News Releases

Melissa Horton Promoted to Executive Director of Lakeshore Museum

MUSKEGON, MI – “The Lakeshore Museum Center Board of Directors and staff are excited to announce the hiring of Melissa Horton as Executive Director,” says Rob Johnson, Board President.

Horton will maintain daily operations of the Museum, as well as overseeing its operating budget. Additionally, she will serve as a liaison between the Museum and its staff and the Board of Directors in developing any future goals and initiatives.

Johnson adds, “Melissa’s over 22 years working for the Lakeshore Museum Center, and wide range of experience within the organization during those years, made her an ideal candidate.” Previous to her promotion to Executive Director, Horton has served as the Interim Director, Vice President, Programming and Exhibits Director, and Program Director of Visitor Experiences, and Curator of Education, beginning her career at the Lakeshore Museum Center in 1998.

Horton was heavily involved in the decision making process of Michigan’s Heritage Park, as well as being instrumental in its construction. She worked directly with the architect to design the Visitors Center and Farm House, as well as researched and contracted the building of the Wigwam Village, Settlers Cabin, and Logging Shanty. Additionally, she developed the initiatives that made the visitor experience at Heritage Park a special one.

She is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, American Association of State and Local History, and Michigan Archeological Society. She has also been a long-standing member of the Michigan Museum Association, and has presented at their conferences since 2004.

She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Anthropology.

About Lakeshore Museum Center
Since 1937, the Lakeshore Museum Center has explored, preserved, and interpreted the history of Muskegon County through historic exhibits, education and cultural-based programs, and special events and presentations for all ages. The Center is comprised of multiple sites and buildings including the Hackley & Hume Historic Site, the Fire Barn Museum, the Scolnik House of the Depression Era and the Muskegon Heritage Museum.

Community Events to Help Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Registration is now open for the 2021 Cheers & Chocolate Community Crawl, a month-long give-back event raising funds and awareness for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Muskegon County.

Every Woman’s Place (EWP) will host a special version of its beloved Cheers & Chocolate event, traditionally held in downtown Muskegon at the Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM). In anticipation of a wider reopening of the economy in the spring, the Community Crawl invites businesses to support EWP by committing to giving back a portion of proceeds from featured items during the month of April.

MUSKEGON, MI – Toe up to the Starting Line for the 2021 Cheers & Chocolate Community Crawl! Every Woman’s Place (EWP) and the Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) are again collaborating to create a unique version of the culinary classic that’s been hosted in downtown Muskegon since 2003.

Beginning April 1 and ongoing for the entire month, folks across Muskegon will be visiting local businesses to purchase featured items—from pizza to cannoli, to coney dogs, to pottery! Businesses will give back a portion of proceeds from these items to EWP to support services in the community that respond to and help survivors recover from domestic or sexual violence.

For a continually updated list of participating businesses, visit, or use the shortlink Meijer is helping kick off this month-long community engagement as the Cheers Community Crawl Starting Line Sponsor.

Also part of this year’s event is a Pop-Up Wine Pull on April 17 at Smash Wine Bar in downtown Muskegon, sponsored by Webb Chemical Corporation. Scheduled from 11 am to 2 pm, the pop-up will offer 100 bottles of wine, each valued at least $15. For a donation of $20, attendees and passersby 21 and over (ID required) can pull a bottle to take home. Find more details and a few of the featured bottles on the Pop-Up Wine Pull Facebook event.

In the Cheers Crawl Social Media Challenge, a weekly winner will be drawn at random from all social media posts on Facebook that use the hashtag #cheerscommunitycrawl. Prizes include bottles of wine, floral arrangements, and salon gift certificates. An arrangement donated by Flowers by Ray and Sharon (North Muskegon location) is the featured prize for April 1-9.

EWP, the CIM, and Brena will join forces for a cap-off celebration on April 24—the Cheers Crawl Finish Line—on the Olthoff Stage in downtown Muskegon. The community is invited to eat, drink, and stroll the downtown Muskegon Social District all day. Downtown visitors can end their outing at Olthoff Stage, where Brena, West Michigan’s premier party band, will perform from 5pm to 8pm. Attendees can put on their party shoes and dance to the music in specially-marked dance circles along Third Street, which will be closed between Western Avenue and Clay Street. The dance circles will be spaced for social distancing between groups.

The CIM chefs will have been busy creating specialty chocolates for sale at the Finish Line. Pre-ordering is now open at for these delectable treats, which will include flavors representing the CIM (hazelnut latte with coffee ganache) and EWP (blackberry with dark chocolate and a teal ribbon decoration). Pickup of pre-orders or day-of purchases can be made at the chocolate booth at the Finish Line, made possible by our Chocolate Sponsor, Beth and Jerry Evans.

The Cheers Community Crawl is just one of EWP’s awareness and fundraiser activities that align with national Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

In 2021, EWP is also hosting four Netflix Watch Parties. Using the free platform Scener, EWP staff and viewers will be able to engage in chat conversation throughout the film viewing, and join in a short discussion following the movie. Registration is free at

Denim Day is a national campaign that focuses on raising awareness about sexual violence, supporting survivors and addressing the myths and misconceptions that surround this issue. To participate, donate and wear denim on April 28th to make a statement against sexual violence in all its forms.

The Muskegon Sexual Assault Response Team is collecting NEW bedding throughout the month of April for survivors of sexual assault. Drop-off locations include various police departments, the Prosecutor’s Office and EWP, or donors can order items on AmazonSmile ( and ship directly to EWP.

About Every Woman’s Place

Every Woman’s Place provides residential crisis shelter and non-residential recovery services for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking. We provide a safe haven, complete with advocacy services, support groups, counseling and crisis response. All services are free of charge and are available and welcoming to anyone affected by abuse, assault, and violence.

Muskegon Lakeshore Home, Garden + Boat Show

First Public Event at VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center

Muskegon, MI – The Muskegon Lakeshore Home, Garden + Boat Show will be the first public event held at the new VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center in downtown Muskegon. The VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center offers additional space to showcase local businesses and also add boating and water sports exhibitors to the show.

“It’s a historic moment for our organization to be the first event in Muskegon’s first convention center,” said Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “We are looking forward to this becoming an annual event and a great way to celebrate the opening of seasonal related businesses along the lakeshore.”

The show will take place on Friday, April 16 from 4 – 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 17 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Muskegon Lakeshore Home, Garden + Boat Show will feature over 60 exhibitors including everything from home improvement and landscaping to boat dealers and water sports.

Do-It-Yourself and demonstration seminars will be taught by local businesses on both Friday and Saturday. This year’s seminars include floral arranging by Skeeter Parkhouse of Wasserman’s Flowers and Gifts, cooking demonstrations featuring Kaja Thornton-Hunter of Kaja’s Flavor and Corine Rose from Corine’s Cakes and Catering, a painting class from Create.a.frame ART Studio, tips for selling your home by Dirk Stone of Dirk Stone Real Estate Group, boater safety training by Freedom Boat Club, mold remediation by Complete Restoration & Cleaning Services, and how to make selling your home easy by Sherry Zuidema of Verge Realty.

In addition to exhibitors and seminars, the home show will have free flowers from Wasserman’s Flowers and Gifts (while supplies last), plus a 15% off discount for Walker’s Restaurant with a purchase of a show ticket. Preshow tickets are available online now at for $8. Tickets will also be available day of the show for $10. Kids 12 and under are free!

The Muskegon Lakeshore Home, Garden + Boat Show will be taking all necessary precautions to follow COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines to ensure the safety of exhibitors and attendees.

Muskegon’s YAC Partner with Love N Grace Healing Centers to Help Students Heal Emotionally.


Muskegon, Michigan — Love N Grace Healing Centers has received a $4675 grant from Community Foundation for Muskegon County to support its Empowered Kids – Go Pro and Grow program. The award comes from the Youth Advisory Council Fund at the Community Foundation.

Rev. Debra Yonkers, executive director of Love N Grace Healing Centers, said the funds would be used to build resilience in students suffering from adverse childhood experiences and the extra trauma brought on from the pandemic. While meeting in schools was limited, this grant will allow students to receive tools and care virtually. Our websites, YouTube and via email.

“Now we can reach the students that desperately need care from any school whether they’re at school or at home,” Yonkers said.

About Love N Grace Healing Centers – Empowered Kids program
Love N Grace Healing Centers was started in 2017 by Rev. Debra Yonkers to teach students and adults the skills they need to Live Life Healed. Today, over 80% of students and adults that complete the program report they are Living Life Healed.
48% improvement in areas of depression
76% improvement in areas of education

For more information about Love N Grace Healing Centers and our Empowered Kids program, call 231-260-0193 or visit

About Community Foundation for Muskegon County
The Community Foundation for Muskegon County was created in 1961 by local residents to improve the quality of life in their community. A publicly supported community endowment, the Foundation works with donors, grantees, advisers, and residents to identify and support the issues that shape our area. For more information about the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, call 231.722.4538 or visit

Local Agency Helps Remove Barriers for Home-bound Seniors to Get Vaccine

LifeCircles removes barriers and provides accessible transportation to help frail seniors receive COVID-19 Vaccine.

Holland/Muskegon, MI / Older adults are the most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. This same group of older adults may face barriers in getting the vaccine. Some do not have access to the internet to get on waiting lists, others may not have wheelchair accessible transportation to get to vaccine clinics. For nearly 300 seniors in Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan Counties, these barriers have been removed. LifeCircles PACE, an in-home senior wellness program, has been working hard to make sure the seniors they serve can access the highly sought-after vaccine. LifeCircles nurses, bus drivers, personal aides and more have stepped up to help seniors register for, use accessible transportation, and receive support needed to complete the vaccine series.

Though there has been a lot of effort to make sure seniors living in facilities have access to the vaccine, the picture is more complex for seniors with chronic health issues who live in their own homes. Each county has had a different approach to administering the vaccines. LifeCircles has taken the guess work out of getting the vaccine. It has been especially challenging for working adult children of frail seniors to make sure their parents receive the vaccine. The program works hard to take the pressure off family members who may have needed to take multiple days off of work to coordinate and escort their loved ones to the community vaccine clinics. Physical therapists, social workers and other team members met LifeCircles participants at the clinics to make sure persons living with dementia or mobility challenges had the support needed to navigate the unfamiliar community vaccine clinics.

Katie Mayberry, Director of Interdisciplinary Operations at LifeCircles Holland Location said “The incredible amount of energy and teamwork that has gone into getting our folks set-up with the vaccine highlights the strengths of our program. Everyday nurses, social workers, dieticians, pharmacists and more come together to make sure seniors living in the community do not fall through the cracks. It truly takes a village!” The program has worked closely with other community agencies like Mercy Health, HealthWest, Pioneer Resources, Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan County Health Departments, to ensure those who want the vaccine, receive the vaccine. “Our ties to the community run deep, pulling together and sharing strengths in a time a crisis is what we do in West Michigan” said Luke Reynolds, Executive Director at LifeCircles.

About LifeCircles PACE:
LifeCircles is a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. It provides innovative in home health care to older adults who might otherwise need to move into traditional nursing facilities. A team of highly qualified geriatric professionals delivers a total package of medical and social services to help seniors live in their own homes with dignity and grace. LifeCircles has served over 1000 seniors who live in Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan counties. LifeCircles PACE is a non profit organization that was created through a joint venture between Porter Hills/UMRC, Mercy Health and Senior Resources in 2009. For more information about the program please visit You can also follow us on Facebook.

Muskegon River Watershed Assembly Welcomes New Director

MRWA Executive Director, Marty Holtgren hereby announces an additional Subject Matter Expert to the Board of Directors. According to Holtgren, “This appointment was confirmed at our regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting on Monday March 15, and is in keeping with our desire to attract a broad and inclusive range of interests, talents, and passions to our leadership team in order to best serve all the stakeholder communities throughout the watershed”.

mmanionThe MRWA is pleased to welcome Melanie Manion, the Natural Resources Manager for Ottawa County Parks, where she manages over 7,000 acres of land, including numerous riparian areas. Previously, Ms. Manion worked as the Stewardship Coordinator for the Land Conservancy of West Michigan (LCWM) for 10 years as an environmental educator. At LCWM, she spearheaded the West Michigan Cluster of the Stewardship Network, which evolved to the current West Michigan Conservation Network. She is presently the Learning and Engagement lead for this regional conservation organization.

Earning both a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science, and an M.S. in Conservation Biology at Central Michigan University, Melanie is passionate about protecting and restoring Michigan’s beautiful natural features, and lives in Muskegon County.

Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the Vandyk Mortgage Convention Center

City of Muskegon, County of Muskegon and Parkland Properties of Michigan Present the Grand Opening of the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center

Muskegon, MI – The City of Muskegon, County of Muskegon and Parkland Properties of Michigan present the Grand Opening of the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center, on Monday, April 12th, 2021at 460 W. Western Ave, Muskegon, MI.

The 55,000 sq. ft. facility was constructed on the vacated 4th Street in downtown Muskegon and donated land from Parkland, between the newly renovated, 200-room Delta Hotels by Marriott and the Mercy Health Arena. The VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center offers 37,700 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art, functional meeting, convention and event space, with 16,550 sq. ft. of contiguous meeting space, 3,050 sq. ft. of adjacent meeting space, 8,100 sq. ft. of pre-function space, 10,000 sq. ft. of hotel meeting space, and up to 13 breakout rooms.

“We are excited to open this beautiful expansion onto our existing meeting facilities. We are confident our visitors will fall in love with the timeless design of the convention center, as well as our fully renovated Delta Hotel and our new, elevated dining experience at Walker’s An American Brasserie.” said Jon Rooks, President of Parkland Properties, operators of the new convention center.

Due to center’s unique and innovative design, and its connection to the Delta Hotel, it can host anywhere from 100 to 2,750 attendees, allowing any size group to shine as the main attraction in downtown Muskegon. The Convention Center is also conveniently located across the street from the Shoreline Inn Hotel, offering another 140-rooms to visitors.

All in, the Convention Center, Delta Hotel, and Mercy Health Arena upgrades represent a $35 million investment in the heart of Downtown Muskegon.

The birth of the Convention Center does not come without a huge team effort from Parkland Properties, City Officials, County Officials, State Government and the Design and Construction Development team organized by Construction Simplified as Owner’s Representative. Over the course of 20 months, their combined efforts were able to provide the Muskegon Community with a well-deserved, state of the art Convention Center.

“We are excited to be announcing the completion of this new catalyst project in Muskegon. We expect the Convention Center to continue to build on Muskegon’s existing momentum and make our community even more of a year-round destination for groups, businesses, and travelers,” said Frank Peterson, CEO of the Muskegon Municipal Corporation. “Thank you to Clark Construction (Construction Manager) and Progressive AE (Architect and Engineering) and the countless trade partners that helped bring this center to reality.”

– Frank Peterson, City Manager or City of Muskegon

The Convention Center will surely bring many eager visitors to the city of Muskegon, who will undoubtedly fall in love with the welcoming lakeshore community and its vibrant flare. “We are thrilled to bring state associations, organizations, groups, and events to Muskegon to enjoy this new convention space and experience our very walkable downtown,” said Bob Lukens, Director of Visit Muskegon, the county’s convention and visitors bureau.

Due to current state mandates regarding COVID-19, the Grand Opening of the Convention Center will not be open to the public. However, the community will be able to watch the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony by a RSVP to our Facebook event and tuning into our live stream of the ceremony at 2:30pm on 4/12 []. This event will serve as an exciting kick-off as the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center hosts their first Convention, The Home Garden & Boat Show, on April 16th and 17th.

Muskegon Local Libraries Partner to Eliminate Fines

MUSKEGON, MI, — The Muskegon Area District Library system, Hackley Public Library and White Lake Community Library will eliminate overdue fines for all items effective today. During National Library Week, April 4-10, three local libraries are partnering to provide more essential services to the community.

Especially during the life-altering pandemic crisis, it is important to remove barriers for patrons who cannot afford the fines. By eliminating the fines, inactive library patrons will now be able to return to the library. Fines have been temporarily suspended for patrons since the start of the pandemic in 2020, and now the libraries have agreed to eliminate overdue fines entirely.

Card-holders who couldn’t check out materials due to unpaid late fines will now be able to check out materials. Fees for lost or damaged items will still be imposed.

Libraries around the country have eliminated late fines to provide a more accessible and welcoming experience for more people by removing all barriers. Now, more than ever, the community needs access to viable library services, free Wi-Fi, computers, downloadable digital resources, technology, movies and videos.

Libraries have continued to serve the community throughout this public health crisis with on-line digital resources, virtual programs for all and on-line reference services. In addition, unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi access is available 24/7 outside of all library buildings. The Libraries’ mission is to provide free and equitable access to all and eliminating fines will provide improved access to library and information services.

More information about each library’s service are available on their websites. Please visit,, or for details .

Healing West Michigan Conference – April 29th, 2021


Muskegon, Michigan — First time and possibly the only time you’ll be able to learn from Dr. Neil Anderson, live, in Muskegon. He’ll be here on Thursday, April 29th starting at 9:00 a.m. He is the keynote speaker for this free all day conference designed to teach more people how they can help those emotionally hurting. Reservations are required, see the attached flyer for more information or go to The event will be held at Fellowship Church, 4200 E Apple Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442.

The morning presentation is titled: Resolving personal and spiritual conflicts. This is a real eye opener for people that work directly with people whether it’s medical, in a school, in the workplace or in the church.

• How is God an integral part of the discipleship/counseling process?
• What are the unique roles and responsibilities of the encourager, inquirer, and Holy Spirit?
• How can believers be free from demonic influences?

Dr. Anderson often has been keynote speaker for national conferences with psychologists so the second part of his presentation is titled, Why integration of theology and psychology.

• Why is a biblical worldview essential for the integration of theology and psychology?
• Where do counseling, discipling, deliverance, and inner healing intersect?
• How does the spiritual world interplay with the natural world?

In each session guests will receive take-home tools they can use to help those hurting and be given an opportunity to engage in the work of healing through Love N Grace Healing Centers.

The big secret is there is never a cost to those receiving care, their job is to heal. Donors and grants are what make care for children and adults possible through any of Love N Grace’s programs.

Mark and Christine Fazakerley are sponsoring the lunch. They continue to be a long time sponsor of the non-profit because of the children suffering from adverse childhood experiences. The children have had so many family, loneliness and anxiety issues before the pandemic. Now things are even harder for them to learn and thrive. The Fazakerleys just want the students to have all the tools they can to be successful students and Love N Grace’s Empowered Kids school program is an important part of the students’ success.

About Love N Grace Healing Centers

It’s time to heal. Dr. Anderson’s work was the launching pad for the Love N Grace Healing Centers, a 501C3 non-profit, located right here in Muskegon. Along with program material put together by the founder, Rev. Debra Yonkers, clients report over 80% of the time that after going through the program they can now live life healed. Come learn from Dr. Neil T Anderson how and why this simple addition to a client’s existing care has such a positive impact.

Rev. Debra Yonkers, executive director of Love N Grace Healing Centers, said the increase in emotional and spiritual issues from 2020 and into 2021 have really impacted those we care for.

As you already know people are crying for help and stats show it:
An increase in:

Overdoses and relapse
Students struggling in school
Suicide/Suicidal Ideation
Emergency Room visits for emotional health of children
Unhealthy Coping Choices

So many questions need answers, like:

Where’s God
Why would God…

Love N Grace Healing Centers can help will all of these issues by helping clients identify the root problem and bring truth into it.

About Dr. Neil T. Anderson

Neil was raised on a farm in Minnesota. He served his country for four years in the Navy. He worked for four years as an aerospace engineer before being called full time into the ministry. He has served the Lord as a high school campus pastor, and in the local church as a youth pastor, college pastor, associate pastor, and senior pastor. He taught for ten years at Talbot School of Theology and was the chairman of the Practical Theology Department. He is the Founder and President Emeritus of Freedom In Christ Ministries that has offices and representatives in forty countries, as well as hundreds of staff and ministry associates throughout the United States and Canada. He conducts conferences for Christian leaders around the world in addition to maintaining a heavy writing schedule. Neil stays involved with the academic community by teaching Doctor of Ministry classes. He stay fit by exercising regularly at the YMCA. Since 2014 he took care of his beloved Joanne who passed away October 2, 2018. He wrote about his experience in The Power of Presence.

Website: &

Tulip Time Planning Continues – Additional Events Announced

HOLLAND, MI – Tulip Time Festival announces additional details for the 2021 Festival.

On March 2, 2021, the MDHHS announced an update in the COVID-19 guidelines allowing some additional flexibility for gatherings. As a result, Tulip Time is pleased to announce the addition of several new events.

Dutch Costume Exhibit & Dutch Market
Immerse yourself in the sight and sounds of historic Holland at this new event for 2021! Tulip Time Dutch Dancers wear costumes that represent eight of the twelve provinces in the Netherlands. This exhibit features these intricately designed, beautiful, handmade costumes as well as other Dutch Dance artifacts. Stroll through the History of Tulip Time Posters Exhibit. Since 1982, local artists have shared their artistic interpretation of the festival. The complete collection will be on display for your enjoyment. Browse educational displays presented by local museums, select and order your favorite tulip bulbs, and shop Dutch-inspired goods, as well as Tulip Time merchandise, at the Dutch market. This event will be held Sat., May 1 through Sat., May 8 from 10a-4p, at the Holland Civic Center Place. Timed tickets are required for this event and are available online for advance purchase.

Tulip Time Carnival Midway
Oh, how we’ve missed the excitement of whirling and twirling rides, the bright flashing lights, the music and the smell of festival food filling the air! Tulip Time is excited to announce the return of the Carnival Midway promising fun for all ages throughout the week. While the Midway has been scaled down a bit to allow for adjusted capacity and safe social distancing, all the crowd favorites will still be there! The Carnival Midway will be located in the north lot of the Holland Civic Center Place. For the carnival daily schedule, ticket information and complete details on the measures put in place to ensure a fun, safe return of the Carnival Midway, visit

VIP Walking Tours
Your costumed guide will share Holland’s history, points of interest, and more on this two-mile walking tour. Then, have a seat at one of Holland’s newest eateries to enjoy scrumptious edibles including a charcuterie tray, wine tasting and dessert. Your host for this 1-hour private reception will be our city’s Mayor and local Holland enthusiast, sharing entertaining stories about the festival and our city. Fun and informative for visitors and locals alike. Timed tickets are required for this event. Must be 21+ to participate.

Tulip Time Painting Event
Join us for an evening of fun and friendship as local artist Carolyn Stich guides you through the painting of your own beautiful masterpiece. Two classes are offered – paint a contemporary vase with a modern Delft or vibrant tulip design; or create a spring like painting on canvas of our favorite flower – tulips! No painting experience is necessary.

Yoga in the Tulips
This nature infused yoga session is lighthearted, growth-focused and will leave you totally relaxed. Held outdoors among beautiful tulip plantings, each of the 60-minute sessions incorporate an all-level, gentle yoga flow that is perfect for both beginners and experienced yogis. All sessions will be led by Back to Health Chiropractic. Three sessions are available – Sun., May 2, 10-11a; Mon., May 3, 7-8p; Tues., May 4, 7-8p. Online registration is required.

Pre-festival Tulip Sale
Bring a little Tulip Time magic home with your very own potted tulips. The tulip pot sale is a fundraiser for future Tulip Time programs and events. Tulip pots are on sale now through April 14. Each 10-inch pot contains 10 bulbs that will bloom this year and then can be replanted in your garden for next year! You get a lot of bloom for your buck! Sorry, no color choices or exchanges. All pots must be purchased online in advance for specific curbside pick-up day and time.

Tulip Time Scavenger Hunt
Experience the fun of discovery as you participate in the Tulip Time Scavenger Hunt. Pick up a Scavenger Hunt flyer at the Tulip Time Office, Holland Visitors Bureau, information booths, or download a copy at This is a free event.

Tulip Time 2021 Quilt Raffle
Tickets for the annual Quilt Raffle will soon be available. Starting April 15 through May 9, you can purchase tickets for a chance to win this year’s beautiful handmade quilt “Happy Tulips.” Tickets will be sold at the Tulip Time Office, Holland Visitors Bureau, and Apothecary Gift Shop, where the quilt will also be on display the week of the festival. The drawing will take place on May 10. You need not be present to win.

Virtual Artisan Market
Beginning Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, May 9, enjoy shopping the Virtual Artisan Market online for a variety of handcrafted, original pieces brought to you by juried artisans from around the country! Unique offerings include paintings, art glass, pottery, metal sculpture and much more.

For information, tickets and complete festival details visit or call 800-822-2770.

Muskegon River Watershed Assembly Welcomes New Executive Director


The Board of Directors of the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA) announces the appointment of Mr. Scott Faulkner of Newaygo Michigan as incoming Executive Director to the organization, effective April 1st, 2021. According to Board Chairman Ken Johnson of Muskegon, “Mr. Faulkner was selected from a substantial pool of highly qualified candidates by our Executive Search Committee. Mr. Faulkner received unanimous support from our Board on Monday March 15, 2021.”
pictured, Scott Faulkner

Chairman Johnson added, “The MRWA is enthusiastic to more actively engage a broad range of stakeholders and accomplish important projects that benefit the entire watershed. We believe Scott’s lifelong experience as a business and social entrepreneur, a Senior Manager, and a non-profit supporter, along with his recent government experience makes him a terrific choice for our expanded mission at this time.”

Previous Executive Director Marty Holtgren, PhD, will now hold the positon of MRWA Principal Watershed Scientist, having led the expanded portfolio of MRWA research and field projects in recent years to include reforestation, Lake Sturgeon assessments, and shoreline bank stabilization, as well as furthering a range of educational, scientific, and conservation initiatives. These initiatives, along with a small series of targeted private dam removals, have had substantial positive impact throughout the watershed.

“The MRWA is a high-impact organization with a diverse Board of Directors from across environment, education, science, and business disciplines”, stated incoming Executive Director Scott Faulkner. “In order for the MRWA to thrive in a post-pandemic world and provide for future economic resiliency, we will need to not only embrace and showcase the critical environmental work that is our legacy, but also seek to collaborate with and strengthen communities and businesses throughout the watershed. We will do this together through a portfolio of innovative services and projects, recognizing that a healthy environment strengthens local economies and enhances property values.”

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.

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly is a Michigan 501(c) 3 not-for-profit corporation.

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ Muskegon Co. Casino Project: Approved by Washington and Heading to Lansing

Tribe and community hopeful Governor Whitmer will approve

Washington, D.C. — The United States Bureau of Indian Affairs has issued the Record of Decision and two-part determination for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ Muskegon County casino project. This announcement completes the necessary Federal approvals; the process now moves to the State of Michigan where the Tribe will work with the Governor on negotiating a compact whereby the casino can be built at a former racetrack in Fruitport Township.

“This ruling clears the way for our Tribe to work with the Governor to create 3,000 new jobs and a permanent, year-round entertainment venue in Muskegon County,” said Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli. “We thank the Muskegon Community and other West Michigan communities for their support over the past 12 years and we look forward to putting shovels in the ground.”

Ogema Romanelli, along with community supporters in Muskegon ranging from local business owners, elected officials to education leaders gathered safely, following all COVID-19 protocols, at the site early Saturday morning to send a message to the Governor that the casino is ready to build. “We have been waiting for construction to start on this project for over a decade,” said Bob Syzmoniak, Fruitport Community Schools Superintendent. “A casino would bring jobs, new residents and economic development to Muskegon. The school district is 100% behind the tribe and this project.”

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli, Tribal Council Speaker Ron Pete, Tribal Council Member Sandra Lewis, and community supporters of the project gather to let the Governor know they are ready to break ground in Fruitport Township at the proposed casino site.

“Our goal today was to send a message – loud, clear and hopeful above all else, that we are ready to break ground on this project,” said Ogema Larry Romanelli. “We are optimistic and are counting on the Governor to say yes to the jobs, economic development and increased tribal services our project will bring to the community.”

The Muskegon County Casino Project represents an investment of over $180 million in the community and is slated to bring approximately 3,000 jobs to the region that include 1,500 high paying full-time jobs and 1,500 construction and ancillary jobs. The new casino is expected to attract 1.8 million visitors per year. The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is building this casino with internal financial resources and no taxpayer dollars but is expected to generate economic development of $15 million in tax revenue for the State of Michigan and millions more for local governments.

Supporters of the project can send a letter to the Governor and Legislature, asking them to approve the Muskegon casino project by visiting this website:

The Tribe has extensive historical ties to traditional land in the Muskegon region with Muskegon County being home to the Little River Band’s largest population base. Muskegon County is also one of the Little River Band’s service areas and the Tribe has long maintained governmental offices in Muskegon to serve its large number of local members.

“This shovel ready project will support 1,500 construction jobs that Michigan’s working families desperately need,” said Muskegon County resident Bill Kenney, Business Representative with the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. “The community universally supports this project and the men and women of the building trades can’t wait to get started.”

The Little River Band’s proposed gaming and economic development would include:
Approximately 69,000 square feet of gaming floor space
1,700 slot machines
35 table games
220-room hotel
Event and meeting room space
Dining and entertainment options

As part of the Environmental Impact Study, the BIA reviewed potential environmental impacts of the casino project, including land use, geology and soils, water resources, agricultural resources, biological resources, cultural resources, traffic, air quality, noise, public health/environmental hazards, hazardous material and waste, public services and socio-economics. Visit for more information.

New Food Processing Business Incubator Complete, Ready for Tenants

Muskegon, MI – Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) and the West Michigan Food Processing Association are pleased to announce that construction of a new food processing business incubator is complete and ready for tenants. The 8,000 square foot facility, named “FARM” (Food, Agriculture, Research, Manufacturing Center), is located on the campus of Muskegon Community College and provides flexible manufacturing space for commercial grade fruit and vegetable processing.

FARM was designed specifically for Stage 2 food processing businesses that are ready to scale beyond a home kitchen or shared kitchen incubator, but not ready to operate in their own food production facility. The facility complies with all U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration requirements, and includes features such as refrigeration/freezers, energy efficient waste and water handling, and loading docks. Tenants are expected to furnish their own processing equipment, and to eventually grow and move into their own facility. FARM is also suitable for large food processors that need space for pilot/R&D programs or overflow production, as well as food technology companies interested in testing new processing equipment.

“People may be surprised to learn there are more than 6,000 farmers and 200 food processors in the West Michigan region, and several are top 10 fruit/vegetable producers in the nation,” said Marty Gerencer, Executive Director of the West Michigan Food Processing Association. “Our experience and research have helped us identify the benefits of incorporating the food processing sector into our region’s economic development strategy.” FARM also has the potential to introduce new Industry 4.0 practices and technologies to the area’s food sector, and future educational programs will introduce food processing as a STEM-related, livable wage career to college and high school students. “GMED was happy to help secure funding for FARM, manage construction, oversee start-up and put programming in place,” commented GMED President/CEO Jim Edmonson. “FARM affords us the ability to increase the number of food related businesses and grow our STEM-skilled workforce.” Tenants will also have access to Michigan State University Product Center resources and the expertise of FARM staff.

FARM’s first tenant, fermented tea producer Lively Up Kombucha, will start production at FARM this spring. Kombucha founder Zack Smith said FARM is exactly what his company needs to grow to the next level. “As soon as I walked into FARM, I knew it was our next home. This facility and the support we’ll receive here will allow us to expand beyond our current Michigan distribution network. I don’t know if the next phase in our business would be possible if we had to do it all on our own. Moving into FARM gives us a lot of confidence, not only because of what the building offers in terms of our production capacity, but because of the expertise of the people we’ll be able to interact with on a regular basis.”

In addition, FARM is equipped to accommodate the MSU Mobile Food Processing Lab, which offers hands-on experiences to community college students throughout Michigan. Educational programs for high school and Muskegon Community College students are also in development and are expected to begin this fall.

FARM was made possible by a $2 million State of Michigan/MEDC infrastructure grant. Other partners include the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Muskegon Community College and Michigan State University. Food entrepreneurs interested in learning more about FARM should contact Marty Gerencer at 231-638-2981 or email Detailed information and a virtual tour of FARM is also available at


About Greater Muskegon Economic Development
Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) was founded in 1999 and is the countywide economic development agency dedicated to supporting local business. GMED’s focus is to leverage public and private investment to accelerate business growth and the creation of high-quality employment opportunities in Muskegon County. Appreciating the importance of our local business community, GMED serves as a clearinghouse of information on programs and incentives available to your business. Learn more at

About the West Michigan Food Processing Association
The goal of the West Michigan Food Processing Association (WMFPA) is to connect West Michigan’s existing food processing industry from “farm to table” by taking a holistic approach to link farmers, food processors, state and local government, and economic development officials with the resources, infrastructure, new markets, and educational institutions that are able to train the current and future workforce, leading to sustainable regional job creation, and economic growth. WMFPA supports food processing infrastructure, education and the advancement of sustainable food production practices throughout West Michigan.

BRICKLIVE Supersized! Has Arrived at John Ball Zoo

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – When John Ball Zoo opens for the 2021 season on Saturday, March 27th, it will be home to dozens of new species as it becomes the first location in the United States to host BRICKLIVE Supersized!

Having traveled across the pond from Great Britain, BRICKLIVE Supersized! brings an astonishing larger than life toy brick animal adventure featuring over 30 sculptures created with nearly 2 million toy bricks.

Supersizing nature’s small and mighty is the theme for this amazing exhibition. From the small and stinky honey badger to the small and highly venomous blue-ringed octopus, all creatures have been chosen for their colorful appearance in nature, unusual natural abilities, and because they can be magnified to an eye-popping size.

Additional highlights include a brightly-colored common kingfisher who is small and territorial in real life is magnified over 30 times to a towering 11 feet tall toy brick sculpture. The small and new Bornean neon blue-legged tarantula is a recently discovered species in nature that fits in the palm of a hand, but with BRICKLIVE Supersized! it is magnified 84 times to an astonishing 12 feet tall.

As guests make their way through John Ball Zoo, they will discover more about these often misunderstood creatures, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, insects, mammals, and marine species that are truly small and mighty in nature.

Each sculpture will have educational signage featuring facts about where they live in the world, what they eat, and their real-life size, along with how magnified the sculpture is, how many toy bricks were used, the amount of time and the number of builders it took to create.

BRICKLIVE Supersized! will be on display at John Ball Zoo from when the Zoo opens for the 2021 season on March 27 through September 26 and is included with general admission.

Admission prices for the Zoo’s spring season is $10 for seniors and children (ages 3-12) and $12 per adult. Children aged 2 and under are free. Spring hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

To reserve timed entry tickets and for more information, visit John Ball Zoo’s website at If you have any questions, call (616) 336-4300 or email

John Ball Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded in 1891 and located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Guided by the four core values of Conservation, Education, Community and Celebrate, John Ball Zoo accomplishes the mission to inspire our community to be actively engaged in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment.

Copyright © Brick Live Group Limited. All rights reserved. Brick Live Group Limited is an independent producer of BRICKLIVE and is not associated with The Lego Group. LEGO® is a trademark of Lego Juris A/S.

Healing Center to Offer New COVID Loss Support Group

Scolnik Healing Center to offer new support group for bereaved community members because of pandemic

Grief is a natural and normal response to the loss of someone special in our lives but during a pandemic with traumatic losses, it is even more confusing to understand and navigate the natural healing process.

“As we look back on how COVID-19 has changed our lives for the last year, we feel so much loss,” explains Amy Geldersma, Social Work and Counseling Services Manager. “It’s important for us to set aside time and space specifically for those who have lost loved ones to COVID, to connect and share their stories.”

The coronavirus pandemic has taken over our lives in ways we never imagined, and as a result, we are grieving many losses in our community and in our own lives. We need to be intentional about acknowledging and validating the layers of grief we experience, especially if we are involved in caring for family members, patients or residents during COVID-19.

All loss matters. Grief has no time limit, and many find that reaching out for support and help can increase a sense of well-being and strength. Making that first call, though, to find support is the first step to navigating an individual grief journey.

Grief support is an important part of the services Harbor Hospice offers to its families and our community.  In addition to the new support group, The Bob & Merle Scolnik Healing Center of Harbor Hospice provides a variety of supportive services for those who are grieving after the death of a loved one, a beloved pet, or dealing with other losses associated to caregiving, health issues and other life situations.

If your loved one or friend has died due to COVID-19, please contact us today. We offer a safe, judgment-free place to share stories, find encouragement and support, and learn how to cope with these tragic losses. We are here to help when you need us. The new weekly grief support group begins on Tuesday, March 23.

The COVID Loss Support Group is free to attend. Ages 17 and up welcome. For more information or to register, contact Harbor Hospice at 231.728.3442 or 1.800.497.9559.

Local Farm Markets Open for Season with New Safety Measures

WEST MICHIGAN – As Spring comes into full bloom and starts to hint of Summer, it’s the time of year when Farm Markets are starting to open throughout West Michigan, with fresh, local food offerings.

Read on to learn more about Agritourism destinations in West Michigan, as featured in this year’s Carefree Travel Guide. The travel guide is available to view digitally, or request a free copy by mail at

Visitors are encouraged to confirm with any business they are planning to visit to check if they are currently open for visitors, and any new safety restrictions they may have in place.

Local dairies are a great place to teach kids about where our food comes from. You’ll find Country Dairy in New Era, and MOO-ville Creamery in Nashville, both of which offer tours of their facilities. Learning about their robotic milking machines is a great way to see technology in action, and you’ll even see cows waiting in line for their turn to walk themselves into the completely-automated milking robot at Country Dairy! Make sure you plan time for a stop at the free petting farm when you visit MOO-ville Creamery, where your kids can visit the farm animals and burn some energy on the farm toys in the play area. Trying the homemade ice cream when you visit is a must, but know that both Country Dairy and MOO-ville are great stops for lunch, and you can enjoy an endless glass of fresh milk (white or chocolate) with your meal!

Petting Farms
Visiting a petting farm gives your kids the chance to interact with animals they won’t find at home! The Critter Barn in Zeeland has a wide range of animals, plus special events throughout the year. Admission is by donation, & you’ll get to visit with all of their animals (including the babies in spring!). You can buy hay buckets for 50¢ to feed the sheep, goats, & cows. In New Era, Lewis Farms turned one of their older orchard areas into a barnyard which is now home to a fantastic collection of unusual animals & birds, including an aviary full of colorful and social parakeets. Post Family Farm in Hudsonville is a great destination for school field trips. Students are encouraged to pet the animals, even a pig if the tour guide can catch one! You can feed the goats and sheep while visiting, and pick up a homemade pumpkin donut for yourself.

There’s something about picking your own produce that makes it taste better! Check what’s in season, and head out to a local orchard. The u-pick apple orchard at Gull Meadow Farms in Richland opens in early September each fall and begins with McIntosh and Honey Gold, with other varieties ripening throughout the season. You’ll find 12 different varieties of blueberries growing on 800 acres of blueberry plants at Reenders Blueberry Farms in West Olive. Overhiser Orchards in South Haven offers u-pick options from roughly the first week of July when their sweet cherries ripen. As the season goes on, you’ll also find sour cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pears, and apples for picking.

Farm Markets
Local farm markets bring the best of what’s fresh and seasonal right to you. You’ll also find a great variety of locally-made products, with everything from jams and jellies to baked goods and syrups. Many cities host regular farmers markets, showcasing local farmers, producers, and artisans. The Muskegon Farmers Market, Grand Haven/Spring Lake Farmers Market, Holland Farmers Market, and Allegan Farmer’s Market are all good stops to make when you’re in town. If you’re interested in all things blueberry, you’ll want to stop by Leduc Blueberries in Paw Paw, Bowerman Blueberries Farm Market in Holland, or Crossroads Blueberry Market in Grand Haven. When you heading north, make time to visit Farmer White’s in Williamsburg or Friske’s Farm Market in Ellsworth.

Lakeshore Art Festival Wins Best Art Fairs Award

Muskegon, MI – Lakeshore Art Festival is a winner in the 8th annual “America’s Best Art Fair Awards” competition.  The national survey from Art Fair Calendar recognized Lakeshore Art Festival as one of the finest juried art fairs in the country.

Sponsored by, the #1 website for art fair event listings, the 2019 online survey opened voting beyond the traditional “art fair insiders” such as artists and show staff to focus on voting by art fair patrons, fine art collectors and the public that attends art shows and festivals nationwide.

“The Lakeshore Art Festival has always been popular among art fair lovers in the Muskegon area, but our 8th annual national Best Art Fairs Awards survey proves that both art collectors and artists nationwide love it, too,” said Connie Mettler, Publisher of “We’re happy to give an ‘America’s Best Art Fair Award’ to the Lakeshore Art Festival today.”

“We are so thrilled to be the only Michigan festival to make the top 10 list!” said Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director. “Standing alongside art festival greats from Chicago to Park City. This recognition by our patrons and artists, not only boosts our local pride but it shines a light on the Muskegon Lakeshore area on a national scale.”

Major sponsors for the Lakeshore Art Festival include: DTE Energy Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Leaf Filter, PADNOS and Envigor.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at

Zachor Legal Institute Announces Release of The New Anti-Semites, Report Detailing Anti-Semitism Rampant in BDS Movement

As Marc Greendorfer, President of Zachor Legal Institute, introduces in the foreword of the report:

Anti-Semitic incidents, including those involving violence, are rising in the US and throughout the world. While anti-Semitism is oftentimes considered the oldest hatred in our civilization, a toxic mutation of this ancient evil in the form of anti-Zionism is spreading. Making matters worse, hate groups on the Left and Right are joining forces, with the backing of designated foreign terror organizations, to inject this movement of intolerance and delegitimization into social justice campaigns, schools, government and society as a whole.

We have prepared the report to document how this contemporary hate, as disseminated by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), is negatively influencing large segments of the United States’ population and creating a dangerous environment that normalizes vilification of Jews, something that history has shown to have deadly consequences. The objective of this report is to expose the BDS faux “civil rights” movement for what it is – a delegitimization campaign fueled by Jew-hatred reminiscent of Nazi-era anti-Semitic propaganda, rather than the human rights movement that it purports to be.

The words and deeds of BDS supporters must not be ignored, especially by those of us who are living reminders of the near extermination of the Jewish people. This pattern of demonization, delegitimization and, ultimately, elimination is one that has repeated itself over millennia. We must be educated on how to prevent the horrific history of anti-Semitism from being a prelude to the future.


About Zachor Legal Institute: Zachor Legal Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, uses the law to defend against anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel, with a focus on opposing BDS.

Ron Machol
Zachor Legal Institute
+1 925-328-0128

Free 2020 West Michigan “Carefree Travel Guide” Introduces You to the Best of West Michigan

touristguideWest Michigan – When you’re ready to start dreaming of warmer weather and summer trips, pick up a free copy of the new West Michigan Carefree Travel Guide for inspiration! The brand-new 2020 edition of the guide is now available both digitally and by mail, at no cost.

This free guide is available from the West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA) for viewing online, or travelers may request that a free copy be mailed to them, both at the following web address:

Whether you’re thinking about visiting, you’re spending a few days in the area, or you live in West Michigan, the Carefree Travel Guide is an excellent resource to help you get out and explore the many things that West Michigan has to offer.

“Let us inspire your dining while you’re here, or help you find a B&B or a hotel with an outstanding breakfast offering. If you’re traveling with your pet, we can help you plan a trip they can enjoy right alongside you,” says Dan Sippel, WMTA’s Executive Director. In addition, the guide contains information on area trails, local arts, beaches, lighthouses, and much more.

You’ll also find maps throughout the guide, making it easy to find which breweries, wineries, boating spots, golf courses, and more will be near your destination.

Want to get a real-time look at West Michigan? Check out our gallery of live West Michigan cameras, where you can see what’s happening around the area right now! You’ll find all of the live camera feeds at

Start planning your trip when you request you free copy of the guide, and access on your computer or mobile device to get updates on events happening throughout the year, and to find out what’s going on where you are.

If you are a business who would like to request a large quantity of Carefree Travel Guides for distribution (free of charge), please contact to arrange delivery.

Natural Shoreline Landscape Workshop

The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) and the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership (MLWP) will host a workshop to educate the public, landowners, parks maintenance staff, teachers, students and volunteers on natural shoreline habitat and best management practices.

As part of this effort, a Natural Shoreline Landscape Workshop will be held on March 7, 2020 at Muskegon Community College.  The workshop is open to the public.  It will be of particular interest to public landowners, maintenance staff, private shoreline landowners, hands-on volunteers, business sponsors and educators.  Click here to view a full program and registration form with additional details.

Workshop speakers include: Brian Majka, GEI Consultants; Julia Kirkwood, EGLE Michigan Natural Shorelines Partnership; Melanie Manion, Ottawa County Parks; Janet Vail, GVSU Annis Water Resources Institute; Erica Johnson, MAISD Math Science Center/Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.  A variety of West Michigan conservation organizations and agencies will also be on hand with informational displays and handouts.  The workshop will feature a morning plenary in the Overbrook Theater, followed by lunch and networking in Collegiate Hall.  A registration fee of $10.00 will cover food and refreshments.    Participants are asked to register by February 26, 2020.

To register and to find out more about how you can be involved, please send an e-mail to Kathy Evans, West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, at or call (231) 722-7878 x 17.

DTE Energy Grant Provided 3,400 Holiday Meals for Seniors

MUSKEGON, Mich. – Area adults age 60 and older were invited to a FREE holiday meal on Thursday, December 19th, thanks to a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation. The $23,000 grant was awarded to Senior Resources to support AgeWell Services’ Meals on Wheels and Lunch & Activity Centers programs. The grant helped provide Holiday Meals for seniors in Oceana, Muskegon and Ottawa counties. This was the ninth year that the DTE Energy Foundation granted the funds for the holiday meal.

“Thanks to DTE Energy Foundation’s increased financial and volunteer contributions, we were able to serve 21% more aging adults this year” said Kris Collee, Executive Director for AgeWell Services of West Michigan. “We broke a new record for the total meals served in one day through our central operations. We delivered and served 3,400 meals from Jenison to Pentwater homes and Senior Centers throughout West Michigan.”

Nutritious holiday meals were served to Meals on Wheels clients and to seniors at AgeWell Services’ 13 different Lunch & Activity Centers throughout Oceana, Muskegon and Ottawa counties on Thursday, December 19th. A special thank you to Community Access Line of the Lakeshore 2-1-1 for making it possible to take reservations at these many locations.

The 2019 Holiday Meal Menu was: Cranberry Brie Stuffed Chicken Breast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Escalloped Apples, Prince Charles Vegetables, Caesar Salad, Dinner Roll and Butter with Caramel Drizzled Cheesecake.

DTE Energy employees and some of their family members spent the day volunteering to help prepare and serve the meals. The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy. Through partnerships with human service organizations, the DTE Energy Foundation is focused on making sure that the needs of their neighbors and their communities are met. They promote programs that remove barriers and support innovative approaches to meeting basic human needs, including food, shelter, and health and wellness. Their support increases the choice and supply of safe shelter options and leverages existing programs that offer nutritious food to individuals in need across our state.

Since 1973, AgeWell Services has provided meal programs to address malnutrition and isolation for older adults. The Harbor Steel Meals on Wheels Kitchen at Tanglewood Park prepares and delivers more than 1,600 meals each weekday to seniors in Oceana, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties. For more: www.agewellservices.orgagewell

Local Model Heading to California for Premiere Modeling Event

astoriaFor Astoria Kolenic, being selected following an audition to attend a four-day modeling development event in Los Angeles, CA in February will move her one step closer to her dream of becoming a full-time, professional model.


“My main goal with this event is to jump-start my modeling career,” said Kolenic, a Muskegon, MI-based fashion model with credits that includes a leading role in the 2018 music video Lady Bug, and the October 2017 Cover Model for Modern Model Magazine.  “I just turned 25, and I will not stop until I make modeling more than a hobby – it will be a career.”

After learning about the event, offered by Preview Models, Kolenic said she auditioned and was among a limited number of models selected from Michigan to travel to the event.

“I will be arriving in California February 26th, and attending the event from February 27th through March 1st,” she said, adding that the event features a runway show, a photo session, breakout study sessions, and wraps up with an opportunity for models to meet one-on-one with numerous prominent modeling agencies.

“It’s rare to have a chance to meet with a lot of different agencies all at once,” Kolenic said, adding that while she has covered most of the expected costs to attend the event, she is also reaching out to local sponsors to cover some of the additional expenses. “I do have to pay for my own travel to the event, and I have to pay for my room.”

Modern Model Magazine, which offers sponsorship assistance to help models cover registration fees, travel expenses, and other event fees, was one of the first sponsors to come forward, offering financial assistance.

“It seems that Preview Models is able to provide what they are promising based on past reviews, and beyond that, after working with Astoria, I personally believe that she has what it takes, and just needs to get in front of the right people,” Modern Model Magazine Publisher Brian Thornton explained, encouraging other local sponsors to step forward and support Kolenic as well.


I graduated from Fruitport High School in 2013! I left out with a BANG when I sang the National Anthem for my senior class. This year I was hoping once again Fruitport could support my dreams out of state as well ❤️

Story Of Astoria –

Plane Watch Food Park at The Pointes, Norton Shores

mapThe Plane Watch Food Park at The Pointes, Norton Shores, has received unanimous approval from the City of Norton Shores and will commence construction as soon as weather permits.   The food park at the shopping/office center on Sternberg Road at US-31, will have utility accommodations including electrical, water, and sewer connections for up to 8 food trucks. Picnic tables, portable bathrooms, and a game area are all included in Phase I.  In Phase II, owners plan for permanent restrooms, an outdoor bar, and additional entertainment opportunities.

Food trucks can have access for $30 per day, including utilities with no percentage rent.  Commitments can be as short as a week or as long as the season, although the owners are anticipating a rotating offering of a variety of food and drink options for customers.  With over 52,000 cars per day on US-31 at Sternberg Road and 28,000 cars on Sternberg Rd at the overpass, the Pointes owners are expecting an enthusiastic reception to the new food park.

outline‘There are thousands of employees along Grand Haven Road, and many of them have just a half hour to get lunch.   They don’t have to wait in line at traffic lights at The Pointes.  You can be in and out of the Pointes Center in minutes from the highway without a single traffic light,’ Pointes representative Jeff Zaloga said.

The Pointes has also been working with new tenants at the center including Affordable Appliance Outlet (a scratch & dent appliance wholesaler); Classy Canine Pet Grooming; plus, there is a deposit on a large space for a future restaurant/brewpub.  The food park will accomplish one of the goals of The Pointes owners, which is to bring more life into the shopping/office center for the benefit of all the current tenants.

Vendors interested in participating in the seasonal food park can either call 231-799-4801; email to; or message The Pointes Shopping Center Facebook Page.

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events

There is space in the Sheriff Office’s Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events sessions on the following days. The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) course provides strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event.

Participants must be at least 18 years of age; please bring picture ID such as a driver’s license or state-issued identification.

Sessions are available on:
February 25 | Register
April 21 | Register

Sergeant Ryan DeVries
(616) 738-4038

Saving Community Cats in Michigan with $5,000 Grant

catThrough funding provided by Humane Society of Macomb Foundation, Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA) has received $5,000 to fund one Community Cats TNR Grant. The grant opportunity is open to Michigan animal shelters and rescue organizations to launch a new Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program to save outdoor cats.

“Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is committed to ending outdated and inhumane ‘catch and kill’ policies to control cat populations,” said Deborah Schutt, MPFA founder and chairperson. “Although Michigan shelters achieved an overall save rate 90 percent in 2018, 7092 cats were killed in our shelters.”

Research shows that when free-roaming or feral outdoor cats are sterilized, vaccinated and returned to their neighborhoods with shelter and a food source, they can live nearly as long as indoor cats. Community cats can be beneficial to the neighborhood by keeping other cats away and controlling rodent populations.

The Community Cats TNR Grant cycle runs January 6 through February 14. Grant funds must be used to launch a new program to TNR a minimum of 20 cats before November 30, 2020. All cats must be sterilized, vaccinated for rabies, and ear-tipped prior to being returned to the location from where they were picked up. The grant can also be used to build outdoor cat shelters and create TNR kits, including traps and other supplies. To see a full list of requirements and to apply – click here.

After the Community Cats TNR Grant is awarded, MPFA plans to offer additional grant opportunities to fund existing Community Cats programs. Details will be announced in early spring, just prior to “kitten season”, when unaltered outdoor cats typically have their first litter of the year.

EWP Welcomes New Executive Director

directorkimberly“My goal is to create an environment that not only meets the immediate needs of those in crisis, but to also provide the resources to move forward, heal, and build a thriving life of self-sufficiency that is free from violence.”






Following a national search, Every Woman’s Place, Inc. is pleased to announce that a new Executive Director has assumed that role as of Wednesday, October 30, 2019.

Kimberly Dimmett has worked in several capacities at the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County (RCCGC) in Texas. Previous employment experiences in the non-profit and government sectors have given her preparation needed to lead Every Woman’s Place.

Kim is an avid community volunteer, which was the conduit to her role as both the Director of Development and Capital Campaign Manager at RCCGC.

While with RCCGC, she was responsible for the organization’s annual budget of nearly $2,000,000 and, in time, a $5.6 million capital campaign effort that resulted in the development of a campus devoted to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Over the span of five years at the RCCGC, Kim worked to meet client needs and their attainment of economic self-sufficiency.

Kim brings that strength of vision to Muskegon and EWP.

“My goal is to create an environment that not only meets the immediate needs of those in crisis, but to also provide the resources to move forward, heal, and build a thriving life of self-sufficiency that is free from violence.” She adds, “I’m gratified to have a Board of Directors of Every Woman’s Place that is engaged and vision-driven as a partner in this endeavor. Together, with EWP’s professional and passionate staff, we will be here for survivors in our community.”

Every Woman’s Place, founded in 1975 and currently located at 1221 W. Laketon Avenue in Muskegon, Michgan, provides services to strengthen individuals’ lives by providing shelter, counseling and advocacy for those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking. In her new role, Ms. Dimmett will represent the agency in the community as well as provide leadership to a staff of thirty to ensure the agency’s success.

Since Lori Rasmussen, the agency’s previous Executive Director, left EWP to pursue other employment opportunities, the agency has been ably led by Interim Executive Director, Penny Englerth, who served as Executive Director for many years at the Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons/Michigan State Medical Society, in East Lansing, Michigan.

Kim is relocating from Texas to Michigan, but the weather of the Midwest isn’t a complete shock to her system, having grown up in Wisconsin. Her three dogs, two cats, a parrot and new husband will be joining Kim soon.

See more EWP updates at

Radium Photo is Celebrating 110 Years in Business

Muskegon, MI – Come celebrate with Radium Photo as we open our doors to commemorate 110 years in business in booming Downtown Muskegon. We will host an open house/ribbon cutting ceremony on December 13th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the ribbon cutting taking place promptly at 4:30 p.m. Our celebration will continue Saturday, December 14th with an open house from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Hors d’Oeuvres and refreshments will be available as you revisit Old Downtown Muskegon with pictures and antique cameras on display, and then see how we have adapted over the years staying relevant in the printing and photography industry. Door prizes and giveaways will make this an event you will not want to miss.

Radium Photo is a premier printing lab in West Michigan offering high end photo finishing and an array of specialty wall decor. We specialize in printing for photographers, artists and businesses. “What makes us unique is that as a professional printing lab, we do not limit our printing services to only professional photographers,” Charles Cihak IV, General Manager said. “Everyone is welcome to enjoy the benefits of our archival printing and products that we have to offer.” Radium also takes pictures for many of the schools and sport leagues in the area, as well as local fine art and scout camps.

Radium Photo was established in 1909 by Joseph Cihak. Shortly afterwards in 1915, Charles Cihak took over and then in 1961 he sold the business to his son Charlie Cihak II. Radium Photo is now four generations strong, currently owned by Charles Cihak III (who purchased the business in 1983) and managed by Charles Cihak IV. “We love being in Downtown Muskegon, and I could not imagine us anywhere else,” said Charles Cihak IV.

Stop by and check out our wide array of printing and photography services on December 13th or 14th. Special discounts on custom Christmas Cards and products will be available. You will not be disappointed!

The Salvation Army Needs Volunteer Bell Ringers

Muskegon, Michigan – Give the gift of yourself this holiday season and volunteer to ring bells for The Salvation Army!

The organization’s 2019 Red Kettle Campaign kicks off Friday, November 15, 2019
at more than 28 locations in the community and continues through Christmas Eve, every day except Sundays.

“It’s a fun thing for an individual, family, church, business or service club to do to get in the holiday spirit and make a difference for those in need in our community,” said Majors Mark and Valerie Nance with The Salvation Army.  “We encourage people to sign up early to get their first pick for the day, time and location they would like to bell ring.”

All of the money donated to the red kettles stays in the community to fund Salvation Army programs year-round, including emergency rent and utility assistance, food pantry, youth and senior programs, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas Toy Shop and Turning Point outpatient addiction rehabilitation.

“This year has been particularly tough for many families,” said Majors Mark and Valerie Nance with The Salvation Army. “More people are coming to us for help as they try to make ends meet. We have faith that the community, will come together to meet the needs of those who are struggling.”

If you or your group would like to bell ring for The Salvation Army this holiday season, please contact visit to sign up online or contact Major Mark Nance at office 231-773-3284 or cell 231-740-2173

In addition to bell ringing, the Salvation Army has many other holiday volunteer needs including our Christmas Toy Shop, Food Packing and Sorting and much more. Please contact Major Valerie Nance at office: 231-773-3284

The Tree House Child Care Center is Opening and Accepting Enrollments

Fruitport, MI – From dance to daycare.   A former dance studio has been transformed into the newest Reggio Emilia inspired childcare center along the lakeshore offering year round care, preschool with pre-K curriculum and before and after school care ages 6 weeks to 10 years.    The Tree House Child Care Center, located in the village of Fruitport, opened its doors on Monday, August 5 and has been welcoming new students and families weekly.

The Tree House Child Care Center is open 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and located near the I-96 exits in the village of Fruitport making the center convenient for working families.  The center is the lakeshore’s newest Reggio Emilia inspired child care provider.  Reggio Emilia is a child centered education philosophy that uses child-directed, experiential learning in relationship with teachers and the environment to prepare children as 21st century learners.  At the Tree House, Reggio is symbolized through the intentional layout of the center and its classrooms and the role of teachers as co-learners and collaborators alongside children.

The Tree House features newly constructed classrooms, each with its own bathroom as well as natural lighting and hardwood floors throughout, a teaching kitchen, art studio, multipurpose room and natural fenced outdoor play area.  Children are served whole food, low sugar, primarily vegetarian meals and snacks in a relaxed community like setting.   The Tree House team of teachers and leaders hold degrees and certifications in early childhood and education and work closely with families on supporting each child’s development, progress and overall daily experience.   The center uses an app called Brightwheel® to communicate with families and help parents stay informed of their child’s daily experience.

The center is now enrolling for toddler, preschool and before and after care age groups.  To inquire about enrollment or apply to join the team of Tree House teachers, visit the website at or contact the center at 231.366.6090.

The Tree House Child Care Center is a member of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

Lakeshore Museum Center Switches to New Collections Database, Increases Community Access

MUSKEGON, MI – The Lakeshore Museum Center opens the doors to their collection through the launch of a digital database. The new system allows the museum to not only securely store object records, but also share archival material, photographs, and three-dimensional artifacts with the public.

Made possible by a generous grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Lakeshore Museum Center’s database conversion was a year-long project that moved the Lakeshore Museum Center’s records from PastPerfect into Argus, by Lucidea. Through this project, the Lakeshore Museum Center has been able to increase the community’s access to the Museum through an online portal that allows anyone with an internet connection to access the public records of the Lakeshore Museum Center’s collection.

To access the database, simply go to and click on “Search our Collection Database.” From there you can browse by collection, search for a specific item, or check out the recent acquisitions, no log-in information required.

Pincrest Bar & Lanes Corner Update

“Wow!  We haven’t been here in a while, everything looks great!”  People are giving us a lot of compliments about our new look.  We’ve been thoughtful in creating an inviting atmosphere for folks to relax and spend time with friends by updating our gathering spaces and expanding our drink and menu selections.  Standardization of our business operations as well as team training and development have also been key areas of focus for us over the past few months.  What’s next?  We’ll be finishing up the roof and exterior lighting this fall and working on our new back bar over the winter so that were ready for the return of warmer weather.


Our renovation CREW!

Our leagues are in full swing and we host approximately 150 bowlers each week.  Our HOUSE is special, and we love that we can preserve a little local history and folks are able to enjoy a unique experience.  There is a buzz of excitement on league night, for both the bowlers and those who come to sit at the bar and watch.  This season we have sponsored a couple of tournament teams who plan to compete at various events in the area.  The Women’s State Tournament will be held in Muskegon this winter and our Wednesday night Bowlerettes will be there!  At the West Michigan USBC awards banquet this summer Pincrest was well represented with several of our house rollers bringing home some serious hardware in both team events and individual high scores.  We’re a small HOUSE with a big presence!


Team Event Division 1 Champs: HOUSE -of- PAIN #2, Keith Crowley, Ryan Mouw, Aimee Cohoon, Nick Osinski, Mike Weaver, Jeffery Thomas (not pictured).

Contribution to our community is important to us and we believe that business plays an important role in our local neighborhood. This year our customers have raised over $3K for the Fruitport Regulator Fund, which supports Veterans and local community needs.  This is in addition to the funds generated during our annual Fruitport Regulator motorcycle run held on Memorial Day weekend.  Pincrest business donations this year total over $3K and include local organizations such as Fruitport Public Schools, Fruitport Lions Club, Fruitport Conservation Club, Waves of Hope, Alzheimer’s foundation, WMUSBC, GH Offshore Challenge, and we’re not finished yet!  By keeping our efforts community focused, we are hoping to make an impact to everyone we meet in some way.

People ask, “Are you guys having fun?”  Absolutely!  And we hope our guests are too!  We’re excited to have several music events coming up and winter dart leagues are forming now.  Stop in, call or check out our facebook page for event details.  A special thank you to our friends and family who are helping us to realize the vision for Pincrest – we are grateful for their efforts and support.  This is truly a business built by friends.

As always, hope to see you at the corner!  Aimee & Tom

Watch Muskegon Market Report

from the Watch Muskegon Market Report October Newsletter


athenaThe ATHENA on the Lakeshore Awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding business and community leaders who live, work and play along the Lakeshore.



Brianna T. Scott, Attorney/Member-Owner at Brianna T. Scott & Associates, PLLC was honored as the 2019 ATHENA Award Recipient. Abby Selby, CPA at Selby Tax and Accounting, was honored as the 2019 ATHENA Young Professional Award Recipient.



Nine finalists and ten young professional finalists were honored at the luncheon, which was attended by over 350 regional community and business leaders. Click the button below to learn more about how these exceptional women are impacting the Lakeshore.

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Teyondra Burch, winner of the September 5×5 Night

5×5 Night brought together five local entrepreneurs in Muskegon Heights to share their business ideas and compete for $5,000. The event, presented by Start Garden, is a monthly competition in West Michigan that supports putting ideas into action.

Watch Muskegon was proud to support the Muskegon Heights Unity Mixer that followed this event.

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studentsThe Muskegon Area Promise has changed the lives of 700 students since 2015, helping them to continue their education past high school. This year, 443 promise scholars are attending college in Muskegon, with a projected annual cost savings of $1.75 million for Muskegon Area families. Click the button below to learn more about utilizing this unique program.

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Tulip Time Wins World Tulip Destination Worth Traveling For

HOLLAND, MI.The Tulip Time Festival is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, October 15, members of the World Tulip Summit Society (WTSS) gathered at the Tulip Soiree held in The Hague, The Netherlands, to announce the recipients of the 2019 World Tulip Awards. The “World Tulip Awards” recognize those that excel in the promotion and celebration of the tulip.  In the spirit of highlighting the world’s most dynamic tulip experiences and their contribution to world friendship, WTSS recognized Tulip Time among this year’s recipients.

World Tulip Awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of tulips as part of their destination’s tourism appeal. Tulip Time – Holland, Michigan, USA was recognized in the “World Tulip Destination Worth Traveling For” category. As an invited guest of the WTSS, Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director, accepted the award.

New Coalition of Muskegon County Cultural Leaders Releases Video Highlighting the Impact of Arts & Culture

submitted by Andy Buelow

MUSKEGON COUNTY: A new coalition of area cultural organizations has announced its presence with a flourish by releasing a powerful video highlighting the positive impact of arts and culture on a revitalized Muskegon and the surrounding area.

The six-minute video, produced by gifted videographer Arvin Candelaria, features interviews with community leaders, including Frank Bednarek, Muskegon Museum of Art Chair and Capital Campaign Co-Chair of the Playhouse at White Lake; Tom Harryman, faculty member at Muskegon Community College; Amy Heisser, Director of Shared Services at Arconic; Todd Jacobs, President of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County; Cindy Larsen, President of Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce; Visit Muskegon President Bob Lukens; Marvin Nash, Chairman of the CFFMC Frauenthal Committee; Asaline Scott, CEO of Harbor Development and Consulting; Scott Speck, Music Director of West Michigan Symphony; F. Remington Sprague, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Health, and Joe Zappacosta, Director of Hackley Public Library. The video can be viewed on YouTube at this link:

These leaders speak from their own experience regarding the impact cultural organizations are having on the area’s vibrancy. “Arts and culture help build us as a destination,” said Lukens, citing local organizations’ estimated economic impact of more than $13 million annually. Heisser agreed: “They don’t just serve Muskegon County residents. We attract people from throughout Michigan, and now with the cruise ships, we are open to the world!”

“Look how the Muskegon region has become a thriving hub of arts and culture,” said Speck. “That has done more than just increase the economic prospects and liveliness of the area. It has changed people’s mindsets.”

Evident throughout the video is the way arts, business and government leaders are effectively leveraging techniques of creative placemaking to reinvent the physical and social character of the community. According to the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the United States Conference of Mayors in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, “Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together.”

Local examples are legion. They include the recent renovation of The Playhouse at White Lake as the central anchor of downtown Whitehall. Another case is urban artist Jube Rodriguez’s new Third Street Mural, created in partnership with Muskegon Museum of Art, Community enCompass, civic and business leaders. Currently in the works is a partnership between Muskegon Rotary and the West Michigan Symphony to bring all-weather, permanently-mounted outdoor musical instruments to parks in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights. The first installation took place in August at McLaughlin Neighborhood Park.

Projects like these demonstrate the way arts and culture are the connecting link between urban renewal and community engagement. Creative placemaking means utilizing the arts to help solve community issues while involving the community every step of the way.

It also illustrates the symbiotic relationship between the bourgeoning economic vitality of the region and its investment in a vibrant cultural sector—a sector that spawns projects and spinoff growth that transcend the actual patronage of its anchor venues. The resulting environment attracts more people to the area—including cultural tourists and urban residents. Larsen cites the cultural sector as a key factor in talent recruitment, one of the Chamber’s most important priorities. The process accelerates as increasing economic support enables the sector to further expand its footprint. Ultimately, this creates a cycle that generates its own motive power.

The Muskegon Area Cultural Coalition (MAACC) formed in 2018 in the wake of an influx of new leadership in the area culture sector. Current members include Beth Beaman of The Playhouse at White Lake, Jason Bertoia of Muskegon Civic Theatre, Andy Buelow of West Michigan Symphony, Kirk Hallman of Muskegon Museum of Art, Eric Messing of the Frauenthal Center, Annoesjka Soler of Lakeshore Museum Center, and Joseph Zappacosta of Hackley Public Library. The organizations collectively employ more than 100, attract 100,000 patrons and tourists annually, and provide an economic impact of more than $13 million.

X-Cell Integrative Health

Changing the Face of Healthcare

Fruitport, Michigan – Regenerative Medicine is the next biggest wave in health care that is presenting opportunities to help people regain function and improve the quality of their life without the use of drugs or surgery. It is the science of using living cells such as Stem Cells to stimulate the body’s own Repair Mechanism. Potentially regenerating or facilitating the repair of joints damaged by disease, Injury or aging.

Stem Cells are derived from human umbilical cord tissue of healthy birthed babies and their mothers, which is the safest and least-invasive method of extraction available. These cells are naturally anti- inflammatory, immune regulating and regenerative in nature.

X-Cell Integrative Health is located in an adjoining suite to Fruitport Chiropractic at 3427 Farr Road in Fruitport, Michigan. Dr. Christopher Popp M.D. our Clinic Director and Chenoah Walsh FNP our Nurse Practitioner are excited to be of service by improving function making a difference in the life of others. Michelle Peterson is our Office Manager and the key to making sure the operations run smoothly and the patient has a wonderful experience.

The future of Stem Cell Therapy is here. It offers you a painless option from surgery which is that is a safe and effective. You have a choice. Before, Surgery

231-865-7625 –

Michigan Travel and Tourism Industry Rallies for Pure MI Funding

ticomlogoLANSING, Mich. – The Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan (TICOM) is a statewide tourism organization whose mission is “to strengthen Michigan’s travel and tourism industry as a vital component of economic development and quality of life through governmental advocacy, public relations, collaboration, and other promotional and educational efforts.”

As Pure Michigan has effectively and successfully served as the unified brand for the state of Michigan and chief marketing strategy for its tourism industry, TICOM strongly encourages state legislators and Governor Whitmer to work together to fully restore funding for the Pure Michigan campaign.

TICOM’s President, Julie Pingston states, “Tourism is Michigan’s third largest industry and vital to our state’s continuing growth and economic vitality.” Tourism spending directly supported 227,497 jobs in Michigan in 2018. Michigan welcomed 124.8 million visitors in 2018 and visitor spending rose 3.9 percent to $25.7 billion. This generated $10.8 billion GDP directly supported by tourism, according to Travel Michigan.

The Pure Michigan campaign invites visitors to travel to and through our state to see first-hand the array of exceptional natural, cultural, recreational and heritage assets that that form the basis of Michigan’s tourism industry. The individual members of Michigan’s travel industry continually validate the Pure Michigan Promise embedded in the Pure Michigan campaign; namely, that Michigan is the perfect place to live, work, grow and play.

TICOM has a broad and diverse membership which includes professional organizations representing Michigan’s Campgrounds, RV Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Boating Industries, Festivals and Events, Golf Courses, Hotels-Motels-Resorts, Restaurants and Breweries, Bed & Breakfasts, Convention & Visitors throughout the state, Snow Sports Industries, Tourism Publishing as well as unique, nationally and internationally renowned attractions and cultural locations.

To learn more about the economic impact of tourism to Michigan, visit:

Award-winning Lakeshore Art Festival Announces Call for Artists

MUSKEGON, MI – The award-winning Lakeshore Art Festival is now accepting fine art and craft applications for the 2020 festival taking place Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4, 2020.

Lakeshore Art Festival has a “blind jury process.” Every year, a group of industry professionals, artists and crafters review each entry, not knowing who the applicant is (i.e. blind jury). Jurors rely solely on the images and body of work provided by the applicants and score each applicant based on standards of quality, uniqueness and handcrafted appeal. Applications are ran through the online Zapplications program and can be accessed via

Lakeshore Art Festival continues to rank in the Top 200 Best by the Sunshine Artist Magazine, coming in #21 this year. The Lakeshore Art Festival has also been recognized by the Grand Haven Tribune as People’s Choice Award: #1 Art Festival in West Michigan and as one of the Best Art Fairs in America by

The Lakeshore Art Festival has worked hard to be a socially and environmentally sustainable festival that focuses on the triple bottom line. Accomplishments towards the triple bottom line are tracked and recorded through the Lakeshore Art Festival Corporate Social Responsibility Report. Highlights for this year’s report include:

Muskegon County received $1.59 million dollars of direct economic impact in 2019 and a total $7.2 million dollar of economic impact since 2014.
9,436 pounds of material have been diverted from the landfill and 2,500 single-serve water bottles have been avoided, by adding refillable water stations.
300 local volunteer opportunities have been provided and $22,550 has been awarded to artists and non-profits.

“Our mission is to provide an inclusive, artful event for all to enjoy.  Guests, artists and crafters come from all over the country to enjoy the beauty of our Muskegon Lakeshore area, experience our artful environment and visit our unique businesses. We are thankful for them and for our welcoming community!” said Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director.

Fine artist and crafter exhibitors that would like more information or want to apply for the 2020 Lakeshore Art Festival can visit

Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY Show Opens Exhibitor Registration

The popular Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY show is returning to Fricano’s Event Center March 13 and 14, 2020.  Last year, booth spaces sold quickly, so interested businesses are encouraged to apply early.

The 2020 Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY show will feature over 50 exhibitors including everything from windows, siding, gutters, and painting to home décor, furniture, landscaping and much more! A show favorite, the Do It Yourself seminars will be back again this year. The Do It Yourself seminars will highlight floral design, furniture refurbishing, backsplash tiling, gardening and more!

“Last year, we expanded the footprint of the Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY show,” says Home Show Event Director, Kristin Knop. “With the larger space, we are able to offer a larger variety of exhibitors to all of our attendees. We are looking to put on another great show this year!”

Those interested in applying to exhibit are encouraged to visit Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For sponsorships or additional information about the show, contact Kristin Knop at 231.724.3182 or

New Business Association in Muskegon Heights

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A new business association has formed in the city of Muskegon Heights. The Muskegon Heights Business Association is a group of businesses, large and small, who have joined forces to create a “united voice” for a supportive business climate. Their intention is to build a thriving business community in this important core city.

“Any business owner or key organization decision-maker is welcome to attend our meetings,” says Association chair Jack Russell, President of Rolar Products. The group meets monthly to discuss the needs of businesses.

“Right now, we are focused on promoting the job opportunities located in Muskegon Heights,” says Russell. In October, local manufacturers are working with local school officials to organize facility tours for students of Muskegon and Muskegon Heights Academy Public Schools. This event may be the first of many business tours in the area.

The first project of the association took place last spring, when members helped on a clean-up day for Rowan Park.  The association members are eager to support other clean-up projects in Muskegon Heights and along Sherman Blvd.

The group also plans to work closely with city officials, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber, and Muskegon Area First to advocate for better roads and new development.

There is no cost to join the group because the administration is being managed by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “Our chamber has a number of members in Muskegon Heights, so this was a natural partnership to support businesses in the area,” according to Morgan Carroll, Advocacy and Manufacturing Manager for the Lakeshore Chamber.