News Releases

Muskegon Y’s Club – 55th Annual White Elephant Sale

MUSKEGON Y’S CLUB – 55th ANNUAL WHITE ELEPHANT SALE will take place on May 18 & 19, 2018, at the Folkert Community Hub, 640 Seminole, Muskegon, our 5th year in the same location.

This event raises money for the YMCA Camp Pendalouan Scholarship Fund. We will begin accepting drop-offs to the sale site, and start pick-ups for direct delivery to the sale site, the week of April 23, 2018. We view our sale as “industrial strength” as we accept most anything, if resalable, except clothing.

For those with donations that “cannot wait” we now have year round pick-up capability, with contractual arrangements with a local auction site, and the proceeds still earmarked for the Camp Pendalouan  Scholarship Fund. Please call 231-727-9900, and leave a message. THANK YOU – for your continued support.

Shoreline Vision Joins Great Lakes Management Services Organization

MUSKEGON, Mich., January 9, 2018 – Shoreline Vision, an eye care group practice with deep community roots in the West Michigan Lakeshore Region, has partnered with Great Lakes Management Services Organization (MSO). Shoreline Vision began in 1996 when five ophthalmologists decided to form an alliance to provide residents in their communities the best possible vision care available; since then, the group has grown to more than 150 staff at seven locations.

“Every decision Shoreline Vision makes is dependent on improving our patients’ care, whether it is investing in the latest technology, adding sub-specialty physicians, or improving our facilities. Our latest decision to partner with Great Lakes MSO and the vast resources they can provide is consistent with that theme,” said Dr. John N. Oltean, a founding member of Shoreline Vision and board-certified ophthalmologist. “We are extremely excited to be a part of the organization that has included Grand Rapids Ophthalmology in its portfolio of premier ophthalmology practices in the country. We are certain this will benefit our patients, employees, and community for years to come.”

New & Improved Flight Schedule on United Airlines

United Airlines is introducing a new and improved flight schedule for Muskegon County Airport beginning February 17. Changes are:

• Earlier 10:16 a.m. morning departure.
• Earlier 5:29 p.m. departure.
• 14 weekly roundtrip flights.
• 400 additional seats per month available with a second Saturday flight scheduled.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our air service and we’re excited about the new schedule for Muskegon,” said Jeffrey Tripp, Airport Manager. “Customers will now have more connection opportunities in Chicago O’Hare and can more easily book flights that will get them home each night which is especially important for the business traveler. This will also provide access to lower fares.”

The new flight schedule is specifically designed to provide both business and leisure travelers with access to hundreds of daily flights to over 180 nonstop destinations through Chicago O’Hare. All United flights from Muskegon to Chicago O’Hare are onboard the 50- seat Canadair Regional Jet 200 operated by SkyWest Airlines.

Check MKG First at UNITED.COM or call 800-221-1212
Contact your local travel agent.

Muskegon’s Lakeshore Art Festival Moves Up in National Ranking!

MUSKEGON, MI – The Lakeshore Art Festival ranked #27 in the nation and 1st in the state of Michigan for Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows by the Sunshine Artist Magazine. This ranking was up from #83 position in 2015. Sunshine Artist Magazine, known for high-quality content for the fine art and craft industry, ranks the nation’s most-profitable fine art and craft festivals based on subscribers’ sales performance each year resulting in – Sunshine Artist Magazine 200 Best!

“Our goal when reinventing the art festival was to focus on quality exhibitors that appealed to local and regional guests,” commented Lakeshore Art Festival Director, Carla Flanders.  “Based on survey results and national, recognition we are doing just that! Being one of Sunshine Artist Magazine 200 Best and Art Fair Calendars Best Small Town Festival signifies that the artists are happy with the event and guests are buying their handmade products. It’s the best of both worlds!”

The 200 Best rankings are obtained via ballots from Sunshine Artist subscribers. Subscribers are asked to list their 10 most-profitable art and/or craft show appearances from the previous year, indicate their income range at each and note whether they consider themselves to be fine artists or craftspeople. The results are tabulated using a weighted scale designed to ensure that smaller fairs can compete against larger festivals for high placement.

“Lakeshore Art Festival organizers continue to jury high-quality handcrafted artists into the show with an extensive jury process. This combined with an easy to navigate footprint and creative art engagement for guests to enjoy has been a recipe for success,” commented Cindy Larsen, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce President.

A goal at Lakeshore Art Festival is to engage guests in art; Activities have included, Children’s Lane, Street Performers, Professional Chalk Designs, Community Canvas and much more. New in 2017, the festival added a wine and craft beer tent in the park, a live Kayak Painting, Student Art Showcase, Chalk the Walk and Color Muskegon.

In addition to enhancing engagement efforts, the Lakeshore Art Festival continues to run an environmentally friendly event. As part of the program, food vendors utilize compostable or post-consumer serving-ware, tons of waste are diverted from landfills through recycling and composting efforts and an environmental education booth is hosted in the Children’s Lane. A new program in 2017 allowed guests to fill up at a water station instead of buying water bottles.

Major sponsors for the Lakeshore Art Festival include; DTE Energy Foundation, The Muskegon Museum of Art, Arconic, ADAC, Betten/Baker, Meijer, Mlive/Muskegon Chronicle, Nichols, Hines and Staples.

Artist and exhibitor registration for the 2018 Lakeshore Art Festival began in October. Visit for more details.

Six-Month Passport Rule

Six-month passport rule may prevent people from traveling internationally
contributed by Executive Travel (

Many people I talk to are not aware that a lot of foreign countries do not let you into their country if you have less than six months left before your passport expires. This is called the six-month rule and is quite common in many countries around the world. Please take the time if you are traveling in the next 12 months to check your passport to see that it does not expire within six months of your expected travel, otherwise you might be faced with the unfortunate circumstances of missing your flight. This is another great reason to use a professional travel advisor who will keep your passport information and advise you when it needs to be renewed.

Conferences & Meetings at the Frauenthal

Whether you need to host an event for hundreds or only require enough space for a modest business meeting, the Frauenthal Center can provide excellent accommodations for ALL!

Frauenthal Theater- This beautiful historic theater provides a unique and memorable venue for your business meeting. It may be used for full size-conferences, intimate on-stage events, receptions or meetings of all sizes. Capacity: 150 seated on stage, 1,708 theater seating.

Beardsley Theater – An intimate theater with comfortable seating for your presentation or meeting. It may be used for conferences, break-out sessions or seminars. Capacity: 30 seated on stage, 169 theater seating.

The Ballroom – An ideal space for receptions, conferences, meetings, break-out sessions or celebration parties. Capacity: 275, Half Ballroom: 150

Reception Gallery – Features monthly art exhibits showcasing West Michigan professional artists. This inviting space is perfect for special events, meetings, break-out sessions or trade shows. Capacity: 225, May be divided into separate meeting spaces or conference rooms.

The Boardroom – Perfect for offsite retreats, meetings, break-out sessions or presentations. Capacity: 25

For more information or to set up a tour please contact Heather Hansen, Event Manager, or 231.332.4114

Earlier Flights and More Connections

The Muskegon County Airport is now offering earlier morning flight schedules. The weekday morning flight schedule has been modified from an 11:35 AM departure to a 10:05 AM departure which will allow the business community better opportunities to make connecting flights earlier in the day.

“The Airport and United Express are constantly working to provide a flight schedule conducive to business passengers with connecting flights through Chicago O’Hare,” says Airport Manager, Jeffrey Tripp.

In addition, the new schedule will provide improved opportunities for same day business trips to East and West Coast destinations and to the Muskegon Lakeshore. “United Express is going to add a Saturday PM flight adding over 400 seats per month starting in February giving Muskegon 4 trips a day to and from Chicago”, says Tripp.

The Muskegon County Airport continues to work with United Airlines to provide flights at competitive rates, with quality terminal facilities and customer service, and schedule modifications to maximize flight connection opportunities. Determine if Muskegon provides your best option for flight connectivity and price by visiting

We Art Excited!

mikekrausartAbout Mike Kraus
Mike Kraus was born on the industrial shoreline of Muskegon, Michigan. After earning his Fine Arts Degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he attended Grand Valley State University for his graduate degree. From there, he gained varied experiences from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, Hauenstein Center For Presidential Studies, Lollypop Farm Humane Society, and the Children’s Memorial Foundation. And every place he worked, he had his sketchbook with him and found ways to be actively creative. In 2014, Kraus became a full-time artist by establishing Mike Kraus Art. Since then, he has sold hundreds of paintings that are displayed in nearly every state and dozens of countries. Currently, Kraus lives in Rochester, New York with his beautiful wife and goofy dog.mrskraus
giftsSee my work online at:

United Airlines New Earlier Morning Flight

The Muskegon County Airport has received great news from United Airlines. Starting October 2, the weekday morning flight schedule (Monday through Friday) changed to provide an earlier departure time of 10:05 AM rather than 11:35 AM. This allows customers better opportunities to make connecting flights earlier in the day.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this weekday schedule change. The Airport has worked with United Airlines for years to offer an earlier flight.” said Jeffrey Tripp, Airport Manager. “Travelers to and from the West Michigan Shoreline region rely on Muskegon County Airport for dependable transportation; flight connectivity and price are a crucial part of these efforts. The more customers fly Muskegon, the better able we are to leverage our passenger numbers for additional flight options and service with the airline.”

The new schedule provides improved opportunities for same day business trips to East and West Coast destinations and to the lakeshore. The Airport continues to work with United Airlines to provide flights at competitive rates, with quality terminal facilities, outstanding customer service, and schedule modifications to maximize flight connection opportunities.

We encourage all West Michigan Shoreline region travelers to always “Check MKG First” at to determine if Muskegon provides your best option for flight connectivity and price. Please consider the total cost of travel (rate, schedule, parking, drive time, etc.) when booking. The Airport provides an on-line total flight cost calculator at

Executive Travel – Passport Renewal

Warning! Surge in passport renewal could cause massive delays in getting a new passport
contributed by Executive Travel (

Beginning in January, 2018 some experts are predicting a massive number of passport applications to start hitting the system. 10 years ago the United States started requiring passports for travel to Mexico and Canada which resulted in millions of new passports being issued. As you hopefully are aware passports have a 10-year life, thus all those millions of new passports now need to be renewed. The State Department, who is in charge of issuing passports, is encouraging people to try to renew their passports before the end of the year with hopes that it will prevent a major backlog of applications.

Muskegon Area Transit System Proposal for Fare and Service Adjustments to be Phased in Beginning January 1, 2018

The Muskegon Area Transit System is proposing a series of System Adjustments to be implemented beginning January 1, 2018. Below is a summary of the changes proposed, followed by additional information regarding this proposal. A 30-day public comment period will be held regarding this proposal from November 1, 2017, to November 30, 2017. During this period, interested persons may submit written comments to:

Muskegon Area Transit System
Attn: Transit Systems Manager
2624 Sixth Street
Muskegon Heights, MI 49444

A public hearing will be held to gain input on these proposals at the Muskegon County Hall of Justice, 990 Terrace Street, Fourth Floor Board Chambers, on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at 3:30 pm. Please arrive early as all persons entering the Hall of Justice must pass security screening.

The proposed changes will:

1) Reduce and Realign Saturday Services, Effective January 1, 2018.

2) Reduce Service on Selected Holidays, Effective January 1, 2018.

3) Change the Weekday Scheduled Route End Time for Route 40 – Peck Sanford to 5:10pm, Rather Than 5:33pm, Effective January 1, 2018.

4) Increase prices for MATS Monthly Bus Passes by $10.00 Each, Beginning with February 2018 Bus Pass Sales.

5) Remove the 7:15am Scheduled Northbound Departure from the MARC Route
115 – Montague Schedule, Effective January 1, 2018, Leaving Other Departures and Routing for Route 115 – Montague Unchanged at this Time.

6) Remove the MARC Route 120 – Holton and MARC Route 125 – Ravenna from
Service, Effective January 1, 2018.

If you would like more information, visit

United Airlines Additional Thanksgiving Flight Announced

United Airlines has notified the Muskegon County Airport that a 2nd flight will be made available on Saturday, November 25 to provide fifty (50) additional seats during the busy Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.

“We are extremely pleased to learn of this additional holiday flight.” said Jeffrey Tripp, Airport Manager. “It is nice to have additional capacity available for our customers during the busiest travel time of the year.”

We encourage all West Michigan Shoreline region travelers to always “Check MKG First” for flight opportunities through United Airlines at

Wendy’s U.S. Smart Building Relocation Opens with a New Image in Norton Shores

NORTON SHORES, MI—One of the nation’s largest Wendy’s franchisees, Meritage Hospitality Group, announces the grand opening of the company’s newly relocated restaurant in Norton Shores. The Grand Rapids based organization’s restaurant will open to the public on August 14, and the existing Norton Shores Wendy’s restaurant will be closing its doors on August 12.

The restaurant is an all-new design, located at West Norton Ave. and Henry St., one-half mile south of their existing location constructed in 1976. It is designed with a smaller footprint than a traditional Wendy’s restaurant, and the total square footage is nearly half of the previous building. With a capacity of 55 guests, the restaurant uses innovative interior and exterior designs to reinvent the Wendy’s restaurant environment. Wolverine Construction Group of Grand Rapids, MI is assisting with the project.

“The enhanced experience offered by our USB locations has had a positive impact on our customer satisfaction,” said Jeremy Wood, Michigan Area Director for Meritage Hospitality Group. “Norton Shores is located in a relatively close proximity to our home office, so this relocation displays what we are currently doing at many of our franchise establishments spread throughout 18 markets in 12 states.”

The guest facing front-of-house includes state of the art features designed to maximize the guest experience. Features include a fireplace, open ceiling with up-lighting, flat-screen TV’s, complimentary Wi-Fi, and Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. The open kitchen is designed to allow guests a unique inside look at their food being made from scratch. Features such as high-speed ovens, 30lb. fryers, and double-sided grills are installed to maximize efficiency.

“This is more than just another restaurant for us,” said Amanda Ramirez, District Manager for Meritage Hospitality Group. “It is a relatively new concept in the quick service industry and it is delighting to bring our existing business to a more impactful location under a fresh and exciting look.”

The new restaurant is located at 801 West Norton Ave, and it is one of many renovation or construction projects in 2017 that will continue to position Wendy’s as ‘A Cut Above.’ Three more Image Activation construction projects are scheduled to commence in Michigan by Meritage before year end.

APICS-Grand Rapids 2017-2018 Board of Directors

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – APICS, The Grand Rapids Chapter, is pleased to announce its 2017-2018 Board of Directors:

Anant Gohil, CPIM, Vention Medical – President
Tracy Knuff, CPIM, CSCP, PMP, Eaton Corporation – President-Elect
Jim Boes, CPIM, Irwin Seating Company – Past President
Catherine Bosscher, CPIM, CSCP – Vice President of Finance
Ron Kopp, CPIM, CSCP, CLTD, Flexco – Vice President of Marketing
Tod Schwartz, CFPIM, CSCP – In-House & Continuing Education Director
Shridhar Bhat, CPIM, PMP, Steelcase Inc. – Public Certification Education Director
Jerry Bays, CPIM, Membership Director
Derek Wood, West Michigan Transport – PDM & Special Events Director
Randy Gilbert, CPIM, CSCP, CLTD, PMP, LSSBB, ETNA Supply – Director-At-Large
Andrew Cleary, CPIM, Perrigo – Director-At-Large & Marketing Committee
Eric Anderson, Student at Grand Valley State University – Director-At-Large Students
Bryce Comer, Student at Ferris State University – Director-At-Large Students

ISM-GGR 2017-2018 Board of Directors

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – The Institute for Supply Management – Greater Grand Rapids, an affiliate of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), is pleased to announce its 2017-2018 Board of Directors:

Andrew Roman, Steelcase – President
Thomas Cole, C.P.M. – Past President
Laurene Garchow-Packer, CPSM, FibroGen, Inc. – 1st Vice President
Amy Poplaski, C.P.M., C.P.M., Spectrum Health – 2nd Vice President
Gabriel Stille, Haworth, Inc. – Director
Anthony Garwood, GE Aviation – Treasurer
Lois DeHaan, C.P.M., A.P.P., Haworth, Inc. – Advisor
Kip Smalligan, Grand Valley State University – Webmaster
Stephanie Emelander, Grand Valley State University – Director of Student Activities
Rachel Travis, Grand Valley State University – Director of Student Activities

Holly Hughes Files to Run for State Senate

Muskegon—Representative Holly Hughes filed her paperwork yesterday to officially become a candidate for the 34th State Senate district. Senator Goeff Hansen will not seek re-election because of term-limits.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work on behalf of the taxpayers of Muskegon County and Michigan to bring West Michigan values to Lansing. I successfully fought to provide hundreds of dollars in tax relief to families and seniors through the expansion of the Homestead Property Tax credit. That action alone put $200 million more in the pockets of state taxpayers”, said Holly Hughes.

If elected to the State Senate, Hughes plans to continue her work on behalf of taxpayers, veterans, students and parents.

In 2012, Hughes helped organize the first jobs fair for veterans in Muskegon. The sixth annual Veterans Jobs Fair held earlier this year attracted 80 job providers and hundreds of attendees.

In addition to her work on behalf of taxpayers and veterans, Representative Hughes has worked to make sure that area schools have the resources and tools necessary for students to succeed. She has worked tirelessly with the Muskegon Promise scholarship program, worked to ensure kids are safe on school busses and to ensure quality substitute teachers are available to fill our classrooms.

Holly Hughes went on to say, “I will continue to advocate for our veterans, reduce the tax burden on hard-working families and work to make sure that every child that graduates from high school can read, write and is prepared to continue their education or join the workforce. The people of Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties need someone they can trust to represent their interests and values in the State Senate like Senator Hansen has done so well over the last two terms. I have the record to show that I am that person.”

The 34th State Senate district is comprised of the counties of Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana.

Exhibitors Report Record Sales!

MUSKEGON, MI – Tens of thousands of Muskegon residents and visitors from all over the U.S. attended the Lakeshore Art Festival in Downtown Muskegon this past weekend. Attendees raved about the variety of the activities and the overall quality of the show. Exhibitors were ecstatic about their exposure and sales! Multiple exhibitors commented that on Saturday they broke their all-time one day record sales.

“The show has grown in so many ways”, says Event Director, Carla Flanders. “We’re thrilled with the response from the exhibitors and guests who have recognized the positive changes, enhanced product quality and overall festive atmosphere. Our show is being recognized on a national scale and exhibitors are coming from across the country to be in the Lakeshore Art Festival!”


Doyle Borntrager

Over 110 exhibitors in the Fine Art and Fine Craft were juried by professional artist and Grand Valley State Art Professor, Renee Zettle-Sterling. Awards totaling $3,000 were presented to winners. The ‘Best in Show’ award was presented to Doyle Borntrager for his “Knarley Knot” wooden goods, second place was presented to Heather Miles for her abstract paintings, and third place went to Jonathan Kesler for his one-of-a-kind clay stoneware. Honorable Mention was awarded to Emre Tekeli for her hand made jewelry, and Committee’s Choice went to Charity Mendoza for her textured artwork.

(Note: click on Images to view them at larger sizes)


Airika and Maxwell Kolenda

The public was also invited to chime in and vote for their favorite booth in the People’s Choice Award hosted by the Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce. First place went to Airika and Maxwell Kolenda for their hand made wood and home decor, second place went to Robert Knoll for his unique wooden furniture, and third place went to Dale McClain for his gourmet dip mixes.



TerraLynn Lake’s Drawing

For decades, art has been a driving force in Downtown Muskegon, and Lakeshore Art Festival strives to continue that tradition. This year’s festival welcomed multiple live art experiences. TerraLynn Lake used chalk to create a larger than life replica of Edward Curtis’s Thunderbirds & Whales while Sarah Landstrom painted a vibrant kayak which was then sold at the festival.


“Color Muskegon”

The Nuveen Center also hosted “Color Muskegon” where 8 large panels were painted by guests during the show and auctioned off during the festival. A few panels are still available for purchase. For more information on purchasing these one-of-a-kind panels contact or call 231-893-2524.


Newest additions to the festival this year were the Wine and Craft Beer Garden and Chalk the Walk. Attendees were able to sip and savor craft beer and wine while browsing the Fine Art in Hackley Park as well as create their own chalk art between the lines of nearly 300 sections of walkway down Western Ave. Chalk the Walk was hosted by Downtown Muskegon Now First Fridays. Both new activities were a huge success!

Lakeshore Art Festival is nationally ranked by Sunshine Artist Magazine 200 Best, and was voted Favorite Small Town Art Fair by Visit for more details.

Weddings and Special Events at the Frauenthal Center

Make memories at the Frauenthal Center. Our historic building and its beautiful facilities are the perfect backdrop to your special occasion. Whether celebrating commitment and love at your wedding or hosting an intimate gathering, we will help you and your guests enjoy a unique experience no one will soon forget. Accommodating groups of all sizes, our event managers will assist with everything from rentals and entertainment to catering and beverage service.
Explore the wedding and special event venues of the Frauenthal Center.

“OPERATION UNITED” – United Way of the Lakeshore’s 2017 Day of Caring

“OPERATION UNITED” DAY OF CARING TO HELP MUSKEGON COUNTY VETERANS: Launch Fundraising Campaign to Meet Human Service Needs

(MUSKEGON, MI) – As United Way of the Lakeshore staff prepare for “OPERATION UNITED” — the 2017 Day of Caring, volunteers are organizing tasks and duties aimed to refresh the yards and exteriors at fifteen local veteran homes. The veteran families are considered ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), meaning they struggle in meeting their basic needs. OPERATION UNITED Day of Caring also serves as the official launch of the United Way of the Lakeshore’s fundraising campaign, which over the past decade has raised more than $30 million from individuals. This funding has helped to leverage an additional $10 million in local dollars to invest in the human service needs of area children and families. To Volunteer, please go to or call Stephanie Stewart at (231)332-4006.

DATE & TIME: Friday, September 8, 2017

8:00 am – Breakfast/Registration
8:30 am – Day of Caring Kick-off
9:00 am – Travel to Project Sites
12:45 pm – Return for Lunch Celebration
1:30 pm – Group Photo–Traveling Trophies
1:45 – 4:00 pm – Continued Service Projects

LOCATION: USS LST 393 – 560 Mart Street, Muskegon, MI 49442

• Approximately 300 volunteers from across Muskegon County through local government, schools, business, manufacturing, churches, hospitals, neighborhoods, nonprofit organizations, and more!
• 15 Veterans/Military members have agreed to host caring teams to address a project at their home.
• 20-30 team leaders have been trained to lead work at each site with knowledge and skills to complete the necessary tasks.
• Other service projects include: Landscaping and bridge repair at United Way of the Lakeshore, packing in-home energy saving kits from DTE Energy and repacking school supplies for ‘Kits for Classrooms’.

Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore Wins National Award fro Outstanding Programs

MUSKEGON, MI 6/16/2017 – Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore received an Honor Award for Overall Program Excellence at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 111th National Conference held recently in Dallas. The organization received a $5,000 award from MetLife Foundation, sponsor of the annual recognition program, which honors local Clubs for innovative, effective programming leading youth to great futures.

Mother with Daughter Entrepreneurs start Company and Create Journals to Nurture Relationships

Mom and daughters create a shared journal that is being used all over to bring mom and daughter closer, and have a timeless keepsake forever.

momandgirlsSHEPHERD, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES, June 15, 2017 — Jaime Klumpp mother of 3 daughters started the company called Kai Kai Brai with her thee daughters in hopes of creating products for girls by girls. The name of the company is the first letters of the three daughters names, and the daughters ages four, seven, and eleven are very involved in the business. They started their business about 18 months ago and have since launched three journals. The journals are the “Tell Me Anything Shared Journals.” They have three different versions one for “Mom & Daughter”, “Mom & Son”, and a “You & Me” version to fit any array of different relationships between child and trusted adult. The journal is a special place where mom and daughter can share intimate thoughts, ideas, ask questions of one another and many other relationship building topics. Jaime says “the idea is to nurture your relationships and at the same time create a priceless time capsule of your life together that can be looked back on for years to come.”

journalKai Kai Brai has received recommendations from licensed professional counselors like Melissa Hutchinson stated “Adolescence can be a confusing and sometimes difficult time for young girls. It is also a time when they tend to identify more with their peers than with their parents. The Kai Kai Brai Tell Me Anything Shared Journal is a unique opportunity to strengthen communication between mothers and daughters before it becomes stressed. As parents, it is important that we find creative ways to build and strengthen communication with our young girls. They need us during this time more than ever, even if they do not know it. We must capture every opportunity to be ready to listen.”

This is an amazing product created by a mother and her three daughters trying to make a difference in the world. Jaime and the girls give a portion of their proceeds to programs to help children and moms. Kai Kai Brai is currently selling their journals online at their website They also have a wholesale option for stores and boutiques to carry their products. For more information you can contact them through their website at

National Parents Organization Urges Michigan Lawmakers to Move Shared Parenting Forward

Michigan Joins 20 States Considering Family Court Reform

LANSING, MICHIGAN, USA, June 13, 2017 — Michigan lawmakers have the opportunity to improve children’s educational achievements, decrease their use of drugs, and improve their overall health and adjustment without any cost to the taxpayer by passing shared parenting into law. With these benefits to hundreds of thousands of Michigan children in mind, National Parents Organization urges the Judiciary Committee of the Michigan House of Representatives to pass House Bill 4691 when it votes on the bill this Thursday, June 15, at 8:30 a.m.

The legislation embraces parental equality and shared parenting – a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent after divorce or separation. Specifically, the bill proposes a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting when parents divorce or separate, meaning the conversation begins with the two-parent solution.

“Passage of this bill will work to ensure that children receive the consistent love and care of not one, but both parents after separation or divorce,” said Linda Wright, a Michigan mother who’s taking an active role in working to pass this legislation. “We can’t afford to allow our broken family court system to continue with the sole custody status quo – our children can’t be deprived of either parent any longer.”

The bill had had multiple hearings in the past two months and is sponsored by Rep. Jim Runestad with co-sponsorship from Rep. Tim Kelly, Rep. Scott VanSingel, Rep. Peter Lucido, Rep. Roger Hauck. Rep. Tristen Cole and Rep. Jim Tedder.

While shared parenting remains unusual, a trend toward shared parenting has developed in recent years. It has been the usual arrangement for several years in Sweden and Australia, and research there has shown much better outcomes for children. A handful of states in the U.S. have benefited from laws supportive of this arrangement for several years. Plus, in the last year alone, more than 20 states have considered the reform, and states including Kentucky have passed bills supportive of shared parenting in recent months. At the same time, research continues to show that shared parenting is in the best interest of children when their parents divorce or separate.

“It is wonderful that Michigan has this historic opportunity to move child custody laws in line with gender equality as well as the overwhelming body of research showing that most children desperately want and need shared parenting after divorce or separation,” said Ned Holstein, MD, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization. “I urge Michigan lawmakers to swiftly move this proposal into law. Instead of setting up parents for a bitter and unnecessary custody battle, the bill will allow families to heal from the pain of divorce and separation from a position of equality and co-parenting.”


Rep. Runestad said: “It is in the best interest of children to be raised by two-loving parents whenever possible. Divorce between two parents is not a good reason for the system to profit by pitting parents against each other in an ugly competition over who is the better parent. A child needs and wants both parents, and nothing is more important to people than their right to take care of their child. Parents can come to agreements about what is best for the child when there is a presumption that parenting time should be shared between parties. This legislation is for children, and there are provisions in the bill to protect children from an unfit parent and in domestic violence situations.”

Family law attorney David Helms said: “The Shared Custody Act will safeguard children’s rights and access to both parents. It will start both parties on the same footing and maintain the continuity necessary for a healthy, happy, well-adjusted and stable child.”


National Parents Organization, a charitable and educational 501 (c)(3) organization, seeks better lives for children through family law reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers after divorce or separation. Visit the National Parents Organization website at

Dog Park Construction Is Underway

MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon’s first public dog park is now under construction as Downtown Muskegon Now has contracted with Port City Construction to complete the Downtown Muskegon PetSafe Bark Park.

The off-leash dog park at the corner of West Western Avenue and Shoreline Drive is a collaboration of funding groups led by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., PetSafe, the Greater Muskegon Kennel Club, Community Foundation for Muskegon County and Downtown Muskegon Now. Muskegon County and the city of Muskegon are key partners in the project along with dog enthusiasts throughout the community.

About $110,000 was raised by the community through a crowdfunding campaign last year established by the MEDC with a $50,000 placemaking grant to improve the quality of life of downtown residents and visitors – along with their pooches. DMN worked with a dog park advisory group, Muskegon landscape architect Harry Wierenga and project architect Andrea J. Riegler of Muskegon to design the park with small- and large-dog fenced areas, parking and an irrigated turf.

DMN signed a construction contract with Port City Construction after receiving three bids, all significantly over the construction budget.

“Downtown Muskegon Now is pleased to contract with a downtown construction company to create the first public dog park in Muskegon County,” said Andy Maciejewski, DMN board chairman. “We are thankful that Andrea worked closely with Port City’s Kevin Donovan and Gary Post to bring a quality development to the downtown within budget.”

Port City Construction and its subcontractors have begun the dog park construction on the 0.7-acre site and will have the facility completed in the next four months. DMN hopes to have a grand opening sometime in late summer or early fall.

About $10,000 in the Downtown Muskegon Dog Park Campaign Fund at the community foundation that will help support operation and maintenance of the Downtown Muskegon PetSafe Bark Park and the city’s Lake Michigan dog beach. Dog park and dog beach supporters continue to seek further funding for park upgrades, operations and maintenance. A gift to the fund can be made at:

“The PetSafe Bark Park is just one of seven projects now under construction in Downtown Muskegon this summer,” said Dave Alexander, DMN executive director. “The dog park is a complement to all of the residential, commercial and institutional investments now being made in downtown.”

Besides the dog park, downtown visitors this summer will find ongoing construction with the Muskegon Community College Downtown Center, Berkshire Senior Housing Center, HighPoint Flats apartments, Heritage Square Commons, Terrace Plaza apartments and Terrace Pont Landing waterfront homes.

The Spirit Ride is Coming Through!

The very professionals who earn a living from highway accidents are now taking to the streets to promote highway safety and help safeguard the lives of fellow first responders. The Spirit Ride will relay a ceremonial casket by car carrier across the nation and back. About 300 towing companies across the U.S. are contributing their services to the Spirit Ride to promote safe driving and the Slow Down, Move Over law.

The Ride will pass through Muskegon, MI with the Spirit casket being relayed to 1st Class Towing. A ceremony will take place at 2:30 pm, 240 Seminole Rd., Norton Shores, MI 49441, followed by a procession of tow trucks and emergency service vehicles through Seaway Dr. toward downtown and back onto US31 SB.

The Move Over law is often ignored and seemingly unknown to many motorists. The law exists in all states of the Union and requires passing vehicles to move over one lane when approaching an incident where tow operators, police, fire fighters and EMS people are working.

The ceremonial casket, named Spirit was custom built by a carpenter who is also a lifelong singer-songwriter (Mike Corbin) who composed the Spirit Ride’s anthem. The casket was custom painted by an artist (Cecil Burrowes) who specializes in painting trucks and wreckers.

The colorful ceremonial casket, called Spirit, is at eight feet, a stretch farther than a standard casket. Painted on it are a dozen scenarios depicting first-responders at the scenes of highways incidents.

While promoting public awareness of the Move Over laws the Ride at the same time honors first responders who’ve been killed by passing vehicles. Hundreds of roadside professionals are casualties each year of roadside incidents; about 100 of them are killed. Among police, fire, EMS and towing professionals, 60% of those killed are tow operators.

Some 300 tow companies are relaying the ceremonial casket by car carrier from town to town across the nation and back. According to American Towman Magazine President Steve Calitri, the Ride is the greatest project in the history of the towing industry, which celebrated its centennial in 2016.

The Spirit Ride was founded by American Towman Magazine and B/A Products and is a project of American Towman Spirit, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, born to promote highway safety. Tow industry sponsors have pitched in with funds to support the coordination of the Ride and its media outreach campaign. All the towing companies participating by relaying the casket are contributing their services.

American Towman Spirit, Inc.
A non-profit corporation

Michigan Authors Mega-Event on July 7 & 8 in Muskegon, Michigan

MUSKEGON, Michigan, June 16, 2017/ Area book-lovers have a special reason to visit Muskegon’s Lakeshore Art Festival downtown next month.

Nearly 50 authors from across the southern half of the Lower Peninsula will be present in the Frauenthal Center on July 7th and 8th to meet the public and to sign books for those wishing to buy them.

According to Argon Press, a Muskegon-based publisher, the event – called Michigan Authors at the Lakeshore — will feature authors who specialize in the entire spectrum of published writing, from children’s books to fantasy novels and from science fiction to tales of romance.

A spokesman for Argon, Steve LeBel, said, “If you’re a reader, the Michigan Authors event will have authors from every genre – inspirational, mystery, suspense, fantasy, historical novels, and more. You name it, Michigan Authors has it.”

Most of the participants are residents of Muskegon and Ottawa counties, though others will come from as far away as Wayne County.

Argon Press, under the name Michigan Authors, is organizing the event in cooperation with the Lakeshore Art Festival – July 7 and 8 with the assistance of the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce and the Frauenthal Center.

Visitors will find the authors and their works via the entrance to the Frauenthal Theater. The public will be able to browse inside the block-long Frauenthal atrium which parallels Western Avenue. Though the authors are making their presentations independently, all purchases will be made through one cashier as in a retail outlet.

According to LeBel, the event will feature door prizes to be awarded periodically throughout the two-day festival. The hours are Friday, July 7, from 10-6 and Saturday, July 8, from 10 to 6.

Argon Press is a cooperative association of seven West Michigan writers, Deanna Compton, C. J. Coombs, Steve LeBel, John McFadden, Scott Payne, Howard Ruback, and Ingar Rudholm.

Additional Information:

Steve LeBel
Argon Press
3442 Pigeon Hill
Muskegon, MI 49441
Phone: 231-286-3939

Muskegon’s Historic Sites Open for the Season

The Hackley & Hume Historic Site, Fire Barn Museum, and Scolnik House of the Depression Era are now opened for the season. The three historic sites are operated by the Lakeshore Museum Center.

Return visitors will notice some additions and changes to the lumber barons’ mansions. Over thirty items from the museum’s collection have been moved into the houses. The foyer of the Hume House features an ornate secretary and large hall mirror which had previously been displayed at the Torrent House. A number of chairs have also been added.

A pair of Charles Hackley’s glasses and their case are displayed in his library along with a pocket watch that belonged to his son Charles Moore Hackley. Some Victorian decorations, vases, and decanters were also added. A display case on the second floor features Native American items from the museum collection including arrowheads, stone tools and a pair of beaded moccasins that Museum records indicate belonged to Hackley.

Built in the late 1800s, the homes of lumber barons Charles Hackley and Thomas Hume feature lavish wood carvings, stenciling, stained glass windows, and period furnishings. They are two of the finest examples of Queen Anne Style Victorian homes in the country.

A display in the City Barn includes brief biographies of the lumber barons along with a display of photographs and lumbering artifacts on display. The site is located at 484 West Webster Avenue at Sixth Street. Admission is $7 for adults and teens and $5 for seniors 65 and older. Admission is free for 12 and younger.

The Fire Barn Museum and Scolnik House of the Depression Era are located just half a block away. The Fire Barn, 510 West Clay Avenue, is a replica of the C.H. Hackley Hose Co. No. 2 and tells the story of the early days of fire fighting in Muskegon. Photographs and artifacts, including a 1923 American la France Pumper truck, hose carts, alarm systems, and ladders are on display. Next door at the Scolnik House, the story of two ordinary families living during the Depression Era is told. Visitors will find period furnishings, flooring, wall coverings, and appliances. A rotary telephone offers an opportunity to listen in on a party line conversation and popular radio programs from the era educate and amuse visitors.

Admission to the Fire Barn Museum and Scolnik House is free for all visitors. All three historic sites are open Thursday through Monday from 10 am to 4 pm. On Sundays, the three sites are open from 1 pm to 4 pm.

The Lakeshore Museum Center, located at 430 West Clay Avenue at Fourth Street, is open weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is free for Muskegon County residents and $3 for non-residents.

For more information, contact the Lakeshore Museum Center at 231-722-0278 or visit






Muskegon Civic Theatre Youth Programs

MUSKEGON – Muskegon Civic Theatre is accepting registrations for students who want to participate in this summer’s Footlights Fun Camp.

The one-week day camp is open to students, in grades K-5. Camp times are from 9am – 3:30pm Monday-Friday.

The camp has three sessions: Session 1 July 17 – July 21, 2017; Session 2 July 31 – August 4, 2017; Session 3 August 14 – August 18, 2017

Camp participants will work with a staff of certified teachers and professionals to rehearse and perform “The Lion King KIDS,” a fully supported musical theatre production.

Students will rotate through four classes – Art, Vocal Music, Drama, and Dance. There they will build individual performance skills while learning their roles. All-cast rehearsals will be daily, on stage at the Beardsley Theater at The Frauenthal Center.

Footlights Fun Camp will culminate with a 3 p.m. Friday performance of “The Lion King KIDS” at the Beardsley Theater.

MCT also is accepting applications for students who want to intern for Footlights.

Students in the intern program will spend afternoons shadowing creative, design and production professionals in the areas of music, dance, set, costumes, props, lights and sound, and stage management.

Camp sessions will be limited to the first 50 students who register. Registration is $195 per student, which includes a show t-shirt and a non-refundable $25 deposit.

Full payment must be received a week before the start of camp. Checks should be made payable to Muskegon Civic Theatre. Payment can be received over the phone at (231) 722-3852.

Partial scholarships are available for students from families who demonstrate financial need.

To qualify for a scholarship, students must submit:

• a school lunch program documentation, or a most recent W-2 form;
• a letter of recommendation from a teacher;
• an MCT scholarship application which is available at the MCT office, or online at the MCT web site,
• a nonrefundable deposit of $10.

The MCT office is at 425 W. Western Avenue, Suite 401, in the Frauenthal Office Building, inside the downtown Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts complex. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

For further information, call the MCT office, (231) 722-3852.

Lakeshore Fellowship Worship in the Park

Lakeshore Fellowship will be hosting a Worship in the Park (Pomona Park) on Sunday, July 2nd at 10AM. Worship will be led by Mike Dorman and sermon by Pastor Chris Boehnke. The public is welcome to attend. Bring your lawn chair and join us for Worship & Praise to our Lord! Stay after for Coffee & Donuts!


Community: 2016 Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Travel Tumbler – Sale Ending Soon

never forgetBlue Alert again is Honoring our (144) 2016 Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty by Creating a 24oz Memorial (Hot/Clod) Tumbler with Lid.

their livesAlso, this Tumbler Honors the Five Dallas Officers that were killed in Dallas on July 7, 2016.

This is a Pre-Order Item as it is Custom made.

ORDER HERE:!/PRE-ORDER-2016-Fallen-LEOs-Memorial-Cup-24oz-Hot-Cold/p/86218525/category=0

144The Tumblers will Ship on 7/7/2017

All 144 Names of the Fallen are on the Tumbler.

Sale ends on Wed. 6/21/2017 at Midnight (PT)

blue alertGet yours Now and Support Our Fallen Heroes

The Blue Alert Foundation Helps Families of the Fallen Killed in the Line of Duty.

EIN: 45-5607994

For full details, view this message on the web.

Secretary Johnson Suspends License of Muskegon Auto Dealer

carlotSecretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today that she has suspended the license of Muskegon used-vehicle dealer Arizona Charlie’s Auto & Truck Sales, 4295 E. Apple Ave., after consumer complaints led department investigators to the discovery of violations.

Several consumers who had purchased vehicles from Arizona Charlie’s complained that the dealership had not sought titles and registrations within the required 15 days of vehicle delivery. When an investigator from the department’s Office of Investigative Services visited the dealership, the owner could not provide required paperwork for several vehicles that had been sold. A summary suspension was served on the dealer by staff on March 7, at which time he surrendered his license.

Laws requiring detailed recordkeeping protect against the sale of stolen vehicles and parts, and ensure the vehicle buyer receives a clear and valid title to prove ownership.

“We take our responsibility to safeguard consumers from unscrupulous auto dealers seriously,” Johnson said. “The vast majority of auto dealers are reputable business people who follow the rules, but if we determine a dealer is operating outside the law, we will take swift action.”

As part of her focus on strengthening her office’s consumer protection efforts, Johnson created the Office of Investigative Services, which investigates and inspects automotive-related businesses and consumer complaints against them.

Dealers may request an administrative hearing to contest their suspension and may regain their license if they show they’ve complied with the law. Additional administrative actions are also possible.

Consumers who have a complaint against Arizona Charlie’s Auto & Truck Sales are encouraged to call the Office of Investigative Services automotive complaint line at (517) 335-1410.

Apollo Publications Connects Readers With Your Book

Apollo Publications has developed a new way to connect readers with your book.

Apollo Publications can connect thousands of potential readers to your book quickly and cost effetely. Whether you had Apollo publish your book or not we have the most cost-effective way to promote your book.

Apollo Publications is taking a whole new approach to promoting books. Traditional and online bookstores use the outdated sales techniques, of putting a book on a shelf or on a website and wait for someone to browse to it. The more popular authors are moved to the front or put in a special section. Self-publishers never have a way to stick out in the crowd, and as a result, self-publishers rarely sell many copies of their books. Apollo has developed an active marketing solution for self-publishers, putting their work in front of thousands of potential readers.

Online distributers will share information about your book. They will add your book to a database featuring a few hundred thousand other titles. The chances of a reader actually finding your book are very slim. Apollo Publications can actively put your book in front of thousands of potential readers. Apollo uses data mining to look for readers who have interests matching your book’s subject matter. If you write a book about hiking, we will look for individuals who like to hike or have purchased products related to hiking. We show titles of books about cats to cat enthusiasts.

Our new active marketing solution finds potential readers and connects them to your book. Not everyone who goes to a bookstore is interested in every subject on display. Our new approach enables self-publishers to quickly and cost effectively get their titles to the masses. It truly levels the playing field for self-publishers.

To display your book to the first 20,000 potential readers, the cost is $399.95, only $199.95 if you self-publish with us, free if we publish your book. This price covers getting your account setup, the creation of an ad, and displaying your book. We will also post a summary of your book; include a short bio about you, the author; and even add your book to our marketplace if you want people to be able to purchase it directly from our site. Otherwise, we can provide a link to another site for purchases. Authors receive an 80% royalty for every book sold through our marketplace.

Once your account has been set up, the cost is only $149.00 for every 20,000 views. It can take anywhere from 48 hours to 4 weeks to process all 20,000 views depending on your book’s subject matter. We look for websites that have keywords matching your book’s subject. When someone visits a relevant site, your book will be displayed. We track your views and can see when and where people have shown interest in your book. At the end of your marketing campaign we will send you a complete report.

Stephanie Timmer
Apollo Communication

Resources To Help Aging Drivers

Submitted by Kayla Johnson

As you may or may not be aware, drowsy driving is responsible for over 70,000 auto accidents annually in the US alone and my team at Tuck is trying to help change that!

We created a comprehensive guide that covers all driving demographics from teens to shift workers/commercial drivers and includes prevention tips, expert advice and much more.

Check it out here:

We’re trying to raise awareness worldwide for this important issue.

We’ve been lucky enough to be featured on NPR and TedEd, as well as referenced by organizations like the ADAA and the American Sleep Apnea Association to name a few.

Tuck Sleep Foundation is a non-profit community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web.

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Annual Conference – April 21st & 22nd, 2017

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Annual Conference Represents a Great Opportunity for Lakefront Property Owners to Learn How to Work as a Team to Prevent and Manage Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and Improve the Quality of Their Lake

Thompsonville, Ml, Crystal Mountain Resort, Friday and Saturday, April 21st & 22nd, 2017.

Michigan Lake &Stream Associations (ML&SA) 56th annual conference “Bridging the Resource Gaps: Enhancing the Ability of Lakefront Communities to Prevent and Manage Aquatic Invasive Species” is dedicated to providing participants with the knowledge, information, and ideas they need to improve the collective ability of their lakefront communities to prevent and/or manage aquatic invasive species. The ML&SA conference also represents an outstanding opportunity for participants to learn about the latest efforts to control invasive mussel populations, the status of starry stonewort in Michigan waters, purple loosestrife management initiatives, and the efforts of the Michigan Swimmers Itch Partnership in working to find a solution to a serious problem that has plagued lake users for decades.

The conference will open on Friday, April 21st at 10:00 AM with keynote addresses by Jon Allan, Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, and Lisa Brush, Executive Director of the Michigan Stewardship Network  who will discuss state and local efforts to prevent and manage aquatic invasive species. Conference attendees will also have an opportunity to attend workshops and sessions ranging in topic from applying for invasive species prevention and management grants from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP) to working effectively with local government officials, and lake management professionals.

Conference attendees are also encouraged to participate in open panel discussions dedicated to exploring issues related to Michigan’s need to establish an equitable and sustainable system of public funding for aquatic invasive species management projects; and to learn about preventing and managing invasive species from regional water resource commissioners, and lake association leaders. Participants can also learn about the latest federal, state, and district court cases that have had an impact on riparian rights and water law from noted Attorney-at-Law Clifford H. Bloom, senior partner in the firm Bloom Sluggett Morgan Law of Grand Rapids.

Created in 1961, ML&SA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and wise use and management of Michigan’s vast treasure of high quality inland lakes and streams. ML&SA achieves its mission by supporting the educational, stewardship, and conservation focused initiatives and goals of our public and private collaborative partners, members, and affiliated organizations. For more information contact Scott Brown at 989-831-5100 Ext. 105, or E-mail:

To register for the ML&SA conference, visit

Next I.T. Partners with Non-Profits to Give Back

Next I.T., an IT support services organization working throughout Michigan and Northern Indiana has partnered with United Way of Northern Michigan and Big Brothers Big Sisters to make a big difference. By taking advantage of Next I.T.’s referral program, United Way received a donation of $3,145 dollars at the beginning of 2017—and plans are in place to see that amount grow.

In response, United Way of Northern Michigan issued this statement:

image004“A HUGE “Thank You” to Next I.T. for their incredible support! We can’t thank you enough for working to raise more than $3,000 for both United Way of Northwest Michigan and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Your generous support and advocacy truly mean so much. We couldn’t do the work we do without you!”


United Way – Improving Children’s Literacy

United Way Asks For Your Help To Prepare our Youngest Learners and Build an Educated Workforce

March is Reading Month! Be a Lucky Charm for our kids

Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. In celebration of “March is Reading Month” Muskegon-headquartered Nichols, the leading provider of solutions for clean and healthy facilities and the safe shipment of products in the Great Lakes region, is matching up to $25,000 in donations made to United Way of the Lakeshore during the month of March, to support school readiness programs. These programs include a mix of reading tutors, books for early readers, and access to quality child care.

Research shows that if children learn to read by the time they are done with third grade, they are able to read to learn as they advance through their education. Helping children learn to read is critical to building an educated workforce and breaking the cycle of working families struggling to make ends meet. According to the latest Kids Count Data, nearly 60% of third graders in Muskegon County are not proficient in reading by third grade. Many of our children from low income families show up for kindergarten with a 30 million word gap compared to other children – a gap that many of them are not able to make up.  We can change the odds for our kids by supporting programs that will help prepare our kids for success.  Our aim is that every child graduates and is workforce ready. “As we work to meet our bold goal of helping 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025, we are also investing in education programs that will help kids be stronger readers and improve overall literacy levels in our community,” said Christine Robere, President, United Way of the Lakeshore. “Literacy is foundational to obtaining a good paying job”.

The United Way of the Lakeshore programs that will benefit from the “March is Reading Month—Be a Lucky Charm” matched funding include Pre-K Literacy Tutors through Hope Network’s Michigan Education Corps (MEC) Reading Corps Program, which works to improve literacy among the community’s most underprivileged students; Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL), a national program supported by community donations, DPIL works to foster a love of reading among preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month; and Quality Child Care, as the need for quality child care solutions in our community was identified by our ALICE families as a key barrier to success. United Way of the Lakeshore will be looking to provide funding support to improve the quality and availability of child care in our community, because high quality childcare is a key part of setting the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

In addition to their own reading readiness programs, the United Way of the Lakeshore also supports a variety of community education and youth mentoring initiatives through Community Impact funding, ALICE grants and partnerships, including Lights on After School! Muskegon County, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Literacy Tutors, My Brothers’ Keeper Initiative, Foster Grandparents Tutors, READ Muskegon Family Literacy, Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon Lakeshore, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore.

The research is clear, if children are proficient readers, nothing can stand in their way of getting the best bang for the buck in their K-12 experience. The early experience sets a solid foundation for students to graduate on schedule, go on to higher education or skilled training, and have higher paying jobs. Investing in education ensures a great return to our economy.

To help build an educated workforce, and to be a “Lucky Charm” in someone’s life so that they can access these important programs through the United Way of the Lakeshore, please donate to the March is Reading Month matching program. Just visit, text the word luckycharm to 40403, send a check to United Way of the Lakeshore, Attn. March is Reading Month, PO Box 207, Muskegon MI 49443, or call us at 231-722-3134. United Way of the Lakeshore is grateful to Nichols for their generous support as we celebrate reading!


United Way of the Lakeshore is uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities. Our Bold Goal – 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025. For more information, contact United Way of the Lakeshore at 231-722-3134 or visit

Harbor Hospice is Accepting Applications For Camp Courage 2017

Harbor Hospice has been offering Camp Courage for 24 years as a way to help children and their families following the death of a loved one. The emotions of grief can be overwhelming and isolating for children who have not yet developed the verbal and emotional skills to navigate the grief process.

Children grieve differently than adults and need time to just “be kids” as well as time to honor and remember their loved one. Kids often feel alone in their grief and thrive when able to connect with others who understand their unique experience.

kidcourageHarbor Hospice staff and trained volunteers create a safe, stable environment for children to explore and express their grief, remember their loved one, and connect with others who have experienced a death. Children participate in traditional camp activities such as swimming, fishing, hiking, and campfires along with grief-tailored activities that teach healthy coping skills.

Camp Courage, an overnight camping experience for children ages 6-12 and teens 15-19, is held at Pioneer Trails on Big Blue Lake in Muskegon County beginning Friday, June 23, 2017 at 10:00 am through Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm. Application deadline is May 31, 2017. The only cost for camp is a one-time $10 registration fee. For more information or to register, contact Stephanie Weesies or Melanie Dekkers at 231.728.3442 or 800.497.9559 or email or visit our website at

Friends of Hackley Library – New Website

Hello Friends – I want to get the word out that the Friends of Hackley Public Library has just launched our newly redesigned website. A small team of novices has been working on this total redo for a few months, learning along the way, and we are quite proud of the end result. Of course, pages will be updated and changed to reflect current events and new developments, so visit frequently. You can find us at:  

or the much longer:

Please visit us soon. We hope you like it and find it interesting. We also welcome your comments and suggestions for changes/improvements which you can submit on the “Contact Us” page.

Thanks, Larry

United Way of the Lakeshore Announces $122,000 in ALICE Grants

(MUSKEGON, MI) – The Board of Directors of the United Way of the Lakeshore is pleased to announce $122,000 in grant funding for programs to help ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and their families. According to United Way data, over 43% of all households within Muskegon are at or below the ALICE threshold.

Board Chairman Mark Meyers said, “These are important programs that complement the nearly $2 million in other programming we currently provide in the areas of health, education, and income stability.” Meyers added, “Those who donate to the United Way annual campaign for human services can see their dollars working across our many communities through programs like the ones we’re funding today.”

During a series of community conversations held Fall 2015—Spring 2016, the United Way of the Lakeshore board learned from the ALICE families that, although barriers existed to their security in target areas of health, education, and income stability, several barriers emerged as trends that posed limits to many working families. Key areas included access to high-quality and affordable childcare, and the lack of adequate transportation. A third barrier was a lack of resources if presented with an unforeseen event like a car repair or sick childcare provider. To address these barriers, the United Way Board of Directors committed $100,000 to new grant-making, which it exceeded.  The new programs funded include:

 Goodwill Wheels to Work Planning Grant: Goodwill will lead a collaborative effort with other entities in our United Way Lakeshore region to develop a plan for a program to provide safe, reliable transportation for area ALICE families. It aims to build on the generosity of vehicle donors and working with local social service providers, auto auctions, educational institutions and local mechanics to help empower ALICE families to maintain or gain self-sufficiency and an improved quality of life.

Love INC – The Empower Project: The Empower Project will give ALICE families the opportunity to receive education in Money Management skills. The 8-week program offers basic budgeting education with information on banking, insurance, investments, credit reports, money saving tips, and the option for individual mentoring at no cost to families. Additional coaching is also available each week beyond the class setting. Childcare is provided on site for families participating in the program at no cost. The program is incentive-based with rewards for attendance and doing assigned homework. Rewards are based on a point system that allows participants to exchange their points for items in the Resource Rooms that are hosted in two area churches. This allows participants to further stretch their incomes.

Read Muskegon – Family Literacy: The program is designed to support low-literacy ALICE families and their 0-5 year old children by offering a menu of literacy support services that include: 1) 1-1 tutoring for low-literacy parents, 2) Weekly small group classes at West Michigan Works!, EXIT, and the Muskegon County Jail aimed at improving functional literacy to build employment and life skills, as well as engage their children in reading, 3) Literacy based play & learn groups for low-literacy parents and their 0-5 year olds, 4) Literacy based ABCs of Cooking, a six unit healthy cooking workshop designed for low-literacy parents and their 0-5 year olds, 5) Monthly family literacy dinners at EXIT for incarcerated fathers participating in the program and their children/family, and 6) Family literacy events that include an annual Holiday Literacy Village. All programs use best practices and evidence-based approaches for working with adult learners. When an individual learns to read, write, and communicate and use computers, they are empowered to increase their income, lower their health care costs, and find sustainable employment – ultimately changing the trajectory of their lives and that of their children.

 Employee Resource Network:  Start-up funds to expand an Employee Resource Network (ERN) in Muskegon.  ERNs are private-public consortia with the purpose to improve workforce retention through employee support and training. The companies involved in the pilot include Port City Group (3 locations); CWC Textron; and the Eagle Group. It is important to note that Wesco and Harbor Hospice were already part of this ERN. From the perspective of the State of Michigan, the current ERN-MI expansion efforts have resulted (to date) in 12 Area Networks and 4 Lead Organizations with 41 Strategic Partners, 81 Employers, and 18 Success Coaches.  Success coaches meet with employees at the workplace and assist them with a variety of concerns from food assistance, transportation issues to budgeting and emergency loans bringing help right to the workplace.

Boys & Girls Club of Muskegon Lakeshore (BGCML) – Project Great Futures:  BGCML positively impacts youth in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights with programming aimed at academic success, character and leadership development and developing healthy lifestyles.  The Club Experience consists of five key elements: a safe, positive environment; fun and a sense of belonging; supportive relationships; opportunities and expectations; and recognition. United Way funding support will assist the Club in growing and improving the quality of its programming through training of staff and volunteers in order to deepen and sustain our long-term impact on the youth, ages 6-18. The Club’s programming will include:  1. After School Enrichment program for youth during the school year from mid-September thru May (9 months per year). This program is offered Monday through Friday from 3pm-7:30pm at our Nelson Site and Muskegon Heights Public School Academy Site.  2. Summer enrichment programs provided from June- August. This program is offered Monday through Friday from 9am-6pm at our Nelson Site and Muskegon Heights Public School Academy Site.

Mission for Area People (MAP): MAP will assist in transportation needs of working ALICE families.   MAP will also be working collaboratively with Goodwill Industries on its Wheels to Work program development plan, and will also provide demographic data, while supporting, but not supplanting existing programs aimed at meeting the transportation needs for this economically strained class of workers. 

El Centro Hispano de Oceana – Emergency Assistance Fund: The Emergency Assistance initiative is designed to provide financial stability to residents of Oceana County who are employed in low-wage positions and who struggle to meet unexpected expenses. Candidates for this program include individuals who are employed full-time, and those employed in the agricultural industry on a seasonal basis. Although the Center primarily serves the Hispanic population, this program will serve all residents who qualify for help. The Center will provide a loan or grant generally under $1,000 to individuals who have exhausted all other funding avenues. The Center will work out a payment plan for the loans.

Lastly, the board authorized a grant to Hope Network West Michigan to pay for AmeriCorps tutors in Hope Network’s Michigan Education Corps (MEC) Reading Corps program.. Building a skilled and educated workforce begins with literacy.  In Muskegon County, 42% of 2107 kids tested were proficient in reading by third grade (M-Step 2016 assessment).  United Way brought the MEC Reading Corps program to our county four years ago and the first pilot preschool program in 2015-16.  The program  aggressively works to improve literacy among the community’s most underprivileged students. This year United Way funded the expansion of the program.  There are currently 19 Americorps service members serving 500 students in PreK – 3rd grade classrooms. Schools are selected to participate in MEC’s Reading Corps based on the need as demonstrated by a) their location, and b) the need expressed by school leaders based on local data.