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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.