News Releases

City of Muskegon Receives $1.5M HUD Grant to Make Homes Healthier, Safer

Some 130 City of Muskegon families to receive help making their homes safer, healthier

MUSKEGON, MI – The City of Muskegon received a highly competitive federal Housing and Urban Development grant for $1.5 million to protect the city’s most vulnerable families from home health and safety hazards.

Approximately 130 low-income family homes will receive the assistance to address lead-based paint, indoor air quality, mold and moisture, pests and carbon monoxide among other health and safety hazards. The city’s Community and Neighborhood Services Department in the coming weeks will begin establishing the application process for city families to seek support from the funds.

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A recent home in the 600 Block of Ada renovated by the city for a low-income family.

Muskegon is one of three governments and agencies in Michigan and among 60 nationwide in 29 states to receive a share of the $104.7 million in Healthy Homes Production Grant Program funds. The city has a long history of successful use of HUD funds to support low- and moderate-income families. In the past year alone, 25 housing units had lead abatement, 21 energy efficiency repairs, six with vinyl siding, and 23 with infrastructure repairs.

“This award will allow us to serve even more citizens in our community by providing the resources needed to address household hazards that negatively impact health,” said Stevie Parcell, CNS Grants Program Coordinator. “We’re eager to help create a healthier Muskegon County through this program. Our impact will only become greater in the coming years through this new award.”

The significance of the Healthy Homes Production Grant Program is that it takes a comprehensive approach to addressing childhood diseases and injuries by coordinating the improvement of family homes rather than addressing one health or safety issue at a time.

“City staff has done an excellent job of identifying and attracting resources for the betterment of our city and its residents,” said Muskegon Mayor Ken Johnson. “This grant combined with our current federal housing allotments and our original state lead abatement grant will allow us to make a significant improvement in the living conditions of some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Taste of Muskegon Moves to Second Week of June

tasteofmkg

Muskegon, MI – Taste of Muskegon is moving the event from its traditional third week of June to the second week of the month. This is a permanent move. The decision was made in honor of Juneteenth celebrations which often occur on the third weekend. 

“It’s a big decision to move the timing of a large event in its 16th year, but we feel that is appropriate,” said Anne Meisch, Director of Taste of Muskegon. “We don’t want to possibly put people in the position of making a choice between attending Taste or marking this important moment in our nation’s history.”

Taste of Muskegon is produced by the  Downtown Development Authority. Taste of Muskegon will be held June 10-11, 2022 in Hackley Park. To learn more about the events at Taste of Muskegon, visit their website at www.tasteofmuskegon.org.

Alley Door Club 2022 Season at the Frauenthal Center

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MUSKEGON, MI. — The Alley Door Club returns to the Frauenthal Center for its 16th season.

Every 2nd and 4th Friday from January to March, the Alley Door Club will feature live music from popular West Michigan bands. Located in the Ballroom on the 3rd floor of the Hilt Building, these unique concerts are complete with dancing and a full cash bar. Doors open at 6:00pm for happy hour and $1 off all drinks, with live music from 7:00 – 10:00pm.

The 2022 Alley Door Club performance schedule is as follows:

Friday, January 14: Big Daddy Fox & Friends – R&B, Rockin’ Blues
Friday, January 28: Steeple Hill – Putting Live Energy into Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites
Friday, February 11: Westside Soul Surfers – R & B, Funk, & Soul
Friday, February 25: That Beatles Thing – Beatles Classics
Friday, March 11: Brena – Rock
Friday, March 25: Flexadecibel – Bangin’ Originals with a Mix of Classic and Modern Covers

Tables may be reserved: $65.00 for a 4-top (includes 4 admission tickets) / $130.00 for an 8-top (includes 8 admission tickets). Limit of two 4-tops and two 8-tops reserved for each performance, available on a first-come basis.

Tickets are $10. To purchase tickets for Alley Door Club performances and other upcoming shows, click here, visit Etix.com, or stop by our Box Office on weekdays from 11:00 am – 5:30 pm. To stay up to date on what’s happening at the Frauenthal Center, visit www.frauenthal.org and follow us on social media.

ABOUT THE FRAUENTHAL CENTER:
Here, you’ll find captivating performances, beautiful event venues, thought-provoking art, and invigorating workspaces – all nestled in the historic heart of Muskegon. Join us as we embark on our 91st season! Created by the community, for the community, the Frauenthal Center is a gathering place for culture and connections. Continuing to improve the quality of life for the residents of Muskegon County, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County remains committed to the ownership and operation of the Frauenthal Center and its future development.

Muskegon Area CTC HOSA Students Participate in Challenge to Save and Heal Lives

Annual HOSA Challenge sets records in effort to help patients on organ transplant waiting list

Muskegon Area CTC students rally to increase number of Michigan organ and tissue donors

There are nearly 1,000 new organ and tissue donors registered in Michigan, thanks to the efforts of students across the state.

The students, from Michigan Health Occupation Students of America – known as HOSA-Future Health Professionals – have just completed their fourth statewide competition to register new organ and tissue donors and inspire support for organ and tissue donation. 

This year, 25 different chapters, including Muskegon Area Career Tech Center HOSA, took part in the competition to save and heal lives, coordinating nearly 3,500 activities to educate the community about organ, eye and tissue. A total of 964 new donors were registered.

“Once again, Michigan HOSA students have gone above and beyond to help Michiganders waiting for organ, eye and tissue transplants,” said Alison Gillum, Community Relations Coordinator at Gift of Life Michigan. “They did an amazing job.”

Schools are awarded points for each new registration and for the activities they coordinate to educate their peers about organ and tissue donation. Muskegon Area CTC students registered 41 new donors and completed a variety of activities to educate the community about donation.

Kathy Andrews, Health Science Academy Instructor and HOSA Advisor at the Career Center says, “this is our fourth time being a part of the Gift of Life HOSA Challenge. Our students are so proud to participate in this important work that will help people right here in our community.”

There are nearly 107,000 people waiting for a new organ in the U.S., including 2,478 in Michigan. A single donor can save up to eight lives and help as many as 75 more through donated tissue.

“This has been an important partnership for us,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “I am impressed with the energy, enthusiasm and creativity these students show in educating the community and advocating for organ and tissue donation. Each new registration brings new hope to the many people waiting for a life-saving transplant.”

Since the Challenge’s inception in 2019, Michigan HOSA students have registered more than 3,100 donors. To see a complete list of schools that participated this year, visit www.golm.org/hosa.

About Gift of Life Michigan
Gift of Life Michigan is a federally designated organ procurement organization that serves the state of Michigan as the intermediary between donors, their families and hospital staff. In collaboration with Eversight, Gift of Life provides all services necessary for organ, eye and tissue donation. For more information, or to sign up on the Donor Registry, visit www.golm.org or call 866.500.5801.

Hackley Community Care Early Closure Due To Inclement Weather

MUSKEGON Mich. — Wednesday, January 6, 2022 

Due to the continued inclement weather and snow storm warnings extending into Friday, Hackley Community Care (HCC) will be closing all sites at 5:00 p.m. today. This includes Community Care Pharmacy, Leahy and our NowCare site at Clinton Street. 

As a result, there will be no late night services offered after 5:00 p.m. at any of our sites. Patients impacted by the closure will be notified via text. 

HCC is committed to the safety of our patients and staff and want to ensure everyone remains at home and is able to travel home safely.  

HCC will continue to monitor conditions and weather alerts to best determine our opening time for Friday morning. 

Please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HackleyCommunityCare/ for additional updates.  

Hackley Community Care Early Closure Due To Inclement Weather

MUSKEGON Mich. — Wednesday, January 5, 2022 

Due to the announced snow storm warnings and inclement weather, Hackley Community Care (HCC) will be closing all sites, including Community Care Pharmacy and our NowCare site at Clinton Street, today at 5:00 p.m. 

As a result, there will be no late night services offered after 5:00 p.m. at any of our sites. Patients impacted by the closure will be notified via text. 

HCC is committed to the safety of our patients and staff and want to ensure everyone remains at home and is able to travel home safely. 

Please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HackleyCommunityCare/ for additional updates. Regular hours will resume on Thursday, January 6, 2022. 

Historic Sign Returns to West Michigan Tourist Association

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A historic sign hanging in Grand Rapids bar One Trick Pony has recently been returned to its home at the West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA).

WMTA has worked to support local businesses since the start of the organization in 1917, highlighting West Michigan’s best to travelers from around the world. WMTA was the precursor to Travel Michigan and the beloved Pure Michigan campaigns, and has been instrumental in the promotion of tourism to the West Michigan region for over 100 years.

The sign, seen below, is from the early 1930s and was distributed by WMTA to their partners to be displayed, and mark the business as a trusted travel destination, similar to the digital TripAdvisor badges that tourists rely on and trust today.

historic sign

From 1970-1995, WMTA’s offices were located in the building that currently houses One Trick Pony (136 Fulton, Grand Rapids). When the team from WMTA moved out of the space, the sign was left behind, and was decoratively hung inside of One Trick Pony for several years. Former One Trick Pony owner Dan Verhil actually worked for WMTA for two years prior to purchasing the bar’s building from his father in 1980. Dan sold One Trick Pony in early 2021 and is now moving into retirement.

Dan has returned the sign to the WMTA, handing it off to WMTA president Dan Sippel in a ceremony during WMTA’s October board meeting. The team at WMTA is grateful to have the sign returned to them, to hold a piece of their history once more.

For more information about the West Michigan Tourist Association and their partners, visit WMTA.org.

LMCU Hires John Harpst as Vice President of Mortgage Strategy

Grand Rapids, MI – Lake Michigan Credit Union (“LMCU”) is pleased to announce the hiring of John Harpst as Vice President of Mortgage Strategy.

johnharpst

John attended the University of Dayton where he received his B.A. in Pre-Law/Political Science. He has over 30 years of experience managing sales and loan operation teams, including residental, commercial, and consumer.

LMCU’s Chief Lending Officer, Eric Burgoon, expects great things from John: “John has the talent and experience to really engage with our mortgage team and help us excel in new ways. I have no doubt he will soon be an invaluable asset to LMCU’s growth and strategy in the coming years.”

Vice President of Mortgage Strategy is a new position at LMCU. John will be responsible for strategic initiatives and special products within LMCU’s Mortgage division, with the goal of improving operational efficacy, ensure regulatory compliance and help to continually improve service to our members.

“It was clear early on that LMCU would be a great employment and cultural fit for me,” John said. “I consider myself a servant leader. I put the needs of the team first, while helping the company and individuals develop and optimize performance.”

Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is the largest credit union in Michigan. Employing a staff of over 1,500, LMCU’s assets exceed $10.5 billion, with a mortgage servicing portfolio of over $12 billion and over 504,000 members. LMCU has 59 convenient branch locations overall, including 15 in southwest Florida. LMCU members have access to over 55,000 AllPoint ATMs worldwide. LMCU provides a full range of financial services, from high interest-bearing checking accounts to personal loans, mortgages, investments, and commercial banking.

To find out more, visit LMCU.org.

Taste of Muskegon’s Restaurant Bingo is Back, January 3-29, 2022

Muskegon, MI – Taste of Muskegon is kicking off 2022 with a game. To encourage continued support of Muskegon County’s locally-owned and operated restaurants, they are hosting another round of Restaurant Bingo. 

The Taste Bingo card is available at tasteofmuskegon.org/tastemkgbingo.To play, visit five participating restaurants, one from each column on the card, between January 3-29. Each set of five visits is another entry for a prize. Check-in by scanning the Taste QR code at each location. Winners of $25 gift cards to the restaurants will be announced on February 11, 2022, on the Taste of Muskegon Facebook page. 

bingocard

“Taste Bingo is a fun opportunity for people to discover restaurants and explore different areas in our beautiful community,” said Lisa Kraus, Marketing Director of Taste of Muskegon. “It’s such a great way to support our hometown businesses.”

Taste of Muskegon is produced by the Downtown Development Authority. To learn more about the restaurants and Taste of Muskegon Restaurant Bingo, visit their website at www.tasteofmuskegon.org

Tis’ The Season For Books

PoWeR! Book Bags, a non-profit organization in Suttons Bay, provides language and literacy materials to underserved children in 20 northwestern lower Michigan counties. Their aim is to empower children to play, write, and read today for a better tomorrow. Executive Director and Founder, Kara Gregory, shared with volunteers that the Foundation of ITC had made a very generous gift of $10,000 to support PoWeR! Book Bags.

“We are so grateful to ITC for their generosity. It is the support of organizations like ITC that make it possible to provide these beautiful books and materials to children and their families. PoWeR! Book Bags and ITC share a commitment to support children and literacy. As we increase the opportunities for reading and writing at home, children are more likely to practice these behaviors, increase their skills, and develop positive attitudes towards literacy — expanding their opportunities for success in school and beyond!” said Gregory. ITC provides energy grid transmission services in Michigan. Its foundation focuses on supporting local communities in five key areas: education, the environment, health & wellness, social services, and arts & culture programs.

Throughout the last month, volunteers at PoWeR! Book Bags have been busy packing more than 15,000 books and 6,000 literacy bags filled with crayons, book marks, writing booklets, and a puppet for play. These were delivered to 28 northern Michigan schools. The materials went home with the children as they left for school breaks.

Gregory described, “PoWeR! Book Bags uses research-based practices to intentionally enhance the quantity and quality of print materials in the home. We want to offer children more opportunities for reading and writing at home and help them fall in love with it all! Literacy development begins at infancy. Children are never too young or too old to benefit from someone singing, talking, playing, writing, or reading a book with them! These interactions over time make a huge difference in kids’ lives. PoWeR! Book Bags partners with schools, health departments, Early Head Start, libraries, food and baby pantries, and other sites of assistance: places families already visit. We offer children and their families on-going access to language/literacy materials including brand-new books that they select to keep, read, and reread,” said Gregory. “It takes the power of our volunteers, generous community donations, and grants from partners like ITC to make this all happen. We couldn’t be more grateful!”

Lake Michigan Credit Union Announces 2021 Roots in Education Grant Winners

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Lake Michigan Credit Union (“LMCU”) is proud to recognize the recipients of the 2021 Roots in Education grant. Each year, this program accepts nominations of teachers across Michigan and Florida who embody a specific word; this year’s word was innovation. Of the nominees, 25 winners are each awarded a $1,000 grant. The grant can be used to help teachers purchase classroom supplies, aid in online learning, or anything else that benefits the educational process.

Throughout September 2021, over 300 active pre-K through 12th grade classroom teachers in Michigan and Florida were nominated for the Roots in Education grant by students, parents, other teachers, community members, or administrators.

While this year’s nominated teachers were all deserving of this grant, the 25 selected recipients for the 2021 grants include:

Brad Anderson | Forest Hills Central High School | Grand Rapids, MI
Michael Ball | Galesburg-Augusta Primary School | Galesburg, MI
Katlyn Boomstra | J.A. Lanigan Elementary School | Farmington Hills, MI
Brynn Curry | Stepping Stones Montessori School | Grand Rapids, MI
Audrey Debri | Cedar Trails Elementary | Cedar Springs, MI
Steve Ford | Kalkaska High School | Kalkaska, MI
Mary Hall | Suttons Bay Public Schools | Suttons Bay, MI
Hannah Henrichsen | River Valley Elementary | Three Oaks, MI
Olivia Johnson | Lowell High school | Lowell, MI
Shannon Kemperman | Meadow Brook Elementary | Grand Rapids, MI
Sheri Manett | Buchanan Elementary School | Grand Rapids, MI
Christy Manker | Countryside Elementary School | Byron Center, MI
Patrick McKerr | East Kentwood Freshman Campus | Kentwood, MI
Beth Monaweck | Twin Lake Elementary | Twin Lake, MI
Patricia Reeder | Godwin Heights High School | Grand Rapids, MI
Rebecca Richardson | The Community School of Naples | Naples, FL
James Rose | Ray V. Pottorf Elementary | Fort Myers, FL
Heather Sherwood | Montcalm Area Career Center | Sidney, MI
Danielle Snoeyink | Rose Park Elementary School | Holland, MI
Emily Straub | McFall Elementary | Middleville, MI
Charity Troutt | Meadow Brook Elementary School | Rochester, MI
Julie VanderEnde | Mattawan Early Elementary | Mattawan, MI
Spencer Vanderheide | Kenowa Hills High School | Grand Rapids, MI
Jessica Vitale | Suttons Bay Public Schools | Suttons Bay, MI
Allison Westra | Muskegon Christian School | Muskegon, MI

LMCU’s Vice President of Community Relations, Matt Cook, extends his congratulations to this year’s winners: “I am so impressed with and inspired by the Roots in Education grant recipients this year. 2020 and 2021 brought new challenges to educators everywhere. These individuals used those challenges as a springboard to innovate how they teach and engage with their students. It’s a privilege for LMCU to help support the educators in our community. I want to thank every teacher who was nominated and everyone who nominated them for sharing their story with us.”

LMCU is proud to support and recognize our local teachers.

Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is the largest credit union in Michigan. Employing a staff of over 1,500, LMCU’s assets exceed $10.5 billion, with a mortgage servicing portfolio of over $11 billion and over 504,000 members. LMCU has 57 convenient branch locations overall, including 12 in southwest Florida. LMCU members have access to over 55,000 AllPoint ATMs worldwide. LMCU provides a full range of financial services, from high interest-bearing checking accounts to personal loans, mortgages, investments, and commercial banking.

To find out more, visit LMCU.org.

Consumers Energy, City of Muskegon Join to Provide City Tree Plantings

MUSKEGON, MI – Trees provide a city more than just a beautiful streetscape but also improved storm water runoff, reduction of urban heat and improvement in overall community health.

Those and other positive effects in several City of Muskegon neighborhoods will result from a recent Consumers Energy Forestry Department $2,500 grant to the city’s Department of Public Works in conjunction with the Michigan Forestry and Parks Association.

The Consumers Energy grant allowed city crews to plant 25 trees in various right-of-way terraces in the city including across from Hackley Park along the Muskegon Community College student lot in Downtown Muskegon. DPW maintenance worker Dave Bailey said the city also was able to plant trees in terraces throughout the city where individual residents requested plantings.

The city selected among seven varieties of trees from local nursery that grow to heights that will not disrupt overhead public utility lines, are hearty and drought and salt tolerant, Bailey said. The trees – among 300-400 the city plants each year – are long-term investments that can take 50 years to fully mature, he said.

The young plantings are nurtured with “water bags” at the tree roots to provide consistent water and nutrients the first year or so, Bailey said.

“Studies have shown that communities with plenty of trees add to the residents’ overall health,” Bailey said in addition to other advantages.

Consumers Energy’s funding through its Community Street and Boulevard Tree Planting Grant Program is an important assistance to local municipalities in keeping their communities green, according to company forester Deborah Nichols. Grants are made by the public electric and natural gas utility to communities it serves.

“Consumers emphasizes appropriate tree planting locations, including consideration of overhead and underground utilities,” Nichols said. “We follow the ‘right tree, right place’ guidelines of the National Arbor Day Foundation.”

Consumers Energy—the electric utility for the City of Muskegon – funds the annual planting of 1,000 trees in communities throughout its service areas.

Access Health Announces Open Enrollment to Assist Area Small Businesses

MUSKEGON, Mich., December 8, 2021 – Access C3 Health, Muskegon County’s community health coverage program, announces an open enrollment period to help local small businesses and their eligible employees who are unable to access commercial health coverage due to cost. Access Health has provided comprehensive health coverage that is affordable for small businesses and their workers since 1999.

Health coverage is a critical tool to restarting our economy, especially as local small to mid-sized employers are struggling with COVID-related staff losses. Being able to offer access to an affordable health coverage plan with a strong benefit structure is instrumental to businesses working to attract new employees. The Access C3 Health plan was designed to ensure members can afford to access medical care – no deductible, $10 office visits, and $300 maximum for in-patient hospitalization – typically at a cost of $75 per month.

“We are excited to be able to open enrollment to companies who need a health coverage option that fits the small business budget. We know small businesses and their workers need help,” said Jeff Fortenbacher, Executive Director of Access Health. “Too many residents can’t afford commercial health insurance and are forced to go without coverage. Our community created Access Health to help residents access the medical care they need to address significant personal health concerns.”

Access Health provides a robust benefit coverage plan in cooperation with Mercy Health West Michigan. The plan incorporates a network of medical providers and resources to provide affordable primary care, hospitalization, and behavioral health.

Access Health’s unique model helps individuals actively engage in their health improvement. This approach focuses on identifying and resolving barriers that traditionally make it difficult for patients to improve their personal and community health.

For more information about the Access C3 Health plan and enrollment, please contact Access Health at (231) 728-5180 or coverage@access-health.org

Hon. Gregory C. Pittman Appointed Chief Judge of 14th Circuit Court & Probate Court of Muskegon County

from the Muskegon County Circuit & Probate Courts

By order of the Michigan Supreme Court, Muskegon Probate Court Judge Gregory C. Pittman has been appointed to serve as Chief Judge of both the Circuit and Probate Courts of Muskegon County.

Judge Pittman’s appointment begins January 1, 2022 and continues through until December 31, 2023.

Judge Pittman has served in the local Probate and Circuit Court Family Division since his appointment to the bench by Governor John Engler in 1998.

Judge Pittman has, in the past, served on the Michigan Task Force for Children’s Justice, by appointment of both former Governors Jennifer Granholm and Rick Snyder.

In 1998, Judge Pittman founded the Muskegon Responsible Fathers Initiative in recognition of the need to help non-custodial Fathers to reduce and eliminate the systemic barriers that help separate children from meaningful relationships with their fathers.

In 2013, Judge Pittman was tasked by Governor Snyder with developing systemic solutions to stemming the “School to Prison Pipeline” in the County of Muskegon. That effort resulted in the development of the School Teams Assisting Youth Project (STAY Project). Local school districts have since adopted STAY principles in the effort to keep students connected to their educational program and present in school.

In 2016, under Judge Pittman’s leadership as Presiding Judge of the Family Division, the Family Court worked with the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute to revamp its juvenile justice system. After successfully implementing a new model over several years, it has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of youth in detention and out-of-home placements and a decrease in the number of days in care.

Judge Pittman currently serves on the Michigan Supreme Court’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Workgroup, that is tasked with making Michigan’s One Court of Justice mission accessible and accountable to all Michigan citizens.

Judge Pittman has been recognized as the 2001 recipient of the prestigious Michigan Family Forum “Champion of the Family” Award, and the 2018 Michigan CASA “Jurist of the Year” Award. In 2014, Judge Pittman was honored with the 103.7 The Beat “Living Legend” Award.

Judge Pittman has and continues to serve in leadership roles on local, state, national and international levels, outside of judiciary centered endeavors.

Judge Pittman is the proud husband of Theresa Kay, and father of Cherish and Jared.

“It has been my great fortune to have served under remarkable judicial leadership during my time on the bench here in Muskegon County. It is my sincere prayer that I will be blessed to humbly continue in like manner of those Chief Judges who’ve preceded me in this esteemed role.”

Meals on Wheels Making an Urgent Call for Help

Meals on Wheels Holland Routes Risk Cuts Due to Shortage of Volunteer Drivers

Holland, Mich. – Mabel sits alone. Her children are grown and now live out of state. Her husband passed away a few years ago. It isn’t easy to get around anymore. There is one smiling face that she counts on, her Meals on Wheels driver. This is the story of hundreds of our aging neighbors in Ottawa, Muskegon, and Oceania counties who rely on the Meals on Wheels program from AgeWell Services of West Michigan.

According to the National Older Americans Act Participants Survey, 58% of seniors say they live alone and for many, the only person they see that day is their Meals on Wheels delivery driver. But due to volunteer driver shortages, some routes may soon need to be cut in Holland.

AgeWell Services is looking for volunteer Meals on Wheels drivers in Holland. Multiple routes are open. Deliveries are made Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. Meals are picked up by 10 am and delivered by 1 pm. Most days are a one and half to three hour commitment. Background checks are required and drivers must provide proof of a valid driver’s license. Drivers use their own vehicles but mileage is reimbursed.

If you can spare some time to help your aging neighbors, please contact AgeWell Services at agewellservices.org or by calling our Volunteer Coordinator at 231-559-0476.

About AgeWell Services
AgeWell Services of West Michigan was founded in 1973. AgeWell Services invites adults 60 and over to redefine their age. We provide vital connections to keep our most vulnerable population nourished, active, learning, and living independently. AgeWell Services is a private nonprofit. With support of a 3-county Board of Directors, a programming advisory committee, 90 staff members and 300 volunteers, we provide 6 different services to adults 60 and over in Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties – Meals on Wheels, Lunch & Activity Centers, Wellness (55 and over), Senior Medical Transportation, Discount Dining Program, and SafeSeniors. For more information on AgeWell Services visit: www.agewellservices.org or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter: @AgeWellServices

Lake Michigan Credit Union Announces 2021-22 Hutt Scholarship Essay Contest

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Established in 1990 by Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU), the annual Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship essay contest provides local high school seniors with the opportunity to win one of 20 individual $2,000 college scholarships. This scholarship program honors the legacy of LMCU founder and teacher, Lloyd F. Hutt, and his lifelong commitment to education and community involvement.

This year’s essay topic:
Tell us about the you of today, and what we can expect to see in the you of tomorrow.

Applicants are required to write an original 750-1,500 word essay exploring the topic. Essays will be evaluated by an independent panel of judges. The scholarship committee’s principal determining factor in selecting award recipients is the applicant’s passion for the topic. Additionally, the committee will use the following criteria in judging responses to the topic: comprehension of subject, organization, language use, originality, clarity, spelling, and grammar.

Lake Michigan Credit Union is proud to support area students in their pursuit of academic and real-world success. Since 1991, LMCU’s Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship program has provided over $460,000 in scholarship dollars to 272 students. Last year, 1,346 essays were received for consideration.

Who’s eligible?
All applicants must be high school seniors (this includes home school students) who plan to enter a trade school, college or university in the next academic year. All applicants must be one or more of the following: a resident of Michigan or Florida, a member of Lake Michigan Credit Union, or the child of a Lake Michigan Credit Union member.

Interested high school seniors must complete an application online at LMCU.org/Hutt before the deadline of January 31, 2022.

Winners will be announced in LMCU’s May 2022 newsletter, on LMCU social media pages, and online at LMCU.org/Hutt.

About Lake Michigan Credit Union:
Lake Michigan Credit Union is the largest credit union in Michigan. Employing a staff of over 1,500, LMCU’s assets exceed $10 billion, with a mortgage serviced portfolio of over $12 billion and over 500,000 members. LMCU has 59 convenient branch locations overall, including 13 in southwest Florida. LMCU members have access to over 55,000 AllPoint ATMs worldwide. LMCU provides a full-range of financial services, from high interest-bearing checking accounts to personal loans, mortgages, investments and commercial banking.

AgeWell Services’ Annual Holiday Meal Set for December 16th

Muskegon, Mich. – It’s that time of year when families begin to gather, memories from the past are shared, and hopes for the New Year fill the air. For over a decade, AgeWell Services of West Michigan have partnered with the DTE Energy Foundation and Senior Resources of West Michigan to bring free holiday meals to those 60 and over in Oceana, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties.

“We are grateful for the continued support from the DTE Energy Foundation and Senior Resources of West Michigan to provide this special meal to our aging neighbors,” said Kris Collee, Executive Director of AgeWell Services. “Their support allows us to provide a little extra joy in people’s lives, especially for some who may have a hard time during the Holidays.”

This year the annual meal is Thursday, December 16 at eleven locations around Oceana, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties. Due to COVID, meals will be offered as dine-in or to-go. Meals are limited so reservations are required. To reserve your meal or to find a location near you, call 211 (231-733-1155 by mobile phone). Please reserve your seat by December 9. Please note that reservations are not required at Tanglewood Park where all meals will be to-go, delivered curbside and first-come, first-serve.

This year’s menu is cranberry brie stuffed chicken breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, chunky applesauce with cinnamon, Prince Charles veggies, dinner roll with butter, and dessert.

For more information, call 211 or visit agewellservices.org/dte-energy-holiday-meal.

About AgeWell Services
AgeWell Services of West Michigan was founded in 1973. AgeWell Services invites adults 60 and over to redefine their age. We provide vital connections to keep our most vulnerable population nourished, active, learning, and living independently. AgeWell Services is a private nonprofit. With support of a 3-county Board of Directors, a programming advisory committee, 90 staff members and 300 volunteers, we provide 6 different services to adults 60 and over in Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties – Meals on Wheels, Lunch & Activity Centers, Wellness (55 and over), Senior Medical Transportation, Discount Dining Program, and SafeSeniors. For more information on AgeWell Services visit: www.agewellservices.org or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter: @AgeWellServices

Community Leaders Rally in Support of Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Casino Project

Manistee, Mich. — On November 5th, 2021, Community Leaders joined Tribal Leaders and Members of The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI) in their petition of Governor Whitmer to concur in the Federal Decision to build a Casino in the Township of Fruitport. This is the final step in the effort to build the Tribe’s Muskegon Casino Project. The community rally took place at the Muskegon Museum of Art.

The Governor has until December 16th to either agree to support the casino project or ask the federal government for a one-time six-month extension. If she does not act or refuses to support – the project ends.

“With the Governor’s sign-off, we can create 3,000 jobs and the initial work can begin in months,” said Larry Romanelli, Tribal Ogema of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. “We are fortunate to have resounding support from community leaders, businesses, unions, and individuals throughout the county. They know this region needs the jobs, the revenues, and the benefits a Muskegon casino would bring.”

The $180 million proposed casino is on the 86 acre site of the former Great Lake’s Downs Race Track that was purchased by the Tribe in 2007. The site and the Tribe went through an extensive Environmental Impact analysis that took almost ten years before being approved by the Federal Department of Interior last December. Beginning the construction process is just waiting for the Governor’s signature.

“This project will be built by some of the finest craftsmen and women in this state who can’t wait for this project to get started,” said Ryan Bennett, President, West Michigan Building Trades. “But Muskegon also needs a large employer to raise the standard for all workers in the County. This Little River project will do just that. These are good-paying jobs, with benefits and opportunities for advancement. We need Governor Whitmer to join us and help make that possible by approving this project.”

The proposed casino site is expected to attract more than 1.8 million visitors per year and provide the hotel rooms needed to bring larger conventions to the Muskegon area.

“The LRBOI Muskegon Casino will provide jobs for local residents and entertainment options for visitors to Muskegon County,” said Bob Lukens, director of Visit Muskegon, the county’s convention and visitor’s bureau. “When people travel, they aren’t sitting in hotel rooms, they’re looking for things to do. This casino will increase Muskegon’s appeal as a leisure and group destination.”

In addition to the jobs and economic development expansion, the Casino will generate more than $15 million in revenue to the State, millions more to local governments, and an estimated $1.5 million a year to local charities through the establishment of the Tribe’s 7th Generation Fund.

“This project will truly be transformational for the Township of Fruitport, Muskegon County and the region,’ said Jeff Jacobs, former Fruitport Township Trustee. “Bringing over 1.8 million visitors per year to the area will bring more customers to our local businesses and future economic development to the community.”

The Muskegon community has been in virtual 100% support of this project for the past ten years. The project has bi-partisan support from: Congressman Bill Huizenga, Senator Jon Bumstead, Representatives Terry Sabo and Greg VanWoerkom, Muskegon County Commission, Fruitport Township and six other communities including Muskegon Heights, Muskegon Community College, Baker College and the Fruitport Community Schools, The Muskegon Chamber of Commerce and many other business and labor groups.

Those speaking at the Rally included: Kirk Hallman, Director of the Muskegon Museum of Art; Larry Romanelli, Ogema of the Little River Band; Jeff Jacobs, Fruitport Twp. Commissioner; Senator Jon Bumstead; Representative Terry Sabo; Muskegon County Commission Chair Bob Scolnik; Ryan Bennett, President of the West Michigan Building Trades; Mayor Walter Watt from Muskegon Heights; The Lakes Mall Manager Tom Suszka; Vince Dawe from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters; County Commissioner Susie Hughes; Cindy Larsen from the Muskegon Chamber; local businessman and developer Denny Cherette; and, Muskegon County Community Development Director Bob Lukens.

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

The Tribe has extensive historical ties to traditional land in the Muskegon region with Muskegon County being home to the Little River Band’s largest population base.

The Little River Band’s proposed gaming and economic development would include:
– Approximately 70,000 square feet of gaming floor space
– 1,700 slot machines and 35 table games
– 220-room hotel
– Event and meeting room space
– 1.8 million visitors per year
– $180-$200 million investment
– $184 million in annual gross revenues

Watershed Project Team to Share Update with Public December 2nd

submitted by Patricia A Jarrett, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA) and partners will share progress on the Lower Muskegon River Watershed Management Plan update.

Join the leaders of the project on Thursday, December 2, 2021, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. via Zoom to learn about the project, its accomplishments, timeline, and future applications of the data.

In fall of 2020, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) awarded MRWA $108,000 to update their watershed management plan for the lower reaches of the basin. The project focuses on the specific subwatersheds of Bigelow Creek, Hess Lake, Brooks Creek and Mosquito Creek (extending from Croton Dam to upstream of Muskegon Lake).

Key elements of the project include new stream monitoring data, an agricultural inventory, wetland functional assessments, and an updated dam inventory.

Register for the event at https://mrwa.org/plan-update/.

For more information, contact the Project Lead Watershed Scientist, at mrwa@ferris.edu. Learn about the organization at www.mrwa.org.

Muskegon Museum of Art Hosts a Downtown Muskegon Wreath Walk

MUSKEGON, MI — The Muskegon Museum of Art’s Festival of Wreaths takes the holiday spirit outside and around downtown with a festive Wreath Walk from November 24th through December 5th.

The Festival of Wreaths inspires the holiday spirit and encourages people to walk and explore downtown Muskegon. The wreaths, which will be displayed in the windows of downtown businesses and at the Muskegon Museum of Art, are created by local designers, artists, and area businesses.

A Festival of Wreaths Walking Guide will be available through QR codes placed around downtown Muskegon or at the Muskegon Museum of Art beginning November 24.

For more fun, warm up with a free hot cocoa at the Festival of Wreaths’ Hot Cocoa Hop and food pantry drive in the museum’s parking lot on Saturday, November 27th, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Get free admission to the Muskegon Museum of Art for the holiday season when you bring a food pantry donation on November 27.

Festival of Wreaths is underwritten by Howmet Aerospace and co-sponsored by Nichols, with additional support from Webb Chemical Service Corporation.

For more information or questions, contact Kristina Broughton at kbrought@muskegonartmuseum.org or call at (231) 720-2574.

Downtown Holland Announces Upcoming Holiday Events

Community Invited to Discover the Magic of Downtown Holland this Holiday Season

HOLLAND, MI –  Downtown Holland’s first holiday event of 2021 is just over a week away…ushering in a highly-anticipated season of holiday gift shopping, cozy gatherings with family, and fun special events for the entire family in Downtown Holland. This week Friday, November 12 marks the return of Downtown Holland’s annual Shop ‘Til You Drop late night savings event. Shop ‘Til You Drop will take place from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm that evening.

During Shop ‘Til You Drop, nearly 40 Downtown Holland shops and restaurants will stay open late to offer special holiday discounts, including savings up to 30% off at least one item. (Specific savings details will vary per business.) Shoppers are encouraged to stay up late, shop the night away and save big on Friday, November 12!

“This year more than ever before, our merchants are encouraging customers to shop early for holiday gifts,” said Downtown Holland Marketing Coordinator Kara de Alvare. “Shop ‘Til You Drop is a fun way to encourage customers to do just that…while offering great opportunities to save on all of those gifts! And maybe a little something for yourself too!”

In addition to Shop ‘Til You Drop this week Friday, Downtown Holland will be hosting the following special events throughout the upcoming holiday season:

Holiday Open House
The merchants of Downtown Holland will host their annual Holiday Open House on Friday, November 20 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. During the Holiday Open House, the entire community is invited to stroll the beautifully decorated and brightly lit streets while shopping for holiday gifts you won’t find anywhere else! Shops and restaurants will be welcoming customers with free gift wrapping, holiday refreshments, merchandise discounts, giveaways and more during this popular event. The event also features appearances by Santa and his favorite elf, a reindeer petting corral, strolling carolers and chestnut roasting. The Holiday Open House is proudly sponsored by Downtown Holland’s own LVZ Financial Planning. Visit them in person at 240 South River Avenue or online at www.lvzadvisors.com for all of your financial planning needs!

Small Business Saturday
Downtown Holland will join communities throughout the country in celebrating Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 27! On that day, Downtown Holland shops and restaurants will take the opportunity to thank customers for shopping local all year long with amazing giveaways, great discounts and fun promotions! Customers are encouraged to snap a photograph of themselves shopping small in Downtown Holland that day for the annual “Small Business Saturday Selfie Contest.” Customers can share photographs on the Downtown Holland Facebook page or tag #downtownholland on Instagram for a chance to win a $100 discount to your favorite Downtown Holland business!

Parade of Lights
Santa Claus arrives in Downtown Holland during the annual Parade of Lights on Tuesday, November 30 at 6:30 pm. He’ll be escorted by 75 floats, trucks, antique cars, walkers and marching bands…all decked out from top to bottom in thousands of sparkling lights! This brightly lit holiday procession is fun for the entire family and a holiday tradition for the entire community! The Parade of Lights will begin at the corner of 8th Street and Columbia Avenue at 6:30 pm and proceed west down 8th Street until it reaches the Holland Civic Center, home of the Holiday Kerstmarkt! The Parade of Lights is proudly sponsored by Gentex Corporation. Visit them online at www.gentex.com and look for their entry at the end of the parade!

Shopping Jam
The early bird gets the…deals at the annual Downtown Holland Shopping Jam on Saturday, December 18 from 8:00 am – 10:00 am! Customers are encouraged to set their alarm clocks early that morning, because the earlier you shop, the more you save! During the Shopping Jam, participating shops and restaurants will be offering discounts of 30% off at least one item from 8:00 am – 9:00 am and 25% off at least one item from 9:00 am – 10:00 am. (Specific savings details will vary per business.) It’s the perfect opportunity to “wrap up” your holiday shopping while enjoying amazing discounts! The Shopping Jam is proudly sponsored by Downtown Holland’s own Waverly Stone Gastropub. Visit them at 20 West 8th Street for lunch or dinner or online at www.waverlystonepub.com for more details on their menu, upcoming events and more!

About Downtown Holland:
Located in the heart of the City of Holland, just minutes from the shores of Lake Michigan and adjacent to the campus of Hope College, Downtown Holland is a premier shopping, dining, and special events destination like none other! Downtown Holland offers over 100 locally owned boutiques, shops, and galleries, along with breweries, cafes, and restaurants for every taste. Downtown Holland is also home to unique cultural attractions, an award-winning farmers market and beautiful parks. We can’t wait to welcome you! For more information and the latest Downtown Holland news and updates, visit us online at www.downtownholland.com, follow Downtown Holland on Facebook and Instagram, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, or call 616.796.1210.

Guitarist Leo Kottke to Perform at St. Cecilia Music Center – November 19, 2021

Legendary Guitarist Leo Kottke returns to perform at St. Cecilia Music Center’s Acoustic Café Series on November 19, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – St. Cecilia Music Center is delighted to welcome back legendary guitarist and Grand Rapids favorite Leo Kottke on November 19, 2021. Kottke, who has been described by Rolling Stone Magazine as “so good that he didn’t need a band” will entertain the West Michigan audience with his amazing six and twelve-string guitar picking genius. Kottke who has more than 42 years of touring under his belt, nearly 30 albums to his name and an astonishing array of material to choose from, will entertain the audience with his instrumental genius and engaging sense of humor.

Tickets for Leo Kottke are $40 – $45, available at www.scmc-online.org or by calling 616-459-2224.

St. Cecilia Music Center’s Executive & Artistic Director Cathy Holbrook says, “Leo Kottke has a large fan base in West Michigan and it’s always a pleasure to bring him to St. Cecilia Music Center. Leo not only performs with genius guitar-picking precision on his 6-and-12-string guitars, he’s also a great storyteller recalling many humorous experiences. We can’t wait to greet him again on stage on Friday, November 19th!”

St. Cecilia Music Center’s 2021-22 Season includes a World-Class Lineup of Folk and Jazz Musicians, as well as celebrates the 10th anniversary of their partnership with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The new WinterFest Music Festival in February will also be an exciting highlight of the new season. Throughout the season, St. Cecilia Music Center will feature 17+ evenings of outstanding performances by world-renowned jazz, folk, and chamber music artists in what is their 138th season of music.

NOTE: SCMC currently requires proof of fully vaccinated status, or a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours, to attend a concert at the SCMC venue. Attendees need to bring photo ID and proof of vaccination, or a negative test, the night of a concert.

In areas with substantial and high transmission, the CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially the Delta variant, and to protect others. To that end, SCMC is requiring that all attendees wear a mask while in the building. They will continue to monitor the COVID environment and may change policies at any time if necessary.

About Leo Kottke
Acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke was born in Athens, Georgia, but left town after a year and a half. Raised in 12 different states, he absorbed a variety of musical influences as a child, flirting with both violin and trombone, before abandoning Stravinsky for the guitar at age 11.

After adding a love for the country-blues of Mississippi John Hurt to the music of John Phillip Sousa and Preston Epps, Kottke joined the Navy underage, to be underwater, and eventually lost some hearing shooting at lightbulbs in the Atlantic while serving on the USS Halfbeak, a diesel submarine.

Kottke had previously entered college at the U of Missouri, dropping out after a year to hitchhike across the country to South Carolina, then to New London and into the Navy, with his twelve string. “The trip was not something I enjoyed,” he has said, “I was broke and met too many interesting people.”

Discharged in 1964, he settled in the Twin Cities area and became a fixture at Minneapolis’ Scholar Coffeehouse, which had been home to Bob Dylan and John Koerner. He issued his 1968 recording debut LP Twelve String Blues, recorded on a Viking quarter-inch tape recorder, for the Scholar’s tiny Oblivion label. (The label released one other LP by The Langston Hughes Memorial Eclectic Jazz Band.)

After sending tapes to guitarist John Fahey, Kottke was signed to Fahey’s Takoma label, releasing what has come to be called the Armadillo record. Fahey and his manager Denny Bruce soon secured a production deal for Kottke with Capitol Records.

Kottke’s 1971 major-label debut, “Mudlark,” positioned him somewhat uneasily in the singer/songwriter vein, despite his own wishes to remain an instrumental performer. Still, despite arguments with label heads as well as with Bruce, Kottke flourished during his tenure on Capitol, as records like 1972’s “Greenhouse” and 1973’s live “My Feet Are Smiling” and “Ice Water” found him branching out with guest musicians and honing his guitar technique.

With 1975’s Chewing Pine, Kottke reached the U.S. Top 30 for the second time; he also gained an international following thanks to his continuing tours in Europe and Australia.

His collaboration with Phish bassist Mike Gordon, “Clone,” caught audiences’ attention in 2002. Kottke and Gordon followed with a recording in the Bahamas called “Sixty Six Steps,” produced by Leo’s old friend and Prince producer David Z.

Kottke has been awarded two Grammy nominations; a Doctorate in Music Performance by the Peck School of Music at the U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and a Certificate of Significant Achievement in Not Playing the Trombone from the U of Texas at Brownsville with Texas Southmost College.

About St. Cecilia Music Center
St. Cecilia Music Center’s mission is to promote the study, appreciation and performance of music in order to enrich the lives of West Michigan residents. The Center fulfills this mission by presenting visiting world-class artists in concert, providing music education for all ages through our School of Music and preserving a historic building for musical activities and community events.

Heroes United Celebration – November 10 & 11

Heroes United: Parade and Concert to Celebrate Veterans and United Way of the Lakeshore

MUSKEGON, MI – Heroes United is a special event as part of United Way of the Lakeshore’s season of caring and their annual campaign. This year, they are paying special tribute to heroes. For the tribute the Budweiser Clydesdales & Local Veteran Community Groups will participate in the parade.

“Heroes United is a celebration of veterans,” says UWL President & CEO, Christine Robere. “It is also a celebration of United Way. This special event is a thank you to people that have been heroes in serving this community and our veterans who have served this country. There will be two parades. The first will be held November 10th in Downtown Fremont, and the second parade will be held November 11th in downtown Muskegon. Our hope is that everyone will feel welcome to view the parade and honor the parade participants. Following the Muskegon veteran’s parade, we will also hold a concert at Mercy Health arena.”

The Fremont Heroes Tribute Parade will occur Wednesday, November 10th beginning at 4 PM. The parade route will begin on S. Stewart Avenue, turn down Main Street, and end at the Veterans Memorial Park where food trucks, snacks, and refreshments will be available.

The Muskegon Heroes Tribute Parade will occur on Veteran’s Day, Thursday, November 11th at 4 PM. Budweiser Clydesdales and local veteran community groups will parade downtown Muskegon on Western Ave.

The Celebration Concert, featuring the bands Westside Soul Surfers and Brena, will begin at 6 PM. Veterans, first responders, military families and United Way of the Lakeshore current and new Everyday Heroes Donors ($1/day = $365/year) will receive free wristbands for their households. You must have a promotional code to receive your wristband. If you need a code, call the United Way of the Lakeshore office at 231-722-3134. Remaining tickets will be available at the door for a donation.

“This celebration is a very special event at the mid-point of United Way of the Lakeshore’s annual campaign. As part of our season of caring, we make it a priority to show our community that there are wonderful ways to participate as volunteers and/or as donors. We hope the community will join us in celebrating all our heroes.”

Grand Haven Social District to Open to the Public on October 22

GRAND HAVEN, MI – Starting today, October 22nd, 2021, Grand Haven Main Street and the City of Grand Haven are pleased to open our brand new Social District to the public.

The district will span down Washington Avenue from Harbor Drive to Third Street and down the side streets of First and Second Street. Current plans for Grand Haven Main Street’s Social District covers these six blocks in beautiful downtown Grand Haven. While inside the district, you are able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage from approved vendors utilizing authorized cups with the business logo or name and the Grand Haven Main Street Social District logo.

Currently approved venues that are able to serve in the Social District include Odd Side Ales, Grand Armory Brewing, 12 Corners Tasting Room, and The Kirby House.

“We are looking very forward to opening the Social District in Grand Haven this Friday,” said Jeremy Swiftney, Executive Director of Grand Haven Main Street. “This has been a work in progress for many months, and we are very thankful for our volunteers, the City of Grand Haven, and its City Council for believing in the safety and feasibility of this planned district. Economic vitality and recovery from the pandemic are very important to our community and to Grand Haven Main Street. This is just one more example of our business community, advocates, local leaders, and local residents all working together to assist in achieving these results for our Main Street businesses.”

As more venues receive approval from the State of Michigan, we will continue to open the district up to their business as well. Currently approved by Grand Haven City Council, and awaiting state approval, are Long Road Distillery, Anna’s House, The Grand, The Eagles, Portobello Restaurant, Tip-A-Few, and Tip-Two. For more information about Grand Haven Main Street and the Social District, please contact us at 616-844-1188 or visit www.downtowngh.com for more information.

About Grand Haven Main Street Downtown
Grand Haven Main Street includes the shopping, dining, and service areas from Beacon to Harbor in downtown Grand Haven. The mission of Grand Haven Main Street Downtown Development Authority is to enhance a vibrant historic business district through community efforts, plus public and private partnerships. Each year Main Street strives to enhance the heart of the Grand Haven community through promotional events, physical improvements and business recruitment and retention activities.

Serial 1 E-Bikes Now In Stock at Electric Bike Place

GRAND HAVEN, MI – Serial 1 Electric Bikes are some of the hottest products in the biking industry and are in stock at Electric Bike Place. Powered by Harley Davidson, Serial 1 e-bikes take all of the classic looks of the iconic motorcycle and pack them with the latest technology.

The MOSH/CITY is a step-over, Class 1 electric bike that has a top speed of 20 mph and a range of 30 to 105 miles. This urban-riding machine features a single speed freewheel hub, a Gates carbon-fiber belt drive, and a mid-drive Brose S MAG motor. The MOSH/CITY retails for $3,799.

For those that want a step-thru option, the RUSH takes frame style and performance to another level. This Class 1 e-bike offers automatic, responsive shifting that adjusts automatically. Combine that with the Gates carbon belt and an integrated battery and motor, and the result is a sleek, nearly maintenance-free electric bike, ready to take the paths! The RUSH step-thru retails for $4,999.

The internal cabling, headlights, integrated battery, and frame color make these bikes seamless. They hardly look like e-bikes, and anyone we put on the bike looked like they had been riding for years. This bike is built with purpose, and we can tell there is craftsmanship down to the most minute details.

Both models are available at Electric Bike Place. Test rides are available for both models. Located at 16881 Hayes Street in Grand Haven, the store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About Electric Bike Place:
Electric Bike Place is an e-bike retailer in Grand Haven, Michigan, and is an authorized dealer for Benno, Gazelle, Norco, Serfas, Haibike, iZip, Magnum, Serial 1, and Raleigh electric bikes. Electric Bike Place focuses on education, sales, and service. Electric Bike Place is powered by MACkite, a kiteboarding, foilboarding, and e bike retail store that has been in business for over 30 years. MACkite was voted as 2016’s Kiteboarding Retailer of the Year by the Association of Wind & Water Sports Industries.

“Celebrating Muskegon” Artists’ Lecture – October 14

MUSKEGON MI – John Littleton and Kate Vogel, the artists who created CELEBRATING MUSKEGON, the outstanding sculpture in the roundabout at Lakeshore and Beach Street at Pere Marquette Beach installed this past April, are coming back to Muskegon to talk about their sculpture and about their more than thirty years of working together and creating art.

John and Kate will present a program in the Muskegon Museum of Art Frey Foundation Auditorium at 6:00pm on October 14. A reception with light refreshments and a cash bar will follow the talk. The program is free and open to the public. The MMA recommends masks for those who choose to attend.

art

Celebrating Muskegon, standing at 22-foot 6-inch high, is a dramatic combination of stainless steel rods and elevated steel bands enclosing thick hand-cast glass, and was designed as a tribute to the strength of the Muskegon community. In colors of blue and green, the sculpture represents Muskegon’s parks and forested dunes and the waters that make Muskegon special.

More than 100 donors raised over $50,000 to fund CELEBRATING MUSKEGON, triggering the additional matching funds from the Muskegon Economic Development Corp. Public Place, Community Spaces for the public art project of the City of Muskegon and the Community Foundation for Muskegon County’s MuskegonCity Public Art Initiative.

CELEBRATING MUSKEGON is the third commission of a planned 10 works of public art by the MuskegonCity Public Art Initiative.

AgeWell Services’ Free Lunch & Learn – October 12, 2021

City of Roosevelt Park and SafeSeniors Present Free Lunch & Learn: Not Everyone is A Friend!

Muskegon, Mich. – Every year, an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans experience abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, with billions of dollars lost from savings meant to see them through their golden years. Whether the perpetrator is a family member, friend, or a stranger, there are red flags to watch out for to stay safe and financially whole.

Join us on Wednesday, October 13, from 12 pm to 2 pm at the Roosevelt Park Community Center, 3106 Roosevelt, for a free lunch sponsored by the City of Roosevelt Park and funded through the Muskegon County Senior Millage. In addition to the free lunch, frozen and shelf-stable meals will also be provided for all attendees.

After lunch, the SafeSeniors team will share information on how to spot scammers and others who would have you think they are a friend, but are not! SafeSeniors, a program of AgeWell Services of West Michigan, works with community partners to identify, advocate, and seek justice for older adult victims of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. They provide education and awareness to help prevent and expose abuse, neglect and financial exploitation; advocate for policies and programs that ensure the safety of our older adult population; and investigate and prosecute perpetrators of these crimes to seek justice and restitution for victims.

If you are unable to join us in-person, you can grab a meal to-go with some SafeSeniors information.

Reservations are required by Tuesday, October 12 and space is limited. Please state whether in-person or to-go when reserving. Call 231-733-8634 to register.

About AgeWell Services
AgeWell Services of West Michigan was founded in 1973. AgeWell Services invites adults 60 and over to redefine their age. We provide vital connections to keep our most vulnerable population nourished, active, learning, and living independently. AgeWell Services is a private nonprofit. With support of a 3-county Board of Directors, a programming advisory committee, 90 staff members and 300 volunteers, we provide 6 different services to adults 60 and over in Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties – Meals on Wheels, Lunch & Activity Centers, Wellness (55 and over), Senior Medical Transportation, Discount Dining Program, and SafeSeniors. For more information on AgeWell Services visit: www.agewellservices.org or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter: @AgeWellServices

Community Foundation Scholarship Program Accepting Applications

Muskegon, Mich. — The Community Foundation for Muskegon County is now accepting scholarship applications for students planning to attend college in the 2022-2023 academic year.

THE ONLINE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 1, 2022

The Community Foundation for Muskegon County manages one of the largest scholarship programs in West Michigan, awarding over $1.3 million annually to both graduating high school seniors and current college students across Muskegon County.

The Community Foundation manages over 220 scholarship funds started by donors who wish to support students in continuing their education. There are awards based on a variety of factors including academic achievement, community involvement, extracurricular activities, field of study, and financial need. Scholarships are not just for college; there are awards for technical and trade school, as well as for adult students starting college or completing a degree after a break from high school. All students planning to continue their education should apply!

Applications are submitted electronically through the Community Foundation’s website, www.muskegonfoundation.org/scholarships. The application process has been streamlined into three easy steps for students and families. Scholarship applications are managed through a “single application” method. Each application is reviewed and matched with the best-fitting scholarship source. Students will be notified of scholarship awards in April and will be recognized at their school awards assembly. Current college students will be notified by mail in June.

In order to maximize scholarship support for all students in Muskegon County, the Community Foundation concentrates scholarship dollars on students who are not eligible for the Muskegon Promise.

“We are excited that we’re able to offer more Muskegon County students access to higher education,” said Janelle Mair, CFMC vice president of community investment. “This is a significant investment in our community, and we hope that many of these young adults return to Muskegon to live, work, and give back to the community that invested in them.”

All Community Foundation scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.

Taste of Muskegon Announces Taste Plate Award Winners

Muskegon, MI – Taste of Muskegon wrapped up its 15th festival on Saturday with the annual Taste Plate Awards ceremony. Nearly 30 local restaurants and food trucks competed for both judged and a public-vote honors.

The 2021 Taste Plate Award winners are:

People’s Choice

  1. Tiki Boiz
  2. Hamburger Mikey

Best Taste

  1. Tiki Boiz: Karate Kid Burger
  2. Hamburger Mikey: Jamaican Elvis Slider

Best New Bite

  1. Burl & Sprig: Honey Soy Brussel Sprouts
  2. Soul Filled Eatery: Deep Fried Shrimp and Grits

Best Dessert

  1. Occidental Eats: Bob Harvey Special
  2. Yodels Frozen Yogurt: Strawberry Cheesecake Deluxe

Best Beer and Bacon presented by Tyler Sales

  1. Bone Ends: Beer Bread BLT & Beercheese Potato Soup
  2. Rolling Stone Woodfire Pizza Co.: Oktoberfest

Best Lite Bite

  1. Burl & Sprig: Shrimp Ceviche
  2. Tiki Boiz: Woke Bowl

Best Booth

  1. Hearthstone Bistro
  2. Hamburger Mikey

Sustainability

  1. Tiki Boiz
    Honorable Mention: Rolling Stone Woodfire Pizza Co.
    Honorable Mention: Burl & Sprig

“It was wonderful to be back in Hackley Park. All the chefs came to play with some terrific Tastes,” said Lisa Kraus, Marketing Director of Taste of Muskegon. “The atmosphere of this event is so special. There’s nothing like having dinner with the whole community.”

Taste of Muskegon, produced by the Downtown Development Authority, will return to its usual weekend, June 17 and 18, for 2022. To stay up to date on all future events for Taste of Muskegon, follow them on Facebook and visit their website tasteofmuskegon.org

Six West Michigan Attractions Offer Free Admission in October to Members

KALAMAZOO, MI – The Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange returns this fall. The exchange offers free admission to members of six cultural attractions in the Kalamazoo area during the month of October. Current members of The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Bird Sanctuary can visit each destination free of admission charge when they present a valid membership card and photo ID.

For the eighth year, the exchange offers visitors the chance to explore exciting area destinations to discover art, history, nature, science, wildlife and much more. At the same time, it highlights the great value and benefits that membership to these organizations provides. Postponed from May for the second year, the exchange partners are certain that visitors and especially families, will enjoy and appreciate this special opportunity. “Fall colors and cooler temperatures make for delightful visits to the outdoor venues and the bonus of an in-person educational experience is especially attractive for those who are learning virtually or learning in hybrid situations. Each organization continues to stress safe visits, and visitors are encouraged to plan their visit by reviewing the information posted on each website. Guests can also track their visits with a punch card that when fully completed can be submitted for a drawing to win a membership to all six destinations. Members can get their punch cards at any one of the six participating destination locations. The winner will be drawn and notified on November 5.

Highlights Include:

The Air Zoo is a Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science experience with over 100 rare aircraft and space artifacts, immersive and interactive hands-on exhibits, amusement park-style rides, science-based virtual education programs and more! New to the exhibit floor – Women in Air & Space timeline, and We Did It, the Riveting Real Rosies of WWII both explore an engaging panorama of stories, images, graphics, videos, and hands-on activities as you explore more than 100 years of contributions made by more than 50 accomplished women in the fields of aviation and space exploration. Make sure to visit the Flight Discovery Center on your next visit. Guests will be amazed at the progress the nationally renowned Air Zoo’s restoration team has made on the Douglas SBD-2P Dauntless and the F-117 Nighthawk – truly something to marvel at. Finally, those looking for some inspiration and social engagement should check out the Air Zoo’s events calendar for upcoming events and programs! Learn more at www.airzoo.org.

Binder Park Zoo is home to a diverse array of exotic and native animal species. Natural and spacious habitat design blends animal habitats into the surrounding landscape -a hallmark of the zoo that respects animals and delights guests. The Conservation Carousel, vintage Z.O.& O. train and trip to the 50-acre Wild Africa exhibit aboard the Wilderness Tram are several zoo adventures that entertain while making meaningful connections to nature. See the new Mexican wolf habitat and the dinosaurs of Zoorassic Park which opens September 23. The zoo is open daily 10am-4pm through Oct. 24. Plan your visit at www.binderparkzoo.org.

Gilmore Car Museum is North America’s largest auto museum, with more than 400 exceptional cars, trucks and motorcycles on display, presented in world-class galleries. It’s located on a beautiful 90-acre historic campus in the Michigan countryside, with towering red barns, vintage car dealerships, and an operating 1941 roadside diner. Current special exhibits include The Greatest Generation: Corvettes From C1 (1953) to C8 (2021) and Born to Perform: The Era of the Muscle Car. The museum is open seven days a week, year-round. Learn more at www.gilmorecarmuseum.org.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is one of the leading arts organizations in the Midwest, where art is for everyone. Visitors can pre-book tickets or stop in to enjoy the Museum, the Collection, the Fine Arts Library, Kirk Newman Art School, programs, events, and the Gallery Shop. World-class exhibitions currently on view include Unveiling American Genius, the reimagining of the KIA’s permanent collection. Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination, Todd Gray: Crossing the Waters of Space, Time, and History,  and It’s a David Small World in the children’s gallery. Learn more at www.kiarts.org or call 269-349-7775 for more information.

Kalamazoo Nature Center invites visitors to enjoy the beautiful fall colors while exploring 1,100+ acres of varied habitats. With 16 nature trails to choose from, there is always something new to see at KNC. The Visitor Center is open Saturdays 9-5, Sundays 1-5, and closed weekdays for renovations. For the October calendar of featured programs, please visit www.naturecenter.org.

KBS Bird Sanctuary is open Wednesday through Sunday offering over 3 miles of trails, including a lakeside trail to see waterfowl, raptors, and game birds up close. October is the start of peak migration! Over 100 birds can been seen on their journey south before the winter months. Visit our Pollinator Garden and Rain Garden to get inspiration for your gardens! Learn more at www.birdsanctuary.kbs.msu.edu.

Six cultural gems; The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Bird Sanctuary are located in southwest Michigan, and each destination is committed to providing an exceptional experience for visitors. Guests who aren’t members can purchase the membership(s) of their choice at the websites listed above. Memberships make great gifts, too. The value of admission for a family of four to visit all six organizations is over $200.

For more information, visit www.swmimemberexchange.com or any of the websites listed above.

Lakeshore Art Festival Releases National Recognition, Economic Impact and Sustainability Report

MUSKEGON, MI – After the Lakeshore Art Festival cancellation in 2020 due to Covid-19, the fine art and craft show is happy to announce overall successful results from the 2021 event that took place June 26 and 27.

National Recognition:
The Lakeshore Art Festival is being celebrated by Sunshine Artist magazine, www.sunshineartist.com, in their annual 200 Best shows in the country. This year’s issue celebrates the best shows of the past 10 years: 2010 to 2020.

The Lakeshore Art Festival ranked # 89 in the Classic and Contemporary Craft Category. The Sunshine Artist 200 Best is split into two categories: Fine Art and Design for events that focus on unique fine-art pieces, and Classic and Contemporary Craft for events that focus on traditional or modern craft and production work.

Artists and craftspeople are typically asked to cast their votes each spring for the 200 Best shows list. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the industry, Sunshine Artist decided to tabulate the best shows of the last decade. Sunshine Artist’s annual 200 Best focuses solely on artist show revenue, because that is the most objective indicator of a show’s future success.

Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director commented, “The festival has come a long way in the 9 years since its re-birth and launch into our revitalized downtown. The Sunshine Artist 200 Best recognition for the last decade is extra special since we were not able to hold the Lakeshore Art Festival in 2020 and the festival is less than 10 years old. That is quite an accomplishment! Plus, this award is voted on by the artists and craftspeople that attend our show, demonstrating that not only are the exhibitors happy, but that our guests are happily buying handmade goods!”

Economic Impact:
Each year the Lakeshore Art Festival works with Visit Muskegon, the county’s convention and visitors bureau, to generate economic impact estimates for the event. These estimates are based on number of attendees, exhibitors, food booths, hotel stays, sales generated, etc. Data is gathered through surveys, heat maps, income feedback and industry indicators, then tabulated through a series of formulas. The 2021 economic impact generated by the Lakeshore Art Festival is estimated at $448,769, bringing the total economic impact since the festival’s inception in 2013 to $7.5 million dollars.*

“While these economic impact estimates tend to be conservative, the Lakeshore Art Festival continues to make a significant impact on the greater Muskegon area,” said Bob Lukens, director of Visit Muskegon. “Not only does the Lakeshore Art Festival boost local tourism, but it leaves a lasting impression on visitors who return to our community time and time again for this exceptional event.”

Sustainability Report:
While the Lakeshore Art Festival is proud of its economic impact numbers, the event tends to look at more than just dollars when it looks at the success of the event. In collaboration with Schupan Recycling, the Lakeshore Art Festival has created a Sustainability Report that recognizes the building blocks for a stronger Muskegon, including benefits to community, environment and local economy. This year’s report was made possible through a grant from the DTE Foundation and can be found here.

Jessica Loding, Director of Events & Strategic Partnerships at Schupan stated, “The Lakeshore Art Festival does one of the best jobs in the State of Michigan at incorporating sustainability, in its entirety, [environmentally, socially and economically] – throughout its operation.”

More About the Lakeshore Art Festival:
The 2022 dates are June 25 and 26. The annual art festival brings thousands of guests, hundreds of fine art and craft exhibitors, a multitude of food vendors, children’s activities, street performers and art installations to Downtown Muskegon. The festival ranks as one of the Top 200 Best in the Country by Sunshine Artist Magazine, has been recognized as People’s Choice Award: #1 Art Festival in West Michigan and as one of the Best Art Fairs in America by ArtFairCalendar.com. Since 2013, the Lakeshore Art Festival has brought in over $7.5 million dollars to the Muskegon Lakeshore area and supported a number of local non-profits.

Learn more about the Lakeshore Art Festival sponsorship or volunteer opportunities at www.lakeshoreartfestival.org or by emailing director@lakeshoreartfestival.org. Follow them on Facebook for the latest updates.

*Economic impact multi-year total does not include 2020, when festival was canceled due to the pandemic.

Celebrate Impact at the Community Foundation’s Annual Gathering, October 7th

Muskegon, Mich. — The entire community is welcome to “Celebrate Impact” at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County’s Annual Gathering on Thursday, October 7, 2021. The event invites everyone to come together and honor the work being done in Muskegon County to create a vibrant community with great opportunities for all.

Starting with a social hour at 5:00 p.m., attendees are invited to gather in the Western Avenue lobby of the Frauenthal Center for food, drinks, and fellowship. Three local food vendors who are all working to bring positive impact to our community – Kuntry Cookin’, The Only Cannoli, and Lively Up Kombucha – will be on site with complimentary drinks and snacks. A limited cash bar will also be available.

At 6:00 p.m., guests will be invited to gather in the Frauenthal Theater where they will hear updates from Community Foundation staff, as well as featured speaker and local leader Brianna Scott, on the life-changing power of positive impact in Muskegon County.

“If you want to live a fulfilled life, you have to see life through the lens of a servant of something greater than yourself,” said Brianna Scott, local attorney and entrepreneur. “Once you do that, your passions will lead you to exactly where God predestined you to be, making the ripple that builds the wave of impact that slowly but surely moves across the body of water you call community.”

The Community Foundation will also be announcing the recipient of their first ever Impact Award, recognizing an individual in the community who has gone above and beyond to advance education, foster a dynamic local economy, and promote prosperity for all. The winner will also receive a $5,000 grant to give to a local nonprofit or group whose work aligns with one or more of those focus areas.

“We are excited to introduce the new Impact Award at this year’s Annual Gathering,” said Todd Jacobs, Community Foundation president/CEO. “The award celebrates an individual who contributes to the success of community members and local businesses and who embodies the values of building hope and opportunity, fostering collaboration, and promoting an inclusive community. The first Community Foundation Impact Award recipient is most deserving.”

Tickets for this FREE event are available for pickup at the Frauenthal Box Office, Monday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. or online at Etix.com.

To keep everyone in attendance safe, wearing masks and social distancing are recommended inside the Frauenthal Theater. Masks and hand sanitizer will also be available at the event. 

Windmill Island Gardens Extends Season Amid Record Attendance

HOLLAND, MI – The last few years have been a roller coaster ride at Windmill Island Gardens. After a pandemic-shortened 2020 season led to reduced attendance numbers, this year park staff welcomed a record number of visitors. To meet continued demand, the park will extend the season beyond its scheduled closing day of October 3. The Dutch attractions and gardens will open on Saturdays and Sundays through October 24 for guests to enjoy at a reduced admission of $5.

Unfortunately, the onset of the pandemic in 2020 coincided with Holland’s annual Tulip Time celebrations leading to the cancellation of festivities. When Windmill Island Gardens was able to open in mid-June, no tulips remained to greet the 50,000 guests – less than half of the previous season’s total.

2021 has been a different story. Staff and industry expectations were shattered as the park eclipsed its record seasonal attendance earlier this month. The venerable attraction previously welcomed a record crowd of 122,646 in 1972. This year, the number may surpass 130,000 despite crowd limitations earlier in the year. According to Development Manager Matt Helmus, “we’ve been amazed by visitor demand and very fortunate that our staff stepped up to allow us to stay open all season.”

In response to the park’s popularity, plans are in place to remain open for visitors through late October. Due to the need to begin planting tulips, the park traditionally closes the first weekend of October. However, this year it will re-open to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays through October 24. As staff will begin seasonal cleanup and bulb planting, admission rates will be reduced to $5 for adults with kids 15 and under admitted free.

With the extension of the season, staff is also excited to participate in Downtown Holland’s Fall Fest. On Saturday, October 9, admission to the park will include entry to a Fall Artisan Market from 10am to 5pm. Additional events in the downtown area include pumpkin carving and painting, hayrides, street performers and more. Additional information on the festival can be found at HollandFallFest.com.

Lakeshore Museum Center Announces Opening of New Exhibit to Honor Muskegon’s Jewish Community

submitted by the West Michigan Tourist Association

MUSKEGON, MI – Lakeshore Museum Center is excited to announce the opening of a new exhibit to honor the Jewish community in Muskegon. “L’Dor V’Dor: Generations of Musekon’s Jewish Community” is opening September 30, 2021, and will run through April 23, 2022.

“L’Dor V’Dor” comes from the Hebrew saying which means ‘from generation to generation.’ This exhibit exemplifies the history of the Jewish community in Muskegon, exemplified by Congregation B’nai Israel, which was founded in 1888. Lakeshore Museum Center invites visitors to learn about Judaism and Congregation B’nai Israel by exploring three major elements of Judaism in daily life — education, religious practice, and family.

“Lakeshore Museum Center is excited about this opportunity to partner with Congregation B’nai Israel to bring an exhibit to the Museum that highlights the rich history of the Jewish community in Muskegon,” says Jackie Huss, museum experiences director. “Congregation B’nai Israel has been a staple in Muskegon since the late 1800s and it’s important to celebrate and honor their legacy.”

L’Dor V’Dor is a partnership between Lakeshore Museum Center and Congregation B’nai Israel. This exhibit is funded in part by Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for Humanities, and received generous support from the Grand Valley State University Kutsche Office of Local History and members of Congregation B’nai Israel.

Admission to the Lakeshore Museum Center is free for Museum members and Muskegon County residents and $5 for non-residents.

For more information on the L’Dor V’Dor exhibit and the Lakeshore Museum Center, visit lakeshoremuseum.org.

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

West Michigan Tourist Association Welcomes New Team Member

New Materials & Marketing Coordinator Joins West Michigan Tourist Association Team

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA) is excited to welcome Kathleen Schiefler as the new Materials & Marketing Coordinator.

Kathleen is passionate about West Michigan, and says she loves everything about this great region of the state. “The incredible diversity of beauty, scenery, culture, people, food, entertainment, and topography is mind boggling. And you don’t have to travel far to find an adventure just about every weekend,” she says.

Many of Kathleen’s favorite activities she’s gotten to do in Michigan have been in the great outdoors! She’s enjoyed getting up in the middle of the night to watch the aurora borealis under a clear, open sky, as well as boating through the intercoastal waterway from Petoskey to Cheboygan. She also says one of her favorite experiences has been walking waist-deep through a water trail, emerging on top of the Sand Hill bog, while the famous Sand Hill Cranes were – on cue – flying and trumpeting about! 

In her spare time, Kathleen enjoys exploring local farmers markets and sampling all sorts of local “Made in Michigan” treats. She also loves the harvest of summer, from dahlia’s and zinnia’s, to strawberries and blueberries. She says she’ll never tire of “watching sunsets from one of dozens of my favorite spots all along our indescribably beautiful shorelines in West Michigan.”

Kathleen can help answer any general West Michigan inquires, or sending a mailed copy of WMTA’s Carefree Travel Guides or Lighthouse Maps. For any questions or information regarding the West Michigan Tourist Association, she can be contacted at Kathleen@WMTA.org or 616.245.2217 ext 100.

Parkland Properties of Michigan Appoints Peter Birk as Executive Chef

submitted by the West Michigan Tourist Association

MUSKEGON, MI – Parkland Properties of Michigan, a real estate development and hospitality firm that operates the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center, Delta Hotels by Marriott Muskegon/Convention Center, Lake House Waterfront Grille & Event Center, Walker’s An American Brasserie, Lake Effect Bistro, and the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center, has appointed Peter Birk as Executive Chef.

Peter has over 20 years of experience in providing kitchen leadership in large operations such as McCormick’s & Schmick’s in Los Angeles and Kansas City; Ray’s Boathouse, Café & Catering in Seattle; and TEN/The Northern Hotel in Billings, Montana. Upon relocating back to West Michigan, Peter served as Executive Chef for New Hotel Mertens and the Kent Country Club, prior to taking off time off to spend with his newborn child.

Peter will join Michael Hart, who was appointed as Food & Beverage Director for Parkland Properties in late June. Michael also has over 20 years of experience in the industry leading organizations such as the Elephant Bar Restaurant southern region (consisting of their Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri and Florida locations), the Firebird Restaurant Group in Texas, and Restaurant Partners in Michigan.

With the recent opening of the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center, Parkland Properties has placed an emphasis on expanding and developing its food & beverage operations.

“With the addition of the Convention Center, we felt it was important to recruit talent that has experience leading large-scale food & beverage operations”, said Jon Rooks, owner of Parkland Properties. “We were looking for not only a deep understanding of the industry, but also level-headedness and the ability to help navigate us through the challenges that our industry is still facing. We are super excited about Michael and Peter, and what they will be able to do for not only our existing operations, but also our planned future operations across West Michigan.”

These future operations may include an 11th floor, rooftop bar on top of the Shoreline Inn Hotel, which Parkland is considering adding in late 2022.

“It would be the tallest rooftop bar – with views of Lake Michigan – in the State, and another great attraction for Downtown Muskegon”.

MADL Summer Reading Grand Prize Winner

grandprize
2021 SUMMER READING GRAND PRIZE WINNER FROM MUSKEGON HEIGHTS BRANCH LIBRARY

Muskegon, MI – Muskegon Area District Library Summer Reading Club has signed up hundreds of readers in the ‘Tails and Tales’ fun summer reading program. MADL Library Card holders log their reading activity to be entered in drawings to win great prizes in three categories, kids, teens and adults. The more participants read, the more chances they have to win prizes.

The Summer Reading Club includes a partnership with Miranda 2021 Summer Reading Club from WOODTV. One lucky winner is randomly selected from 80 West Michigan participating libraries to win its Grand Prize. This year’s winner is 10-year old Noah Warden from the Muskegon Heights Branch Library. Noah is a regular patron at the Muskegon Heights branch.

The substantial prize pack included family tickets to: Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, Family Fun – road trip to Auburn Hills and passes to LEGOLAND, Sea Life Aquarium, Peppa Pig World, RainForest Café and a back to school shopping spree.

The MADL Summer Reading Club began June 14 and ends August 21. Over 2,000 people have participated in this year’s program. MADL Summer Reading prizes will be awarded the week of August 23. All summer long, thousands of kids participate in the Summer Reading Club at their local library.

Taste of Muskegon is Back and Tastier Than Ever

Muskegon, MI – Taste of Muskegon is returning to Hackley Park for a special autumn edition of the festival on September 24 & 25. The 15th year of the event will feature 30 local restaurants and food trucks.

Restaurant Row will have several of the Taste of Muskegon 2020 Taste Plate Award winners, including:

  • Corine’s Cakes & Catering – People’s Choice Award
  • Mylan’s Waterfront Grille – Best Taste Award
  • Abeshi Ghanian Cuisine – Best New Bite Award
  • Bone Ends – Best Dessert Award

New this year to Taste of Muskegon, though not all are new to Muskegon:

  • Burl & Sprig
  • DaKidd Bar-B-Que & Catering
  • G&L Chili Dogs
  • Navarro’s Mexican Take-Out
  • Occidental Eats
  • OVK BBQ
  • TasteeBBQ and Chic

There will be many Taste favorites back in the park:

  • Aloha Hawaiian Shave Ice
  • Carlson’s Almonds
  • Curry Kitchen and Naan Pizza
  • Frank’s Concessions
  • Hamburger Mikey
  • Hearthstone Bistro
  • Hey Sugar
  • Ice Box Brand Ice Cream Bars
  • Kuntry Cookin’
  • Rolling Stone Pizza
  • Skeetown Tavern
  • Soul Filled Eatery
  • The Pizza Cone Trolley
  • Tiki Boiz
  • Uncle Bill’s Taco Wagon
  • Wonderland Distilling Co.
  • Yodels Frozen Yogurt
  • Uncle Wayne’s BBQ
eating

“It is so exciting to be back in Hackley Park. We have worked closely with all our restaurants to help them through this challenging year and a half. It is time for all of us to celebrate being back together,” said Lisa Kraus, Marketing Director of Taste of Muskegon. “Everyone knows the best parties have good food. We have amazing food planned for Taste.”

band

Taste of Muskegon, produced by the Downtown Development Authority, will take place on September 24th and 25th in Hackley Park. On Saturday, United Way’s Ride United will begin and end at Taste of Muskegon. Awards for Taste of Muskegon’s best plates will take place Saturday afternoon and include both judged and public votes. To learn more about the restaurants and events at Taste of Muskegon 2021, visit their website at www.tasteofmuskegon.org.

Kent County Hospitality Association Hosts Industry-wide Job Fair – September 9

Kent County Hospitality Association Says “Let’s Get Back to Work” by hosting an industry-wide Job Fair on Thursday, September 9

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Kent County Hospitality Association is hosting a county-wide job fair on Thursday, September 9 from 10am until 6pm at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. So far, two dozen businesses have signed up to talk with potential employees about jobs in various sectors within the hospitality industry – including hotels, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, attractions, events and those providing goods and services to the industry. There is no charge to attend this event and parking is free in the lot underneath DeVos.

Participating Businesses Include:

  • Affordable Limousine LLC.
  • AHC Hospitality
  • Aimbridge Hospitality
  • Anna’s House
  • ASM Global- Grand Rapids
  • Avflight
  • BarFly
  • Best Western Plus Grand Castle Inn & Suites
  • Bier Distillery
  • Block by Block
  • Bluewater Technologies
  • Brewery Vivant and Broad Leaf Brewery & Spirits
  • City of Grand Rapids
  • Culinary Cultivations
  • Daddy Pete’s BBQ
  • Danzon Cubano
  • DK Security
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Rapids
  • Ellis Parking Company
  • Federal Express
  • Founders Brewing Co
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
  • Gilmore Catering
  • GLC Live at 20 Monroe
  • Grand Rapids Harley-Davidson & Fox Powersports
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum
  • Grand Valley State University/HTM
  • Gun Lake Casino
  • Hertz
  • HMSHost
  • Holiday Inn Express Lodge And Suites
  • Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Airport
  • Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown
  • IATSE Local 26
  • John Ball Zoo
  • KITCHEN SAGE
  • Lodgco Hospitality
  • N&P Hospitality Inc
  • New Holland Brewing Co
  • Radisson Hotel Grand Rapids Riverfront & River Rock Dining and Lounge
  • Railside Golf Club
  • RedWater Collection
  • Revel Hospitality Staffing
  • SAVOR
  • ShowSpan, Inc. / GR Wine Festival
  • Spectrum Health
  • Staffing Inc
  • Suburban Inns
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • The Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids
  • Tru by Hilton Grand Rapids Airport
  • Uccello’s Hospitality Group

The list of participating businesses is also posted online at https://fb.me/e/EBxA2S5J.

PANDEMIC SAFETY PROTOCOL
We want to assure everyone that we are very mindful of the current situation and ongoing concerns that have evoked further caution due to the delta variant. We are taking precautions to keep everyone safe during our in-person Job Fair:

  • We suggest masks be worn during the job fair at all times, except when eating or drinking. This includes any social gatherings and interviews being held on the exhibit floor. As of this writing, masks are required in Grand Rapids; this, however, may change, and we will abide by any restrictions and guidelines that local health authorities impose.
  • A limited supply of masks will be available at registration, and hand sanitizer stations will be staged throughout DeVos Place, including on the exhibit hall floor’ Please practice social distancing wherever possible. We ask that everyone use their own due diligence and protect each other. Please allow for at least six feet of distance between each other when walking.
  • If you suspect you may have contracted and are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to the job fair. 
  • This is the first time we have planned a job fair under these conditions. We ask that everyone continue to be patient as we work through this. Guidelines may change as we get closer to or even during the event. 
  • The convention center and arena have safely and successfully hosted meetings and events over the past several months. We are working closely with our hospitality partners to benefit from their experience as well. 
  • DeVos Place has engaged a sanitation program that includes upgrades to its HVAC air filtration system and disinfection of high-touch areas.

To learn more about these and additional measures at DeVos Place, click here:  www.devosplace.org/p/about1/venueshield

About the Kent County Hospitality Association
The mission of the Kent County Hospitality Association is to provide Kent County hospitality related businesses an opportunity to meet professionally with a common interest to better serve our industry and community while furthering the overall tourism landscape of our region.

Annual Remembrance to Honor and Remember Loved Ones

Muskegon, Michigan – The Bob & Merle Scolnik Healing Center of Harbor Hospice invites the community to their Annual Community Remembrance on Monday, September 20 beginning at 6:00 pm. This is a program encompassing beautiful music, readings, and bulb planting to help individuals and families in our community to both mourn the death and honor the life of a loved one.  

The program will be held at the Heritage Memorial Garden located at 545 West Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon. This program annually welcomes 80-100 attendees and is open to anyone who has had a loss and need not have had hospice care. 

Local community supporter, Pam Babbitt developed the beautiful garden in honor of her late husband; a haven located in downtown Muskegon and an incredible representation of the love that remains even after a person dies.

“I’m so thankful to now have a special place where I can go to remember my loved one any time of the year.”

2020 attendee

Grief counselors for the Scolnik Healing Center, Laura Ecker and Beth Bolthouse, describe “It makes such a difference to come together with others in our community, feel a genuine connection and be supported, knowing we are not alone in our grief.  This event provides an opportunity for sharing love and healing in meaningful ways.”

In our culture, mourning is becoming increasingly taboo. Grief is a natural and normal response to loss, and mourning is how one heals.  It is our privilege to offer this opportunity to mourn and heal in an environment of acceptance and understanding. 

If you would like to participate in this meaningful event, please RSVP by Monday, September 13, by calling the Scolnik Healing Center of Harbor Hospice at 231.728.3442 or 1.800.497.9559.