscilla Agnew.  Priscilla is a community organizer who's mission is to provide people with the skills and confidence needed to see the potential in themselves and get past barriers in their lives that are the perceived things that hold them back.  so often, it's only what's in our mind that creates a barrier and Priscilla brings together the people and organizations to help jump those hurdles.

There's an event coming up November 10th at Fricano's on Muskegon Lake all about her endeavors.  It's called Magnifying Your Identity and Owning It.  It's a free event and you'll find resources for empowerment, overcoming hindrance, gaining knowledge and getting back what might have been lost.  There will be a special keynote speaker on shifting hardships and identifying your dreams and vision.  A big part of anyone's dreams and vision would be home ownership and that's what Priscilla has brought our group together today for.
See Muskegon Affordable Luxury Homes on Facebook

Imagine if you will the possibility of home ownership.  Putting an end to rent and the feeling that comes with owning your home.  It's not as difficult as you think and even if you are of the mindset that you can't because of a credit score or what's available out there, the answers are here.  It's a big step, that's for sure, but it's also very much a community building endeavor a source of pride and a chance to earn on you investment.  The bottomless pit of rent is done and you can step into a better place than you figured.  It's possible with who you'll hear in our talk today.  You owning a home is very much a reality no matter where you are on the income spectrum and you could actually save money by owning.
Contact Marisol Garcia Linstrom 
Watch the video and see Priscilla again, she's got the details on the event coming up at Fricano's and her organization Serenity II.  Bobby Sisk is a home builder with Muskegon Affordable Luxury Homes.  He find houses that need to be rehabbed, guts them goes to work from the ground up and makes them new.  New mechanical's, flooring, paint, wiring...whatever it needs the TLC goes in and it's a turn key home for you to walk into for less than you'll pay in rent in most cases.  Finally, Marisol Garcil Linstrom.  Marisol is a Norton Shores gal with an office in Grand Haven for Northpointe Bank.  She's got the took kit to put you on the path to get you the keys to one of these homes and can help you understand the value in the investment, and what's best...she can help you fix anything that stands in your way.  Take a listen to our discussion...

It might seem like the impossible, but it's true.  There are people out there working very hard to help rebuild every corner of Muskegon and the people in it.  If you are out for some emboldening of yourself, make sure you attend Priscilla's event on November 10th at Fricano's.  Those barriers you see and feel might just be a figment of your imagination.  If you think that it's time for you to take the next step and make yourself a home owner as opposed to a's the time.  The exuberant feeling of renewal is everywhere in Muskegon right now and all you have to do is jump on the bandwagon.   For more on the Life Skills and Dynamics event click on the logo below to visit their event page.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Second Annual Fatherhood Summit October 27th at the Career Tech Center in Muskegon With Dads on Deck

It's the biggest step a guy can take, and for some it can be one of the scariest.  The idea of fatherhood is enormous.  So much so, that in my "child rearing" years, I was so afraid that I would do more harm than good due to my own life circumstances, I never even tried.  I could barely take care of myself and who was I to think that bringing in someone else would be a fair or good option.  I didn't want my mess at the time to go any further.

As daunting a task as it can be, it's an essential role in the lives of kids.  Even at the moment of birth some say that a baby can recognize a fathers voice.  A fathers role helps in the health of a pregnancy, fathers help keep kids from living a life in poverty and kids who live in a fatherless home are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school.  Fathers add so much to lives from parenting styles which are a little more spontaneous and physical giving kids the ability to be a little more rambunctious and adventurous and fathers also teach by example, showing kids by experience how things are done and why.  I think back to sitting in the garage with my dad changing the oil in the cars or maybe working on the lawnmower or something.  Not only were they lessons....but they were bonding times.  It seemed like an exclusive club out there, especially in the Winter when he'd turn the heater on and use the hot water to wash the cars.  Fathers tend too, to let their kids work through frustrations and figure out things for themselves a little bit and of course there's the discipline factor.  A mom tends to discipline behavior and emotional relationships while a father leans more toward what needs to be taught to be successful in society and in an every day world.  It's truly a role that is essential in the development of young people.
Dads on Deck Summit on Facebook

But wait...where's the instruction manual?   Bad news.  There isn't one.  BUT!  There is an opportunity to get some knowledge on the subject, free of charge and they will eve feed you for coming out!  On October 27th the MAISD will be hosting The Second Annual Fatherhood Summit from 10a-2p at the Career Tech Center.  It's an opportunity first and foremost to see that you're not alone in thinking being a dad is overwhelming.  It's also a great chance to hear from some top speakers in the field as to what being a father is all about and what it means to the development of the child.  Even if things were not able to work out with you and the Mrs., there are guys here who have walked the walk and can help you better understand the importance of your role in these young peoples lives.  We're all about rebuilding community, and all of the slogans, and billboards and social media groups are great....but the power...truly lies in you and how you help build the future with our children!  Advance registration is requested you can CLICK HERE to email your request.

I met up with Norman Young who's with the Muskegon ISD to talk a little about this event and how fathers can learn the importance of their roles and how they can join this summit to see that they are not alone in wondering and that there truly is strength in numbers when it comes to spreading knowledge when it comes to tough questions.  Take a listen.

Tell ya what.  I for see a future leader in Norman.  Keep your eye on this guy.  But, we're here to talk parenting and get you a few new tools for the trade!  Get out to the Second Annual Dads on Deck Fatherhood Summit if you think you need a hand, or better yet...if you think you can offer one.  If you've been down the path, remember what it was like and mentor a younger guy.  If you don't know where square one is, the summit is a great start!  The invite is there, it's up to you to take advantage of it.  4 hours on a Saturday can make a big impact on you, and more over, a big impact on the future.  To visit the Dads on Deck Facebook Page, please click on their logo below.