Local Groups

Sportsmen for Youth – Youth Day – September 10th

submitted by John Cramblet, Board Member

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Sportsmen for Youth – Youth Day, which is always held on the first Saturday after Labor Day, is September 10, 2022 this year. Youth Day is held at Muskegon County Fairgrounds, 2261 Heights Ravenna Road, Fruitport, Michigan. This will be our 28th year. The gates open at 9am and close at 3pm. This is a free family friendly event to introduce our youth to the many activities available to them in the great outdoors, however only youth under 17 years of age can participate in the activities. Persons over 17 are welcome to sit in on all the seminars. Each youth participating will receive a t-shirt and a ticket for lunch (while supplies last) and a raffle ticket.

This year we have received commitments from approximately 60 exhibitors including the following: a rock climbing wall, the Coast Guard Axillary and a vessel from Coast Guard Station, Muskegon, the Critter Barn, Muskegon Conservation Club, Grand Haven Steelheaders, with their fishing simulator, Friends of Ottawa County Parks, Jumpn’ Jupiter Skate Center, Coopersville Sportsman’s Club, Michigan United Conservation Club, a reptile and a birds of prey display and the West Michigan Walleye Club, to name a few. Once again there will be the trout pond, put on by Michigan Anglers Assoc., with 1000 trout to be caught. The Hawg Trough, a 50 foot long aquarium mounted on a semi-trailer, will be here again this year and will be stocked with native fish for viewing. It is also used as the stage for seminars with Mark Martin and some of his fishing staff. There are also mentored shooting of firearms, however you need to present a Hunter Safety Certificate in order to shoot. Attendees will also be able to experience various safety exhibits, demonstrations and tours of fire trucks, EMT vehicles and law enforcement displays. There will also be a 9/11 tribute at noon. More information on this Youth Day can be found on our website (www.sportsmenforyouth.com) and Facebook page.

Please plan to spend Sportsmen for Youth – Youth Day with us on September 10, 2022. I’m sure you will have a great time.

United Way of the Lakeshore’s Day of Caring is Back with 17 Sites of Service

LAUNCHING OUR 104TH ANNUAL CAMPAIGN OF CARING  — Friday, September 9th 

MUSKEGON, MI – United Way of the Lakeshore is pleased to announce that the 29-year tradition of Day of Caring will serve as the kick-off of our 104th Annual Campaign of Caring.  Each fall we celebrate community by giving back time and treasure to the communities we call home.  As in past years, the Day of Caring brings hundreds of volunteers from throughout our local region to work on service projects to assist local veterans and to build thriving communities.  We will gather in downtown Muskegon at United Way of the Lakeshore, 31 East Clay Avenue on Friday, September 9th, 2022 at 8am for a brief program, registration and pancake breakfast served by the Muskegon Lions Club. 

This year United Way is again honoring our Veterans with over 10 homes on the list for support. School supplies collected from our partner companies and organizations are being sorted and taken to our schools to support the teachers with children’s needs.  In addition, trees will be planted to support the environment by our youth, and two area park projects will be worked on as well.   There are also two projects to support our adult foster care programs.  Volunteers will be paying tribute to the greatest heroes in our community, our veterans, by hosting work projects at area veteran homes.    

Another project called “Veteran’s History Project” will be taking place with the community’s senior volunteers & AmeriCorps Seniors. Volunteers will be recording Veteran Stories via video and helping veterans fill out the paperwork for their stories to be submitted to the Library of Congress. This will be the first of a series of opportunities to interview our veterans. Our next large interviewing day will take place on Veterans Day in November.  

“I believe our time, talent, and treasure are a worthwhile investment for our community.  As a longtime United Way volunteer, I’ve seen the positive changes in the community through the work of United Way working to meet the needs of vulnerable families in our region,” shared Jack Russell, President of Rolar Products and 2022-23 Campaign Chair.  “No matter the crisis, United Way has always remained steadfast to LIVE UNITED and take care of our community.  Please join us.”  We also would like to thank Cannon Muskegon for their gracious support as our lead sponsor and Consumers Energy. Without them, we would not be able to have the materials needed to make this possible.” 

United Way of the Lakeshore is looking for more organizations to get involved in making a difference throughout the year.  If you are interested in volunteering or looking for more information about the different volunteer sites please visit https://www.unitedwaylakeshore.org/day-caring or contact Dominique Bunker at dominique@unitedwaylakeshore.org or call 231-332-4006. 

United Way of the Lakeshore is uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities. Our Bold Goal – 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025. For more information, contact United Way of the Lakeshore at 231-332-4047 or visit www.unitedwaylakeshore.org

Senior Art Fair – Now Accepting Entries

Do you or a loved one have a passion for anything crafty? Consider entering your handmade work into our Senior Art Fair. ALL hand crafted talents are welcome as this is just for fun! 

We are accepting entries up until August 15th, 2022. You may drop your entry off at 1350 W Hackley Ave, Muskegon, at the Village at Park Terrace. 

All art will be on display for the entire week of August 22nd through Aug 26th. There is NO entry FEE.

This event is FREE for all participants. Must be 55 or older to participate.

All display-appropriate homemade crafts are a welcomed entry:

1) Painting
2) Knitting & Crochet
3) Wood Carving
4) Drawing

5) Coloring
6) Sculpting
7) Photography
8) Origami & other hand crafts

Deadline to enter is August 15th!!

Online Auction to Benefit Love N Grace Healing Centers

submitted by Debra Yonkers, Love N Grace Healing Centers

You still have a chance to shop in our new Love N Grace Artisan Center!  Check out these fun experiences and unique items.  Remember a portion of every item sold goes to help people live life healed.

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One of the items for auction, now til June 17th

Click here to go to our auction:
https://bit.ly/3NStpbN

This auction is ending June 17, 2022. 

More new items for the store are coming!

Donate Old Sneakers; Help Prevent Veteran Suicide

Aegin Place of West MI is collecting used sneakers. We are having them recycled to keep non-biodegradables out of our landfills and to help lower the carbon footprint.

We will then take the cash earned from the old shoes and donate 100% to LIGHTHOUSE FOR VETERANS!

Lighthouse for veterans is a local non-profit organizations that raises awareness in West Michigan for Veteran suicide.

Donate old SNEAKERS ✔️
Clean out your clutter ✔️
Help the Planet ✔️
Save a Veteran ✔️

Drop off locations for SNEAKERS :
Holland – Performance Plus Oil, Lakewood
Spring Lake – Orchard Market, Lloyd’s Bayou
Grand Haven – Grand Haven Police Department, Washington
Muskegon – Aegin Place of West MI, W. Western Ave.
North Muskegon – Harding’s, Whitehall Rd.
Fremont – Bill’s Shop N Save, Main St
Newaygo – Remax River Valley, Adams St.

Accepted: Sneakers, athletic shoes, converse style shoes, ALL SIZES!!
NOT Accepted: Boots, dress shoes, sandals, flats

Last Day MARCH 31st
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS!

United Way of the Lakeshore – Beards for Books

Help Support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program During March Is Reading Month!
submitted by United Way of the Lakeshore

Beards For Books

Over a dozen men put their facial hair on the line to continue to put books in the hands of our littlest learners.

Around Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties, men are growing their beards out! For men who are typically clean-shaven, we will start to see stubble grow in the month of March (for some men grayer than they remember). For men who have thick and luxurious beards, we will start to see them say their goodbyes to a warm face. Why are they doing this? To support and raise funds for the 5,000 children enrolled in the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program that live in our community.

These men have pledged to grow Beards for Books for the month of March. Their razors have been thrown out, their goals have been set, and now all they need is you. Consider supporting one of these men in the Beards for Books challenge on their social media pages for March is Reading Month!

Support Today! – Find A Beards for Books Participant

Find Out More About Beards For Books Or Join Our Men Today!

Why Beards For Books Is Important:
Kindergarten is a formative learning year. It’s when children learn the skills that will help them adapt and succeed in later years of school. If more kids had the skills and abilities they need to be successful in school when they started kindergarten, they would have a greater opportunity to achieve success in high school and beyond.

65.8% of Muskegon County, 64.8% of Newaygo County, and 78.4% of Oceana County 3rd Graders are NOT reading at grade level according to the MSTEP. (View Data Here) From kindergarten to grade 3, children learn how to read. From grade 3 through the rest of an individual’s life, they read to learn. If students are not proficient in reading by 3rd grade, then they will continue to struggle in school and comprehension, falling farther behind. Currently, there is a 30 Million word gap between children who are read to versus those who are not. The Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Muskegon, Oceana, and Newaygo counties helps our children prepare for kindergarten by delivering books right to their door.

Read the 2021 Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Annual Report!

Thank you! Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library sponsors:
NICHOLS; CANNON MUSKEGON; COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR MUSKEGON COUNTY; COMMUNITY FOUNDATION – OCEANA COUNTY; COUNTRY DAIRY; THE GERBER FOUNDATION; GREAT START COLLABORATIVE – MUSKEGON COUNTY; MAISD; READ EARLY. READ OFTEN.; PNC; THE LOTHMANN FAMILY FUND, THE CANNON FAMILY FUND

Maple River Restoration Project Public Meeting – 03/04/22

Muskegon River Watershed Assembly Envisions Maple River Restoration Project

During the lumbering era in the 1800s, a natural 4.5 mile channel that was part of the Muskegon River was blocked off, to increase water elevation for large log flows. While that may have benefitted industry in the past, it has created a persistent challenge for residents and farmers presently living in two Michigan Townships.

MRWA has a 25-year history of watershed restoration success, and enjoys a unique position to provide the watershed science resources, project and agency coordination and oversight, local engagement, and administrative capacity for complex projects like the Maple River Restoration Project.

CEDAR CREEK AND BRIDGETON TWPs., Michigan — Located in the lower third of the Muskegon River watershed, the Maple River was once a bountiful anabranch of the Muskegon River that completed the water border around what was then a distinct island- Maple Island. Since its closure in the late-1800s, these man-made hydraulic barriers have periodically contributed to increased flooding in the area – particularly in 1986, 2011 and 2014. This included farmland and roads being completely submerged in water. As a result, this delayed the start of the growing season, reduced crops, and damaged and eroded property for those affected by these disasters.

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA), partnered with the University of Michigan to research the impacts the Maple River has on the area. The study, which began in 2012, concluded that restoration of Maple River would increase the capacity for mediating high water events and likely reduce the frequency of flooding from the Muskegon River. In addition to greatly benefiting area residents, the study found it will also help build a resilient ecosystem for wildlife and expand outdoor recreation.

“A reborn Maple River would have immediate benefit to people, fish, wildlife and plants. Where there is now stagnant water, a free-flowing river would once again provide flood conveyance, quality brook trout habitat, nursery areas for many other fish species, and conditions where wild rice and other valuable plants could thrive,” explained Dr. Marty Holtgren, MRWA’s principal watershed scientist. “The decrease in high water events would make agricultural conditions much better for the longtime farming families in the area.”

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA) has also been coordinating research with the MSU Center for Economic Analysis, and Maple River residents and farmers to assess their historical losses and present needs. Earlier this year, MRWA distributed a stakeholder questionnaire to gather valuable information from those who had experienced the worst of the flooding. Unsurprisingly, the returned questionnaires greatly supported the need for the restoration of Maple River.

“Meeting face to face with stakeholders, including new landowners and fifth generation farmers, was incredibly valuable in increasing MRWA’s understanding for those living and making their living in the proposed project area.” stated Scott Faulkner, executive director of the MRWA. “Their economic need, and enthusiastic response for a full restoration has helped MRWA attract important strategic partners including the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI), US Army Corps of Engineers, Michigan State University Center for Economic Analysis, and Fremont Area Community Foundation. This project, even in these very early phases, is moving forward quickly because it appeals to the people it affects, creates tangible environmental restoration, has a positive economic impact, and creates a blessing for future generations.”

Funding for the Maple River Restoration Project is through the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund and Fremont Area Community Foundation. MRWA is also in discussion with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) about strategic planning support and potential funding.

Maple River Restoration Project Public Meeting
To ensure that property and economic stakeholders in Cedar Creek and Bridgeton Township area are able to voice both their support and concerns, and to be brought up to date about the project, MRWA will be hosting a public meeting on Friday, March 4 at 10 AM – 12 PM at Cedar Creek Township Hall, 6556 Sweeter Rd, Twin Lake, MI 49457.

MRWA’s executive director, Scott Faulkner and principal watershed scientist, Dr. Marty Holtgren will be at the event to discuss more about the Maple River Restoration Project and take part in a Q & A.

“MRWA likes to operate out in the open, and we are actively seeking stakeholders to engage with us, and with one another, publicly,” Faulkner expressed. “Attendees can expect clear updates on multiple aspects of the project, relevant scientific commentary, and lively conversation.”

For more information about MRWA’s Maple River Restoration Project, go to:
https://mrwa.org/mrwa_projects/maple-river-restoration-project/

About the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly
The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly is dedicated to the preservation, protection, restoration, and sustainable use of the Muskegon River, the land it drains, and the life it supports, through educational, scientific and conservation initiatives.

Stories from the Violins of Hope – January 27th, 2022

submitted by Chris Anderson – Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies – Muskegon

chgsimage

How to make your reservation and participate:

1.     WATCH the 2-minute trailer at https://youtu.be/N4FBVBL0ck4
2.     As soon as possible, click on this Eventbrite link to make your reservation to:
a)    receive the Vimeo link along with a password to watch the 56-minute film film won either January 26th or 27th, and,
b)    receive a ZOOM link for the Q & A session with the director, the writer, and one of the actors. This zoom will take place from 7:45-8:30 pm on January 27th.

Mother’s Day Community Play Auditions – January 10th, 2022

Calling Cast & Crew!

auditions

To DONATE towards this project, CLICK HERE!
(select Mother’s Day Event)

An INVITATION: be part of the community COLLABORATION!

“The Corner” Building – 280 W Muskegon Ave.
A HUB for Community Events

thecorner

A UNIQUE beautiful building downtown on the corner of Third Street and Muskegon Ave. will soon become a HUB for community events, meeting space, worship events, and other community gathering possibilities!

A COLLABORATION of churches and businesses with various backgrounds and religious views are meeting regularly to share ideas on how to renovate it into something that can draw and house many types of events for the benefit of our community.

BIG EVENT- The first big event: A Mother’s Day celebration production PLAY called “Someone, Please Love Me” (a story of an unplanned crisis pregnancy, of God’s love, and of the courage and selflessness of adoption). This community production will be presented on May 5th, 6th, and two showings on 7th. Tickets will be available soon. All proceeds to benefit the Muskegon Pregnancy Services!

AUDITIONS – are this coming Monday, January 10th at “The Corner” at 7pm. There are cast parts for all age groups. (A boy between ages 7-9, a girl between ages 13-17, an older boy between ages 17-19. Others cast members are adults). If you want to be part of the “stage crew” also come to the audition to get signed up! Come share your talents!

IN PREPARATION – “The Corner ” building needs some loving attention & care. We are looking for building and stage renovation help, set design, painters, lighting, curtains, etc.

MARKETING – We are asking each church to support by posting marketing information about the play and help pre-sell tickets to their congregations. We also would like to share and invite the community who may not be attending a church currently. Would someone help pay for a billboard, yard signs, or advertisement?

SPONSORS – Businesses / Churches / Individuals – If you want to help support this community project financially and have your organization / name advertised, we will have various ways for you to do that! We will have paid advertisement space on the program, and sponsors listed on a poster board at the event, social media, and other visibility. Contact us!

CONTACT – Pastor Jerry DePoy 231-719-7709 or Executive Director, Deb Null, of Muskegon Pregnancy Services at 231-206-2471 if you want to be part of this awesome community collaboration in any way!

MPS Website

Muskegon Pregnancy Services is Launching a Legacy of Life for 2022

Thank you for a successful 2021!

newsletter
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Launch a Legacy of Life and become a partner to help MORE women men, youth, and save more babies! Donate today to MPS 501c3 for a tax deductible for 2021!

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Donate NOW for the” BlastOff” donation or you can Pledge to give for the next three years!  Select “Capital Campaign”

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Donate Now

Visit us on Facebook, or on our website.

Celebrating New Leadership At United Way of the Lakeshore

Changing of the Guard! United Way of the Lakeshore Welcomes New Board Members!

To be considered for United Way of the Lakeshore board membership, all members should possess wisdom and a commitment to the United Way mission. Directors must exhibit a commitment of both time and active attention to fulfill their obligations. Generally, this means that directors should ensure that they have the time to prepare for meetings; attend board and committee meetings, consult with management as needed; and be engaged in critical decision-making and resource development for the organization. We also expect our directors to stay informed about issues that are relevant to our mission. We are excited to welcome our 8 new board members!

  • Shawn Buckner, Meijer
  • Tamica Fox, ADAC Automotive
  • Jim Steffel, Warner, Norcross & Judd
  • Mike Reynolds, CWC Textron
  • Stacey Gomez, CALL 211
  • Tom Schultz, Tyler Sales
  • Lori Little, Gerber Federal Credit Union
  • Chris Wren, Newaygo County
newmembers

To Our Retiring Board Members, Thank You!

To our 9 retiring board members, we thank you for your guidance and wisdom during your time on the board. Your time, talent, and treasure are a key part of how we continue to support needed programs and partnerships that help our community thrive. Because of you, we were able to Respond, Reimagine, Recover and Rebuild, and we continue to do so.

  • Sherri Anderson-Patterson, 2 years, past Newaygo County Committee Chair
  • Mary Boyd, 8 years, past Lakeshore Board Chair and Muskegon Campaign Chair
  • Laura Carpenter, 6 years, RSVP Advisory Committee Chair and past Muskegon Campaign Chair
  • Dakota Crow, 2 years, Agency Director’s Chair
  • Ed Garner, 6 years, Muskegon Campaign Cabinet
  • Fred Johnson, 6 years, Advisor on community needs
  • Tyshon Massey, 6 years, former Muskegon Campaign Loaned Executive & Labor Participation
  • Josh Reece, 6 years, past chair Young Leaders Circle
  • Robert Ross, 5 years, past Newaygo Committee and Campaign Chair
retiring

Tyler Sales Vice President and General Manager, Tom Schultz, Will Lead Our Campaign Cabinet As Our 2021 Campaign Chair!

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Please join us in welcoming Tom to lead the Community Campaign this year. Many of you know Tom and the Tyler Sales Team for their years of investments in building our community since 1934. Both Stan and Jim Tyler previously served in leadership roles for United Way of the Lakeshore. Tom is the past Chair of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and formerly served on the 2004 and 2020 Campaign Cabinet.

Reach out to Kara Zielinski by phone at 231-332-4003 or email at kara@unitedwaylakeshore.org if you can help Tom lead a successful campaign this year.

United Way of the Lakeshore Summer Stock Up Kicks Off on June 1st


Every year, food pantries across the lakeshore are fully stocked in the winter months thanks to generous holiday donations—but when summer comes, donations drop dramatically and pantry shelves become sparse. This can leave low-income, hard-working families with limited options during this time of year. United Way of the Lakeshore asks local businesses and community members to participate in our “Summer Stock Up” event to stock local food pantries with items to get them through the warmer months. We are making it safer and easier than ever—we’ll do the shopping for you! Just pick how much you want to spend, and we’ll make sure each pantry gets exactly what they need.

Join United Way in bringing some cheer to local pantries again this June!

United Way & GE Aviation Clean Veteran Headstones In Honor of Memorial Day

submitted by United Way of the Lakeshore

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Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We spend time remembering those who lost their lives and could not come home, reflecting on their service and why we have the luxury and freedom that we enjoy today.

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On Friday, May 21st the GE Aviation team joined United Way in a Cemetery Cleanup at the Oakwood Cemetery in the City of Muskegon. A team of 12 volunteers washed fallen veteran headstones. Veteran headstones from as early as the Civil War were honored and cleaned. This is United Way’s 2nd time hosting an event like this one. We would like to offer this project as a regular corporate engagement volunteer activity for those that would like to be involved. A huge thank you to the GE Aviation Team for their hard work and care for our veterans!

Become a Box Host for a Baby Product Drive — April 7th – May 6th

Help Our Littlest Community Members Stay Dry & Safe!

We need your help to Fill the Truck for our Baby Product Drive! We are in need of community drop-off location sites for the upcoming drive that will be running from April 7th through May 6th.

The “Fill the Truck Drive” collects items on a quarterly basis and then distributes them to those in need within our community. For the spring we are collecting diapers, wipes, and other baby products for our littlest community members. Diapers can be expensive and are a must for all families with little ones. If your workplace, agency, church, or club would like to be a donation box host, please fill out our online form by clicking the link below.

On the last drive, we helped over 200 babies directly because of this drive. We need your help to make this drive a success! Please consider hosting a box. Thank you!

Click Here To Be A Box Host!

More Information About Drive:

Where Do The Drive Donations Go?
Muskegon: All Muskegon donations will be collected, and we will host a Community Baby Shower where families can receive diapers and other donations on-site as well as find information about other baby services offered in the community. More information on this shower will be released in April.
Newaygo & Oceana: Newaygo & Oceana County donations will go to local pantries in their community.

Who Can Become A Box Host? How does it work?
Are you a business, workplace, agency, church, school, or club? Then you can be a box host – we make it easy! We provide boxes and marketing materials you can set up in your space. We also send out reminders, statistics, and fun ideas you can do to increase engagement! At the end of the drive, we pick the box up for you and make sure it goes to where it needs to be sorted.

Baby Drive Contact Information:

Muskegon Office
Dominique Bunker, dominique@unitedwaylakeshore.org (231) 332-4006

Oceana Office:
Barbara Sims, barbara@unitedwaylakeshore.org (231) 332-4005

Newaygo Office:
Mayor Jim Rynberg, mayor@cityoffremont.net

Thanks from the Mission for Area People

Thank You!!
Thanks to all who support Mission for Area People in many different ways!

Special Thanks to Senator Hansen for his annual pig donation for our food pantry. For the past few years Senator Hansen has been helping the MAP food pantry by purchasing a pig and having it packaged for our pantry. Thank you Senator Geoff Hansen for thinking of Mission for Area People as we continued to provide for community neighbors in need.

Thank you to the Sister Simone Courtade Fund for the generous gift for our Medical Support as well as our Healthy Choice Food Pantry. The support from these gifts will help provide necessary emergency medical needs as well as healthy food choices for our pantry.

Thank you United Way of the Lakeshore Day of Caring for orchestrating hundreds of volunteers from all over who give their time and talents to 10 local non‐profits in our community, Mission for Area People being one of them. Thank you team leader Corey Watson for all your hard work.

Thank you Chris from CC Carpet for donating the carpet for our lobby and stairway.

Thank you Roy from Port City for donating 5 gallons of paint for our lobby.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made the Day of Caring a special event. Your support of Mission for Area People is very much appreciated.


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