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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Play Ball! The Muskegon Clippers Bring Baseball Back to Muskegon June 6th!

I don't know how much more positive you can get than a warm Summer evening, the smell of popcorn in the air, stands filled with friends and family all waiting to hear the two most famous words in baseball...... Play Ball!

In Muskegon, we've had such an incredible history with baseball to know it's alive and well and still being played at Marsh Field...well, it's time for a story.

We had Pete Gawkowski on last year, yup... he remembers huddling around the GoPro camera we started off with, but as we've grown we're not confined to a small space anymore, in fact..we headed out to Marsh Field to get the story going while they were putting a fresh mow on the beautiful green grass and setting up some of the batting cages and things behind us.  A beautiful day to visit a historic landmark in Muskegon.
Follow the Muskegon Clippers on Facebook

The Muskegon Clippers play a busy two month schedule and if you think it's some kind of "almost" league, guess again.  These players are collegiate level players who are being scouted for their turn in the majors.  Yes, some young people heading into sports fame still see the value of a good old college education and this Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League is a valuable part of their college years.  Scouts form major league teams all come, note pads and radar guns in hand to see who exactly they can find to head up to the show.  The difference between the collegiate league, and the actual college...wooden bats!

The park, in as much as it's a historic landmark, it's a modern day entertainment facility too.  You'll find all you expect from a ball game.  There's food, beverage, fun games for the crowd to participate in as well as music, sing a longs, base running after the game.  It's a big time ballpark experience at a Muskegon price.  Tickets start a $3 bucks and go up to $20.

As we talked before, Pete Gawkowski joined me at Marsh Field and brought Ben Davis along who's done his fair share of ball playing and now works to help others realize their dream too.  Take a listen to our chat below!

It's our national pastime.  It's a place where memories are made and it's custom fit for Muskegon.  The prices are right, it's located on hallowed grounds, close to home and fans young and old will get to enjoy the sound of the cracking bat and the roar of the crowd as Summer once again offers more opportunities in Muskegon than ever before!  For more on the Muskegon Clippers, click on the opening day banner below and we'll see you at the park.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The McLaughlin Urban Farm in Muskegon - A Prescription for Better Health

It's a tough thing to do.  We could all generally eat better, but the reality of it is that the cheap easy stuff is much easier to get.  We also face a dilemma in two of our municipalities here in the fact that there is no grocery store in Muskegon of Muskegon Heights.  Our area is small enough that we can generally can get to them, but on a global scale...they are considered food deserts.

Like many other things in Muskegon, worry not because there is always someone there to roll up their sleeves and get to fixing things.  Community enCompass is working in partnership with Mercy Health, Hackley Community Care and the USDA Community Foods Planning Project called Muskegon Prescribes Food for Health.  It's an exciting endeavor and it's making use of land in Muskegon that's otherwise just sitting there vacant.
Learn More About Community enCompass

The idea is this.  People in Muskegon who could use a little better diet will be given a prescription from their doctor.  From there, they will be referred to the Pathways CHW Program and not only will they be part of 12 week nutrition courses through the MSU Extention Cooking Matters program, they will be given incentives for attending like vouchers for food from McGrows Farm providing 12 weeks of nutritious, healthy food.

Like any farming project, it's going to take a couple months to go in to full effect, after all, when you are shooting for a growth season that will yield up to 6000 pounds of food, some planting and growth time is needed.  These things don't just appear magically...we're really growing our own produce right along Laketon in front of the Mercy Health Hackley Campus and a few other areas in the city as well.  I met up with Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga of Community enCompass and Marty Gerencer who's the Project lead for Muskegon Prescribes Food for Health at their green house at the McLaughlin Grows urban farm site.  Yes, it was a little on the warm side in a green house, but..there were fresh ripe strawberries right under my feet....it was hard to not pick and eat them, but I managed!  Take a listen to our chat below.

You'll have your chance to support the work, McGrows will be at the Muskegon Farmers Market this fall.  You'll also have a chance to watch these urban farms flourish and if by chance you're driving past the Hackley Campus of Mercy Health on Laketon and see a group of people weeding, watering, harvesting or plowing...know that they are there working toward a healthier life for Muskegon residents through what they eat...grown right here in our town.  Click on the image below to follow McLaughlin Grows on Facebook.  Watch it all happen right before your eyes!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nancy Beeman Chronicles The Men From Muskegon County We Lost in Vietnam

I am the son of a Vietnam Vet.  I am not from a family that really expected a lot of attention for my dad's service, when he got out...he came home, went to work and began raising a family.  It's not a topic we grew up discussing a lot, except for the times we'd get into the attic and bust out the slide projector to see pictures of his tours of duty...and quite often, those pictures are only from the places he went where there wasn't much fighting going on.

Today still, it's kind of just there.  There's never been a moment where he's opened up about all he saw and did.  He was a helmsmen of an LST class ship that was turned into a repair ship, so thankfully he wasn't on the ground like some were.  He also spent time as a radio operator on a ship which I think might explain some why he was so defensive of me in my early days of wanting to be on the radio.  I know however, that the memories are still there for him.  Years ago, he and I walked the LST 393 together.  He knew every single door.  He knew where everything was located, who slept where...where the galley and mess hall was... it was really the closest I ever got him to tell the story.  It's ok with me if he doesn't he's from the generation that doesn't talk much about such things.

He came home, but there were so many who didn't.  As time has gone on, more and more attention is shifting away from the WWII Vets, who we're loosing at a very fast pace, to guys my dad's age.  How do we remember those who didn't come home, and how do we change the way those who did come home from Vietnam, to the jeers and taunts we have seen so much of, to more of a gratitude filled honor.
Artists Rendering of New Memorial

Well, like a lot of things, all it takes is one person.  Meet Nancy Beeman.  Nancy's husband served in Vietnam, and her son in Desert Storm.  Nancy curates the Vietnam Memorial area on board the LST 393 and she has spent a lot of time getting to know the history of the young men from Muskegon County who were lost in Vietnam.  In fact, she's taken all that knowledge and put it into a DVD that shows you who we lost and what their military career was.  Behind us in the video, you'll see some of their faces, but the DVD has the whole story of them.

Nancy is selling copies of the DVD to raise a few bucks, about $10,000 in fact to make an addition to the "Final Approach" memorial out on the corner of Seaway Drive and Old Grand Haven Road.  She's taking mail orders for the moment, you'll find the address below, but for now, spend a few minutes with Nancy and I and hear why she embarked on the project and how she's looking for a hand to get the memorial built for those who have served in the "modern era" of Desert Storm until now.

All it takes is one person to start a movement.  I hope you could see and hear the dedication in Nancy's voice to the memory of our fallen, some of which only made it a day on the ground in Vietnam.  Her dedication and passion are real and this proposed monument will be an amazing addition to the Final Approach memorial.  I was compelled enough to offer Nancy a hand.  She's been looking for a way to get these DVD's out and continue the funding of the memorial, and since she doesn't have Ebay....well, I do.  In Muskegon, stop down to the LST 393 Gift shop for a copy for $20.  If you'd like to order a copy online, click on the photo of the DVD below and order a copy.  The DVD is $20 and we'll go $5 for shipping and handling.  Every cent will go to the memorial fund.  If you'd like to send a donation to Nancy or order a copy of the DVD by mail, please do so at the following address.  Vietnam Veterans PO Box 1637, Muskegon MI, 49443

Click Here to Purchase a DVD from My Ebay Store

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Positively Muskegon - Meet John Koval - He Gets the Job Done

There are those who without asking for much get a LOT of things accomplished and benefit the greater good with their words and actions.  Such is the case with John Koval.

John owns Smitter Pest Control for his day job, but with that job he adds something daily for the betterment of others.  Even if it's just a traffic warning he stumbles upon while out on the road...he shares it to save everyone else a headache.

Find John at Smitter Pest Control

I have been trying to find an angle to get John on, but like many others...he just sees things that need to be addressed and he handles it.  Sandy Corley Run needs an extra pair of hands?  John is there.  Recently, John grabbed the reigns and resupplied a little league field that had all their equipment stolen.  He'll pitch in to help build softball leagues, he'll go on Facebook live and share his thoughts and actions and he doesn't ask for anything extra.  He does things because they are the right thing to do.

Click Here for the Event Page

That being said, he's probably shaking his head at all of this, but when he asked if I could help get the word out about a good time he's part of in Norton Shores...I grabbed the chance to get him in the spotlight!  If John's involved....it's going to be done right!

So...here's what he wanted me to talk about!  June 9th and 10th there's going to be some fun to be had in Ross Park in Norton Shores!  They are celebrating Flag Day with 2 nights of music, a men's softball tournament a "beverage tent" and more.  It's an honest attempt to get another fun activity off the ground in Muskegon.  The Event is being organized by Norton Shores Arts and Drafts

I was able to catch up with John to talk a little about the party and get you to save the date to enjoy Ross Park in Norton Shores a little.  Take a listen to our chat below.

John is the kind of guy we like to shine a light on!  He's always there with a hand to lend, he's kind to all he meets and he sees as much beauty and excitement in being part of Muskegon and Muskegon's future.  Ya, I kind of waited till he came to me with a story idea, but if I went to him and said "Hey..let's talk about you"  he'd politely say no.  So now that you know John a little more...head out to the party n Ross Park and say thanks for all he does, quietly behind the scenes to make the world a better place!

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Veterans Job Fair at the LC Walker Arena May 23rd - Public Welcome

Muskegon has always been a proud community that takes care of their own. But how do we give back to the amazing men and women who put their lives on the line for our community, cities, counties, state, and country? 
A job fair is a great place to start! I sat down with Mike Baauw, the Muskegon County Veterans Services and Programs Coordinator to discuss the upcoming event. While it is geared towards veterans, everyone is welcome. 

Baauw offered insight into what employers are looking for and helpful tips for job seekers. The Veterans’ Job Fair will be Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the LC Walker Arena.  There will be 73 companies there looking to hire.  It's a vast resource for anyone looking for a job. 
Another opportunity to help veterans, RibFest will take place May 26th and 27th in downtown Grand Haven. There will be amazing food, entertainment, and new this year, a KIDS TENT interactive learning activity sponsored by the U.S.S. Silversides. Proceeds from this event go to help veterans all over West Michigan.
Take a listen as we talk about both.

A giant thank you to Mike for not only taking the time to sit down with Positively Muskegon today, but also for all he does to make lives better for all our veterans!  For more on the Ribfest Event, click on their poster below.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Muskegon Waves Athletic Team Set to Compete in the Michigan Victory Games!

To quote the Michigan Victory Games website - "Michigan Victory Games gives athletes with physical disabilities a chance.  A chance to compete, make friends, and feel the support of a team.  To experience the thrill of victory and the possibility of defeat.  To gain the kind of values, morals and skills that only sports can provide.  To instill a belief and inspire greatness.  To experience the spirit of competition we’ve provided for over 40 years."

That says enough for me to want to know more!  May 18th-21st athletes from all over Michigan will converge on the campus of Michigan State University for the fun and fellowship of the games.  Athletes as young as 7 can compete and there is no age cap for individuals who would like to be a part of the fun.  Some of the events include bowling, swimming, boccie ball, weight lifting, table tennis, track and field and more.  Teams and individuals compete and they are serious about the games!

You'll find teams like The Kalamazoo Courage, The Grand Rapids Eagles, The Ionia Trailblazers, The Royal Oak Charging Knights and our very own team The Muskegon Waves!

Meet the Muskegon Waves - Follow On Facebook

Yes, our very own team is about to make the trek east to "do battle" and bring home the gold, sliver, bronze and anything else they can grab.  From the time they spend practicing at Wesley School to the travel and rigors of the road, The Muskegon Waves are a dominating force, but then again, what would you expect from anyone in Muskegon?

I was invited by team coach Katie Ellis to learn a little more about the games, The Muskegon Waves and how you can get involved too!  Take a listen to our chat below!

An awesome endeavor for awesome people.  To know that life without limits is becoming more and more accessible to all amazes me.  Sure, we all have limits regardless of our physical abilities, but it's the constant testing of those limits that let us know we're alive...and anyone should be able to feel that.  To know they have made an accomplishment, were part of a team and maybe even surprised themselves with what they can do...that's applicable to anyone!  Join me in cheering on the Muskegon Waves at the Michigan Victory Games.  You can learn more about the Michigan Victory Games from their website linked below!

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

9/11 Tribute and Memorial Service In Muskegon and Grand Haven Fundraiser May 20th

Ike Villapando sent me a Facebook message and sad he wanted to show me something that he's been working on and wondered if I had time to meet up.  If you don't know Ike, well, let's just say his cool presence is plenty to get you to show up, but generally, he's also behind some pretty cool stuff going on and this time it's a whopper.

Ike has found a way for Muskegon and Grand Haven to share an event!

Let's be honest, our two towns could get along much better.  For as long as I have been here, that drawbridge has been more than a pain in the butt for commuters, it's been an invisible line between 2 pretty awesome cities.  Now, growing up in Sparta it wasn't all that apparent, but after a few years living here you get a pretty good idea of the "us and them" mindset.  Thing is, no one seems to remember why they think that way, they just do.  So?  How do you address that?  You find commonality.
Grand Haven VFW on Facebook

We were all effected by 9/11.  Not a soul living on earth that day will forget it.  A lot of time has past, and a lot of reflection and remembrance has been made and as we carry on, we should always remember what happened that day.  We should remember as one too.  Nothing could divide America that day, and the weeks and months that followed.  If for just one day we could all remember, we'd be ahead.  Well, September 11th this year will be marked with a shared event between Muskegon and Grand Haven.

We'll keep you up to date as September draws closer for the event, but for now, there's going to be a fundraiser at the Grand Haven VFW on First Street this coming Saturday.  You'll be able to enjoy some fellowship and food, there will be karate demonstrations, a live and silent auction and you'll also get a glimpse at the upcoming event and learn the size and scope of what's entailed.  The short story is, the procession begins in Grand Haven and works it's way to Muskegon and the hallowed grounds of the LST 393 located at the Mart Dock on Muskegon Lake.

For now, take a listen to Ike and I as we talked on the sidewalk outside the Grand Haven VFW.

Stay tuned.  We plan on being part of this great event for both of our cities right up till September 11th when it all happens.  We're proud to not only be able to bring you the story, we're more proud to do something the Lakeshore needs more of and that's being neighbors instead of competitors!   Don't forget too, the VFW has a fun Ribfest Event coming up in May, they have been great sponsors of Positively Muskegon for the Rib Fest event and we're thankful!  Details are in the poster below!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Andy O Editorial - To The Class of 2017

To the class of 2017

It gets to be about this time of year and I get to thinking back about my graduation all those years ago.  It was a while too…I remember my parents going to their 25th class reunion vaguely, and I thought “25 years out of school?  How the hell old are these people?”  Well, let me tell ya they go by quick…and I mean quick.  If you blink you’re going to miss it.  

While waxing nostalgic about those days, I usually try to think what very honest truth would I have liked to hear from someone a little older than me…if I had one honest piece of advice would I use it?  I have written a few I don’t remember the specific topics, but they usually center around being yourself, empowering others etc…I like to build up people…it will make everything in your life better if you do the same.  Those were years past, but this year…I don’t have any pearls of wisdom to go droppin’ around.  No, in fact this year I am afraid I have to turn to you and ask a favor.  I am asking because it’s going to take a few minutes to try and help fix, so if we get to work now, maybe we can get there.
I need to ask you the favor because us “grown up’s” have seemed to drop the ball.  See up here in the “big leagues” people have forgotten that the collective differing of opinions and discord are what everything in the USA was based upon.  It’s become a very scary area with nothing but polarized opinions…. instant on demand everything….and an extremely self-serving mindset where nothing or no one matters but number 1.  We seem to have forgotten that our communities are ours…we are the fiber of a country, yet increasingly, all we are given is a more and more centralized information.  We all think our issue is the most important one ever, and if anyone dares question it, they are the enemy.  People who were always “happily in the middle” are becoming harder and harder to find.  They have retreated to avoid the vitriol spewed back and forth among friends and family because that’s what they see on tv day in and day out.  They are glued to their brand of news and they are well practiced in the arena of argument, because they have a steady diet of it.  

There are those who put profits before people…and they have seem to forgotten that it was those people who made them those profits.  We have an overabundance of users and we have also somehow come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter who you step on to get to the top, step away and let the weak fall off.  In a nutshell…we’ve taken our eye off the big picture, the fact that real success is defined by how well those around you are doing. 

I am asking you pretty please to work toward common goals.  Find ways to make yourself better by listening to what people have to say when it comes to some things.  If someone disagrees with you, or you with them…take the time to talk to them, and for God’s sake…when you talk to them nowhere in the conversation should anything come up about calling your lawyer, or the “problem solvers” at the local tv station.  Do me the favor of being honest in your endeavors and be fair with your trade.  Please…don’t go around looking for the “easy path”.  There will come times when you won’t be doing exactly what you had hoped for in life, and that’s ok, but hold your ideals high and if you are in a situation that you can’t be part of…gracefully bow out. 

Don’t be a part of anything whose focus is to do nothing but make money and give as little back as possible.  Be a true friend to people.  Be genuine and engaging.  If you ask about someone, be sincere.  If you think you can lend a hand…do it.  Start talking to your neighbors again, help old ladies out if you get a chance and never be “above” doing anything.  Look at success as a multi-level win.  If you’re doing good, think about what you can do for the guy down the street, could you buy a hamburger from him instead of some big national chain?  Maybe the other guy down the street sells shirts…think how nice everyone around you would look in a new work shirt.  On top of that, think what that shirt says to the people you gave them to.  Yes, you thought about them that day…..that will be a huge help to you in the long run.
I am asking you please to work toward coming back to the middle.  A long long time ago, President Abe Lincoln said that the only way the USA will be destroyed is from within.  I don’t know that anyone ever imagined that the destruction would come from greed and intolerance but with our current situation they are the two things I am asking you as a favor to steer clear from.  We’ve got an awful lot of good things here and honestly, you deserve a better place than we had…but to turn in to this skid, we’re going to have to work together from both ends of the age spectrum.

Thanks for hearing my plea.  I wish you as much as you can handle of everything, and I do mean everything.  Everything because by the time you get to my age, I will hope you have seen enough love, life, loss and pain by then to understand just how fragile we all are, and how much better care we should take of each other, and ourselves  You are about to embark on a journey that will have more chapters than you can possibly imagine….may God be with you.   

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sophia Cerniglia Founder of Breathing Becomes Effortless Foundation in Muskegon

Life throws some curve balls at ya.  In every case I have had one pitched at me, I have stood there shaking my head... for a while there I got a curve ball thrown at me, I ran and hid.  But in time, I learned that it doesn't stop them from coming and the important thing is to keep swinging!  I didn't figure that out till much later in life, but some have to figure it out much earlier.  This is the case with Sophia Cerniglia of Muskegon.

Follow BBEF on Facebook
At 6 Sophia and her family were given the diagnosis that she had Cystic Fibrosis.  CF is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys and intestine.  Long term issues include difficulty breathing, coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections.  That's the Wikipedia definition, in layman's terms Cystic Fibrosis sucks and there's no known cure for it.  Sophia and her family were told that she'd probably make it 18 years old. Talk about debilitation.  How do you even walk out of a room with that kind of news?

Now, Sophia is 26 and has shown those doctors a thing or two about time limits.  She still struggles with the symptoms, but she comes from a pretty tough family tree and has decided that since she, and many others are now living well past the time they were told, that something should be done about helping other CF patients that have beaten the odds, but still find themselves trying to keep life under control while they are treated.  She found a gap and took action forming the Breathing Becomes Effortless Foundation.

BBEF is there to help others like her.  Constant treatment, down time in the hospital or at home....they all add up.  Life doesn't stop for those fighting CF.  Bills have to get paid, rent. cars...medications and more all add up.  The idea of  BBEF is to provide a resource for those who need a hand from time to time and don't really have anywhere else to turn.

Grand Opening Event on Facebook

With the foundation up and running, it's time to help get it funded!  Sophia will be hosting a fundraiser at Bella Maria's Event Center on Pontaluna in Muskegon Sunday May 21st.  You'll find a great pasta bar....I hear her dad is an exceptional cook :), you'll find plenty of entertainment, silent auction, kids and families are welcome for the whole day.

I met up with Sophia at Bella Maria's to talk about her foundation and the event.  Take a listen to out talk!

Sophia is what Positively Muskegon is all about.  Find a bump in the road...don't just drive over it...take the challenge and make a difference.  Those curve balls we talked about earlier?  Smash the out of the park and don't look back.  Sophia is putting her life experience to work to help others that share what she has and offers a light of hope for those who are in fear of their disease keeping them from living life to their fullest.  Amazing...heroic and such a great example of owning it!  If you'd like to know more about Breathing Becomes Effortless, click on the logo below!  Stop out and see Sophia in person at Bella Maria's on the 21st.  You'll find tickets at the link below as well.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Retro Expo is Set to Make Muskegon Ultra Hip Again This Season

It happened out of the blue.  Some "old building" had a little life breathed into it from a weekend renter.  It was to be a one weekend thing...and then it would be gone...or so we thought.

What happened next....well, it's the stuff legends are made of and one was made.

The Retro Expo was born with an exclamation point!

Retro Expo on Facebook

We're not known as the most hip community in all of West Michigan and that's ok.  That was part of the fun of the first Retro Expo.  All of the sudden, and from out of nowhere we had an event as cool as anything you'd find in a big city.  People who have collected things, saved clothing built up stock piles of everything retro were all on display and we were forced into a moment of ultra hipness!

It was the brain child of Alison Updyke who describes herself as a photographer, blogger and freelancer.  She wanted to see something happen so she made it happen.  It's amazing how an imagination can turn an abandoned building into an amazing retail space in a matter of a couple hours.  It's pretty amazing too that from that one event can spring forth a series of the same themed events over the course of the next summer...at a much bigger location and now...on to another year at the Muskegon Farmers Market where you will have the opportunity to find all those old time favorites, maybe an item that reminded you of the good old days...fashion....music, toys...collectibles....they will once again fill the booth spaces at the Muskegon Farmers Market 3 times this year and the first of them happens this coming Sunday May 14th.

Our blog has grown some and Alison's event has too, so we thought we'd revisit the occasion and find out what's new in the retro world.  (Is that a thing?)  Take a listen to our chat in advance of this great event Sunday!

If you're a "picker" you might find something cool.  If you're a pack rat...you may find someone who's desperately looking for what you have and there is still time to set up a booth.  If you are just looking for a great place to mingle on Mothers Day, head down to the Muskegon Farmers Market for the Retro Expo.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Spaghetti Dinner Anyone? A Benefit for Alyssa Clark at the Lakeside Eagles May 13th

One of the original key ideas behind Positively Muskegon was to be able to give a voice to people who are trying to do a good turn for someone else who may be facing a difficulty in their life.  One of the things I love most about Muskegon is that when it comes time to circle the wagons and take care of our own, it's generally an all hands on deck approach.  Friends, neighbors, fellow church goers even strangers pitch in and great things happen.

I got a note about just one of those type of events coming up and thought it might be a great time to kind of circle back some to how Positively Muskegon got underway.  We're looking for those people, and those projects who make a difference in their own quiet way.  It's not always big and flashy, it's not always about sponsors and events that hope to draw from all over the area.  It's about the people who are willing to give of their time, talent and treasure to help.  It might be helping an entire organization, or it might be about that one person who needs a break.  It's the people of Muskegon who make this town and this blog what they are.  We truly live in a good community and pointing out those who make a difference...it's why we started.

Marge and Alyssa
I spoke of a note, it came from Marge Nichols of Muskegon.  She asked if there was anything we could do to help spread the word about a benefit for her daughter Alyssa Clark which is going to be held at the Lakeside Eagles on May 13th starting at 5.  Alyssa is 20 and has been diagnosed with ESRD which is a kidney disease which will require a kidney transplant.  Imagine, 20 and having to face something so challenging?  She's on dialysis now, and awaiting the call for a transplant and some funds are needed for some of the things insurance won't cover.  Things like travel, over the counter vitamins and meds, medical supplies... they all add up.  It's $8 for adults and kids are only $5.  It's a pretty good way to take the family out for dinner and benefit someone who could use a hand while you're at it.

I met up with Marge at her home to talk a little more about ESRD and the event coming up.  Take a couple minutes and learn a little more for yourself.

Underneath all the slogans, all the marketing ideas and all the fanfare we see daily....the real key to Muskegon being the awesome place it is are those who will go the extra mile for friends and family.  The don't expect a lot of attention, they don't expect the accolades, awards or honors.  They do things because they are the right thing to do, and that is the fiber of this or any community.  Muskegon is strong with that fiber.  We're proud to be able to show it off!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Music for Meds to Benefit Mission For Area People May 12th in Muskegon

We hear it all over town.  Watch Us Go, This Is Muskegon, We're Just Getting Started...and you know, they are all representative of a community who's in the midst of changing.  It's a very exciting time to be in Muskegon and the surrounding areas, Growth and belief are great.

However, one of the biggest things I take pride in lies just underneath all the hub bub and hullabaloo.... it's our ability to take care of each other, and those in need.

In it's 50th year now, Mission for Area People does just that.  MAP serves Muskegon as a faith based organization providing Muskegon County Residents with the resources needed for their basic needs, promoting self sufficiency and improving quality of life.  They have grown so very much in the 50 years they have been in operation.
Music For Meds on Facebook

They now offer the healthy choice food pantry, nutrition and cooking classes, a medical and dental support fund, Christmas toys, back to school back packs, housing assistance, emergency car repairs...you name it.  They work tirelessly to meet needs of so many.  Nightly, they even offer a Supper House where people can come for a healthy meal and some fellowship.  It's great that the food is there, but the opportunity to be part of a community.  It's a very important outreach in Muskegon.

Like any other human service agency, the rely on donations and fundraisers to help make it all happen, one of which is Friday May 12th at the Folkert Community Hub called "Music for Meds".  You'll find entertainment from Modern Entertainment, silent auction items up for bid, food is being catered by Dave's Kountry Katering there's a cash bar as well!  Tickets are affordable and the cause is great.  This is one of those organizations who quietly and consistently work to make life better for all of Muskegon's residents.

Dianna Wright Stubbs is the director of MAP and we sat down for a quick talk about the 50th anniversary, the event and the work they do at MAP.  Take a listen.

A night of fun for a great cause?  Of course you want to come.  Get your tickets this week at the MAP offices at 2500 Jefferson in Muskegon Heights or the Folkert Community Hub at 640 Seminole Raod.  You can also get them online in advance by clicking on the MAP logo below!  It's not much to ask to help them provide for Muskegon the way they do.  Thanks to Dianna and her tireless staff that make Mission for Area People such an essential part of our community.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

2017 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive With The US Post Office May 13th

It's the easiest opportunity to help support area food banks.  All you have to do is set the donations at the mail box and the members of the NALC will take it from there.

Who are the members of the NALC?  Good question.  They are the men and women of the US Post office!

We're here to help them celebrate 25 years of this event!

Stamp Out Hunger on Facebook

It's become a juggernaut really, if you stop and think about the number of people on the street carrying mail, you can see why so much gets done in such a hurry.  Tons of food are collected from carriers on all routes.  If they are on foot, delivering rural or just trucking around a neighborhood, they are looking for your donation of non perishable food items this coming Saturday.

Cans, boxed food items, soups, dry goods....all acceptable.  If you're the owner of an estate you have the same opportunity to donate as they do in an apartment.  It's truly a way we can all do our part with minimal effort.  Simply bag up what you like, and leave it where your mail is collected!  Simple as that!  It's the nations biggest single day food drive!

We're just giving you the reminder.  After 15 years, hopefully you know all about it and if by chance you don't, go back to the beginning and read this again so you know what to do.

Special thanks to the people of the USPS for making sure they are going above and beyond when it comes to making sure those most vulnerable in our community are taken care of.  Rain, sleet, snow or dead of night.. the mail always comes thru!! For more details, click on the logo below!

Stamp Out Hunger Website

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Positively Muskegon Kids Beat Reporter Trevor Hilson Visits Revel in Muskegon

 If you are looking to brand or market something that you are doing, Revel is the place for you. From business to public service or political campaigns, Revel has the staff and tools to promote your public image. Revel was started six years ago when two marketing companies, who worked on projects together, formed into one business.
This new partnership, which relocated to the thriving downtown area of Muskegon, has had a huge impact on the community.

From the beginning of this new venture, Revel has grown and become a go to agency for local community projects and businesses.

Revel was instrumental in changing the image of Muskegon taking the lead in the Watch Muskegon campaign. That simple phrase has propelled Muskegon and its residents to take pride in the many attractions and accomplishments our county has to offer. They have big plans for the future, and have seen a lot of positive feedback from the manufacturing businesses that they have worked with. It’s important to Revel to give back to the community, as a company, and as individuals. They help with a lot of non-profit organizations like the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. Working with Mercy Health’s Community Health Project tackling health issues like substance abuse and underage drinking has been an important mission for Revel.

If you would like to learn more about Revel, watch my talk with one of Revel’s partners, Don Kalisz, below.

Revel is a great marketing business that does much more than just getting
your business out there. You can contact Revel and get started by visiting their website, www.revel.in or contact their office at 231-727-9778.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

LIVESTRONG at the Muskeogn YMCA - Helping Cancer Survivors Reclaim Their Lives

The word alone is enough to get most people to retract.....cancer.  No matter the form, be it a skin cancer or a brain tumor the stigma is there and the effects are merciless.  Even the thought of "I have cancer" can cause irreparable damage to the mind...not to mention the body.
The good news is, a lot more people are hearing that the cancer...if caught early is treatable.  Get it treated, get past it and get on with it, but how does long term recovery work?

Help the Y Raise the Bar for Muskegon's Health FB Event
The Muskegon YMCA has a program... LIVESTRONG with the YMCA.  It focuses on your health in the future, not the disease you just beat!  It's a 12 week program that combines building muscle mass and strength, increasing flexibility, fighting fatigue and building endurance and improving self confidence and esteem.  Lets' face it your own body attacking you can be quite a blow to your "mojo".

Like many other things, the Y can provide the mechanics, and structure but...there is an amazing undertone that comes with a program like this.  You are among others who have experienced the same shock and horror.  You are with other survivors who understand what you've been thru.  You are with caring and compassionate people who are all seeking the return to normal that you are.  Technically, it might be called "peer support" but having done a group meeting or two in my day..the real healing comes from the human connection.  We have the amazing ability within all of us to heal, and be healed.

LIVESTRONG on the Muskegon YMCA Website

This program offered through the Muskegon YMCA is free to cancer survivors.  Yup...free.  The physical and emotional benefits are gifted to those who have survived the fight.  Which brings us to the point of this story.

There's going to be an informational breakfast event at the 18th Amendment Distillery in Downtown Muskegon.  It gets underway May 16th at 7:30a and the breakfast is being provided by Ryke's!  There will be no charge for the breakfast, but donations are accepted of course.I was able to catch up with Melissa Wikman from the Muskegon YMCA and Bryan Lambert of Brightway Insurance who sits on the board of the YMCA to talk about this great program and event. Take a listen to our chat below!

It's a great event for a great cause.  It's also very representative of the Muskegon YMCA and the care the put back into out town.  Kids programs, diabetes prevention, water safety, fitness, summer camps... the YMCA has so much to offer!  Make sure you stop down to the event at 18th Amendment to learn more.  Survivor or not, we all know someone who's been touched by cancer and to know those who have won the ultimate battle have a support system around them is truly remarkable.

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