News Releases

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.

Learn More



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.

Learn More


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.

Grand Haven Night Light: An evening of Luminous Lights, Strolling Carolers, Shopping and More!

Grand Haven, MI – From 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Friday, November 22nd, the Grand Haven Main Street District provided the perfect backdrop of brilliant lights and holiday cheer to kick off the annual holiday shopping season. Lakeshore Middle School Choir strolled throughout downtown, providing fun, festive holiday music and the return of the “Steel Doin’ It” steel drum band performed on Washington by the Fifth Third Bank building. Retail stores throughout the Main Street District hosted open houses with special holiday treats and festive activities for all ages. The Boy Scout Troop 246 sold fresh evergreen wreaths and the Tri-Cities Historical Museum handed out roasted chestnuts, and cider.

“Light Night is a tradition that our merchants and residents alike to come together to welcome the holiday season,” said Sharon Behm, co-owner of Borr’s Shoes and Chair of the Grand Haven Main Street Board. “Besides hot cocoa and Christmas cookies, you can wander through our charming downtown while listening to holiday music and sampling roasted chestnuts. It’s Grand Haven hospitality at its best.”

Limited edition holiday shopping totes and free hot cocoa, compliments of Jumpin’ Java and JW’s Food & Spirits were given to the first 500 shoppers and available at North Second Street and Washington (next to Hostetter’s at 135 Washington).

Light Night is hosted by Grand Haven Main Street. For more information contact Main Street at 616-844-1188 or on the web at

Brianna T. Scott Recognized as the 2019 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award Recipient


2019 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award Recipients, Brianna T. Scott, left, and Abby Selby, right

Spring Lake, Michigan – Brianna T. Scott, Attorney/Member-Owner at Brianna T. Scott & Associates, PLLC, was honored as the 2019 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award Recipient. The announcement was made today at the annual luncheon celebration, held at the Spring Lake Country Club. The ATHENA awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding lakeshore women who have demonstrated excellence in their business or profession, have provided valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in their community, assist women in reaching their full potential and exhibit the spirit of regional collaboration.

Brianna T. Scott, Attorney/Member-Owner at Brianna T. Scott & Associates, PLLC began practicing law in 2000 and was the first African American attorney hired by the Muskegon County Prosecutors office. Five years later, she started her own practice to become the only female minority-owned law firm on the Lakeshore. The time and commitment to her career did not stop her from giving back to the community.  She was the first African American President of the Muskegon Rotary Club and as co-chair of the Rotary Diversity and Inclusion committee, she spearheaded new events to engage the entire community under the theme “Love Lives Here”. Her latest achievement exemplifies her loyalty to Spartans and the safety of women and social justice, as she has won a position on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

The ATHENA on the Lakeshore program also recognizes a Young Professional Recipient each year. Abby Selby, CPA at Selby Tax and Accounting, was honored as the 2019 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Young Professional Award Recipient. An entrepreneur at heart, Abby has a passion for business prosperity and building relationships as a business owner and volunteer for many charitable events.

The recipients are chosen by a selection committee composed of representatives from the participating Chambers and community business leaders. Nine finalists and ten young professional finalists were recognized at the luncheon, which was attended by over 300 regional community and business leaders.

Teen Addiction Recovery Program to Launch in Muskegon County

The program will be the only one of its kind in West Michigan

healthwestMUSKEGON, MI – A new addiction recovery program will help Muskegon County teens battling self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, fighting, and drug use develop skills to overcome these behaviors and live a healthy life.

HealthWest, Muskegon County’s Community Mental Health Services Program, has launched SMART Recovery for Teens, which will help youth 13 and older with addiction recovery. It is the only program of its type in West Michigan and is just the second SMART Recovery for Teens program in the state.

“What you do as a teenager can set the stage for the rest of your life,” said HealthWest Clinical Supervisor Meaghan Dulin, who is helping to spearhead the program. “We are excited to work with the youth of Muskegon County to develop healthy habits that will stick with them and set them up for success.”

Recent state data showed more than 21 percent of Muskegon County high school students surveyed have smoked cigarettes and nearly 40 percent have drunk alcohol. The data also revealed that 8 percent of surveyed high schoolers reported binge drinking in the past 30 days and the surveyed teens were on average only 14 years old when they reported being drunk for the first time.

Nearly 15 percent of surveyed high schoolers reported being offered illegal drugs while on school property in the past year and nearly 29 percent reported trying marijuana.

“It’s clear that Muskegon County teens are using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco,” Dulin said. “We’re here to provide them with a safe, welcoming space where they can come together to work on changing those behaviors that hurt themselves and others.”

SMART Recovery is a self-help program that will help participants get and stay motivated; cope with urges; self-manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; and live a balanced life. It is not a 12-step program.

Meetings are held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Tuesday starting Oct. 22 at the HealthWest Transition Age Services facility, 131 E. Apple Ave., 3rd Floor. There is no cost to attend meetings.

91st Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition

Muskegon, MI –The Muskegon Museum of Art’s 91st Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition (formerly the annual Regional Exhibition) opens at 5:30 pm on Thursday, September 5 and runs through November 13, 2019.

The Michigan Contemporary continues the museum’s well-established legacy of showcasing the work of Michigan artists, from talented beginners to accomplished professionals in the longest running juried show of its kind in Michigan. The exhibition presents a look at the issues, themes, and materials inspiring today’s Michigan artists. The show will include 126 works by 107 artists, chosen by the juror from 734 entries by 406 artists. The artwork is meant to engage, challenge, and inspire conversation.

Education on the Importance of Having a Plan for Advanced Healthcare Boosted by a $25,000 Grant

Muskegon, MI — If you became unable to make decisions about your healthcare, would anyone know your wishes? How will you make sure that healthcare providers know what type of treatment you want – or don’t want?

“After more than 20 years working in health and human service settings, I have witnessed many unfortunate ethical dilemmas that families and health care providers face when they are forced to make decisions for patients who can’t communicate for themselves,” says Luke Reynolds, Executive Director at LifeCircles-PACE.

It’s a common problem with an easy solution. It just takes a little planning, and the staff at Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care can help. The organization has partnered with the Charted Healthcare Planning Coalition (Charted) to ensure, through outreach and education, that adults in the region know how to make a plan for their healthcare needs.

To carry out that work, Harbor Hospice recently received a $25,000 grant from the Health Project Community Benefit Board.

“We are grateful and excited about the grant, which will make it possible for us to continue to educate members of the community on the importance of advance care planning so each individual’s healthcare wishes can be honored,” said Lisa Cummins, president and CEO of Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care. “Planning in advance means family members don’t have to make difficult decisions for someone close to them, without knowing what they want.”

“This grant will allow Charted Healthcare Planning Coalition to equip people with the education and tools necessary to ensure everyone’s wishes are known,” adds Reynolds, who is also co-chair of Charted.

There is no cost to prepare advance directives. Those requesting help can schedule an appointment with Andrea Nofsinger, Charted Coalition Coordinator, at 231-728-3442.

In addition to Harbor Hospice, and Life-Circles-PACE, Charted’s community partners include Affinia Health Network, Hackley Community Care, Mercy Health, Muskegon Community College, Muskegon Community Health Project, North Ottawa Medical Group, and Senior Resources of West Michigan.

State Representative Terry J. Sabo Visits Hackley Community Care

“Community Health Center Funding is Crucial to Providing Care to the Underserved.”

Muskegon, MI – State Representative Terry J. Sabo visited Hackley Community Care on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Rep. Sabo represents Michigan’s 92nd House District which includes the cities of Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, and North Muskegon along with the townships of Muskegon, Laketon, Fruitland and Whitehall.

Hackley Community Care (HCC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides quality health care services to underserved residents of Muskegon County. Congress has introduced several bills to reauthorize funding for America’s Health Centers and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). Continued funding will support increase to access, expanding of services, and improve quality outcomes. The vote for FQHC funding is a key issue in congress this fall. The visit with Rep. Sabo provided insight to the care and services HCC provides to meet the need of the communities he serves.

In 1992, due to an increased rate of pre-term, low birthweight babies, Hackley Community Care (HCC) opened its doors in a renovated, tiny brown house on the Hackley Hospital Campus, and began offering Obstetrical and medical services. Later that year, HCC moved to a building on the corner of Peck and Barney and began the Certified Nurse Midwifery Program that provided prenatal care, delivery and follow-up with pregnant mothers. Soon after, we added home services to pregnant mothers with a licensed social worker, nurse, and a dietician.

Hackley Community Care (HCC) continued to grow from there, and moved to our current location at 2700 Baker Street, and received Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status. From these humble beginnings, Hackley Community Care has continuously expanded to provide an array of services that include dental, behavioral health,  a pharmacy (Community Care Pharmacy), and other supporting programs such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and Komen Breast & Cervical services, to name a few. All of our service are designed to meet the needs of those who are disenfranchised. Today, we have locations at the Mercy Health Partners – Hackley Campus, an Integrated Health Center (IHC) at HealthWest, full adolescent Teen Health Centers at Muskegon High School and Oakridge Public Schools, and school based behavioral health services throughout Muskegon.

To learn more about Hackley Community Care please visit

Community Shores Bank Celebrates 20 Years of Serving the Lakeshore with New Customer-Focused Rewards Checking Program

Muskegon, MI — August 23, 2019 Community Shores Bank has unveiled a new Rewards Checking program, adding to their breadth of products and services available for customers.

The new program offers 3.25% APY for balances of up to $25,000, and .15% APY on balances greater than $25,000. It also provides a refund of up to $10 in US Nationwide ATM surcharges per statement cycle.

“It’s always been important to us to stay on top of and understand the changing needs of this community we all live in and love,” stated Lori Versalle, Senior Vice President and Branch Administrator for Community Shores Bank. She added, “As with everything we do, our new Rewards Checking program was created with our customers in mind.”

To take advantage of the program, the requirements during each statement cycle include signing up for estatements and going paperless, accessing online banking at least once, keeping the account open and making a minimum of 15 debit card transactions.

Said Versalle, “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for our customers to take part in and benefit from the program.”

The release of the new Rewards Checking program coincides with the local bank’s 20 year anniversary, which was celebrated with a community-wide picnic. “We’re excited to not only offer this new program for our customers, but also celebrate our local roots with them – we’re as local as it gets!” exclaimed Versalle.

Not only has Community Shores Bank been here for 20 years, so have many of their staff members whose experience and reputation for exceptional customer service has earned them invaluable trust.

“Our customers are also our neighbors,” stated Versalle. “They depend on us and it’s important to us that we are there for them. That’s a big reason why we’re so invested in the community and all the people and businesses here. We live here too and take pride in helping the community grow.”

Versalle shared that people may not realize banking with them means they are contributing to helping the community thrive as well, stating, “Because we are truly locally-based – not just a local branch – when you bank with us, your money goes back into our own local community, and essentially back to you. Together we are helping the community grow and that’s always been a great source of pride for us.”

You can learn more about Community Shores Bank and their new Rewards Checking program by visiting
Community Shores Bank. Locally Grown. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

About Community Shores Bank
Community Shores Bank is the only independent community bank with headquarters in Muskegon, Michigan. The bank opened for business in January 1999 and serves businesses and consumers in the western Michigan counties of Muskegon and Ottawa from four local branch offices.

Sportsmen for Youth

by John Cramblet, Vice President – Sportsmen for Youth

Sportsmen for Youth – Youth Day is always held on the first Saturday after Labor Day which was September 7, 2019 this year.  Youth Day is held at Muskegon County Fairgrounds, 2261 Heights Ravenna Road, Fruitport, Michigan.   This was our 27th year.  The gates opened at 9am and closed at 3pm.  This is a free family event to introduce our youth to the many activities available to them in the great outdoors, however only youth under 17 years of age can participate in the activities.  Persons over 17 are welcome to sit in on all the seminars.   Each youth participating received a t-shirt and a ticket for lunch, while supplies lasted, and a raffle ticket.

This year we received commitments from the following exhibitors:   the rock climbing wall, the Coast Guard Axillary and a vessel from Coast Guard Station, Muskegon, the Critter Barn, Muskegon Conservation Club, Grand Haven/Grand Rapids Steelheaders with their fishing simulator, Friends of Ottawa County Parks, Jumpn’ Jupiter Skate Center, a wood carver, Coopersville Sportsmen Club, Michigan United Conservation Club, a reptile display and the USS LST393.  There was once again the trout pond put on by Michigan Anglers Assoc. with 1000 trout for the youth to catch.  This year we hosted the Hawg Trough again, however this one was 50 feet in length.  The Hawg Trough is an aquarium mounted on a semi-trailer and was stocked with native fish for viewing.  It is also used as the stage for various expert fishermen to speak from.  There was also mentored shooting of firearms and archery equipment.  Attendees were also able to experience various safety exhibits, demonstrations and tours of fire trucks, EMT vehicles and law enforcement displays.

Family Meals Month in Muskegon

Family Meals Matter! Talk early. Talk Often. TalkSooner.

Muskegon, MI – The Muskegon County TalkSooner team partnered with the Farmers Markets in the Cities of Muskegon, Montague, and Muskegon Heights to promote Family Meals Month and coach parents on talking to their kids about drug and alcohol use. Educators were at the markets on September 17, 18, and 19, and vendors gave away free reusable grocery bags while supplies lasted.

Family Meals Month is recognized each September to promote the many lifelong positive impacts of family meal time. The more families have meals together, the less likely their kids are to drink alcohol, smoke or use marijuana. encourages parents to talk with their children about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. It explains the need to talk early, talk often, and talk sooner about pressures, health effects, expectations, and refusal skills around drugs and alcohol. The website is available in English and Spanish.

Every Woman’s Place

ewpWe are here, and you are not alone.

We’re celebrating 44 years of serving this community, and looking ahead to the future. With your support, we’ve made a difference to over 130,000 individuals in our community who’ve experienced trauma, violence, and abuse.

We’ve accompanied them on their journey of healing, providing ongoing support and advocacy. We’ve been there to help them navigate the emotional, physical, financial, and social impacts of these traumas. They’ve found their healing path. Most of all, they’ve known that they are not alone.

It is a critical time. EWP stands alone today in Muskegon County as the only organization that provides specialized care, shelter, and crisis response following domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

The toxic culture surrounding us today affects women, LGBTQ, people of color, and other vulnerable populations. Our community looks to EWP to be here to walk alongside the men, women, and children who experience abuse, trauma, and violence.

Call our Crisis Line 24/7
(231) 722-3333

Muskegon DAR Membership Drive

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.  Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. With more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.  To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit  The Muskegon Chapter of the DAR  meets once a month.  If you are interested in attending as a guest or applying for DAR membership, please call: Barb at (231)780-4502.

Darley Village – New 55+ Active Community Opens in Muskegon

Immediate Occupancy for Apartments, Taking Reservations for Cottages

(FRUITPORT, MI – August 27, 2019) Darley Village, an active 55+ community, is now open in Fruitport and features spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments (550-962 sq.ft) as well as two-bedroom cottages (1500 sq.ft).

Immediate occupancy and scheduled tours are available for all apartments. Reservations can be made for the cottages, groundbreaking scheduled fall 2019.

Designed and built around the active senior lifestyle, Darley Village offers maintenance-free living with an expansive suite of community activities and amenities. An on-site property manager and concierge team keep all residents informed on community events, dining, wellness, and off-site trips. Darley Village has all-inclusive packages based on flexible rental options. All are customizable with amenities and meal packages.

Darley Village Amenities & Services
Café & Coffee Shop open daily
On-site chef for meal preparation
Community garden
Darley Dining Hall
Group events and local excursions
Fitness center
Group travel planning
Library and game room
Social events
Outdoor patio with fireplace
Laundry services available
Storage units

Located at 2245 Darley Drive (shared entrance with Chestnut Fields), Darley Village is just minutes from the Lakes Mall and is surrounded by a variety of outlet shopping, restaurants, spas and pubs. The neighboring Fruitport Golf Club features a 18-hole course, restaurant and banquet center. Darley is also close to Lake Michigan, Muskegon or Grand Haven downtown areas.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please visit or call 231-799-0077.

Announcing a Partnership with Big Lots Muskegon

ewplogoThanks to Big Lots there is a new way to support Every Woman’s Place. We are excited to announce that from September 13-October 26, we are the Muskegon Big Lots Charitable Partner!

As part of its Grand Opening Celebration, Big Lots will donate $5 for every BIG Rewards redeemed by shoppers at the new Muskegon Big Lots location.

In other words, when you redeem your BIG Rewards, Big Lots will donate $5 to Every Woman’s Place. The program will be active at the store located at: 1650 E. Sherman Blvd., Muskegon, MI 49444.

Van’s Car Wash & Quick Lube Announces Winner of Jeep Giveaway

Muskegon, MI: Van’s Car Wash & Quick Lube has been locally owned and managed, serving the community since it opened its first car wash on Sherman Blvd. in 1969. To celebrate 50 years of serving West Michigan, Van’s gave away a 2-year lease on a Jeep Compass with 100 free car washes, valued at $10,000.

Driving home with the prize is Judy Deur of Fremont. “I was really surprised. I didn’t believe him [Vanderstelt] when he first called because I didn’t enter the contest.” Judy’s husband, Phil Deur, had entered the contest online unbeknownst to Judy. “Phil laughed when I called him, and he said, ‘You won?! You really won?’ It’s not something you really expect to win.” Judy plans to use the Jeep to take several road trips in Michigan.

Van’s teamed up with Preferred Jeep/Chrysler of Muskegon for the contest. Over 2,400 people entered the drawing through Van’s website,, at all seven Van’s locations, as well as Taste of Muskegon and Muskegon’s 150th Celebration.

“I’m grateful for all who entered our contest. It was an incredible experience to call and tell someone that they were taking home a brand new Jeep,” said Jerry Vanderstelt. “It has been a wonderful way to celebrate 50 years of serving West Michigan, and we will continue to celebrate with monthly events through December.”

Hackley Community Care Receives Grant for Breast Cancer Services


Muskegon, MI – Susan G. Komen® Michigan has awarded a $34,998.00 grant to Hackley Community Care (HCC) for breast health awareness, education, services and screenings to over 1,200 uninsured and underinsured women in Muskegon County.

Komen Michigan is one of more than seventy local Affiliates of the world’s largest breast cancer organization, working in communities across the U.S. to meet the most critical needs. To help achieve Komen’s goal to reduce current breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026, Komen Affiliates fund innovative breast health projects that provide vitally needed breast cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services and support, including patient navigation, education, medical supplies and financial assistance.

At Hackley Community Care, the grant from Komen Michigan will support breast health awareness, education, events and services to at least 1,000 women in Phase 1 of a two-part initiative. These services and events will be facilitated by HCC’s Programs Coordinator, Teresa Jones, and will include coordinating referrals with the Kent County Health Department Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Program (BCCCNP). This initiative will specifically target the neighborhoods of African American and Hispanic / Latino female populations. HCC will also partner with local churches to present the Pink in the Pews Programs in order to promote breast health awareness, and education within African American churches. Educational materials will be displayed and delivered within the Hispanic / Latino community throughout the year and include an educational session on breast health awareness and services available.

In Phase 2 of this initiative, HCC has partnered with Mercy Health Partners and Muskegon Radiology PC to provide screenings, diagnostic mammography and MRI services. The Susan G. Komen Michigan grant will pay for screenings, diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI for hundreds of uninsured and underinsured women. Muskegon Surgical Associates is another local partner that will provide mastectomies to uninsured or underinsured patients in need of surgery.

“Hackley Community Care is honored to be a recipient of this Susan G. Komen Michigan grant. These funds will allow us to expand our reach into the communities we serve and provide care and services to an underserved population that often forego these services due to cost, or other barriers to care”, said Linda Juarez, CEO of Hackley Community Care. We look forward to our continued partnership with Susan G. Komen Michigan.

Sarah Hockin, Mission Director at Komen Michigan said, “We are confident that through Hackley Community Care’s Breast Health, Education and Screening initiative, underserved African American and Hispanic / Latino women in our community will have low-cost access to the care they need.”

About Hackley Community Care
Hackley Community Care (HCC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that has been providing quality health care services since 1992. Hackley Community Care has continuously expanded to provide an array of services that include full primary care, dental, behavioral health,  pharmacy (Community Care Pharmacy), home based and school based services, and other supporting programs such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Komen Breast Health, and BCCCNP services, to name a few. All of our services are designed to meet the needs of the underserved in our community. Learn more about HCC at

Jim Edmonson Selected to Lead a New Era of Economic Development as Head of Muskegon Area First

jedmonsonMUSKEGON, MI – The Muskegon Area First Economic Development Corp. – the Muskegon County-wide non-profit economic development agency – is being transformed by community leaders from a government-led organization to one mainly funded and directed by the private sector.

A newly recreated, private-sector-led Muskegon Area First (MAF) board of directors has selected Jim Edmonson as its new president and chief executive officer to launch the new direction of the agency. Edmonson brings 43 years of economic development experience to the new position, including three years as MAF head in 2004-07.

The former Muskegon Area First board of directors hired Edmonson Associates of Baton Rouge, LA to help it in the transition. Edmonson took over the leadership of the agency June 3.

“Every era in a community’s history has different economic development needs,” said new MAF Board Chairman Mike Olthoff, CEO of Nichols – one of the largest independently owned paper, package and sanitary supply distributors in the Great Lakes region headquartered in Norton Shores.

“In 2019, Muskegon County needs to support its current employers with a skilled workforce as it continues to grow the county’s manufacturing base with local company expansions and attraction of new companies to fill needed niches in our economy. The MAF board feels that Jim Edmonson is perfectly suited to launch a new direction for Muskegon Area First and have the agency address the current economic development needs of Muskegon County.”

Edmonson will be spending his initial months with MAF establishing the private-sector led agency, which will still have financial and strategic relationships with local governments in Muskegon County. Early work with the revamped agency will be with ongoing development of revenues, a first-year budget and reorganization of staff.

“Honestly, I did not consult with MAF to become its next president and CEO,” Edmonson said. “But board members were very persuasive and this is an incredible time to be involved in Muskegon County economic development. Look around, Muskegon County is going through an historic community transformation. As a county resident, I am thrilled to be asked to be a part of it.”

Muskegon Area First has been in transition since former President and CEO Ed Garner left the agency for a regional small business development position in October 2017. Leading MAF through its transition has been interim President and CEO Darryl Todd, who will remain with the agency to work on business and talent development.

“We have been fortunate to have Darryl Todd provide steady leadership in countywide economic development these past 20 months and the board thanks him for his dedication to the community,” Olthoff said. “As MAF evolves, we are confident that Darryl’s skills will be used to meet the economic development needs the agency will be addressing.”

The Big Five-Oh!

submitted by Suzanne Prell, Development Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore

Muskegon, MI– Dig out your bell-bottoms for an evening of Peace, Love, and Rock-n-Roll on Sept. 26, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Bella Maria’s Event Center in Norton Shores.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore is celebrating 50 years of providing one-to-one mentoring in our lakeshore communities and is inviting the public to join the festivities. “You are invited to the party,” said Suzanne Prell, Development Director at BBBSL. “1969 was one of the most memorable years in history with the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, Woodstock, and the premiere of TV shows like Scooby-Doo and The Brady Bunch. Let’s enjoy it one more time in honor of supporting our youth and helping them achieve their full potential.”

Tickets and sponsorships are available to purchase at

General admission includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, silent auction, VW Bus photo booth, and live music by the band Sweet Justice.

Since 1969, Big Brothers Big Sisters has provided mentoring to over 12,000 kids in our community. All proceeds from the event stay local and benefit youth mentoring programs at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore, established locally in 1969, serves West Michigan children in Muskegon, Ottawa, Oceana and Mason Counties. Our mission is to “Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest, largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in the United States. Big Brothers Big Sisters has been the leader in one-to-one youth service for more than a century, developing positive relationships that have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of young people. Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors children, ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore, visit

Women’s Retreat Gives Support to Grieving Mothers in West Michigan

Muskegon, MI – There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child.  You are not alone.

The Bob & Merle Scolnik Healing Center of Harbor Hospice is offering Heartstrings, a one-day retreat for women whose child(ren) have died.  Losing a child has been described as an unimagined grief that connects with the deepest emotions of the heart, changing your life forever.

On Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Heartstrings will provide an opportunity for mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other women who have lost a child to connect with each other and learn more about how to manage this unique grief.  Large group and breakout sessions will focus on learning more about the challenges of child loss, how to effectively manage guilt and regret, and ways to maneuver the changes brought about from the death of a child.

Registration is $20 per person and is due with form by Sept. 30.  Each participant is asked to bring a printed photo of their child which will be returned to them at the end of the day.  Lunch and all materials are included.  For more information or to register, go to (search Heartstrings Muskegon) or download the registration form from the Harbor Hospice website (

“The Scolnik Healing Center of Harbor Hospice serves on average over 1,000 children, teens and adults who have experienced many types of losses including deaths due to health issues, violence, suicide, drug or alcohol dependency, accidental and pet-related losses,” says Beth Bolthouse, Grief Counselor at Harbor Hospice.  “It is hoped that this retreat will connect and support women who have experienced the unimaginable loss of a child.”

Frauenthal Center Opens its 2019-20 season with Wynonna & The Big Noise

The Frauenthal Center opens 2019-20 Presenting Season with country icon WYNONNA & THE BIG NOISE

Date:  Saturday, September 7, 2019
Time:  7:30 pm
Place:  Frauenthal Theater
Tickets:  $45-$80

MUSKEGON, MI — The Frauenthal Center in downtown Muskegon will kick off its 2019-20 season on Saturday, Sept. 7 with a country music legend who has dominated the nation’s musical landscape for decades: Wynonna.

Wynonna & The Big Noise will bring their blend of country, Americana, blues, soul, and rock to Muskegon’s iconic and historic musical venue on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7:30pm. Tickets went on sale Friday, July 19 at 11:00am.

A musical powerhouse once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline,” Wynonna has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide during her remarkable 35-year career. The internationally renowned performer who rose to fame as part of the legendary mother/daughter duo “The Judds,” Wynonna has received more than 60 industry awards and has had countless charting singles. Her 20 number one hits include such songs as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” and “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”

Tickets range from $45 to $80 and went on sale to the general public on Friday, July 19 at 11am. Tickets can be purchased at the Frauenthal Box Office (425 W. Western Ave.) by calling (231) 727-8001 or in person Monday through Friday from 11am to 5:30pm. Tickets can also be purchased by calling Star Tickets at 1-800-585-3737 and online at

Congratulations to the Governor’s Service Award Winners from our United Way of the Lakeshore Communities

MUSKEGON, MI – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Community Service Commission has announced the winners of the 2019 Governor’s Service Awards. The winners are individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations that were selected for their commitment to volunteerism, service or philanthropy.

“Our state is lucky to have such outstanding Michiganders who work hard every single day to build a home for opportunity for everyone. Whether it’s uplifting our neighborhoods or bringing communities together when tragedy strikes, they do this work even when nobody’s looking because they know that every contribution makes a huge impact,” Whitmer said. “I’m proud to present the Governor’s Service Awards to this year’s recipients as recognition of their sacrifice and dedication throughout our state.”

We are proud to share that three of the winners are from our West Michigan area:

Senior Volunteer of the Year: Mildred Bond Johnson, 84, has been serving her community of Muskegon Heights and the surrounding area for more than 60 years. She has continuously advocated for the power of education, faith and giving back to those in need. Mildred’s great-grandfather was a freed slave from Tennessee. He believed in helping others and started a church and a schoolhouse. Mildred carried on the legacy to serve those in need. She is admired for her dedication to educating youth and spending more than 30 years teaching in the Muskegon Public Schools. She also served as a long-term advocate for civil rights and equality. Mildred serves as a mentor and director with SNICKERS youth program, which assists youth to gain life skills and success. She has volunteered with many organizations to help support pressing issues of homelessness and food insecurity including Habitat for Humanity, NAACP, and the James Jackson African American museum. Mildred has always possessed characteristics of loyalty, humility, kindness, and a genuine love for people. She is a true inspiration and her passion is contagious.

Senior Volunteer of the Year: Jelanie Bush stands as the epitome of service in the Newaygo County of West Michigan as she has dedicated well over 13,000 volunteer hours for her community. Jelanie has devoted her life to building a brighter future for the world around her by serving a variety of causes, ranging from the environment and food security to low-income children and struggling seniors. She served at TrueNorth Community Services as a board member where she helped lead the organization through a magnitude of programs and staff growth. She has volunteered thousands of hours for events like the Senior Thanksgiving Luncheon, Camp Newaygo’s Building a Healthy Future capital campaign, and the Children’s Christmas Program. In addition to these incredible programs, Jelanie has also spent more than 15 years as a member of the Michigan Botanical Club, where she gives her time to educate the public on conservation of native plants and cooperates in programs concerned with the use and conservation of all-natural resources and scenic features. TrueNorth has honored Jelanie with various volunteer awards, and the community is constantly in awe of her passion for service in Newaygo County and beyond. She is an inspiration to everyone.

Youth Volunteer of the Year: Jocelyn Hines has shown incredible passion for activism and advocacy for women, people of color and prosperity in her community of Muskegon and surrounding area. The 24-year-old Michigan State University alumnus is a natural-born leader who has dedicated her life to organizing strong community neighborhoods and being a bold voice for social justice. She created the Muskegon Young Black Professionals – a group that has become a safe space for young professionals of color to network and develop their skills in a professional workforce. She has spent hundreds of hours serving communities and leading the discussion for change. She’s currently working on making an impact at the local and governmental level by working on campaigns and building relationships between county government members and the community. Her reputation in the community has grown with her work to organize groups and initiate positive change. She has become a role model to young people as she serves as a catalyst for helping peoples’ voices to be heard.

The Governor’s Service Awards winners will be honored during a special ceremony hosted by the Michigan Community Service Commission at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Detroit Opera House. Admission is free, but registration is required. To register, visit

The Tree House Child Care Center Opened its Doors to Children and Families on August 5

Fruitport, MI – A former dance studio has been transformed into the newest Reggio Emilia inspired childcare center along the lakeshore offering year round care, pre-K curriculum, before and after school care and summer programming to children 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.

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 all age groups.  To inquire about enrollment or apply to join the team of Tree House teachers, visit the website at

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

Be a Double Crosser During the 2019 Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

MACKINAW CITY, MI- Last year brought a lot of changes in the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk including the elimination of busing and the ability to start the walk from either St. Ignace or Mackinaw City. One exciting opportunity the walk in the new format introduced was the opportunity to walk the entire length of the bridge, turn around, and walk back (a ten-mile circuit). While this option is certainly not for everyone, organizers recognized it as a unique draw to the event.

In 2018 the Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce hosted the inaugural “Double Crossers Club,” which was an opportunity to celebrate the hardy individuals who walked the entire length of the bridge, and back, collecting a certificate from both sides. The Chamber sold 100 limited edition, commemorative t-shirts. In hopes of attracting the adventurous walkers again this year, the Mackinaw City Chamber of
Commerce will again host the second annual “Double Crossers Club,” by printing the commemorative shirt available for purchase by those that intend to walk the entire distance of the bridge and back and receive a certificate of completion from both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.

There is never a cost to participate in the Bridge Walk, but the official “Double Crossers Club” t-shirt is available to purchase at the Chamber of Commerce in Mackinaw City (707 N. Huron Ave), or online at Proceeds from shirt sales will directly support community programs and events hosted by the Greater Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce.

Double Crossers are encouraged to start the walk promptly at 7a.m. If any participant does not make it all the way across and back to center span by 10 a.m. they will be turned back to the nearest side and will be responsible for their own transportation across the bridge after the event ends. To be a Double Crosser you will need to keep a steady pace and know your ability.

Run / Walk for Life – August 17, 2019

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful summer weather.

I am writing in regards to a prolife event happening here in Muskegon and am hoping you will join and/or donate to the cause. A coworker of my husband’s has organized a Run/Walk for Life Event for Saturday, August 17th at Prince of Peace North Muskegon. All the money raised is being given to Muskegon Pregnancy Services in order for them to purchase a new ultrasound machine.

It’s another wonderful way to show our support for life. – Please feel free to Invite ALL your family and friends 😉

Following are the details of the event from their Facebook page :

ALL proceeds will be donated directly to Muskegon Pregnancy Services for the purchase of a new ultrasound machine.

All runners registered within 2 weeks of the race date will receive a free cotton T-shirt, with the option of upgrading to a wicking shirt.

Packet pickup will be on the day of the race at 8am. This race is professionally CHIP timed with awards presented to the top racers in each age group.

Start Time: 8:30am EDT – End Time: 9:30am EDT

The Knights of Columbus will have breakfast prepared following the race. Breakfast is Free for all registered participants. All others 7$/adult, 5$/child. All profits also being donated to MPS. All are welcome!!

$30.00 + $2.50 Sign Up Fee
12 and under $15.00+$2.50 Sign Up Fee

Registration: Registration ends August 16, 2019 at 9:00pm EDT

For Race signups and donations-

Here is the direct link to their Facebook page as well:

God bless you all and hope to see you on the 17th!
Kristine Babiarz

News Release – Social Security

Social Security Combined Trust Funds Gain One Year Says Board of Trustees
Disability Fund Shows Strong Improvement—Twenty Years

The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds.  The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, one year later than projected last year, with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time.

The OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as last year’s estimate, with 77 percent of benefits payable at that time.  The DI Trust Fund is estimated to become depleted in 2052, extended 20 years from last year’s estimate of 2032, with 91 percent of benefits still payable.

In the 2019 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:
• The asset reserves of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds increased by $3 billion in 2018 to a total of $2.895 trillion.
• The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total annual income, for the first time since 1982, in 2020 and remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period.  As a result, asset reserves are expected to decline during 2020.  Social Security’s cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010.
• The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2035 – gaining one year from last year’s projection.  At that time, there would be sufficient income coming in to pay 80 percent of scheduled benefits.

“The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually and give workers and beneficiaries time to adjust to them,” said Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.  “The large change in the reserve depletion date for the DI Fund is mainly due to continuing favorable trends in the disability program.  Disability applications have been declining since 2010, and the number of disabled-worker beneficiaries receiving payments has been falling since 2014.”

Other highlights of the Trustees Report include:
·  Total income, including interest, to the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to just over $1 trillion in 2018.  ($885 billion from net payroll tax contributions, $35 billion from taxation of benefits, and $83 billion in interest)

·  Total expenditures from the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to $1 trillion in 2018.

·  Social Security paid benefits of nearly $989 billion in calendar year 2018.  There were about 63 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.

·  The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 2.78 percent of taxable payroll – lower than the 2.84 percent projected in last year’s report.

·  During 2018, an estimated 176 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes.

·  The cost of $6.7 billion to administer the Social Security program in 2018 was a very low 0.7 percent of total expenditures.

·  The combined Trust Fund asset reserves earned interest at an effective annual rate of 2.9 percent in 2018.

The Board of Trustees usually comprises six members.  Four serve by virtue of their positions with the federal government: Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury and Managing Trustee; Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security; Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services; and R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor.  The two public trustee positions are currently vacant.

View the 2019 Trustees Report at

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13th Annual Ride to Remember, May 25

A bike ride to support the Leila and Cyrus Poppen Hospice Residence

Looking for a leisurely bike ride and great cause?

Join members of the Fruitport Lions Club and Fruitport Chiropractic Center for their annual 15-mile Ride to Remember around Spring Lake to support the Poppen Hospice Residence on May 25.

The ride is held in conjunction with Fruitport’s Old Fashioned Days, beginning at 11:00 a.m. from Fruitport Edgewood Elementary, 3255 Pontaluna Road. Check-in is at 10:30 a.m.

“My family and I know how important hospice care is because we experienced it with my mom,” says Jim Kauppila, member of the Fruitport Lions Club and chair of the Ride to Remember. “Many of our riders come back year after year, and we’re all grateful to be able to support the Poppen Hospice Residence with this fun event.”

Early online registration is $15 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 16.  Please visit  Registration is open on the day of the event.  Pre-order t-shirts available online or by using forms available at Harbor Hospice, Fruitport Lions Club, Fruitport Chiropractic Center and X-Cell Regenerative Health.

All riders are encouraged to wear safety helmets. Lunch is included for each rider at the conclusion of the event, courtesy of the Fruitport Lions Club Ox Roast.

The Leila & Cyrus Poppen Hospice Residence is part of Harbor Hospice and located in Fruitport Township on nine acres of woods and walking paths. Its 14 private patient rooms have served as a welcoming home with compassionate and skilled care for almost 3,000 terminally ill patients since it opened in 2005.

For event information please call Ammy Seymour, Director of Development, 231.728.3442 or Fruitport Chiropractic Center, 231.865.6545