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Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Truth - Honesty About Life October 13th at the Frauenthal Center

It's getting close!  I mean to tell you we're just down to a few days until the Frauenthal Center welcomes three speakers in to discuss some pretty heavy topics, alcoholism, crime and punishment and human trafficking.  The program is October 13th at 7pm.  It's a free evening and it's designed to show the community that change is real and that it can happen for anyone.  The Truth - Honesty About Life Presented By Mercy Health is going to happen.

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Leading up to the evening, I've been getting a few questions about what will be discussed.  Well, for starters....I don't want to limit the audience....I started drinking when I was 12.  12!  Yes, it wasn't much and no I am not the only one who started something that young.  Truth is...kids that age and younger start things every day.  I would say that if you think your son or daughter could benefit from that kind of discussion...it's a good thing to bring them.

Nate Johnson started off with petty crimes...then he worked his way up to being a crack dealer....and ended up in prison for it.  Anny Donewald thought a gig as a topless dancer would be an easy way to pay for college.  She ended up in the human trafficking world.  Today...she helps women out of it.  Saves their lives and gives them back their dignity and hope in a life post slavery.  All three of us....all three of us sure didn't set out to have life take over like it did....but it happened.

The Truth on Facebook

A question that's popped up more than once is "Is this going to be an overly religious thing?"  Well, personally....I don't claim a religion.  I have no issues with religion and those who practice a faith.  I have chosen to accept a higher power as I understand it.

I know I wouldn't even be here to do this presentation if a few miracles have happened along the way....the biggest one being my sobriety.  Mine is not the job to question a definition of God...mine is just to know that there must have been more for me to do on this planet, so I try.

You'll find plenty of others there too who offer services.  The Family Outreach Center will be there.  So will the Red Project, Mercy Life, Wedgewood, The Suicide Prevention Coalition and HealthWest.  If you need a hand, it will be there.

Come on out and hear the talk.  Take away what you can and know that this is simply a way to give a little back in thanks for the second chance.  We all hope you'll walk away with a feeling of hope, accomplishment and knowing that our stories can be anyone's....

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Power of the Purse - Benefits Every Woman's Place and Webster House in Muskegon

There are very few things I detest more than to know a woman is being abused...mentally, physically or emotionally...I have got a zero tolerance and lightning fast wick.  There's no excuse...there's no justifiable reason and there is no room for someone who purveys the abuse.  There...you know my personal stance on things.

Sad truth is....it happens.

We've got a great resource for women in Muskegon though.  Every Woman's Place and the Webster House.  Every Woman's Place provides services for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and the Webster House works with youth to help bring families closer together according to their website.  Services like 24 hour emergency hot lines...crisis intervention, counseling, support groups, education and prevention, children's services and more.  The work is essential and unfortunately.....needed quite often.

Every Woman's Place Online
Coming up October 13th is your chance to be a voice in the fight that Every Woman's Place and the Webster House puts up.  The Power of the Purse event will be held at Fricano's on Muskegon Lake,  You'll have an opportunity to big on great items like purses, jewelry and accessories.

You'll find some fun loving local guys who've made the ultimate sacrifice, throwing themselves at the mercy of bidders to try and get the purse they are on the runway with and of course...there will great food, drink and a fun atmosphere all in the spirit of making sure that when the resources are needed...they are there for Every Woman's Place and the Webster House.

I popped into Fricano's today and caught up with Amanda Robertson to get the low down on the goings on.  Take a listen to our chat below.

Honestly...they are 2 institutions in Muskegon I wish there was no need for.  Just the thought of some guy abusing a woman on any level is enough to get me to walk with a purse...or anything else needed.  It's the lowest form of manhood and I am not the only one who thinks this way.  Since it's 2016 and the angry mob mentality really doesn't work anymore....do what you can to benefit those who need the services of Every Woman's Place and the Webster House.  If you'd like tickets to Power of the Purse, click on the link below.

Tickets for Power of the Purse

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trinkets and Treasures Sale This Weekend in Muskegon at the Folkert Community Hub

Think of it as American Pickers meets a neighborhood block sale.  The Trinkets and Treasures sale is set to happen this weekend at the Folkert Community Hub on Seminole Road and it's one giant opportunity to benefit some pretty awesome causes that haven been hand picked by The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce.  It's a giant indoor yard sale and you'll find a little bit of everything in there.

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Who's the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce?  They are a group of women founded in in 1951.  They have been working for the good of the community for 65 years and have grown from the original 50 to well over 250 members now.  The help host events and raise funds to benefit the greatest good and the Trinkets and Treasures sale is on of those events!

You'll find gently used clothing, furniture, household items...some vintage items, sporting goods, electronics...basically, anything you'd find in an average garage sale, but all of these items have been donated to be sold to help out The Father Jack Foundation, Flyin' Heroes and Tempting Tables.  We'll find out a little more about the charities in the video!

Trinkets and Treasures Event

The idea is this...if you need to save some money on clothing, it's all here.  If you are keen when it comes to finding items that are bargain priced and you can turn them around...they are here.  If you need something and don't want to pay full price....chances are....it's here.  The guy at the Folkert Community Hub is MASSIVE and it's filled up and ready to go with bargains galore!

Back to the beneficiaries.....I had a chance to catch up with JoAnne Hoekenga and Kathy Viculis who are the co chairs of this event to find out more about the groups who are going to benefit and maybe even some details on some of the items you'll find!  Take a listen to our interview below!!

Help these women continue their great work and snag yourself a deal at the same time!  The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce puts on so many awesome activities in Muskegon it's hard to count them all.  From Dancing With the Local Stars to Downtown Dancing at the Muskegon Farmers Market their impact is real and their work is always for the betterment of the community.  If you'd like to know more about the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce click on their logo below!!

WDCC Online

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muskegon to Benefit From the Biggest Game of the Year in College Football

Michigan or Michigan State!?!  It's the biggest game of the year in Michigan if not the entire country!  Last year...one of the most shocking finishes in college football history...and I think both sides of the argument can agree on that.  This year....who knows...one thing is for sure, no matter the outcome of the game, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore will benefit!

A House Divided is set to take place again on the LST 393 to help fans of both schools support the BBBS of the Lakeshore.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore serves many families and has many more waiting to be matched with a big brother or sister.  If you're not familiar with their services...well, BBBS provides children facing adversity strong and enduring, professionally supported one on one relationships that change their lives forever...for the better.  In other words, if you don't like the way things are going with today's youth...take a few minutes out of your week and look into becoming a Big Brother or Sister.

There's not much to it.  You find a little time and BBBS will match you up with a kid who might be missing a positive influence in their life.  It's not expensive.  It's not a commitment to take some kid shopping or to Chuck E Cheese every weekend....it's a chance to leave a lasting impression on a young person and a legacy of your own behind.  Let's face it...in today's world...leaving a mark this big isn't exactly easy, but if you can leave a legacy of one....you've performed a miracle!

How do you help?  Well it's as simple as asking for more information...or....plan to come to the "House Divided" Tailgate party on October 29th on board the historic LST 393!  You'll find plenty of tv's to see the game...friends from both sides of the battle rooting for their team....a pig roast, 50/50 drawings and I am sure much more if Claudia Bryant is involved...which she is...and she joined me to talk about the fun coming up!!!  Max McKee of Mart Dock joined in as did Shelly Morningstar and Lisa Hegenbart of BBBS.

You can get tickets by calling 231-798-1391, or stop in to the office on Grand Haven Road in Muskegon next to Dog N Suds to get them.  Get them before October 1st when there will be a little bit of a price increase.  No matter the cost it's an awesome event and a great way to raise a few bucks for an awesome program that truly changes lives and leaves a lasting impact for good.  If you'd like to know more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, click on the logo below!

BBBS Lakeshore

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Know Smoke Zombie Walk is Coming October 15th Downtown Muskegon

It's on the decline....but...it's not quite far enough yet.  Youth smoking.  It gets picked up early...with 9 out of 10 smokers starting before they are 18.  From the CDC website here's a shocking fact...."If smoking continues at the current rate in this country, 5.6 million of today's Americans younger than 18 will die early from smoking related illness.  That's 1 out of every 13 Americans aged 17 or younger today"  1 in 13!

It's too many.

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On a personal note...with a few years behind me when it comes to addiction....smoking is harder to quit than heroin.  Nicotine is highly addictive and breaking the habit is tough....best thing....don't start. But you can preach all you like, some will still pick up the habit!

Education is key and education early on is the most important.  How do you talk to kids about this though?  Well, the Muskegon County Tobacco Reduction Coalition has the Know Smoke campaign happening October 15th.  It's a big part of The Health Project in Muskegon County by Mercy Health.

The first Zombie Walk happened back in 2014 as part of the "Kick Butt's" program at Muskegon High School and it's grown since then.  The idea behind it all is to create a generation that's smoke free and not "zombies" of tobacco according to Missy Gallegos who is an educator in Public Health - Muskegon County.

Register for the Zombie Walk - It's Free

How do you engage kids?  Well, you do whatever it takes!!  So, the Know Smoke folks roll out the fun and invite all ages down to participate.  You'll get registered for the walk at LC Walker Arena at 2 on October 15th.  From there...the walk heads to Hackley Park where there will be prizes...treats...music....strait talk about smoking and maybe even a flash mob!  (We say maybe because if we were 100% on that the flash factor it would ruin the surprise).  There is even a bounty of 100 shirts up for grabs for the first 100 participants to sign up!

Aimee Taylor of the McClees Clinic and Missy Gallegos joined me to talk a little about the event.  Take a listen to our chat below.

Mercy Health and the Health Project are completely committed to Muskegon and the health of the people here.  It's on every level too.  From programs like the Zombie Walk to ALI, Medication disposal programs.. Drug Free Muskegon County and more....The Health Project brings together people who truly care and empowers them to do what it takes to make a difference.  If you'd like to know more about the Know Smoke Zombie Walk... click on the picture below to go to their website!!

Know Smoke Zombie Walk

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Create Your Own Line of Work! Ice Box Brand Ice Cream Bars of Whitehall

I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream right?  Well, that might hold true for some ice creams but....if you're going to bite into an Ice Box Brand Ice Cream Bar...you might want to turn that scream into a sultry whisper because you are about to bit into an indulgent treat worthy of royalty and the best part is...they are all made locally and with as many local products as can be used!

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Back about 2012 Chris Morin was on Craigslist and stumbled upon an ice cream truck for sale and thought that it would be a nice addition to the Whitehall area, so...he bought the truck and began to delight the masses with the usual fare....until later that year the idea popped that maybe he could up the game a little and offer his own brand of premium ice cream treats that made a gourmet experience out of an ice cream bar!

Careful and deliberate steps were talking to grow this business, product taste testing among family and friends...(thanks for the call) some time spent in The Starting Block in Hart, which is an incubator kitchen for people to develop ideas and then it was time to hit the streets with their very own products.  It's been an amazing start too!!  From the truck, some stores asked if they could carry the bars..then came venues like The West Michigan Whitecaps and now you can find their products in about 100 locations  from Saugatuck all the way to Ludington!

Ice Box Brand on Facebook

It's proof folks!  If you've got an idea...and you're willing to put your nose to to the grindstone and believe in what you're doing....not to mention offering a premium product....it can happen!  You can begin to work for yourself....realize a dream and set the standard for others to shoot for!  Chris Morin stopped in to talk about the process and products.  Take a listen to our chat below!

What a great start up!!  It's taken some drive and dedication but the brand is established and the business is growing!  It's a risk...to start your own business....but if you stick to your passion and are willing to put all you can into the effort....not to mention offer something delicious....unique and with a keen eye on what people want...you can make a splash too!!  Thanks to Chris for stopping by to talk a little about the sweet treats!  If you'd like to know more....click on the Ice Box Brand Ice Cream truck below!!

Ice Box Brand Online

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Walk to End Alzheimer's September 24th at Heritage Landing in Muskegon

This Saturday, it's going to be a beautiful day to spend outside and as the Fall season continues to progress...the time we have to spend outside minus the snow and cold....well, it's time you'd like to have well spent.  Muskegon is always ready to help a great cause and if you can enjoy some time in the sun doing it...all the better.

You can be a part of the Walk to End Alzheimer's at Heritage Landing this weekend!

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We first met Elizabeth Donnely-Johnson a couple months back when she came by to talk about the lecture at Tanglewood Park about the newest advances in Alzheimer's awareness and treatments.  The event was widely attended the information given was invaluable as Alzheimer's Disease continues to effect so many of us...especially those of us with aging parents.

It's a progressive brain disease, it's irreversible and as it progresses it destroys memories, thinking skills and eventually even the simplest tasks are gone.  Currently Alzheimer's Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.  Facts and statistics aside, the heartbreak of watching your parent or grandparent forget a lifetime.  Just devastating.

Muskegon Walk to End Alzheimer's on Facebook

This time, Elizabeth is stopping by to talk about what YOU can do to help in the fight.  The Walk to end Alzheimer's is Saturday Downtown Muskegon at Heritage landing.  Take a listen to our chat for details.

Everyone wants to do their part.  In this case, it's as simple as gathering up a few friends....raising a few bucks to aid in the research of and care provided to those who suffer from the disease.  A beautiful day...a fantastic cause and a step in the right direction to help end Alzheimer's Disease.  If you'd like to know more about the Walk to End Alzheimer's click on the image below.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Pay it Forward Animal Outreach Presents Whiskers and Wine in Muskegon September 30th

Way back in January, we introduced you to Dr. Sandy and the staff at the Pay It Forward Outreach Animal Clinic.  Pay it Forward performs nearly 46,000 vaccinations a year for animals who otherwise wouldn't be able to get the basic care they need that wouldn't happen unless the clinic was there.

Their work is great and they need for them to grow is now.  You can help by attending Wine and Whiskers September 30th Downtown Muskegon.

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The Pay it Forward Animal clinic needs to expand a little.  In fact, they have set out a fundraising goal to open a new building that would not only give the much needed additional space, but they would also be able to offer x-ray and spay and neuter services which in turn will help reduce the number of unwanted pets and strays.  The goal?  To be in the position to gain new grant resources and increasing the number of disease free animals in the community.  Very good goals to shoot for!

Pay It Forward Animal Outreach Online
How do you drum up a few bucks and provide a good time?  Well, you put on a Hollywood style event complete with a fashion show...silent auction, dinner, wine, entertainment...you do it up big!!  The evening kicks off with the dog fashion show, happening on the Olthoff Stage at 5:30p just across the street from the rest of the evenings festivities inside the Holiday in Muskegon Harbor.  You'll see all kinds of red carpet fashions and the dogs will be strutting their stuff not only in the clothing but personality, pizzazz and glitz and glamor.  Look for fashions from Lilly Couture.

Then, it's off to the Holiday Inn for dinner and entertainment with Billy Ryan who's a 30 year veteran of Dueling Pianos in Los Angeles.  Billy will take donations for song requests...goes to Pay it Forward!  Souvenir hand painted wine glasses....3 dinner choices and a silent auction will compliment the fun!

Sandy Sirianni got a hold of me to talk about the event and even be the emcee for the dog fashion show.  Take a listen to our chat below!

There you have it!!  A great time and a great cause!  Thanks so much to Sandy for the story lead and her passionate work to help Dr. Sandy continue and grow to serve more of our four legged friends in Muskegon.  If you'd like more information about the event, you can click on the flyer below to go to the Facebook event page!  Hope to see you Downtown Muskegon September 30th!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Watch Muskegon Shifts Gears a Little - This is Muskegon

Watch Us Go!!  We've been watching and it's going!!!   All signs point to the fact we're going in the right direction and fast!

It's been an amazing Summer season in Muskegon. From the St. Patrick's Day Parade....to Rebel Road and Biketime, The Lakeshore Art Festival then Burningfoot and Michigan Irish Music Festival to name a few....the Muskegon Summer season has to be seen as a hit!  People came from far and wide to enjoy all that is Muskegon!

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We were glad to have them too!  The influx of people to the area looking for things to see and do, places to eat, attractions to look at or participate in is the life blood of the newly emerging image of Muskegon.  All over West Michigan and beyond, "Watch Muskegon" has been the battle cry.  It's not fallen on deaf ears either!  They are watching and we are grateful.  It's not been by mistake that they have been "watching".  It's been a combined effort by a LOT of people to gather some attention that sheds a little different light on us that what's been the mindset.  Well, now that we have their attention....it's time to show them the rest of the story!

This is Muskegon!  This is Muskegon is the next phase of the plan!  Living here, we are often forgetful of just how many things we have that are completely amazing!  It's not really anyone's fault that what we see on a daily basis is just "part of town" but to visitors what we have to offer is spectacular!  The maritime attractions....the wilderness, last time I checked we had a beach or two that rank on world destination maps.  We have fairs, festivals, community gatherings....our Downtown is reemerging to be a serious destination for food and drink, and in all honesty... a few thanks to Pokemon Go have young people walking all over an area of Muskegon that was once left for dead.  The Farmers Market has become exactly what it was expected to be and that's a city center serving multipurpose roles for people to congregate and be together!  It's an AMAZING time to be part of Muskegon.
Watch Us Go Online.

With the shift...it's time to find out a little more about "This Is Muskegon".  How can we all get behind the push and help show the rest of the world all the things that make home such a wonderful place?  The woman with the answers?  Carla Flanders the Watch Muskegon Administrator and employee of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce joined me to talk a little more about #ThisIsMuskegon, take a listen to our interview below.  It looks a little blurry and that's my bad....I am "new" to this camera.  Two demerits for Andy

There you have it!  It's as simple as taking some things we see every day and sharing them with your social media friends!  Use the has tag #ThisIsMuskegon  If you get a nice picture of the LST or Silversides, add the hash tag!  Beautiful sunset, hash tag.  A fun gathering or important remembrance....hash tag it and help spread the word!  The tide coming is real.  We are poised for the beginnings of the next era of greatness in Muskegon and it's an all hands on deck effort to help spread the word!!  It's a showing of a little community pride and it's contagious!  The more you share it..the more will come to believe our best days are yet to come!

Watch Muskegon on Facebook

Inspirational Talk October 13th at the Frauenthal Center

Friday, September 16, 2016

Michigan's Heritage Park - Fall Harvest Fundraiser September 24th

Earlier this Summer, I took a drive up to Michigan's Heritage Park in Whitehall.  It's part of the Lakeshore Museum Center and I was just amazed at this incredible place for families, history buff's and fans of learning more about how we got to where we are here in the Muskegon area.

Step by step, you pass through the years it took Muskegon to grow.  From the fur trader days up to our logging era and more...it's an interactive museum and a hands on experience to learn more about Michigan!

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Saturday September 24th they are having a delightful Fall Festival at the Michigan's Heritage Park.  You'll find plenty of great activities like a pancake breakfast from 9-Noon with Chris Cakes...I hear it's a good time to practice catching flying cakes.....horse drawn carriage rides throughout the day, a hay bale maze...pumpkin bowling, a candy corral and more!  Plus, you'll be able to enjoy plenty of the hands on activities already going on at the museum.  There will be two sessions.  The morning session and the pancake breakfast end at noon!

Michigan's Heritage Park Online

I had a chance to catch up with Wendy VanWoerkom from the Michigan's Heritage Park to learn a little more about this event and how they go the extra mile to make the park such a unique and fin place for kids, families and those fascinated by history!  Take a listen to our chat below!!

There you have the details!  Now...make some plans to get out and attend this great Fall Festival for anyone!  No tricks or goblins chasing you around....no hype or hub bub, just a great day to enjoy with the family and a chance to watch minds young and old come to life seeing what the past had going on in Muskegon and what a truly beautiful place we call home today!! For a complete schedule of activities see the image below and click on it to visit the Michigan's Heritage Park Event page!!

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