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Ladas Hoopes McNeill
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Muskegon Rockstock

Muskegon Rockstock
July 3rd and 4th

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Muskegon's Rockstock - Carrying on The Unstoppable Summer in Muskegon July 3rd and 4th

We've been evolving in Muskegon for a while, and evolving means change.  Change...well that means some things come and some things go and that means what was may have been great but what is....well what is gets to grow and carry on.   It's happening in more than one spot and it's being embraced a little more all the time.  It's on all of us to help those who keep digging to make things happen....

One of the events that's carrying the torch of a good time for everyone, is Rockstock in Muskegon.  I remember years ago, Brandon Baskin came into the radio station to tell me about his idea.  Some local bands playing in Hackley Park in an atmosphere that wasn't a bar, late at night and it was an open atmosphere where younger fans could come out and enjoy the show.  He was planting the seeds to get things going.  At the time, we still had Summer Celebration and everyone enjoyed that, but as time marched on and the cost of entertainment and infrastructure ran Summer Cel out, the first few baby steps of Rockstock led to an opportunity to grow a little and make the jump to the bigger stage.

Muskegon Rockstock on Facebook
A new location, Heritage Landing,  and new approach, tribute bands, to the 4th of July party seem to have worked.  Keep the ticket cost low, $5 bucks, keep the music familiar, keep the fireworks and slowly add things for a bigger crowd.  We've still got our community get together with plenty of suds..songs and bag chairs.  After all, it's a community event let's be a community.

Rockstock will be happening July 3rd and 4th this year.  You'll hear the musical tributes of Echoes of Pink Floyd,  Crazy Babies - Ozzy Rebourne, Let There Be Rock - AC/DC Tribute and more! They are adding Kidstock with the help of Kangaroo Palace, an area dedicated to kids fun and play with tons of energy burning activities.  It will all be capped off on July 4th with the beautiful fireworks out over Muskegon Lake.  We'll celebrate as one.  It will feel good.

I had a chance to catch up with Brandon, we used Heritage Landing as the back drop, take a litsen below.

The moral of this story is....we don't give up.  Muskegon is filled with great people like Brandon and his staff who keep swinging.  If there is a will there is a way.  Find a new canvass and start painting on it and in time, your vision will grow.  The idea of "Muskegon just lost another" whatever is the old way of, it's "How can we find the next amazing thing".  What I saw in Brandon way back when was a kid showing off some bands...what he became is a visionary leader ready to learn, adapt and grow and continue to find ways to provide for Muskegon.  Make sure you head out to Rockstock and enjoy some fun Downtown Muskegon over the 4th holiday.  We'll see you there!  For more info, click on the Rockstock logo below.

Muskegon Rockstock Online

Monday, June 19, 2017

Padnos Shoreline Recycling Center Helping Clean Up Muskegon

I heard from Padnos Shoreline Recycling Center a couple of weeks ago and it was a good thing.  The wondered if I had any ideas of how they could become more involved in what they were seeing going on around Muskegon, specifically Downtown Muskegon and how could they become more involved in a very active community.  So, I figured I'd stop in and see what they had in mind, I know a few people around town, I could probably make a connection or two happen.

I didn't really plan on what came of the conversation, but as we talked... I was all in.  From their shop on Ottawa Street, they are seeing exactly what everyone is seeing.  Things in Muskegon are moving.  Clean up is happening, attitudes are changing and as all of this is going on, Padnos Shoreline Recycling wants to be a leader in helping spotlight those who are making a difference in Muskegon.
Shoreline Recycling on Facebook

Did you know that Shoreline Recycling takes care of our planet by recycling just about everything?  From paper to cardboard and and magazines, appliances, cars, batteries, steel, copper, name it.  They assure that our precious resources don't end up in a landfill but they are recycled and reused.  They are also very generous stewards in Muskegon, they help sponsor Kids Food Basket, The Greater Muskegon Jaycees, Special Olympics and The United Way.

Shoreline Recycling also takes amazing care of their customers.  If you are there every other day, or once or twice a year, you'll find great customer service, top dollar paid for your items and some really fun incentives from time to time.  Right now, they have a Summer Celebration raffle going on where you can win a Kindle Fire.  They are having a pizza appreciation day coming up in July and they will close out the summer with a party providing lunch too.

The added touches are nice, but the meat and potatoes are this.  They want to highlight YOU.  are you getting the job done in Muskegon?  Are you spearheading a clean up or organizing a neighborhood recycling event?  Are you an individual scrapper who makes a few extra bucks helping get things taken care of for folks?  We want to hear from you!  From July-September we'll be spotlighting some efforts to make Muskegon more beautiful by recycling through Shoreline Recycling.  It's not necessarily a weight contest, but rather a way to highlight some great work going on that might not otherwise get seen.  The all hands on deck effort in Muskegon should be seen from every angle and Shoreline Recycling wants to spotlight the hands that are "getting dirty".

I met with Kurt Alderink who's the Center Manger of Shoreline Recycling in Muskegon to talk a little about the business and their active role in so many things in Muskegon take a listen to our talk below and start thinking about how we can highlight your clean up project.

Let's go!  Who's cleaning up and who's going to be thrown into the spotlight?  What I thought was just going to be helping a few connections along has turned into a magnificent opportunity to help Muskegon continue with the beautification projects and spotlight some pretty amazing people who are doing it.  Are you in a clean up project?  Let us hear from you!  You can send a Facebook message to Positively Muskegon.  Include a few pictures of your project as well as a few details about what you're doing and you might be hearing from us and Shoreline Recycling!  If you'd like to know more about Shoreline Recycling click on their logo below!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Corey Davis Visits With Jeffery VanDyke About the Michigan Victory Games and His Art Work

A couple weeks ago we did a story about The Victory Games, which is an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to compete in athletic competitions, win medals, and gather with fellow athletes at social events. Muskegon’s own, Jeffrey VanDyke took the time to sit down with Positively Muskegon and discuss his experience at the games, his achievements, and the positive energy and unique experience he had.

Besides being an awesome athlete, Jeff is also an incredible artist! He talked about his path to becoming a graphic artist, what inspires him, and his techniques. Watch the story, check out some of his impressive portfolio, and if you’re interested in having some custom artwork by a local artist, get a hold of Jeff via his Facebook page, you'll find that linked under the pictures to the right.
Find Jeffery VanDyke on Facebook

We caught up at McGraft Park to talk about the Victory Games, how he's adapted his work in art with disability over time and how he'd like to be seen for his talents and personality instead of his chair.   Take a listen to our chat below.

A giant thank you to Jeff for being our guest and highlighting what Positively Muskegon is all about; unique individuals in our community making a difference!

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

West Michigan Business and Craft Fair at Hackley Park June 24th

We're "Watching Us Go".   More and more, the idea is seeming to catch on and inspiring people are taking action.  Action is a big part of the next phase... I mean, standing around and watching is one thing, but unless someone is getting their hands dirty, we're going nowhere.

Well, they are...and Muskegon is a community on the move.

There is an issue however though...being an upstart is tough.  How do you get the exposure you need for your business?  Where do you invest wisely to have the impact you need to see a return on investment?  Where to connect with others who are upstart entrepreneurs like yourself to share thoughts, experiences, concerns and hopefully some success stories?  Well you can join club after club or organization after organization.  Trade networks, Craig's List ad's, Facebook Groups , the list goes on and on, or you could stop into the West Michigan Business and Craft Fair June 24th at Hackley Park.
WMBCF on Facebook

Vanessa Davis got a hold of me to let me know about the event.  Vanessa is a jewelry maker. She loves to create things that help women feel beautiful, and a quick scroll across her Facebook page you'll see in a hurry, she's good at what she does.  Like many others, she relies on her creative side for an income and in as much as craft shows around the holidays are great, the goal of a year round business is always at the top of her mind.  Her husband Tony, left a union job to follow his dream of owning a business and opened Pampered Auto Hand Car Wash and Detail Shop on Apple Ave.  Their combined desire to build and grow their own business drove them to want to help others get the word out about theirs.

From their event page - "  Our Community Business and Craft Fair is intended to bring recognition to 150 small businesses, artists and crafters. Our event will help those in our community who have not been able to advertise or exhibit their skills and talents due to the costs involved. Our intent is to underwrite some of the costs for them with a much smaller participation fee. Our hope is that our community will see and experience the great products & services we have right here in West Michigan. Increasing commerce is our goal."

Vanessa and Tony were to meet up with me at Hackley Park, but when we were scheduled to tape, the sky was a little threatening so we went to Drip Drop Drink as plan b.  Take a listen to out chat below.

It takes all of us.  It takes those who are established and those who are just getting started.  Together, we build toward a solid community and solid local economy.  No idea is too crazy and no opportunity is far fetched.  Let's be honest, there's a guy going around town with a video camera and a couple websites spreading a message or two....if he can make can anyone.  Vanessa and Tony are chasing their dreams and so should you.  If you're not out for the chase just yet, stop by the event and see who is.  

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dancing Into the Sunset in Fruitport's Pomona Park Every Wednesday All Summer

Get up and bust a move!  Shake a leg, do the funky chicken, the cha cha slide, the cool jerk, the twist, the hop...whatever it takes...get up, get moving and get out!  There's an opportunity for you to do just that every Wednesday in Fruitport thanks to Susie Halter and the Fruitport Lions Club.  Dancing Into the Sunset is free fun designed to get you out and get you back in touch with friends and neighbors.

It kinda started like this.  Susie has a bit of a history with dancing.  Originally from the Chicago area, she was a dances with the USFL Chicago team back in the day.  While the football league didn't make it Susie retained her love for dancing and eventually brought it with her to Muskegon when she and her family came her years ago.  Recently, she's gone through a resurgence of happy feet as she participated in Dancing With the Local Stars put on by the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce, and from that...she saw a need for more people to get up and get funky.

A little leg work and a little searching to find just the right spot turned up the band shell in Pomona Park in Fruitport.  There's some history there too.  At one time, there was a giant pavilion out over the water where people would gather and dance the night away, there are just pilings left now.  The history remains though and as more and more events like Dancing into the Sunset pop up all over the area, history is repeating itself just a few yards from where those legendary dances of yesteryear took place.
Dancing Into The Sunset on Facebook

Susie has added a little something too, each week she hopes to have some of her dancing friends on hand to help those coming to the event learn a little something.  I mean, let's be honest, dancing is an art, and to's a little intimidating.  If you've got a little instruction and a couple ideas of how to move that body of yours it makes it a little bit easier to stop being a wall flower.

Susie found a few minutes to chat up the event.  We met up at the park with a warm breeze and beautiful backdrop to talk about it.  Take a listen below.

I am never without amazement when it comes to people seeing a need and jumping in with both feet to get it done.  Everything here is free.  The time is donated...the cost is zero and the individual and community benefits are without end.  Pack up a picnic basket.  Drive, boat or bike to Pomona Park on a Wednesday night and enjoy the beautiful sunset while spending an evening with your family making some new friends and memories.  This is a community building event and if you see Susie...give her a pat on the back and say thanks.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Muskegon Heights Optimist Club 5k Color Walk/ Run June 17th at Rowan Park

As the saying goes, when the sun is shining, it's time to make hay.  As the 2000 Man Unity March was setting up in Rowan Park in Muskegon Heights, the Muskegon Heights Optimist Club was on hand to talk about next weekends big event coming up in the once closed park...a 5k color walk/ run to bring the community together a little more and to raise a few bucks to help kids battling cancer.  Let's be honest, cancer doesn't care what your zip code is.

A little about the Muskegon Heights Optimist Club?  "Muskegon Heights Optimist Club works each day to make the future brighter by bringing the best out of children, in their communities, and in themselves."  That from the Optimist Club Facebook page.  Reading programs, mentor programs, financial literacy, library support youth recognition and development of pride and community.  Our kids..all of our kids are our future, and the Optimist Club works tirelessly to make sure that they know that as they grow, they are surrounded by a caring community who wants the best for them.
Muskegon Heights Optimist Club on Facebook

The Color Run/ Walk will be all you expect, fun for the whole family.  Activities for the kids, you can enjoy the run at your own pace and the money raised will go to support the Childhood Cancer Campaign.  According to the Optimist Club International website each year more than 12,000 children and teenagers and that one in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of 20.  Awful.

Wendee Dells sent me a note about the event, and she brought Thomas Smith with her.  As the 2000 Man March got ready to roll, we talked about next Muskegon Heights....and I gotta tell ya...this whole "New Normal" thing... it's awesome!  Take a listen!

Want a nice run?  Great!  Want to help the childhood cancer cause?  Even better!  Want to be part of the renewal of Muskegon Heights?  You're in the right place.  The City of Friendly People welcomes you to Rowan Park for the 5k Color Run/ Walk and all the details are to be found on their Facebook page in the event link below!

5K Walk Run Fb Event

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Habitat For Humanity at Work in Muskegon for Adam and Stephanie

We've told you about Habitat for Humanity before.  You may have seen the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store locations around town.  They sell re-purposed and recovered items for your home.  Habitat is an international organization with a local connection and their work is the stuff miracles are made of.  Well, one of those miracles is happening in Muskegon right now.

Meet Adam and Stephanie.  I have known them for quite a few years.  They are a kind couple they have a two year old daughter. Jaimi and they have been doing what they can to find a better place to call home for her.  They work hard, but like many, they find it hard to get ahead and the idea of improving their living situation seemed like it was slipping away more and more every day.  They applied to Habitat a couple of years ago and had to continue to wait.  But in 2017, their time has come and they will be getting a new home in the Nims Neighborhood in Muskegon.

Habitat for Humanity of Muskegon
Keep in mind, Habitat homes are not free.  There is a lot of work that goes into even getting qualified for a Habitat home.  There are classes on financial literacy, income requirements, willingness to partner with Habitat working for 275 hours of  "sweat equity".  There is also a need to prove that you need better housing.  It's not a hand out through Habitat.  Adam even grabbed himself the Goodwill Achiever of the Month award for his involvement.

This past week, they had the ground breaking, which they deem the ground blessing for Adam and Stephanie.  Family and friends gathered, dignitaries were there, golden shovels and everything.  There was a buzz in the air, there was barely a parking spot to be found up and down the street and much to my surprise, the address I was sent to was an empty lot.  I kind of expected to find a home to be restored, but's a home to be built from the ground up and a new beginning for some really good hearted and deserving people.

Also among those there was some guy with a camera and Clare Root-Benson fro Habitat for Humanity of Muskegon.  Adam and Stephanie have agreed to let us follow their journey into their new home and their new neighborhood as the construction continues.  Our first visit captures their thoughts on this truly amazing day.  Take a listen.

I did pretty good while I was there, but as I drove away...heck, as I write this....I have some tears welling up.  To me, this is proof of exactly how amazing humans can be when they wish to.  Sure, the requirements are difficult, but this is truly a life changing moment for a family and a way for a community to look at the rest of the world and show that we care.  We're watching a miracle unfold right in front of us.  One miracle leads to another which leads to another...and another.  I am a firm believer we live in a town filled with miracles and if you have not noticed....they are happening more and more all the time.  Take a moment to congratulate Adam and Stephanie and then take a moment to get involved if you have the time.  If you want a miracle, be the miracle.
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