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Padnos Muskegon

Padnos Muskegon
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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cheers and Chocolate to Benefit Every Woman's Place April 13th in Muskegon

It's one of Muskegon's most sought after tickets because the purpose is so important and the pay off is so good!  Imagine yourself surrounded by the most incredible gourmet foods, delicious wines, craft beers and of course decadent chocolate and sweet indulgences at every turn?  Well, you just imagined yourself at Cheers and Chocolate to benefit Every Woman's Place on April 13th at the Culinary Institute of Michigan in Downtown Muskegon.



Now that your mouth is watering, let's back up a second and tell you a little about the organization and the mission.  Every Woman's Place was founded in 1975 and offers women who suffer from domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking and more a place of sanctuary and safety when they need it most.  They have a residence shelter and they also offer programs of advocacy when it comes to legalities for victims, counselling services, crisis hotlines, domestic violence support groups and so much more.  It's one of those organizations you wish the world had no need for, but sadly, their services are needed more and more every year.  Their work extends in to children's services as well as advocating in the community for those who have suffered abuse.  As Lori Rasmussen and I spoke in the video you will hear shortly, people are beginning to be a little more open about such things and that means that the work of Ever Woman's Place is growing in demand and while the openness of communication is a good thing, violence against women for any reason, it's still a societal ill that can't be tolerated.
Click Here for Tickets to Cheers and Chocolate

Throughout the year Every Woman's Place works to put on some pretty incredible events to help raise some money for their work.  In the Fall, "Power of the Purse" is a signature event where men form the community gather to model purses and collect bids for the purse as well as the package of goodies that comes with it.  If you've never been...go...it's a riot.  The also host some smaller events, but the "Big One" is Cheers and Chocolate!  It's so big, it's even part of the curriculum at the Culinary Institute of Michigan where the event will be held April 13th.  Exquisite food, drink and desserts served while you get to go behind the scenes and see everything the CIM offers students in their quest to become the next top chef!  How better to get a tour of a school and to see, and taste their handiwork first hand?

As mentioned, I sat down with Lori Rasmussen who is the Executive Director of Every Woman's Place to talk about this years event.  Take a listen.
 

I love helping Every Woman's Place.  I wish we didn't really have a need for them, but to know their work is being done by passionate and caring people who strive to stop the violence and work to assure it's not repeated is something everyone can pitch in a little on.  Head out to Cheers and Chocolate on April 13th and enjoy the fun.  Learn more about Every Woman's Place by clicking on the photo below and if you can't make the Cheers and Chocolate event, consider a donation of any kind to Every Woman's Place to help their work.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Muskegon Heights Tigers Hit 100% On State Review

You can feel it county wide, this feeling of all of us getting the dust blown off, picking ourselves up and saying enough is enough.  We're tired of being counted out and we're better than what you think.  It's happening in every corner of the county.  You can see it first hand in the new construction Downtown Muskegon.  You can see it in Norton Shores where things continue to boom.   Even Roosevelt Park has seen over $2 million in growth!  You want action?  It's in Muskegon!


All of this progress is great but there was recently a goal met by The Muskegon Heights Charter Academy that is just amazing.  For so long, Muskegon Heights has struggled with that "one sided story".  If something bad happens in the Heights, every news truck and gum shoe reporter is there and they can't wait to tell you how there was another failure.  From this authors perspective, when I speak to a career day at any school...I will ask them "When you hear something on the news about Muskegon, what to you hear?" and 100% without fail they say "Someone got shot in the Heights".  Imagine the toll that takes on an 8th grader.  Imagine more, the toll that takes on an entire community?  Why even bother if that's all you ever hear and see?  It's changing and it's changing fast and it's being led by a new generation of leaders and people who are just tired of what's been told.

Visit Muskegon Heights Academy Online. 
Muskegon Heights truly is a "City of Friendly People" and if you spend any amount of time getting to know folks around town, you'll see it's true.  The pride in the heritage of being a Heights Tiger is as strong today as it ever was and the school is truly a center point of the community.  The school has struggled, this is true, but what happened recently shows that the corner has been turned and that being a Tiger still carries the pride it should!

Over the last 18 months, the school has been under the watch of the State of Michigan and were required to meet 14 goals in order to satisfy an agreement with the Michigan Department of Education.  It was in intensive time of evaluating everything in the district from books to playgrounds, social and academic clubs, facilities and more.  The scrutiny was heavy but when the report came back, it was 100% across the board on all 14 of the goals!  A new day has dawned in the Muskegon Heights School District and the foundation has been laid to build on!  It was so incredible to be there to hear the story first hand.

I met with school Superintendent Rane Garcia and Principal Eddies Jones to talk about the work that went in to this monumental success, take a listen.

It's so great to see the success.  It's also great to see that what makes school so important and so memorable is being put back in for the Tigers.  Rane and Eddies are remarkable leaders and it was so good to stop in for a visit.  We all need to celebrate the victories of our area!  Big and small, the accomplishments of all of us make up our story.  A story that's getting better every day.


Visit the City of Muskegon Heights Website

Sunday, March 3, 2019

No More Sidelines Under the Sea Gala Coming Up March 16th

It's coming up on 13 years of fun now.  It's such an amazing and growing organization that has had an impact on anyone who's taken the time to so much as say hello at the Folkert Community Hub.  Of course, way back when when it all began it wasn't the Hub or the growing group of kids and families with unique abilities.  No, it was a garage, and a request from a little girl...who wondered why she didn't have friends like her siblings.



We're talking about No More Sidelines and it all began when Alivia Blair asked her mom why she didn't have sleepovers like the other kids.  Alivia has Autism and that question set in motion a tidal wave in Cyndi Blair.  She started seeking other parents who had kids with some differences and a small group formed.  The word got out about the small collective and how they were finding ways for their kids to just be normal.  The group grew and the reach got bigger.  The kids who at one point were "on the sidelines" were now in the game.  The kids who were in their own hall way at the school were all of the sudden interacting with their peers from the rest of the school and they were finding in no short order that their differences, were not as big as their similarities.  No More Sidelines broke down barriers and continues to do so daily.

As the group grew, the Folkert Community Hub became home and it also became a place for the community to congregate.  They use the space for events, receptions, sports and more.  They have permanent tenants who work with other kids with challenges and they are beginning the construction of the next phase of the complex, the gym in the back.  From a meeting of a few people to a grand affair of a few hundred, the Folkert Community Hub is a home away from home, it's a fundraising tool for the group and it's become an asset to all of Muskegon.
Click Here for Tickets - Make Sure to Note Under The Sea Gala

March 16th will be the No More Sidelines 13th annual fundraising gala.  This year, it's got a theme of "Under the Sea".  You are encouraged to dress as a beach bum and enjoy the strolling cuisine, the huge slient auction, the live auction and the incredible fun to be had!  It's a great night where you have the chance to meet some of the group, see the facility and whoop it up for a great cause.  You can stop in to the Hub at 640 Seminole Road for tickets or click on the image to the right for tickets!

I met up with Cyndi Blair to talk about No More Sidelines and the party at the Hub as it was in the beginning stages of getting all decked out for a 75th anniversary party.  Take a listen.


It's a great time for a great cause, and to say I have a little bot of a personal attachment, ya...and understatement.  If you've never been, come on out!  If you've been there before, can't wait to see you again.  What was a feeling a isolation by one little girl....now in her early 20's has blossomed into an incredible force to show the world that what we think makes us different, is all just a mindset waiting to be broken.  My many thanks to Cyndi Blair for including me for all these years as part of the No More Sidelines family and her own family.

Visit No More Sidelines Online