$250,000 Raised to Support be nice. Mental Health Education for all Muskegon County Schools

GRAND  RAPIDS,  Mich.–The Mental Health Foundation will announce 100% funding for be nice. mental health education for Muskegon Schools during a Muskegon Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday, April 22 at 7:30 am at the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor.

Jeff Elhart of Elhart Automotive in Holland Michigan, along with Larry Hines of Hines Corporation in Muskegon have raised $250,000 from area businesses and individuals to fully fund the be nice. program for five years. The complete list of donors and program logistics will be announced on Friday morning during the press conference. A fund called the” Wayne Elhart be nice. Memorial Fund” has been established through the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.
In March 2015, Jeff Elhart (Elhart Automotive of Holland, Michigan) lost his brother and business partner, Wayne Elhart to depression. In response to this tragic loss, Jeff, along with his family, have been on a transformative journey of grief, understanding, and hope. Jeff and his family have now created memorial funds within the Oceana Community Foundation, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, and the Holland Zeeland Area Community Foundation for the purpose of supporting matching funds for be nice. education in school districts within the community foundation’s (ISD District).

be nice. is a mental health education, bully and suicide prevention initiative that creates a positive, cultural change through simple, daily actions. be nice. is a self-starting curriculum and kit for schools, communities, and businesses that follows the model, N​otice, I​nvite, C​hallenge, E​mpower.

be  nice. provides comprehensive mental health education for elementary, middle, and high school students and can complement other mental health initiatives already established within schools. The be nice. program is currently active in 84 schools across West Michigan and Ohio and is rapidly expanding with increased desire from districts for mental health education and access to funds.

The first year investment for the be nice. kit is $1,500, plus an optional $500 fee for a professional kick-off assembly with special guest speakers and musicians. The second and third year renewal fee is $500, which includes updated lesson plans, additional online resources and marketing collateral. (

One in five people will develop a mental health condition at some point in time during their lives. Fifty percent of all mental illnesses develop by the age of 14, and in Kent County, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 18-24.


Founded in 1990, the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan provides ‘be nice.’ and ‘Live Laugh Love’ educational programs for schools and businesses throughout the midwest on mental health awareness, bullying and suicide prevention, and offers Mental Health First Aid certification courses. The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness and works to ensure every individual is supported in their journey to a full, healthy life by educating and building awareness throughout the community.

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan,the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Press Conference:   Friday, April 22   |   7:30-8:30am   Holiday Inn Muskegon-Harbor   939 3rd St, Muskegon, MI 49440

Here are Muskegon’s 2016 Entrepreneurs

The E-Awards

Click here to read the story…

Fore the Girls Inaugural Golf Outing Fundraiser to Fight Breast Cancer

Event to help under-served women in West Michigan get access to and pay for life-saving breast
cancer screenings and more.
On Monday, May 23rd, at Spring Lake Country Club, the first round of a 9-hole scramble will start at
9 AM, followed by lunch and a short program and then an afternoon flight of 9-holes, with a 1 PM
start. Individuals or teams of 2 or 4 women can sign up online:
tickets. This event is for all levels of players but sorry guys… This event is for ladies only!
Co-Chaired by Sarah Arnold and Gina Kelly-Vis, the all-volunteer committee has dedicated countless
hours to ensure a fun and meaningful event that will have a positive impact on their community. All
participants will receive educational materials and be reminded of the risk factors for getting breast
“We know that early detection saves lives” said Co-Chair Sarah Arnold. “Yet too many of the women
we know still find it late and therefore are subject to much harsher treatments, longer recovery and
may even die. Our event is going to educate those that attend and raise money so that everyone in
our community can have access to life-saving screening and diagnostic tests at our great local
hospitals and clinics.”
The benefactor of this year’s Fore the Girls Golf Outing is Susan G. Komen Michigan, an
organization that has a long history of supporting community health efforts.
“As a breast cancer survivor and resident of Spring Lake, I’m so excited about the passion of this
committee and the potential for this event” said Jennifer Jurgens, executive director of Komen
Michigan. “75% of the funds raised are going to be put back into West Michigan organizations that
ensure all women, regardless of their age, income or ethnicity, get access to life-saving screening
and tests. The remaining 25% will be in invested into research into the cures for breast cancer.”
To sign-up your team:
To sponsor this event, please contact:
For more information about Komen Michigan:

2016 Thurgood Marshall Job, Health & Resource Fair

Muskegon, MI (April 20, 2016) –West Michigan Community Help Network is proud to announce the annual Thurgood Marshall Job & Resource Fair coming to the Bishop Williams L. Burrell Multi-Plex Center on April 26, 2016 from 12:00pm- 4:00pm. The Thurgood Marshall Job Fair is a public service made possible by a unique partnership of organizations with an interest in promoting economic development in the Muskegon area. This is a free event opened to the public. A free health checkup will also be provided by Healthcare Inc. The Thurgood Marshall Job & Resource Fair is hosted by the West Michigan Community Help Network in partnership with WUVS 103.7 the Beat, WMMT 106.1, Tyson Foods, West Michigan Works, and United Way. The fair is working with community groups, students, churches, non-profits, senior citizens and other public and private groups who are seeking to find jobs for people with fairness for all, regardless of Race, Creed or Color. Residents with diverse backgrounds and experience are expected to attend the job fair. Candidates of all ages, experience levels and industries are encouraged to attend. Companies will be looking to fill Entry-Level to Management Level positions, as well as, full-time and part-time positions. Come explore local job opportunities and meet potential employers. Some of the State & County’s top companies will participate this year.
Participating Companies Include:
 Tyson Foods
 Michigan Department of Corrections  West Michigan Works
 Moka
 Spectrum Health
 Mercy Health
 IBEW Local 275
 Muskegon County
 Michigan Civil Service Commission
 Hackley Community Care
 Meijer
 Transitional Health Services of Fremont
 Professional Educational Service Group
 Harbor Hospice
 Dayspring
 Muskegon Public Schools
 Goodtemps
 Michigan State Police
 City of Muskegon plus 8 more companies
Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm Location: Bishop Williams L. Burrell Multi-Plex Center 412 E. Sherman Boulevard
Muskegon Hts, MI 49444

Muskegon Bike Time Back for 2016 and Celebrating 10th Anniversary

MUSKEGON, Mich., April 19, 2016 – Muskegon Bike Time is back again for 2016 and celebrating its 10th Anniversary.  That’s 10 years of great bikes, great rides and great memories.  The event this year will be held July 14th through the 17th.


Muskegon Bike Time happens all along the West Michigan lakeshore and will include all of the amazing things visitors are accustomed to, as well as, lots of new changes designed especially for the Biker.


The focal point of Bike Time activities will be at Bike Time at the Rez, 4800 S. Harvey Street, Muskegon MI, on the site formerly known as Great Lakes Downs.


Admission is free to the event site where you can experience Bike Time on your bike as you cruise through the new Bike Time at the Rez location. You can also park your ride near your favorite vendor or beverage tent and enjoy the other bikes and bikers in a festive atmosphere.


Plenty of free parking for motorcycles and those visiting by automobile will be available on site at the Rez.


This year, Bike Time will provide camping sites at the Rez for rent. The overnight camping opportunities will be for RV’s, travel trailers, motor homes, fifth wheels and pop- up campers.  Porta Johns, water for filling internal tanks and sanitary pump outs will also be available for a small fee. There will be no tent camping or electricity.


In addition to these upgrades, there will be the usual activities that have attracted motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the Midwest for the past 10 years.  Attendees will be able to enjoy the great bikes, spectacular rides, stunt shows, contests, live music and the friendly people of West Michigan.


Muskegon Bike Time and the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County have been meeting regularly to coordinate activities and events and deliver another great year of fun, food and all things motorcycles.


“Over the years, Muskegon Bike Time has been an economic boon to hotels, restaurants, bars, gas stations, local retailers and other local tourist attractions”, said Tim Lipan, spokesperson for Muskegon Bike Time. “The event provides an economic impact of over $30 million yearly to the local economy and showcases all we have to offer in Muskegon and along the lakeshore.”


Muskegon Bike Time will soon release information on its mainstage concerts, ticket prices and availability.


For more information on Muskegon Bike Time 2015, please visit our website at  or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Louis A. McMurray Conference and Transportation Center nabs Battle of the Building honors for the second year in a row

For the second year in a row, the Louis A. McMurray Conference and Transportation Center in Muskegon County will be taking home recognition for energy reduction. They placed first in the “Public Buildings” category for the 2015 Michigan Battle of the Buildings program, and took the same title in the same category in 2014.


The Louis A. McMurray Conference and Transportation Center was built in 2000 and was considered, at the time, to be very energy efficient. It is approximately 30,500 square feet, one-third being office and conference space and two-thirds a garage area.


When asked how they continue to reduce energy consumption, Sara Damm, sustainability coordinator for Muskegon County, said “by simply tracking energy usage for our buildings in EnergyStar® Portfolio Manager forces us to pay attention and have it top of mind.”  Muskegon County began using the EnergyStar® platform in 2014 after attending the Michigan Battle of the Buildings Portfolio Manager training session to meet the requirements of the competition.


“The old adage that you can’t manage what you don’t measure still holds true today,” she added.


There is a strong interest internally, including County commissioners, to not only reduce energy usage but also add in the use of renewables. A committee is being formed to put a future energy plan in place, which will set specific goals, Damm said


According to Jim Koens, transit systems manager for the Muskegon Area Transit System (MATS) of Muskegon County, much of their savings in 2015 were contributed to lighting changes.


“There are many options to change out lighting today without changing the fixtures,” Koens said.


In May of 2015, the facility started making the transition from fluorescent lamps to LED inside the building, as well as the outside parking lot fixtures. They were comfortable replacing fluorescent lamps; however, they wanted to test the exterior metal halide parking lot lamps and the high bay metal halides in the garage area before converting all fixtures. By November, they were convinced they should finish the transition.


“Our primary goal is to reduce operating costs wherever we can to be able to increase service out to the public,” Koens said.


In 2015, they reduced their energy usage by 10.40 percent, which equates to approximately a $3,200 annual savings. When you add that to last year’s reduction of nine percent and then compound it for years to come, it all adds up.


Both Damm and Koens are confident they still have more to do and a team approach will contribute to a solid plan with goals attached.

Medication Disposal Program Holds Event in Muskegon


Muskegon, Michigan, On Saturday, April 30th, the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program (MAMDP) will host an unused medication collection event at the Norton Shores Fire Department on Pontaluna Rd. This event also coincides with the DEA National Take Back Day.


Since the events first began in 2010, the program collected over 20,000 pounds (10 Tons) of medications, reducing the amount of unused and expired medications in residents’ homes. This free program is a safe and effective way to dispose of unused drugs in homes. MAMDP accepts both over-the-counter and ‘controlled’ or narcotic medications, and uncontrolled medications.


“This is a great opportunity for the community to dispose of expired or unused medications and used sharps. It is important to dispose of these medications correctly to avoid unauthorized use by youth or other individuals that could pose a potential risk of misuse”, states Joseph Graftema, In-Patient Pharmacy Manager for Mercy Health Muskegon.


   Free Unused Medication Disposal Drop-Off Event

            Date: Saturday, April 30th, 2016

            Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

            Where:  Norton Shores Fire Department, 1100 E. Pontaluna Rd.         

What: Unused or expired, over-the-counter or prescription medications


The April 30th event also taps into the National Take Back Day sponsored by the DEA and other law enforcement agencies in an effort to collect unused controlled substances.  Community residents may drop off their unused or expired medications for proper disposal. When dropping off medications, residents should be sure to mark out patient information while leaving the medication information visible.


“We are pleased to be coordinating this with the National Take Back Day”, said Captain Michael Poulin of the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department  and long-time member of the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Project.  “The collaboration with the DEA, and multiple police and fire departments including the Muskegon Public Safety has been extraordinary in Muskegon County”  The Sheriff’s Department  also collects from permanent locations from all the local enforcement agencies which contributes significantly to the total amount collected.


The Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program (MAMDP) is made possible through the collaborative efforts of several community organizations. Coalition members include: Affinia Lakeshore Health Network, Mercy Health, the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office, Muskegon Police Department, the Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon County, Public Health – Muskegon County, and the Health Project. This program is supported by a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Drug Free Communities Support program and the in kind support for the use of the facilities and the volunteers for the day’s event.


Accepted items include: prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, ointments, sprays, inhalers, creams, and pet medications, sharps.


Items not accepted include: illegal drugs, biohazardous materials, household hazardous waste, and personal care items.


National Takeback Day :


For more information about MAMDP, which medications are accepted, or future medication drop off dates, visit or call Carrie Uthe at 231-672-3882 or Laura Fitzpatrick at 231-672-3201.

Lean design of $271M medical center unveiled by Mercy Health

MUSKEGON, MI – Mercy Health Muskegon on Thursday showed off deigns and a construction timeline for a leaner, more modern medical care center costing $271 million.

The 9-story, 267-bed medical center will be located on Mercy Campus on Sherman Boulevard. Bulldozers will be on the property within two weeks, and people will be able to see the tower construction starting in September.

To continue reading this story, Visit MLIVE…

After 67 years, historic power plant shuts down

After 67 years the Consumers Energy B.C. Cobb Plant in Muskegon, Mich. shut down the fifth and last operating turbine at 11:45 p.m. on April 15, 2016 marking the end of a historic era helping power over 200,000 people along the West Michigan coast.

To continue reading this story, visit MLIVE…

Ride United

This fun fundraiser for United Way of the Lakeshore is a healthy way to help others! This is not a race, all riders welcome, bring your mountain bike, enjoy Taste of Muskegon and amazing views with your work team!  Proceeds from this event will support the United Way of the Lakeshore’s goal to help 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025.

3 Reasons that your company should be involved:

  1. Healthy employees = a healthy bottom line.
  2. Community Involvemen
  3. Team Building Opportunity.

3 Ways that your company can get involved:

  1. Encourage employees to ride or volunteer through incentives and promotion of the even
  2. Become a Sponsor – great community exposure!
  3. Create a Company Team to promote teamwork!

Other ways to get involved

Volunteer for the Lakeshore Art Festival

A unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food and fun along the shoreline in historic Downtown Muskegon. More than 300 artists and crafters will be showcased with fine art in the park, crafts, children’s activities and Michigan food market – all wrapped up in a huge downtown street party atmosphere!   Come out and join us on July 1st,  and July 2nd, 2016.

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Join Watch Muskegon

Muskegon has more to offer than ever before. Join the conversation, movement and Watch Us Go!

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