Quality Tool and Stamping

Shon Cook Law Offices in Whitehall

Shon Cook Law Offices in Whitehall
The Good Witch of the Law

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Mom On a Mission - Meet Jessie Wilde Emerging Media in Muskegon

Wasn't so long ago, there was this guy who had the idea that maybe starting a blog in Muskegon talking about good people, who do something that has a beneficial impact for our community got his start and, from there, things kind of grew.  It was a pretty simple idea really, backed up by a GoPro camera and a free blog program, and it all kind of grew from there.  The important thing though, is though that while you grow, you don't forget where you started or that others might follow.

I'm a firm believer in not only watching others blossom and grow, but helping them along if the opportunity is there.  One of the things I disliked the most about the end of the "traditional media" days, was the lack of anyone coming looking for a job.  In fact, the last two years I was on the FM radio, there wasn't a single applicant trying to get in the business.  Between market consolidation and the slow decay of a once vibrant medium and economic driver, no one wanted to come learn what I was doing.  It was pretty sad, because I had incredible mentors that made sure I knew more than any college could ever teach me.  I am no "shove it down your throat" teacher, but to pass along some advice and nuance once in a while....it's how wisdom moves.  I keep my eyes open and will introduce myself when I think I see some promise, and you know what?  I think I see a LOT of it.

Follow WildeJessie on Facebook for Her Live Events
Meet Jessie Wilde.  Jessie is a "Mom On a Mission".  Jessie is multi-faceted in her life and work.  She helps run My Space Office and Storage on Getty Street in Muskegon.  She's the Founder of WildeJessie Business Consulting and in her newly emerging endeavor, she's taken to the digital world to speak to young women about challenges they face and how they can share some knowledge and experience among themselves to not only show that they are not alone in the day to day of life, but...that the situations they face are probably not unique and that there are others too who deal with the same and resources for answers.

Jessie works on the Facebook Live platform at the moment.  The humblest of beginnings like we all have.  She's right out of her house on Thursday evenings and features a guest who's got some real world experience on any number of topics and with the use of the comment section of the Facebook platform, she's able to take question in real time and see if there can be an answer right there.  She also features some giveaway's on the discussion.  A way to not only help get the name of some smaller local business out there, but to give those mom's a chance to win a little something and add a little fun to the show.  She got all this going with just an idea of "How can I add to our community, and what does it take from me?"  It's that kind of innovation we love to applaud and help support.

Had a chance to talk to this incredibly energetic mother of 5, take a listen!! 

Get the feeling you're watching a star launching? Ya. Here too!  Join Jessie for the fun of one of her live chats on a Thursday if you are a mom on a mission too, or maybe you're a mom that can add to the conversation.  One thing is for sure, Jessie has the right attitude and drive and sure seems to grasp the idea that using media, talent and drive to benefit everyone, including herself a little is what it's all about in a town like Muskegon.  Very thankful to Jessie for her time and very excited to watch her grow.  There will come a day when we say.... "Ya, we had her on Positively Muskegon once." and that is what building people and community is all about.  To visit her website, click on the photo below.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Fillets for Families - Help The Fish Monger's Wife Help Area Food Pantries

Muskegon finds a way.  No matter the circumstance, Muskegon always finds a way to take care of our own as well as some of the surrounding communities when it comes to times of need.  It might be a benefit for an individual or group, it might be a benefit for a cause, it might be a benefit for a large amount of people you'll never see or meet.  If the need is there somehow, we manage.  In our lifetime, we've never seen need on such a scale, but little by little, we're all still finding our way.

Enter a small business.  Smallest you could possibly get as seen by some.  The Fishmonger's Wife located on Sherman on Norton Shores.  Most of the year, it's just a husband and wife team running the place.  They ramp up in the Summer of course to meet demand adding some help to take care of the customers at the counter as well as the growing online business they added a couple years ago.  None the less, it's a micro enterprise and like any other small business, faced with everything we're facing now, an uncertain future when things were put on hold for a while.  They were very fortunate in the fact that they do operate an essential business, providing food, and that they were able to stay open and that's something that the Peterson family is not taking for granted and not forgetting others with through all this.
The Fish Monger's Wife on Facebook

The Fish Monger's Wife actually saw somewhat of a spike in business.  Adaptation was essential of course.  They had to shutter the friendly store front and find a way to deliver their freshly caught food in a contact free way.  The removal of a screen from the fresh fish processing area seemed to cover that necessity pretty quickly.  Kids home from school?  There's the lobby of the store.  This is what we have to do for now kids.  Taking card payments with the Ipad while customers read the number to them from the car, utilizing that web store a little more, temporary adjustments to keep people fed and keep things moving until they can once again open up to full service.

Through that, how do we pitch in?  Well, there's a pretty loyal customer base of their store.  There is also an abundance of fish coming from not only their fleet, but others out fishing too, so...the idea come up to sell some of that fish to their regulars, but...it would go to area food pantries to help make sure that in a time when others have not...especially those who are finding themselves in need for the first time..there's a supply waiting for them. Beneficial not only for those in need, but a couple other small business as well.  Keeping product moving, pantries full and hopefully, the worry and fear about where the next meal is coming from to a minimum for some.

We linked up with The Fish Monger's Wife herself to find out more.  We also talked a little about her small business, supporting other local small agricultural business and how you can help if you are so inclined to be a part of "Fillets for Families".  Take a listen.

Refreshing to hear some success in a business that's translated into a willingness to help others.  If you are a regular customer of The Fish Monger's Wife, you know the quality and service they put in to everything they do.  If you're not, might be a good time to try.  If you just want to help in a couple of ways, here's your chance.  You can click on the photo below to visit the site where the drive is happening!!  Cheers to the Peterson's for a great story, and a great cause when we need it most.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Volunteer Week in the USA - Brian Harris Talks About Volunteering in Muskegon

If you've been around town a while, you might know the face you'll see in today's video.  If you don't recognize the face, you'll certainly know some of the work he's been a part of over the years.  Brain Harris retired from the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department a few years ago, and in his "retirement" has gone on to work part time for the Norton Shores Police Department as well as Emergency Services here in town.

When he's not at one of those jobs, chances are you'll find Brian volunteering in some capacity.  Brian has his hands in a LOT of projects here in town that help a variety of needs.  He's passionate about organizations that help first responders as you can imagine.  He's also like a lot of other police officers, a pretty tender heart under it all and makes sure that a lot of organizations that help human need and especially kids out with their causes.  They range from the Fraternal Order of Police, to Kids Food Basket, Sportsmen for Youth and more.  Brian and his wife Tracy spend a lot of time investing in making life better for all of us through volunteering.

In Muskegon, we're kind of all used to volunteering.  We are resilient in the fact that we have to stick together at things to get stuff done.  There are organizations big and small who simply couldn't make it without the help of volunteers.  It might be a role out front helping at a festival or an expo, or it could be a role behind the scenes where your work goes on without much fanfare and you do your part without a whole lot of recognition.  Either way, it shouldn't be about the recognition or who's seeing you doing what you're doing, it should be about what matters to you and while you might not be able to contribute in ways that will get your name on a building or a street named after you, you take away the personal satisfaction that you did your part for what matters.

National Volunteer Week first came on the scene in the USA in 1974.  American's were asked to seek an opportunity to volunteer and in turn for communities to recognize the incredible amount of work that gets done by those who believe in the causes they help and reasons they do.   Today, even in the times we're experiencing now, there are plenty opportunities to do your part.  Food banks, human need organizations, churches, organizations like The United Way, Senior Resources and more need a hand now more than ever and it could be a great way for you to find some inspiration in the middle of a lot of desperation.  Certainly a great way to see the hope that comes from giving a little of yourself to help those in need.

Brian and I sat down for a chat to learn a little more about the volunteer experience.  Take a listen to his thoughts on what he's done over the years.  How he's grown from all he's learned and who he thinks are some organizations that would really benefit from you lending a hand when it matters most....right now.

Take the first step. No matter what your passion is, there's a need to be filled.  If it's people.  Some are going hungry.  If it's education, there are folks who can't read.  Is it pets?  There's an animal shelter that's filled with furries looking for forever homes.  How about the environment?  What better time to see what you can to to protect Earth?  It only takes that first step, it's a step for the greater good and it's a step that if taken, can benefit all.  There are some links below to follow for volunteer opportunities in Muskegon.  Follow your heart, and follow them. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Muskegon Civic Theater and No More Sidelines - The Penguin Project

We are very fortunate to live in a community that embraces some of the things we do.  One of which is our Muskegon Civic Theater and the other is an organization that began right here in Muskegon and has stretched it's reach across Michigan with it's message of inclusion, forgetting about what makes us "different" and seeing that on some levels we are all more the same than we are not alike.  That homegrown organization is No More Sidelines.

No More Sidelines humble beginnings came when a young girl asked her mom why she didn't have sleep over's and things like other kids do?  It was a question that set into motion a tidal wave for Cyndi Blair who founded No More Sidelines for her daughter Alivia so that she could experience what the "normal" kids do.  Friends, sports, activities, simply put....inclusion.  The idea of "mainstreaming" was kind of losing wind in it's sails, you know...where the kids down the hall got to do a class or two a day with the others, or maybe lunch...but they kind of stuck together and kind of only blended in a little.  With No More Sidelines.  It was anything but that.

If kids did it, well...No More Sidelines kids were going to do it too and they were going to do it in a way that fully integrated them into the lives and surroundings everyone else had.  Dances, movie nights, bowling leagues, sports games at high schools...you name it.  Along with the activities, came the message that the differences were really not that big.  If you've been around the group, even for 5 minutes...you realize quickly...no only are there few differences, you'll probably need to sharpen your skills around some of these folks.  They are quick witted, fun and full of adventure and most of all LOVE!

Help The Penguin Project With Go Fund Me
As time went on, a new challenge came along.  A collaboration of No More Sidelines and The Muskegon Civic Theater called The Penguin Project.  Yes, kinds who have downs, autism, anxiety disorders or maybe a physical limitation get their chance in the spotlight to be the star of the show.  2020 is the 4th year for the production and collaboration and the experience for both the Civic Theater members and the No More Sidelines participants enriches their lives in more ways than can be described.  The No More Sidelines group gets to learn acting and perform on stage at the Frauenthal.  The actors from the Civic Theater get to mentor the actors and shadow them on stage just in case a line is needed or a little nudge has to come along to help them stay on track.  If you've seen a performance, you won't forget it.  If you have not seen a performance, you owe it to yourself.  It's an experience unlike any other and the energy and excitement flows right from the stage into the audience.  It's amazing.

This year, with some of the challenges we're facing, a hand is needed in the fundraising for the performance.  Most everything has crawled to a standstill including some of the performances and events set aside to help the project, so there's an ask out there to see if we can all rally around two of our most special organizations in town to lend them a hand.  Jason Bertioa is the Executive Director of the Muskegon Civic Theater and he joined me today for a chat about all things Civic Theater and especially about the Penguin Project.  Take a listen.

Such a great combination and collaboration.  Both of these groups enrich lives and make our community a better place to be.  The arts are also an incredible way for young people to learn and grow..and as far as the mission of No More SIDELINES, well, let's add in no more hiding back stage or behind the curtain.  Out in to the spotlight and right front of the crowd where the cheers, love and amazing support come back to the performers 10 fold. 

To learn more about the Muskegon Civic Theater or No More Sidelines, click on their photos below to visit their websites.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Wags and Gags - Help the Noah Project - Postponed Till May 30

In Muskegon, we might not be experts at everything, but we have mastered the ability of making sure that things get taken care of for those who are not able to take care of themselves.  Be it a need of any kind, somehow, someway, we all find a way to circle the wagons in our own way to fill the cracks and make sure that the needs are met and that when the time is needed.  This applies to human need as well as the need for the companions we keep in our pets.

The Noah Project in Muskegon has been an all volunteer organization since the beginning.  From their website - Noah Project is a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter that is dedicated to provide for the compassionate well-being of rescued, abandoned, abused, unwanted or neglected pets. Animals in our care are spayed or neutered, receive all veterinary care and are treated with dignity, love and respect as they await to be matched into new relationships within loving forever homes. Our goal is to educate the community on animal welfare, collaborate with other shelters and ultimately strive for a world where every companion animal has a home to call their own."

Located on Airline Road, The Noah Project is known far and wide for their work and their dedication to pets.  They rely solely on donations and volunteerism.  Funding doesn't come from any kind of annual budget from a municipality or entity.  When a need is there, it's met by the traditional methods, social media requests, word of mouth, email, fundraisers, donation buckets, and maybe even the ancient method of a phone call....what's that right?  Food, cleaning supplies, litter, cash etc...you name it....The Noah Project is 100% community funded and it resonates with those who adopt from them and help support their work.

This event has been postponed TFN.  We' will reissue the story when it is rescheduled.

See that part about fundraisers in the last paragraph?  Well, that's what we're here to talk about.  March 21st at the beautiful Trillium Events Center, The Noah Project presents Wags and Gags!!  A fantastic event focused on comedy, food, drink, silent auctions and of course, making sure that the needs of the shelter are met.  The comedy is coming from the Lighten Up Comedy troop, which features a comedian of any age level.  3 great comics coming for your entertainment.  The food?  Pasta bar and the fixins'.  Come hungy!  The silent auction?  Filled with all kinds of incredible items from local business....back to our opening statement of Muskegon circling the wagons...we're the best at it, including.... tickets to see Elton John up close and personal at Van Andel Arena when he makes a stop there on April 23rd.  As you'll hear in our chat...the tickets are close enough to the stage you'll scare Sir Elton.

I met up with Jane McGregor and Bill Vanderweele who are both board members of The Noah Project to learn a little more about the event and the cause...take a listen to our chat about this awesome event to learn more!

A fun night out with purpose.  The work they do at The Noah Project is of the heart and the support is fantastic.  It's a great thing to be part of a community that continues to give, and support so many important things, especially the causes that rely completely on the kindness of others.  Grab your self some tickets to the party and have a great night out, or if the fundraiser isn't your thing, make sure you stay in touch with The Noah Project on their Facebook page or their website.  Maybe some extra cleaning supplies or a little cat litter here or there from you....little things all add up to help support such a great cause!  You can visit the Noah Projects Website by clicking below!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A New Observance in Muskegon - World Water Day - Meet Shannon Donely

World Water Day was first declared by the United Nations way back when in 1993.  You know, back when we were asking things like "Got Milk?"  and when "Sleepless in Seattle" had us all misty eyed at the movies!  They slipped in an observation on us and most of us probably didn't even see it happen!  Kind of a bad deal too because let's face it...what's our life here without water?  Pretty empty.

Sure, Michigan has made news for plenty of other water issues over the last few years.  We still have the issues going on in Flint.  We saw the contamination of the Rockford Area, even in the construction of the new convention center in Downtown Muskegon, there was a pause for some water contamination that had to be mitigated before the project could continue.  It's a big issue and for a state surrounded by 21% of the worlds surface freshwater, it's something we all need to be more aware of and do our part to help protect and maintain.  No matter the size of the role, everyone doing a little something adds up.
Find the Lakeshore World Water Day Festival on Facebook

Well, there are those who do some and there are those who take their passion and put the pedal to the metal.  Shannon Donely is one of those who's taken her passion for water and has gotten behind it to educate, advocate and take action on one of life's essentials.  Let's face it, life on Earth is 100% dependent on water and without those who are willing to go the extra mile for it, we'd all be facing a very grave future.  Shannon is organizing the first Lakeshore World Water Day Festival which will encompass events from Muskegon to Grand Haven with the hopes, that in the future, it will be one BIG event going on between both sites and an all encompassing effort by all to help protect what we've got.

March 20th there's a "Zero Waste Potluck" happening in Muskegon.  On the 21st you'll find "Walk for Water" activities going on in multiple places and the events will conclude with The World Water Day Festival event at the Loutit District Library in Grand Haven with special guest speakers, poets and musicians.

I met up with Shannon to talk about the events and the importance of our water supply at The Coffee Factory in Muskegon.  It was a busy place when we met up, but what else would you expect from The Coffee Factory?  Take a listen.

Is it your time? Is now when you get involved?  It's very much a grass roots effort here on the Lakeshore and something we love to get to right out of the box!!  We wish Shannon and her crew the very best on their events, and especially their mission.  We too often take for granted I think just how lucky we are to have such an abundance of water here...to be the best stewards of it that we can, is where it all begins! 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Your Plate or Mine Benefit for Jennifer Davis February 25th at the Lakes Mall - Britta Cleveland Reports

It is always my sincere pleasure to sit down and chat with my dear friend Kate Lillie who is the brilliant heart and mind behind YOUR PLATE OR MINE located inside the Lakes Mall in Muskegon. For years Kate has put her entire heart into our community and her amazing ceramic/canvas painting shop… creating timeless memories for countless people across the Lakeshore area… but nowadays YOUR PLATE OR MINE has a whole new special purpose for Kate’s beautiful daughter, Jennifer Davis who is bravely battling a very serious heart condition. 

She is a loved wife and mother of four young children enduring a very scary, debilitating heart condition. 
Click Here to Help Jennifer Davis

This Tuesday, February 25th from 6pm to 8:30pm at YOUR PLATE OR MINE in the Lakes Mall, Muskegon they will be hosting a Public Fundraiser Canvas Painting event benefiting Jennifer Davis. The cost is only $35 per painter, with $10 of each painting going to help Jennifer with her mounting medical costs. The canvas painting class includes a 10”x20” canvas, all of the paint and supplies needed to create your masterpiece...and step by step instructions by the teacher. This is a family friendly event for all who are 8 years of age and older. Space is limited so please call to make a reservation.

For all those who are interested in participating is this event ….or if you would simply like more information about helping out Jennifer Davis and her family please see the information listed below.

Public Fundraiser Canvas Painting event for Jennifer Davis
located inside the Lakes Mall, Muskgon
Tuesday, February 25...6pm – 8:30pm
Reservations are requested
(231) 799-1918