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Wings Over Muskegon

Wings Over Muskegon
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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

D-Day Plus 75 - May 31st and June 1st at the LST 393 in Muskegon

75 years.  It was a day that can't and won't be forgotten.  The landing to free Europe form the grips of Hitler was truly one of the most world wide efforts ever put together.  To remember what happened and revere those who served with such valor and such selflessness is important, and more over...to teach younger people about what happened and why is essential so we don't have history repeat itself.

Rolling Thunder Chapter 4 has been at the D-Day Plus observations in Muskegon now since D-Day Plus 72.  It's an event that has not only grown in size, but it's also grown in stature and importance of the message it carries and it shows.  This year, the event has expanded in to two days down at the LST 393 which has a D-Day story all of it's own.  If you're not familiar with Rolling Thunder, they are an organization who advocate for POW/MIA and Veterans of all branches of  the military.  They work to make sure that no soldier is forgotten and that people understand the sacrifices made to help protect our great nation.
Follow Rolling Thunder on Facebook

D-Day Plus 75 is set for this weekend.  You'll find a variety of activity going on.  Static displays of historic vehicles, free tours of the LST 393, the Michigan Vietnam Memorial Wall, battle re-enactments, an air raid simulation, and a 1940's pin up girl contest and a swing dance.  You'll get to hear from a wonderful young speaker who at 11 has been recognized for her efforts to help POW/MIA and Veterans. There will be activities for the kids, there will be food vendors on hand and in as much as this might feel like a festival, it's an important part of history and it's a living breathing hands on learning experience for those who have only seen what war is on tv or in a movie.

Chris "Lefty" Johnson invited us back down again to talk about the event and what you'll find.  Take a minute and listen to what's to come and then plan on spending some time on site this weekend to get the full experience. 

It's a very full day with a lot to see and do, that's for sure.  As we mentioned though, while it feels like it's a party....the idea is to recognize the sacrifices made of those who served on D-Day or any battle.  Those who don't understand history are doomed to repeat it and to have the assets we do in Muskegon to make this kind of observance possible.  Add in a group like Rolling Thunder Chapter 4 who work tireless hours to make this event bigger, better and have a greater impact and we have so much to be proud of.  Thanks to Lefty for having us down and if you'd like to know more about Rolling Thunder, click on the image below to visit their website.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Donut Day - June 7th at Ryke's to Benefit The Salvation Army of Muskegon

The Salvation Army has been around a while.  A long while.  In fact, all the way back to World War 1 The Salvation Army has been doing "The Most Good" by actually sending members to the front lines of the war to feed the troops.  They would bring in coffee and food...but how did they get something that was easy to transport and prepare to the front where danger was at every corner?  It also had to fill up the "dough boys" and keep them moving.

The answer....doughnuts.  Yes, The Salvation Army brought three ingredient doughnuts to the front lines...in the trenches and when it came to cooking them...a soldiers helmet was the fry kettle that made it all happen.  Can you imagine what life must have been like in that situation?  One bit of respite however, came from The Salvation Army.
Donut Day Event on Facebook

Today, The Salvation Army continues to offer their work where needed.  We might not be in the trenches at the moment in some foreign county but the front line is still there.  We're battling poverty, hunger, addiction, disasters and more.  While it might not feel as scary on the surface, the reality is...this is all going on in our home, and still The Salvation Army continues to serve.  You are familiar with the bell ringing and the kettles at the holidays, but the need to raise a few bucks continues all year and not every fundraiser has to be a solemn gathering with an ask for money or a commercial tugging at your heart strings.  Fundraisers can be fun.  So...let's honor what The Salvation Army did way back when while seeing some local celebs do their best to wipe out some donuts themselves!

On June 7th, "Donut Day" will be celebrated at Ryke's Bakery in Muskegon.  Rykes will be making a special run of those donuts that once served the front lines so you can see first hand just what soldiers were treated too.  Local dignitaries will be competing in a donut hole eating contest which you'll be able to watch on The Muskegon Channel's Facebook page and the best part, First General Credit Union will be offering a dollar for dollar match for all money raised to help benefit The Salvation Army of Muskegon.

I met up with Chris Carlin and  Robin Hard of The Salvation Army and Adam Bell of Ryke's Bakery to talk about the event and the "who's who" list of folks coming to try and win the donut hole eating contest.  Take a listen.

If you're a history buff that wonders what life on the front line tasted like, come on out.  If you want to help and organization out who continues to shine in moments of darkness for so many, June 7th is the day.  If you just want to have some fun over lunch and watch people woof down donuts, be there!  click on the photo below to visit The Salvation Army of Muskegon's Website.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Puttin' For Paws to Benefit the Noah Project June 8th at Chase Hammond in Muskegon

How's a great day on the links sound for a terrific cause sound?  Well, that's what you're going to find at Puttin' for Paws on June 8th at Chase Hammond Golf Course as The Noah Project of Muskegon rolls out the red carpet for duffers and animal lovers everywhere for one of their biggest fundraisers of the year.  Why not get in a round and do a good turn for an organization that means so much to so many?

The Noah Project of Muskegon is an all volunteer no kill animal shelter.  From their website, their mission statement is clear, " 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."  Seems simple enough, right? Well...let's look a little more. 

Click Here and Follow the Noah Project on Facebook
To pull this off, The Noah Project relies heavily on all of us.  Community is what helps make The Noah Project so special to so many.  Need supplies?  Well, they post about the need and within an hour or so...someone finds it in their heart to help.  Need some food, litter, or maybe a hand spreading the word about The Noah Project?  They have an entire network of people willing to help.  They operate solely on grants, donations and fundraisers...and that means it takes who they have now, and it takes all of us to pitch in a little when we can.  Building community while saving lives is very reflective of all of us in Muskegon and it's a big reason why so many consider The Noah Project such a great organization.

So, now that you know a little more about The Noah Project...get involved!  You can become one of those champions donors...if they put out a call for bleach....that's about a buck a gallon....grab one.  Got some time on your hands?  Volunteer down at the shelter on Airline Road.  Want to just go have some fun at a golf outing to help out?  June 8th at Chase Hammond is your day!  There are still some spots open for the 2pm start and of course, it's an outing filled with all you'd expect.  Food, games, prizes and contests. Probably a great chance to wet your whistle while golfing and the'll feed you at the end too.

Jane McGregor of Five Star Real Estate and William Vanderweele of Weber Lumber are Board Members for The Noah Project and we met up to talk about the event and the shelter, take a listen. 

If it's a love for all things about pets, it's a great cause. If you need some therapy on a golf course, here's your invite.  If you just want to be part of something a little bigger than yourself it's time to be part of The Noah Project.  You can learn more about their shelter and find the links to sign up to get your team on "the links" June 8th by clicking on the photo below.  Many thanks to Jane and Bill for taking a few minutes to talk about their work today and how they help find homes for our area pets.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Humana Food Drive for Muskegon Area Veterans at Community Shores Bank Locations Beginning May 20th

Our veterans are owed such a debit of gratitude. We are fortunate in Muskegon to have a local Department of Veterans Affairs to goes so far above and beyond for our local Vets who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.  They are not only there to help them with the difficult system of benefits provided to Vets for their service, they take it to the next level providing services that are not required too, but they also need a hand from all of us.

Services like assistance with daily needs, food in times of shortage, groups to help Vets deal with life post service and more.  Vets are guaranteed certain benefits, but what's available to our local men and women is so much more.  It's an amazing outreach and to know that what's being done is being seen by some pretty heavy hitters is an accolade to the work that is visible, and that which is not.

Muskegon County Veterans Affairs
Humana is teaming up with Community Shores Bank for the 20th annual VA food drive for Veterans which kicks off May 20th at all Community Shores Bank locations.  It's been an amazing outpouring over the years from people who bank with Community Shores or just want to stop in and help out.  Canned goods, non perishables, maybe a gift card or, if you prefer a cash donation can be made at any branch of Community Shores Bank and 100% of the donated items go to the Veterans Service Center Food Bank.  We talked earlier, about the guaranteed benefits, the food bank is not one of them.   This is one of those added levels of support for those who served, in wartime or not that can help fill the gaps when things get difficult for our area Veterans.  I do believe that personal care items such as hygiene products and toiletries are welcome to be dropped off too for the pantry.

The drive itself gets underway on May 20th as we mentioned and you have until June 14th to drop by any branch of the bank with your donation.  Donations would be welcome at the Vets Center in the County Complex on Apple as well.  1 in 8 people struggle with hunger in society today.  1 in 8.  To think that something like that could be effecting our men and women who served is just too much and it's on all of us to do a small part to help.
Community Shores Bank

We were able to "rally the troops" if you will.  We met up with Mike Baauw of the Veterans Service Center in Muskegon as well as Lindy Allison of Community Shores Bank and Bretta Young, who is the Branch Manager of the Norton Location Community Shores Bank to talk about this great chance to give back, take a listen.

It says something about the longevity and purpose of this food drive to have a company like Humana be a part of it.  It's a tremendous nod to the extra mile that is put in by the Muskegon Veterans Service Center and Community Shores Bank for being such great stewards of our area, and out people in need to be a part as well.  It's a simple process for you from here on.  Stop in to a branch of Community Shore Bank with your donation.  Bring your kids to show them the importance of being a caring and contributing member of our community and help say thank you to our area Veterans for their willingness to serve for all of us!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Thurgood Marshall Job and Health Far May 19th at Bishop WL Burrell Multi-Plex Center

It's been over 20 years now that the Thurgood Marshall Job Fair has been happening in Muskegon Heights.  20 years of pairing job seekers with those looking to hire quality people ready to work and bring their skills and talent to prospective employers.  It's an event sponsored by 103.7 The Beat and M-106 both Muskegon Heights radio stations broadcasting from the Mayes and Wright Media center across from Marsh Field.  Wait a minute...are those radio stations even 20 years old?

Thing is, they are not.  They are part of the work that Paul Billings began long ago.  Paul saw a need and filled it in Muskegon Heights.  A need for some outreach, some communication, news, events and a place for community focus and his two flagship stations came along after the work began.  Paul went from a kid looking in a window of a radio station to a broadcaster making things happen and now, not only does he operate the Muskegon Heights stations, he's in Orlando Florida as well and his work has grown to not only provide for communities here, but all the way to Africa too.  Paul has not gone unnoticed either.  This year, for his tireless efforts, Paul was honored by the City of Muskegon at Citizen of the Year, very much rightfully so.  Paul has done all of this very humbly and doesn't like a big fuss made, but some of the back story has to be told.
Thurgood Marshall Job Fair on Facebook

Back to the job and health fair.  Constantly growing over those 20 years, bigger and better employers have made their way to the fair because they are finding great employees who offer a great work ethic, dependability, honesty and longevity.  As we talked in the interview that's to come, some employers have called the station to expressly say thank you for helping them find employees who have developed careers, not just jobs from their initial meeting at the Thurgood Marshall Job and Health Fair.  Yes, there's a health fair element to this as well.  Blood pressure checks, and other screenings will be available that day too.  Some have probably had their lives saved in the past from having their blood pressure checked and then were sent directly to the hospital due to the elevated levels.

This is a free event and open to anyone.  It will be held at the beautiful Bishop WM Burrell Multi-Plex Center at 412 E. Sherman in the Heights.  It's open from 12n-4p and you are encouraged to come ready to speak directly to those who hire.  Bring resume's.  Bring a positive attitude and bring your confidence for the steps to be taken to launch your future.

I had a chance to catch up with Mickey Wallace from The Beat.  He's got all the info on the job fair, and it's always great to catch up with a young guy who I personally see a great future in when it comes to broadcasting.  Take a listen.

Get there, get the job and get the life you want.  It's a great opportunity put together for everyone in the community and it's being led by a truly community focused media company.  We believe in The Beat and M-106 and Paul and his awesome staff.  If you're looking of know someone who is in need of a job, share this with them and let's show these employers what we're made of once again!  To visit The Beat's website, click on their logo below.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Help Support Ever Woman's Place Saturday With a Billiards Tournament at The Break Room on Sherman in Roosevelt Park

We've long been a partner with Every Woman's Place for the work they do protecting women and children in our community.  Like any shelter for someone who's abused, we'd love to see the need be gone, but unfortunately, the need continues to grow and the urgency for help can come at a seconds notice when a crisis breaks out in a home.  We stand with Every Woman's Place in words and actions every chance we get.  We're not the only ones.

It's a great thing to see when other organizations and companies see the tremendous need for the work that goes on at Every Woman's Place (EWP).  Some are able to just cut the check and let their financial gift be their contribution.  Others, others may donate time, items that can be sold or auctioned off or maybe it's some of the essentials that any shelter needs like personal care items, clothing, food, a toy or two.  Anything that might need to be replaced when someone has to leave a situation in a hurry.
Visit EWP Online

Other places, well, other places get to use what they have...including their imagination to come up with unique and fun ways to help benefit the cause and show their support.  Such is the case with The Break Room on Sherman in Roosevelt Park.  On Saturday May 11th, the doors open at The Break Room for a really fun day of billiards, tournament style for what they are calling "Billiards Against Abuse".  There will be an opportunity for you to take on billiards pro Dennis Hatch "The Hatchett Man". They are going to have some cool raffles, fun prizes and of course....every pool shark in Muskegon should be on hand to try and show off their skills.

The prizes and chance to knock off a top pro are all in good fun, but...the purpose is so much more.  I met up with a brand new face from EWP, her name is Elisa Hopper and she's the Development Director with EWP and we talked a little about the organization and the event coming up Saturday.  Take a listen.

If you consider yourself a local Minnesota Fats or maybe you just want a unique way to help out such an important cause, stop into The Break Room this Saturday and see the goings on.  Learn a little more about Every Woman's Place and maybe drop off a couple of bucks for their work if you don't want to participate in the tournament.  If you do want to play, remember, doors are at 10a and registration begins at 12:30.  Rack 'em up and help put an end to the abuse!  Click on the photo below to visit The Break Room's website.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Britta Talks Fire Safety With Mark Nicolai of the Muskegon Township Fire Department

Recently I had an awesome, eye opening conversation with Mark Nicolai...who is the Fire Inspector with the Muskegon Charter Township Fire Department.  Not only was I amazed and impressed by the huge amount of lifesaving responsibilities the Fire Department oversees for our community...but I was also blown away by all the "seemingly" simple things we all can do at home to protect ourselves in case of a fire....and the things we all can do to prevent fires in the first place.

Inspector Nicolai is responsible for so many important duties.... He is one of the first responders at an actual scene of a fire...goes in and analyzes the original cause...and is an actual expert at how the majority of fires could have been completely prevented or incredibly minimalized. ....saving not only valuable property, but most importantly....lives.   

Inspector Nicolai reached out to us to help spread the word about a very important, lifesaving, educational demonstration that will be coming up on Thursday, May 16 from 11am to 1pm....located at 2497 Chestnut Trail in Muskegon, 49442.  The National Fire Protection Association, along with our Muskegon Area Fire Departments strongly encourage all single and double dwelling households to install the life saving fire suppression system.  The side by side demonstration on May 16th will show the drastic, staggering difference between homes with the suppression system...and the homes without.   Not only protecting the actual property itself...but saving the lives of the people involved.

Inspector Nicolai has faith that our Government will one day soon mandate that all one and two family dwellings have this critically important life saving fire suppression system installed.   But truly encourages everyone to look into this now....educating our community on the importance of a fire suppression system.  Inspector Nicolai says that these life saving systems are surprisingly simple and affordable to install....and would even help lower home insurance cost.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the demonstration on May 16th. ...being conducted by the Muskegon Charter Township Fire Fighters...along with the help of the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center's Building Trades Program.   The actual "burn" will occur at noon....with many experts on hand to answer any and all questions you may have.

For more information contact:
Mark Nicolai, Fire Inspector 
Muskegon Charter Township Fire Department