News Releases

Dog Park Construction Is Underway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Spirit Ride is Coming Through!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Towman Spirit, Inc.
A non-profit corporation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Information:

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

Muskegon’s Historic Sites Open for the Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






Muskegon Civic Theatre Youth Programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To qualify for a scholarship, students must submit:

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

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

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

Lakeshore Fellowship Worship in the Park

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


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

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

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

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

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

144The Tumblers will Ship on 7/7/2017

All 144 Names of the Fallen are on the Tumbler.

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

blue alertGet yours Now and Support Our Fallen Heroes

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

EIN: 45-5607994

For full details, view this message on the web.

Secretary Johnson Suspends License of Muskegon Auto Dealer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apollo Publications Connects Readers With Your Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephanie Timmer
Apollo Communication

Resources To Help Aging Drivers

Submitted by Kayla Johnson

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

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

Check it out here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To register for the ML&SA conference, visit

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

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

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

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


United Way – Improving Children’s Literacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Harbor Hospice is Accepting Applications For Camp Courage 2017

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

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

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

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

Friends of Hackley Library – New Website

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

or the much longer:

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

Thanks, Larry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worker Tax Credit a Boost to Local Economy

By Christine Robere, President & CEO, United Way of the Lakeshore

(MUSKEGON, MI) — At the United Way of the Lakeshore we fight for many working women and men who work hard at low-wage jobs yet can barely make ends meet. They find it nearly impossible to cover even essentials such as food, transportation to and from work, and electric bills. We know them as ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. They work in all areas of our economy and throughout our community.

One way we help struggling workers in our community is by connecting them with the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It’s one of our most effective tools to keep people working and help them get a fair shot at a decent life. Each year we connect individuals and families to the EITC through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program run locally by Goodwill Industries. Last year, this resulted in more than $2 million coming back to our community. All it takes is a simple call to 2-1-1 to schedule a VITA appointment to help prepare one’s taxes. There are income eligibility requirements for the free service.

Though many will qualify, the EITC entirely shuts out millions of working people who are not raising children. For example, noncustodial parents who want to provide more support to their children receive very little from the credit, and young childless workers aged 21-24—many of whom are struggling to get a foothold in the workforce—are completely ineligible for the EITC.

Expanding the EITC to include workers not raising children would give more working people in our area the financial stability to cover the basics, build a better future for themselves and their loved ones, and contribute more to our local economy. Studies show that the EITC helps working people buy necessities like food and gas from local businesses, which in turn helps our local economy grow.

At United Way of the Lakeshore we know these aren’t just numbers. They are real people with real stories. A stronger EITC would reward the hard work of people—young and old, male and female, from every background—who do essential, low-wage jobs in schools and office buildings and on construction sites to keep our economy running.

As our leaders in Washington, D.C. look for ways to help hardworking people like ALICE in the next year, we hope that they support expanding the EITC for workers not raising children. It’s good for workers and its good for our local economy.

Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY Show

National Talent, Local Businesses, Décor Spaces

The Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY Show welcomes back, national speaker J Schwanke to Fricano’s Event Center March 10 and 11, 2017. This year’s show will feature 60+ local businesses exhibiting their best home and garden information, educational seminars, DIY sessions, celebrity guests and more!

Schwanke is a flower expert, flower content producer and professional speaker, known throughout the flower industry and beyond. He is regarded as the most trusted voice in the flower industry. He will be presenting “Fun with Flowers and J” – two unique seminars on Saturday, March 11. Schwanke has written numerous books which will be on sale during the event with an opportunity for personal book signing.

The Home, Garden + DIY Show is continuing its seminar series with educational speakers and hands-on “Do It Yourself” (DIY) sessions. A few highlights of the show include; Blended Furniture and Wasserman’s Flowers will host a special décor space, Meijer will feature an outdoor garden, patio and grills, Keene Lumber will showcase their expertise in cabinetry and windows, Shepherd Shoreline will demonstrate their skilled work with garage doors, Mike Rose Landscaping will provide greenery for the show and Lake Michigan Credit Union will feature solutions for affordable financing.

“We’re happy to feature so many local businesses and educational sessions at our show,” says Carla Flanders, Show Director. “This year we also have a number of special features incorporating interior design, landscaping and DIY. This combined with an affordable ticket price and discounted Fricano’s pizza is an all-around great experience for the whole family to enjoy!”

General admission tickets are available online at for $3. Each ticket is also valid for $3 off Fricano’s Pizza during the Home Show. Advance tickets are recommended. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

The Home, Garden + DIY event is a production of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce with support from the Lakeshore Home Builders Association, Fricano Place, Meijer, Shepherd Shoreline, Keene Lumber, Staples, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Wasserman’s Flowers and Gifts, and Blended Furniture Market. For sponsorships or additional information about the show, contact Carla Flanders at 231.724.3176 or

ISM-GGR – March 8, 2017 – Joint Professional Development Meeting with APICS Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN – APICS, the Grand Rapids Chapter, will be hosting this joint professional development meeting at GVSU, Forum B at Siedman College of Business, 50 Front Street, Grand Rapids 49504 on March 8, 2017. Registration and networking begins at 5:30 PM. Historian and author John Laurence Busch will present “First Steamship on the Great Lakes” at 7:00 PM.

Reservations must be received by Noon on Thursday, March 2nd. Hors d’ oeuvres and cash bar.

For ISM-GGR, reservations can be made online by email at or by credit card at The non-member cost for the professional development meeting is $35.00.

For more information regarding the Chapter’s Professional Development Meetings and speakers, please visit our website at:

Grand River Loggers Set to Begin Inaugural Baseball Season

“Grand Haven Team Part of League Sanctioned and Supported By Major League Baseball”

 Grand Haven has a new baseball team! The Grand River Loggers features college baseball players from Division 1 & 2 Universities around the country. The Loggers will begin their inaugural season as part of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL) will have 15 teams in three divisions.  The Loggers will compete in the Northern Division.

Other teams in the Northern Division of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League will be the Muskegon Clippers, the Tecumseh, Ontario, Green Giants, the Irish Hills Leprechauns from Adrian, Michigan, and the Lake Erie Monarchs out of Flat Rock, Michigan

The GLSCL is sanctioned and supported by Major League Baseball and markets their league as, “future Major League Baseball stars right in your backyard”.

“Joining the GLSCL, a very prestigious and long-standing baseball league, with a very high level of play will provide baseball fans with another great entertainment option”, said Head of Baseball Operations, Ben Davis. “The support of the league and the affiliation with Major League Baseball will enhance the product on and off the field.”

The Grand River Loggers will play their home games during the inaugural season at Grand Haven High School and the Historic Marsh Field in Muskegon with the goal of being full time partners with the City of Grand Haven for the 2018 season!

“The Grand River Loggers are an ideal fit.  The new team will add excitement and enthusiasm to baseball culture in Grand Haven, said Pat McGinnis, City Manager, Grand Haven.  “City Hall is looking for ways to make this a permanent fixture in Grand Haven. 2017 is looking to be a great year already! “

The Loggers are busy completing their roster and have already signed several players to this year’s roster.  They include players from Universities like Purdue, Valparaiso, Villanova and Western Michigan.  The players come from all over the country including Michigan, Florida, California, New York, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.  The Loggers will carry a 25 man roster.

The Grand River Loggers, formerly called the Holland Millers, were members of the Michigan Summer Collegiate League for the past three years and earned a spot at the National Amateur Baseball Federation World Series last year.

In addition to a competitive team, the Loggers games will feature full food and beverage concessions, team gear and merchandise sales, special promotional nights, on field games between innings, music and crowd interaction activities throughout the game.

To help accommodate the players coming in from out of state, the Loggers are looking for Host Families willing to host a player during the summer season.  Each host family would commit to providing a bedroom, access to a washer and dryer and daily meals.  The Loggers will assist the host family with a monthly stipend to help offset expenses. Host families are not required to provide transportation.

The inaugural 2017 season for the Loggers kicks off on Tuesday, June 6th at 7:05pm at Historic Marsh Field in Muskegon, Michigan against the Muskegon Clippers.  

Game tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for Senior Citizens, $3 for students; $3 for children 5-12. Children under 5 are free. Season ticket and group sales packages are also available.

A complete schedule for 2017 can be found on the Loggers website at:

For more information visit our website at or join our Facebook page by searching Grand River Loggers.

For more information on season tickets, group sales, company picnics, and regular tickets please contact: Ben Davis at (407)-952-0602 or


Alzheimer’s Association Tax Checkoff

The Alzheimer’s Association is pleased to announce that we have been selected as one of eight designated nonprofits to be included on Michigan Tax Form 4642, Voluntary Contributions Schedule.

Since our non-profit lobbied to be included in the Schedule in 2013, the Alzheimer’s Association has raised nearly $190,000 to provide care & support to Michigan families impacted by Alzheimer’s, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

A press release with more information is attached, including how the funds will be used and some additional facts about the disease, which impacts over 180,000 Michigan families.

Muskegon Y’s Club 54th Annual White Elephant Sale

The 54th Annual White Elephant Sale will take place on May 19 & 20, 2017, at the Folkert Community Hub, on Seminole, our 4th year in the same location.

This Muskegon Y’s Club sponsored event raises money for the YMCA Camp Pendalouan Scholarship Fund. We will begin accepting drop-offs to the sale site, and start pick-ups for direct delivery to the sale site, the week of April 24, 2017.

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

The African Children’s Choir to Perform in Fruitport

The African Children’s Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their
charming smiles, beautiful voices and lively African songs and dances.
The program features well-loved children’s songs, traditional
Spirituals and Gospel favorites. Concerts are free and open to all. A
free-will offering is taken at the performance to support African
Children’s Choir programs, such as education, care and relief and
development programs.

Music for Life (The parent organization for The African Children’s
Choir) works in seven African countries such as, Uganda, Kenya,
Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. MFL has educated over
52,000 children and impacted the lives of over 100,000 people through
its relief and development programs during its history. MFL purpose is
to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa, by focusing on

The African Children’s Choir has had the privilege to perform before
presidents, heads of state and most recently the Queen of England,
Queen Elizabeth II, for her diamond jubilee. The Choir has also had
the honor of singing alongside artists such as Paul McCartney, Annie
Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Michael W. Smith, and other
inspirational performers!

Promotional support of this community concert is greatly appreciated.

The African Children’s Choir is a nonprofit humanitarian and relief
organization dedicated to helping Africa’s most vulnerable children
today so they can help Africa tomorrow.

No tickets, donations welcome.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma – Second Most Common Cause of Blindness In U.S.

Muskegon – It is estimated that three million Americans have glaucoma, but only about half of them know that they have glaucoma. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old. However, blindness from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment. When glaucoma develops, usually you do not have any early symptoms and the disease progresses slowly. In this way, glaucoma can steal your sight very gradually. Fortunately, early detection and treatment (with glaucoma eye drops, glaucoma surgery or both) can help preserve your vision.

This January, Shoreline Vision in Muskegon will be holding a Free Glaucoma Screening for anyone who has concerns of glaucoma.  This free glaucoma screening will be held on Saturday, January 28 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at 1266 E. Sherman Blvd.  If you would like more information, please call 231-739-9009.

“Most people who have glaucoma don’t notice symptoms until they begin to lose some vision. But vision loss from glaucoma can be prevented if it’s detected and treated in time,” said Dr. Mark Kinziger, ophthalmologist at Shoreline Vision. “As part of Glaucoma Awareness Month, we urge you to get a complete eye exam if you’re at risk for developing glaucoma.”

So, who is at risk? “African-Americans over age 40, Hispanics, people with a family history of glaucoma, individuals over age 60, people with other health conditions, such as diabetes and those who have experienced a serious eye injury are considered at risk,” says Dr. Kinziger. Anyone who falls into one or more of these categories should talk with an eye doctor about how often an eye examination should be conducted to ensure good vision.

Although glaucoma cannot be cured, early detection and treatment can usually preserve vision. Know your risk factors and have your eyes examined at the intervals recommended by your eye doctor.  This Annual Glaucoma Screening is completely free and open to the public.  Mark your calendar for Saturday, January 28 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Joint Professional Development Meeting – January 11, 2017

     Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Joint Professional Development Meeting with
APICS Grand Rapids, ISM-Greater Grand Rapids, CSCMP Western Michigan Roundtable, and The Right Place/MMTC-West Supply Chain Management Council

GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN – Looking to Grow Professionally in 2017? One of the best investments you can make is by joining one of the four professional supply chain organizations. West Michigan is home to thriving chapters of APICS, CSCMP, and ISM; as well as the Supply Chain Management Council supported by The Right Place / MMTC-West.

Learn about each organization in this casual, professional evening of networking.
This event is open to all current members and fellow supply chain management colleagues who would benefit joining an organization.

This FREE Event is brought to you by: APICS Grand Rapids, ISM Greater Grand Rapids Inc, CSCMP Western Michigan Roundtable, The Right Place/MMTC-West Supply Chain Management Council.

Reservations can be made:

World Peace Conference Coming to Michigan in 2017

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams to Speak

Ann Arbor, MI – The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor in conjunction with other Rotary clubs in the Midwest and Rotary International will convene the World Peace Conference 2017 on March 31 and April 1 at the University of Michigan’s Michigan League. The conference will empower its participants to actively practice peace and reduce violence locally, nationally and globally.

Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and two dozen other respected experts on peace and conflict resolution will explore ways people can contribute to building a peaceful world. The conference is open to the public.

Keynoters, panelists and breakout sessions will cover seven tracks:
• Peace and conflict resolution;
• Poverty, hunger and health;
• The role of faith-based organizations in peacemaking;
• The role of media in peacemaking;
• Preserving basic human rights;
• Violence prevention;
• Youth in peace and conflict resolution.

“Promoting peace is about more than ending conflicts,” said Ashish Sarkar, convener of the conference and immediate past president of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club. “It’s about bringing people together to work on solutions to the underlying issues and causes of those conflicts.”

Rotary International President John Germ will keynote the conference.

In 1921, Rotary adopted as one of its objectives the advancement of international understanding, good will and peace. Today, the Rotarian Action Group for Peace supports the peace work of Rotarians worldwide. The Peace Conference 2017 is part of this effort.

Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her successful work toward the banning and clearing of anti-personnel landmines, which inspired an international treaty to ban the mines.

Williams subsequently took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women’s Initiative, which brings together six of the female peace laureates alive today to promote the efforts of women working to promote peace with justice and equality.

Other speakers include Jeffrey Sachs, UN advisor and Columbia University professor, economist and author; Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Peace Corps director; and Owen Greene, a professor at the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England, and a widely published expert on conflict resolution. Greene has served as a consultant to the United Nations, European Union and the United Kingdom.

For more information or to reserve tickets, go to

Lakeshore Art Festival Leaves $1.5 Million Economic Impact

According to recently compiled data from the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau, it is estimated that over the past four years the Lakeshore Art Festival has left a $1.5 million economic impact on the greater Muskegon area.

In addition to this economic impact, the festival has made great strides in the event’s quality along with the quantity of recycling. In conjunction with the DTE Energy Foundation, the festival’s “Keepin’ It Green” program is working towards producing a zero waste event. Beyond general paper and plastic recycling, Lakeshore Art Festival encourages all food vendors to use biodegradable serving products and compost all of their organic waste.

In the last three years, the festival has:

• Welcomed more than 1,000 artists and exhibitors

• Had the help of more than 500 volunteers

• More than 100,000 visitors who have attended the festival

• Economic impact of $1.5 Million on the Greater Muskegon area

• Recycled
· 1,783 pounds of cardboard
· 535 pounds of plastic and aluminum
· 935 pounds of organic waste
· 206 pounds of paper
· 13,980 total pounds diverted from the landfill

The environmental impact equates to 140 gallons of gas saved, 2,701 kilowatt hours of energy saved and 15 cubic yards of landfill space diverted. With the amount of energy saved from recycling over the last three years, an iPhone 6 could retain a full day charge for the next 710 years! Click here for a full report or visit

In 2017, the Lakeshore Art Festival is working towards enhancing the quality of the event and has recently opened registration for its fine art, craft and Children’s Lane. The event will take place July 7 and 8 in downtown Muskegon, Michigan. Registration for fine art and craft exhibitors will be processed through the web-based Zapplications. A link to the online application can be accessed through The application deadline is February 1, 2017. There is a $35 registration fee for fine art and craft exhibitors and all entries are juried. Discounts are available for Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and Muskegon Museum of Art members.

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

“The event far exceeded my expectations! Not only has the event turned around, but the downtown area as well. I’ve been doing craft events for nineteen years and usually as many as forty a year (twenty states so far). I say that to make this point. Never have I seen an event make such a dramatic turn for the positive. What a credit to you, your staff, and the community. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.” – Dan Lary, Candle Creations

More event details will be released in 2017 including registration for food vendors and volunteers. Look for more information as it becomes available on the Lakeshore Art Festival website: and Facebook page: For exhibitor and sponsorship inquires, please contact Carla Flanders at or 231-724-3176.

PHONE: 231-724-3176

PTACs of MI, Inc. Welcomes New President, Pamela Vanderlaan-Poort

Pamela Vanderlaan-Poort, Muskegon Area First PTAC Director, named to President of PTACs of MI, Inc.

Muskegon, MI. – Muskegon Area First Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Director Pamela Vanderlaan-Poort was recently elected as PTAC of MI, Inc. President. PTAC of MI, Inc. is a non-profit organization, consisting of ten (10) regional Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) across all of Michigan’s 83 counties, assisting businesses in selling their products and/or services to government markets. Its members are comprised of procurement professionals with varied degrees in government contracting, and members of a national organization, Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC).

Vanderlaan-Poort has over 27 years of service with the PTAC, has received her Master’s Certificate in Government Contracting from The George Washington University School of Business, received the Defense Logistics Agency 20-Year Service Award from the Director ‘s Office of Small Business Programs, and has been a member of APTAC and the PTACs of MI, Inc. since 1989. PTAC is a program under the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA’s) Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), in existence since 1985, designed to assist businesses with selling to Department of Defense, other federal, state and local government markets. The PTAC program was established to increase competition among the federal government suppliers, and is supported by the State of Michigan MEDC since the inception of the program.

Muskegon Area First PTAC is located at 380 West Western Avenue, Suite #202, in downtown Muskegon, and assists businesses in a 13-county regional area, to include the counties of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa.

Lisa McMichael Appointed Executive Director of Harbor Hospice

(Muskegon, Michigan) – The Harbor Hospice Board of Directors have announced that Lisa McMichael will be the new Executive Director of Harbor Hospice, succeeding Mary Anne Gorman, who is retiring after a 32 year- tenure with Harbor Hospice. McMichael has begun her new role effective November 14, 2016.

lmcmichaelLisa McMichael has more than 20 years of healthcare management and administration experience. She most recently served as the Executive Director of Marywood Health Corporation, a Grand Rapids short- term rehabilitation and assisted living facility, and a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids in partnership with Porter Hills. In her previous roles, she was the Administrator for Metron Integrated Health Systems, Inc. and the Executive Director for Atrium Center, LLC.; both skilled nursing facilities. She possesses a MBA from Cornerstone University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Sienna Heights University. Her background in occupational therapy has been coupled with a strong interest in elder care focusing on sustaining and maintaining residents’ quality of life while aging in place.

Lisa McMichael said, “I am eager and excited to start this new journey as the Executive Director of Harbor Hospice and leader of their outstanding team. My vision is to deliver our service to each patient and family in a manner that matches our care to their unique needs and preferences. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the community in this role and look forward to engaging with and getting to know our staff, volunteers, board members and donors.”

Heather Brolick, Chair of the Harbor Hospice Board of Directors, said, “Harbor Hospice has an excellent reputation for delivering exceptional hospice and palliative care. Our growth along the lakeshore has been on a foundation of quality balanced with strong stewardship of community resources. Lisa shares our commitment to sustain and enhance that reputation and the board is confident that she will build upon Mary Anne’s successful leadership and accomplishments.”

Dr. Jerry Harriman, Harbor Hospice Medical Director, said “The leadership team welcomes Lisa to Harbor Hospice and is eager to work with her in this executive role. She has both the personal and professional qualities and experience to lead our organization forward during this critical time of healthcare transformation.”

Harbor Hospice is a community based, nonprofit hospice organization that served its first patient in 1983. Serving a 5-county area in west Michigan, its administrative offices and 14-bed hospice residence are located in Muskegon, Michigan.

Governed by a community board of directors, Harbor Hospice employs 90 staff providing hospice care to patients at home, in facilities and in the Poppen Hospice Residence. Eighty-eight active, trained volunteers provide patient support such as respite care and errands; grief and spiritual care; fundraising, community education and advocacy. In 2015, Harbor Hospice served 798 patients providing 32,000 days of patient care.

Michigan Department of State Employee Charged With 11 Felonies, Including Identity Theft, After Joint Investigation with Michigan State Police

LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced that a six-year employee of the Michigan Department of State was charged with 11 felonies, including identity theft.

“The vast majority of our employees are hardworking and honest, so when one person tries to cheat the system putting people at risk for their own gain, we take decisive action,” Johnson said. “I’m particularly grateful to the Michigan State Police for their partnership in this investigation.”

Lisa Brown-Quinn, 38, was suspended from her job at a Westland branch office during the investigation. She was arraigned today in the 18th District Court in Westland with:

• One count of using computers to commit a crime
• Two counts of conspiracy to commit identity theft
• Two counts of conspiracy to commit motor vehicle code offenses
• Three counts of identity theft
• Three counts of falsifying applications for a driver’s license

The charges come after Johnson’s Office of Investigative Services learned that an employee was alleged to have assisted a customer in obtaining a driver’s license in someone else’s name.

The investigation was referred to the Michigan State Police who built a case and worked with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to bring charges. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17 with a preliminary exam scheduled for Nov. 22. Bond was set at $5,000.

Since 2011, Johnson has made consumer protection a top priority, launching the Office of Investigative Services in 2014 to inspect and regulate automotive-related businesses, and investigate potential fraud involving Department of State programs. Just last week, one of its investigations led to charges against a salvage vehicle inspector accused of pocketing $170,100 in vehicle fees and forging documentation needed to qualify a vehicle for a Michigan rebuilt salvage title. The office has heightened the department’s protection of the public with the closing of 30 unlicensed or shady repair facilities and 18 dishonest car dealers. In addition, cooperative efforts between OIS and Michigan law enforcement over the past 10 months have led to 113 investigations being turned over to law enforcement for criminal review and potential prosecution.

Residents may contact the OIS to report suspected fraud involving the Michigan Department of State at 517-335-0991.

New Race Director

Meet the New Mercy Health Seaway Run/Lake Michigan Half Marathon Race Director!

MUSKEGON — The Mercy Health Seaway Run/Lake Michigan Half Marathon, one of Michigan’s most scenic and most popular runs, has a new Race Director for 2017! Andrew Buikema will be replacing Joe Doyle, who has resigned after helping to grow the event over the past four years.

“We will miss Joe, who has played a key role in the rapid and successful growth of this historical community event, but are excited to have Andrew join us this year.” said event co-chairs, Chris Burnaw and Mike Workman. “Andrew’s involvement in the running community, including participation in local running groups and working with regional races, will help us continue to make our event a great experience for all of our participants, from beginners to elite.”

andrewBuikema has been a volunteer and a participant with the Mercy Health Seaway Run/Lake Michigan Half Marathon for several years. He speaks proudly of his wife and two children also being involved in the running community – all are enthusiastic runners. Buikema has completed 20 half marathons and 5 marathons to date, serving as a pacer in the 5/3 River Bank Run, Rivertown Half Marathon, Chicago Spring Half Marathon and Grand Rapids Full and Half Marathons. He has coordinated the pacers for the Charleviox Half/Full Marathon and Rivertown Half Marathon, and will be working with Gazelle Sports to coordinate pacers for the 5/3 Riverbank Run in 2017.

With courses that take advantage of the beautiful shorelines of Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake, the Mercy Health Seaway Run has been a favorite of runners from across Michigan and beyond for over three decades. By creating a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, the Mercy Health Seaway Run celebrates healthy living and a healthy community with events for all ages and abilities, with thousands of participants running and walking! The Lake Michigan Half Marathon is now an established part of the event, with a unique name for this course that showcases our beautiful Lake Michigan.

“The community has supported the Seaway Run for over three decades,” said race organizers. “We hope to see more people than ever join us for this healthy and fun community event in 2017 – with three distances and the option to run or walk, there really is something for everyone.”

Participants in all events will be able to register online quickly and easily at Watch for online registration to open on November 28 with a special Cyber Monday deal! Proceeds from the event benefit the 1 in 21 Healthy Muskegon County initiative and Muskegon Family YMCA healthy community programs. Connect with the event on Facebook at and on Twitter @seawayrun.

About 1 in 21:
Launched by the Muskegon Rotary Club in 2011, the vision of 1 in 21 is that Muskegon County will be the healthiest County in Michigan by 2021, because a healthy community is the foundation for academic achievement and economic prosperity. To learn more, visit

About the Muskegon Family YMCA:
The mission of the Muskegon Family YMCA is to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. To learn more, visit

About Mercy Health
Mercy Health is a regional multi-campus health care system serving West Michigan and the lakeshore with five hospital campuses, more than 60 physician offices, more than 1,300 medical staff physicians, more than 800 hospital beds and 7,200 colleagues, and hospice, home health and long-term care service offerings. Mercy Health Physician Partners, our multi-specialty physician network, employs more than 500 physicians and advanced practice professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland and the lakeshore. Mercy Health, part of Trinity Health – the nation’s second-largest Catholic Health System – is committed to being a trusted health partner for life, transforming the communities we serve, by providing high-quality care that is the most accessible, compassionate and personalized in West Michigan. Visit us at, Facebook, Twitter at @MercyHealthWM and LinkedIn.

Visit Muskegon Logo Contest

Calling All Artists, Designers, and Inspired Community Members!

The Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau is rebranding as “Visit Muskegon.” We are looking for a new visual identity and need your help! We are seeking anyone who can design a creative, innovative, and professional logo design. The logo should be recognizable and help promote our organization’s vision:

To add to the economic prosperity of the County by establishing Muskegon as the venue of choice for leisure visitors, meeting and convention planners, and sports tournament directors as one of the state’s premier Lake Michigan shoreline destinations.

The rest is up to you! Please read below for more details regarding logo design, contest rules and submission requirements.

How to Enter
The contest begins on December 1, 2016. Submissions will be accepted through January 6,
2017. Winners will be announced via social media and by direct contact to the winner’s email
accounts. In order for your entry to be submitted and reviewed by our judges, all entries must
1. Submitted directly to Caitlin Ward,;
2. Submitted in their original source file: a scalable vector file, 300 dpi or higher, such as an Adobe Illustrator (.ai) or Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file;
3. Also submit a high resolution .pdf and .jpg file of the design; and
4. Identify the colors used in the logo design.

Logo Requirements
• Professional: The new “Visit Muskegon” logo may be featured on our annual visitors guide, website, social media platforms, and other mediums (stationary, pamphlets, wearables, etc). As a result, the logo must be eye-catching and legible.
• Theme: Logo must represent Muskegon County by way of natural resources, attractions, historic landmarks, etc.
• Color: There are no limitations and any colors may be used. However, logo must be readable and identifiable in color (if any) or black and white.
• Integrity: Logos cannot contain copyrighted material. Logos must have been created and edited by the contestant(s). Logos may not include images or licensed images that have been previously published. Must be easily reproducible and scalable for large and small formatting.
• Brand Specifics: The logo must contain the words “Visit Muskegon”

Contest Details
Winners will be selected by the Visit Muskegon staff. Contestants agree that Visit Muskegon may publish their logo and name(s) and may use both for future advertising campaigns and/or marketing materials. Contestants assign all ownership rights, including all intellectual property rights to the logo, to the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau, dba Visit Muskegon. Additionally, Visit Muskegon may alter, modify or revise the logo as necessary to achieve the goals of the organization. Visit Muskegon reserves the right to select no winner if, at its sole discretion, no suitable entries are received.

Contest winner will receive a $250 Visa Gift card and a Visit Muskegon Gift Basket, including a
gift certificate for one night’s stay at The Shoreline Inn and four passes to the Muskegon Winter
Sports Complex (and bragging rights!).

Non-Profit Organization Looking for Community Members to Join our International Team

Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

ASSE International Student Exchange Program (ASSE) is seeking representatives to work with volunteer host families and international exchange students in your community. ASSE provides academic year and semester exchange programs in the United States for high school students from around the world. Students are 15 to 18 years of age, have passed a series of academic and character requirements and are awaiting an opportunity to embark on their American adventure. Local Representatives also have the opportunity to support American high school students in their journey abroad.

Area Representatives recruit and screen prospective host families, supervise the exchange students in their community throughout the year, and interview American students who wish to live and learn abroad. Area Representatives are compensated based on the number of students they are supervising.

ASSE’s primary goal is to contribute to international understanding by enabling students to learn about other languages and cultures through active participation in family, school and community life. Through sharing their home, host families and communities also gain new knowledge and appreciation of other cultures and languages. ASSE’s Area Representatives are the cornerstone of the organization, making all of this possible!

For more information about ASSE or becoming an Area Representative, please call the Eastern Regional Office at 1-800-677-2773, email us at or go to to learn more. We look forward to welcoming you to the ranks of Area Representatives nationwide – striving towards a world of understanding, one child at a time!

United Airlines Air Fare Sale

Fly from Muskegon to Chicago O’Hare for $69 one-way!

Muskegon, MI – Pack your bags, because for a limited time only, United is offering significantly discounted fares of $69 one-way from Muskegon to Chicago O’Hare! But is won’t last long – this sale ends November 23, 2016! Book your next trip to Chicago today at Promotional details may be found at: fares/chicago-fare-sale.

The discounted fare is one way between Muskegon (MKG) and Chicago, O’Hare (ORD) and is available until November 23, 2016 on for travel between November 30, 2016 and March 8, 2017. A 21-day advance purchase is required.

“We are very excited for United to offer this special air fare for our customers. The Airport continually receives requests for additional flights,” said Jeffrey Tripp, Muskegon County Airport Manager. “United Airlines will gauge our level of success during this promotional period and the final results will have an impact on future flight decisions by United. For this reason, I encourage anyone traveling between November 30 and March 8 to fly from Muskegon.”

Tripp also encouraged travelers to Check MKG First for airline travel, as ticket prices from Muskegon are comparable and oftentimes less than flying from other airports.

United Express offers daily round trip flights to Chicago O’Hare on 50-seat regional jet aircraft operated by SkyWest Airlines, providing passengers with convenient connections to anywhere in the world.

Experience It All This November at the Frauenthal Center

Current Art Exhibit
Artist Sandi Lummen “Up North”, November 1 – December 3
The Reception Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Hilt Building within the Frauenthal Center and is always FREE to visit.
Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday
11 am – 5 pm with extended hours on show nights.

WMS Masterworks Concert “EP!C”
November 11, 2016
7:30pm Tickets: $18.75 – $49.75

Muskegon Idol 2016
November 12, 2016
7:30pm Tickets: $12, $15, $20

MCT “Hands on a Hard Body”
November 18-20, 25-27
December 1-3
Thurs – Sat 7:30pm, Sun 3:00pm
Tickets: $20, $22

Mannheim Steamroller
November 25, 2016
8:00pm Tickets: $50, $60, $73

For more information visit

Muskegon Clippers Accepted Into Highly Respected Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League

“New Leagues is Sanctioned and Supported By Major League Baseball”

MUSKEGON, Mich., October 18, 2016 –Muskegon’s summer collegiate baseball team, the Muskegon Clippers, has been officially accepted into the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL) will have 15 teams in three divisions and features collegiate players from Division 1 colleges from around the country.

The GLSCL is sanctioned and supported by Major League Baseball and markets their league as, “future Major League Baseball stars right in your backyard”.

“Joining the GLSCL will elevate the quality of play, since most players throughout the league come from Division 1 collegiate programs”, said Clippers owner, Pete Gawkowski. “The support of the new league and the affiliation with Major League Baseball will enhance the product on and off the field.”

The Clippers, who have been in existence for three years and have won two championships in that time and are expected to play a schedule expanded to 42 games in their new league, with the season starting in early June and all home games played at historic Marsh Field in Muskegon, Michigan.

In addition to a higher level of competition, Clipper fans will be able to enjoy more games, enhanced food and beverage offerings, and additions to the fan experience. Ticket prices will remain virtually the same, and there will be premium seating options.

The community can help support the Muskegon Clippers players by becoming a Host Family during the summer season. Each host family would commit to providing a bedroom, access to a washer and dryer and daily meals. Host families are not required to provide transportation.

The Clippers have already signed some players to this year’s roster. They include four players from Western Michigan University, two from Grand Valley State University, one from Central Michigan University and one from Youngstown State University. The players come from Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin. The Clippers will carry a 25 man roster.

Also joining the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League will be the former Holland Millers team. This year the team will be called the Grand River Loggers and will play their games all over West Michigan, including Marsh Field in Muskegon and potentially Lamar Park in Grand Rapids, the Art Van Sports Complex in Rockford and Davenport University.

Other teams in the Northern Division of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League will be the Tecumseh, Ontario, Green Giants, the Irish Hills Leprechauns from Adrian, Michigan, and the Lake Erie Monarchs out of Flat Rock, Michigan

A complete schedule for 2017 will be released in November 2016 and will consist of games with teams in the Northern Division of the three division league.

The coaches for the Clippers include legendary high school coach, Walt Gawkowski, Brian Wright, varsity baseball coach from Shelby High School and Keith Williams former baseball coach from Muskegon High School and Muskegon Community College.

Over the past three seasons, the Clippers got rave reviews from baseball experts and casual fans alike. Not only was there great baseball played, but the fans loved the historic ballpark and the fun and interactive atmosphere that was created during the games.

For more information on the Muskegon Clippers, sponsorship opportunities, company picnics and being a Host Family, please contact l Pete Gawkowski at 231-638-7696 or Like the Muskegon Clippers on Facebook and visit our website at:

Hundreds Expected for Medical Marijuana Business Conference in State Capital

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s new laws go into effect Dec. 20; Similar event by same group brought 300 attendees to Flint hotel on October 16

LANSING, MICHIGAN, USA, November 1, 2016  — The new medical marijuana business laws signed by Gov. Snyder go into effect December 20, and on December 4th the industry will have a final opportunity to get current on the new rules at a conference in Lansing.

In September, Gov. Rick Snyder singed into law three public acts creating a new structure and regulations for businesses in the medical marijuana industry, including growing, selling, testing, processing and transporting legal medical marijuana. Entrepreneurs are lining up to participate in the new industry, but the requirements are difficult to understand- and, in some cases, not even determined yet.

Two conferences were planned by the Michigan Cannabis Business Development Group to bring state businesspersons up to speed on the new opportunities. The first was held on October 16 at the Holiday Inn near Flint, where more than 300 attended.

LINK: NBC News coverage of October 16 Conference

The second conference is guaranteed to set the standard for elegance and professionalism, according to event host Jamie Lowell of the MICBD Group. All four ballrooms at the wonderful Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing have been reserved for the conference.

As in the October event, the conference will bring entrepreneurs up-to-date regarding the new statewide business laws, but this event will also feature a look at how the pending ordinance in Lansing which will change the nature of medical marijuana cultivation, testing and distribution in the state’s capital.

The full list of conference presenters and sponsors are still being finalized but they include Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor; Mike Nichols, lead attorney, Nichols Law; Mary Chartier, partner, Alane & Chartier PLLC; lobbyist Justin Dinaskiss, who delivers an in-depth look at the language of the new business laws; and Paul Samways, Certified Public Accountant and small business accounting specialist.

The new medical marijuana industry has the potential to generate an estimated $63 million annually. “The state has issued no guidelines, no FAQ’s, no Help Desk to assist entrepreneurs in deciphering the new business opportunities created by the three Public Acts,” said Flint native Rick Thompson of the MICBD Group. “The two Conferences were created to fill that knowledge gap with everything we currently know. The Lansing conference is the last business seminar before the December 20 start date for the new state laws, and probably the last before Lansing puts their new ordinance in place, too.”

On October 4th, the Lansing city attorney sent a letter to the city asking for a 60-day period in which to adapt the draft ordinance to conform with new state laws, and to draft a companion ordinance to address cultivating medical marijuana in residential areas (LINK). That period expires near the date of the Lansing conference.

“So many patients and businesses co-exist in Lansing, and they all deserve access to the best information we can get to them,” Thompson said. “This could be a best-case scenario for the state’s municipalities to follow- or it could be the exact opposite.”

The event will begin with registration on December 4th at noon and the formal program starting at 1:00 pm. There is a cost to attend, and pre-registration is required. Visit for full details and to purchase tickets.


Ottawa County Hosting Water Quality Forum

For the 11th year, Ottawa County is hosting the annual Water Quality Forum. With hundreds of miles of shoreline on lakes, rivers and streams; thousands of residents with well water; plus thousands more with municipal drinking systems, monitoring and protecting this natural resource is vital. The day-long forum brings together area experts to share research and discuss ways to safeguard water and protect health.

The forum will be held at the Ottawa County Administrative Complex at 12220 Fillmore in West Olive from 9am to 4pm. The fee to attend is $10 and registration is limited to the first 150 participants. Registrations must be received no later than November 16. Questions about the forum should be directed to the Administrator’s Office at 616-738-4898. View the agenda and register at

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley will kick off the forum with an update on the work of the Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board. A distinguished group of researchers will follow, representing Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and other organizations. View the presentation topics and complete list of speakers at


Community Foundation Scholarship Program Accepting Applications

Application Deadline is March 1, 2017

Muskegon, MI: The Community Foundation for Muskegon County (CFMC) announces that the Foundation Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for 2017.


The Community Foundation for Muskegon County manages one of the largest scholarship programs in West Michigan, awarding over $1,500,000 annually to both graduating high school seniors and current college students in new and renewed scholarships each year.

The Community Foundation does not make awards solely on the basis of need. Academic achievement, community involvement, extra-curricular activities, and financial need are all taken into consideration. Many scholarships were created by donors for specific colleges or fields of study. Scholarships range from $500 to $25,000 and will be announced at school awards assemblies in spring 2017.

Applications are submitted electronically through the Community Foundation website, The application process has been streamlined into three easy steps for students and families. Scholarship applications are managed through a “single general application” method. Each application is reviewed and matched with the best-fitting scholarship sources.

In order to maximize scholarship support for all students in Muskegon County, the 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 director of grantmaking. “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.