Category Archives: Community News

AgeWell Services Offering TWO MORE Curbside Meal Distributions during COVID-19 Pandemic

MUSKEGON, Mich. – AgeWell Services of West Michigan and YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids & Muskegon YMCA’s Veggie Van are hosting two upcoming Senior Curbside Meal Distribution during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic with support from Senior Resources and Muskegon County Senior Millage.  


AgeWell Services of West Michigan and YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids & Muskegon YMCA’s Veggie Van are continuing their work together along with community partner locations to provide meals to seniors aged 60 and over in Muskegon County. Two dates and locations on September 22nd  and September 24th from 12:00 to 2:00 pm.


Meals will be served to adults 60 and over in Muskegon County. Meals will be available for curbside pickup at two locations on two different dates. The curbside pickup offers a quick, drive-through option to keep seniors and volunteers safely separated during the COVID-19 outbreak. Seniors that cannot drive or get out of the house can send someone to “proxy” for their meal.



Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Dalton Township Hall

1616 E. Riley-Thompson Rd, Muskegon, MI

12:00 – 2:00pm

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Blue Lake Township Hall

1491 Owasippe, Twin Lake, MI

12:00 – 2:00pm


The Senior Curbside Meal Distributions are not a regular AgeWell program. These were created once the initial stay at home order was put in place, in order to fill a void. The senior population is one that is most at risk of COVID-19. This program has been a “blessing” to many that deal with food insecurities and some that are just too scared to go to the grocery store.


Donations for these meals are accepted and appreciated. Without community support we would not be able to continue serving and giving; without your contributions, our seniors would be isolated, unhealthy, and malnourished. Please consider giving to our COVID-19 Emergency Fund to keep these wheels moving. Visit or, if you need help making arrangements, please contact us at 231-412-7966.

Muskegon Heights to protect athletes by moving sports to spring

Muskegon Heights, MI – Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System officials announced today that they are postponing the fall sports season until spring to protect student athletes from COVID-19. The Muskegon Heights Community has been disproportionately impacted by the virus compared to the rest of Muskegon County with a positivity rate that is higher than the county average. Since the beginning of the school year students have been participating in a distance learning program conducted fully online due to the pandemic.
Athletic Director Dalrecus Stewart said, “The same science and disparity that helped inform the decision to avoid student interaction at school also remains intact on volleyball courts and football fields.”
State public health officials and multiple agencies have advised against contact sports (including football and volleyball) because they do not allow for social distancing. Superintendent Rané Garcia said, “As difficult as it is to make the decision to delay this season, we will follow the guidelines and advice of our public health officials. We value our students and community so much that we are willing to postpone the season until it is safer for students to compete.”

John Ball Zoo transforms for Wizarding Weekends

GRAND RAPIDS MI – As the season turns to fall and school begins, a magical change begins to occur at John Ball Zoo. It’s a time when the distinguished magical Zoo staff give lessons in caring for fantastical beasts. It’s time for magic.

John Ball Zoo is officially inviting all wizards, witches, and muggles alike to Wizarding Weekends. For two enchanting weekends, the Zoo will magically transform for this family- friendly event. From entering Nocturnal Alley, to exploring the Forbidden Forest, there is much for every wizarding fan to enjoy.

Join JBZ in the realms, hollows, and platforms throughout the magical grounds. Time to renew your imagination and brush up on your spells. Costumes are highly encouraged so put on your robes and grab your wand, and visit the fantastic beasts of the muggle world.

Wizarding Weekends at John Ball Zoo happens for two weekends starting September 12 – 13 and again September 19 – 20, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. each day. Note, JBZ is continuing to plan the most exciting Wizarding Weekends possible while keeping social distancing in mind.

JBZ recommends reserving your timed entry tickets online prior to visiting. Tickets could be available for those who walk-up but the Zoo cannot guarantee these will be available. Tickets can be reserved at

You can find out more about the event online at John Ball Zoo is located on Fulton Ave., one mile west of downtown Grand Rapids. For questions or for more information, call (616) 336-4301 or email

2020 Virtual Standup for The Cure Receives Global Support

ENCINITAS, CA – Each year, the Standup for the Cure (SUFTC) live events attract thousands of participants nationwide in support of the mission to build community, promote an active, healthy lifestyle, and save lives through early breast cancer detection, treatment, and education. However, the three main fundraising events for the year were canceled due to the concerns of COVID-19. Despite the disruptions and challenges brought on with the virus, it did not stop the community from participating in a virtual SUFTC event, nor keep anyone from supporting the mission.

This year, the 2020 Virtual SUFTC offered participants an event where there were no rules, no boundaries – Just fun, camaraderie, connection, and a desire to put an end to breast cancer. Participants were encouraged to “Stand up their way” by practicing yoga, paddling (canoe, kayak, SUP, paddleboard), dancing, hiking, running, CrossFit, Pilates, or other wellness activities to raise money for our local breast cancer clinic and national research program beneficiaries. The support was overwhelming.

During the 3-day event from August 28-31, over 1,200 participants, donors, and sponsors from 38 states and 8 countries united to show their support for our mission to put an end to breast cancer. Through promoting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, participants were able to join a worldwide group of SUFTC supporters by using the hashtags #2020VirtualSUFTC, #SUFTC, and #KeepStandupAfloat. Thousands of people stepped up to support SUFTC’s mission to promote a healthy lifestyle, save lives through early breast cancer detection, treatment, and education, and to help raise money to put an end to breast cancer. Despite this year’s challenges, Standup for the Cure raised over $65,000!

“Resiliency, Compassion, Empathy and Community are a few words that come to mind when reflecting upon this past weekend’s “Virtual Standup for the Cure”. I’m blown away by the response from our partners, long time supporters and brand new participants from across the country. The connections we developed and the stories and memories shared are a testament to our continued mission. I couldn’t be happier knowing we can head into 2021 with renewed energy and strong support.” Stated Dan Van Dyck, Executive Director

Fundraising will remain active until October 31, 2020, in efforts to promote even more awareness for breast cancer during October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To donate or create a fundraising team, visit


About Standup for the Cure
Standup for the Cure is a nonprofit, 501c3 formed for the express purpose of raising funds and awareness for early breast cancer detection while building a compassionate, supportive community. Founded in 2011, Standup for the Cure is fully supported by generous donations from their presenting and title partners and a host of vendors and volunteers who take part each year. Standup for the Cure has over one million dollars for support of local breast cancer programs and leading-edge research. Learn more about Standup for the Cure at


A letter from Lumberjacks’ owners, Dan Israel and Bob Kaiser; to the fans, sponsors and the entire Lakeshore community

Since Dan Israel purchased the team in 2014, with Bob Kaiser joining as co-owner in 2018, every decision we made was with our mission statement in mind: to become the best junior hockey organization in the world, both on and off the ice.

In the past six years, with support from the City of Muskegon, we have developed a top-tier venue and established worldwide recognition. To play for the Lumberjacks represents not only the opportunity to uniquely elevate a player’s game, but to grow as a person in ways they may not otherwise have imagined. The values and the work ethic instilled in them during their time on this team is invaluable.

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we live and work. At this time, the State of Michigan will not allow Lumberjack fans inside Mercy Health Arena. This directive will have a serious impact on the organization’s ability to function economically. Beyond the financial implications, these young men have worked nearly their entire lives to play for a team like the Lumberjacks. To turn them away this season could have detrimental, permanent setbacks.

Further, the USHL did grant the Lumberjacks permission to “go dark;” essentially, the opportunity to shut down our hockey team for the season.

As fathers to D-1 college hockey players, we know firsthand how important it is to create a safe environment. As lifelong hockey fans and owners of an elite junior hockey organization, we feel a responsibility to protect a player’s dream. We cannot, in good conscious, take the game away from these young men at such a pivotal time in their lives. We will not allow temporary circumstances to permanently jeopardize what they have worked so hard to achieve.

That is why, in accordance with all government directives, we have made the important decision to play the 2020-2021 season.

At no time will we jeopardize the health of our team. In fact, it is with their well-being in mind that we have come to this decision. In any season, to play at this level requires tremendous concentration on physical health. We have created a robust organization in Muskegon, with an expert staff dedicated to protecting the athletes’ well-being on and off the ice. While we will miss the in-person support of our fans, it is our sincere hope that at some point this season we can all be together again, cheering on this great team at Mercy Health Arena.

In the meantime, you can still join us from home all season long by tuning in to HockeyTV. Furthermore, Muskegon offers free audio via Mixlr for every home game, and many other USHL teams do the same.

Finally, we want to thank you. The Muskegon community always has been and always will be an essential part of the Lumberjacks’ success. Thank you for your unwavering support for not only this organization, but for these outstanding young men.

We hope to see you soon,
Dan Israel and Bob Kaiser

Public Health Muskegon County, Mercy Health Open COVID-19 Testing Site for Muskegon Community

MUSKEGON, Mich. (September 1, 2020) – To meet the growing demand for COVID-19 testing in Muskegon County, Public Health Muskegon County and Mercy Health Muskegon have opened a COVID-19 diagnostic testing location at Mercy Health Lakes Village, 6401 Prairie Street, in Norton Shores. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and available for walk-up or drive-through testing.
Those who need a test are asked to order it through their primary care provider. Mercy Health testing site staff will then contact the individual to schedule a time to be tested.
Results of tests are typically available via MyChart patient portal within 48-72 hours after the test is administered. To sign up for a MyChart account, please visit

Insurance will be billed, but there will be no additional cost to anyone being tested.

Please bring an ID or something with address printed, such as a bill. Testing will be available to minors under 18 with parent or guardian consent.

The testing site, made financially possible through a grant from Public Health, will be staffed by Mercy Health Muskegon clinicians.

“As school resumes and more employers are seeking testing for their employees, this added location will help to curb growing needs for testing,” said Dr. Justin Grill, chief medical officer at Mercy Health Muskegon. “Our staff is working closely with school administrators and employers to coordinate testing for those who need it.”

Please note: Patients who are being tested for COVID-19 before undergoing a procedure at Mercy Health will still visit the testing site located at Mercy Health Mercy Campus, 1500 E. Sherman Blvd, and with a doctor’s order.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Mercy Health,” said Kathy Moore, health officer/public health director, Public Health Muskegon County. “The testing site will greatly increase our capacity for case investigation and contact tracing to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in Muskegon County,”

Information about this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and Local information can be found at To learn more about Mercy Health’s response to COVID-19, please visit

Hackley Public Library Updates

What’s Currently Available?
*Information is continuously being updated. Please ask HPL staff, visit, or visit HPL’s Facebook page for the latest updates.

HPL Main Building Hours:
10 am – 2 pm, Monday through Saturday

Local History/Genealogy (Torrent House) Hours:
10 am – 2 pm, Tuesday through Friday

HPL Main Building:
Returning Items – Items can be returned inside the Library during open hours, or outside to the Book Drop. All items with due dates during the closure will be back-dated, and no overdue late fines will be accrued.

Access to Public Computers – Public computer usage will be by appointment. Appointments can be made by calling (231) 722-8009 during open hours, or by stopping by the Library.

Browsing – Browsing is now available in certain areas of the library, including the Fiction section, Large Print section, Audiobooks section, and the Youth Services bookstacks.

Checking Out Items, Curbside Pickup Available – Patrons are able to browse certain sections, or can request items in person to checkout at the Library. Patrons can place holds on items online, or inside the Library, and pick them up inside the Library or via curbside pickup.
How to check out items?
1. Patrons are able to browse certain sections of the Library.
2. It is our pleasure to retrieve the items that are available in the Library upon request.
4. For patrons who wish to place a hold on an item (whether in person or online), they will be notified when a hold is ready for pickup. Item(s) can be picked up inside at the service desk, or through curbside pickup.
a. Inside pickup does NOT require an appointment.
b. Curbside pickup does require an appointment; a time must be requested at least one hour prior to the intended pickup time.
5. If curbside pickup is requested, a patron will be given an order number for the requested time. Order number must be provided to pick up order.
6. Please limit curbside pickup to one order per vehicle/family, per day.

Youth Services Dept – Limited Services
HPL’s YS department is open for holds pick-up, in-person item requests, checkouts, and browsing bookstacks

HPL’s non-fictions bookstacks remain closed at this time. HPL’s Youth Services computers, and activity areas remain closed at this time.

HPL Local History & Genealogy Building (Torrent House):
Access to Public Computers – Public computers are available by appointment only. Two hours per day per patron.

Microfilm Reading – Microfilm reader is available by appointment. Two hours per day per patron.

Digitized Materials – HPL Staff will continue to provide delivery of digitized materials via email.

Torrent House bookstacks remain closed at this time.

Your safety is our utmost priority! To ensure that Hackley Public Library is a safe environment for Library patrons, HPL will be following suggested guidelines.
• Visitors are required to wear a face mask/covering at all times while being in the Library.
• All visitors to the Library are required to practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet apart from library staff and patrons.
• Visitors are strongly encouraged to wash their hands and/or utilize hand sanitizer. Visitors are asked to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
• Conversations between library visitors that are not specific to the library services are prohibited in the building and at least 30 feet from the entrance.
• Conversations with staff are to be kept short and related to the specific reasons that the Library is open.
• Visits to the Library are to be for a specific purpose like picking up materials or using a public computer.
• Access to restrooms is for library visitors utilizing specific library services only.
• Smoking of any kind is prohibited anywhere on Library property.


Southfield, Mich. – The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Muskegon-area residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® on Sept. 26, 2020.

The Muskegon Walk to End Alzheimer’s continues, but instead of hosting a large gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across the region.

“This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be everywhere,” said Wendy Vizek, vice president, constituent events at the Alzheimer’s Association. “The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk. This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”

Kelly DeVos and Cindy Anderson serve as co-chairs of the Muskegon Walk, and Andy O’Riley will be emcee.

“I am honored to be a co-chair of this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s and to stand up with the rest of the Muskegon County community on behalf of my father, and the 190,000 Michiganders struggling with this disease and the more than 500,000 caregivers,” DeVos said. “Alzheimer’s doesn’t stop and neither will we.”

Time-honored components of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are being replicated. On Walk day, an Opening Ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, all delivered to participants’ smartphones, tablets and computers. Additionally, a small group of Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteers will create the iconic Promise Garden in a “view only” format on Walk day to honor all those impacted by Alzheimer’s.

To enhance the participant experience leading up to the event and on Walk day, new features are being added to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app to create an opportunity for the community to connect. Participants can use the app and new “Walk Mainstage” to track their steps and distance, follow a virtual Walk path, manage their Facebook fundraisers, and access information and resources from the Association and Walk sponsors to help individuals and families affected by the disease. A new audio track is available to encourage participants along the way and to congratulate them upon completion of their Walk.

“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” said Jennifer Lepard, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter. “We must continue Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together. Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Michigan alone, there are more than 190,000 living with the disease and 518,000 caregivers.

To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimers, visit:

Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

Professional teleconference offered LIVE September 24th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Intimacy and Sexuality During Illness and Loss

Muskegon, Michigan, August 25, 2020 – Each year the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) presents a nationally recognized, award-winning distance learning program to more than 125,000 people in 2,000 communities. For more than a decade, HFA’s educational events, have been instrumental in educating healthcare professionals and families on issues affecting end-of life care.

This year’s Living With Grief® Program focuses on “Intimacy and Sexuality During Illness and Loss.” Holistic treatment of the terminally ill and/or bereaved should include the needs of the whole person. Yet the most basic of human desires, intimate and sexual relationships, are frequently avoided, dismissed, or unaddressed by healthcare, social service, clergy and bereavement professionals. Patients, family caregivers, and clients can be inhibited by the deeply personal nature of intimacy and sexuality and often do not raise concerns with professionals.

Expert panelists Carrie Arnold, Alua Arthur, John Cagle and Ken Doka, along with narrator Frank Sesno will identify barriers to intimacy and sexuality for terminally ill persons and the bereaved. The program will emphasize the knowledge and skills that professionals must have to sensitively address intimacy and sexuality and suggest interventions that can help dying and bereaved persons address these elemental human needs.

The program will be presented LIVE through a Zoom link on September 24, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. There is no cost for this event. The link will be provided to those that register through the Harbor Hospice website ( on September 22nd. If you are unable to view it live, a link will be available for on-demand viewing after September 24th to those that inquire or registered online.

The program is 1-1/2 hours. 1.5-hours of continuing education (CE) will be available. Information about obtaining CEs through Hospice Foundation of America will be available during the webinar. Available CEs include nurses, social workers, counselors, funeral directors, clergy, CNAs and more. Please verify CE availability with your professional or state board approval and/or refer to HFA’s list of Board Approvals located at

NOTE: For more information, follow the Event on Facebook @HarborHospiceMI or call Beth Bolthouse at 231.728.3442 or 1.800.497.9559

Hackley Community Care Relocates School Based Mental Health Services for Nelson Students

MUSKEGON Mich. — Hackley Community Care (HCC) School Based Health Programs at Nelson Elementary, will relocate to their new home at Oakview Elementary School located at 1420 Madison Street, when school resumes in the fall. The move comes from the announcement by Muskegon Public Schools to close Nelson Elementary School. HCC provided mental health services to students and families in the Nelson area for the past six years.

Our staff at the Muskegon Teen Health Center is available to help coordinate continued and or new services for former Nelson Elementary School students and families. Please call 231.733.6680 to schedule an appointment and to receive answers to any questions you may have.

HCC’s School-Based Health Programs are designed to meet students and families where they live: in their neighborhoods. Hackley Community Care’s School-Based Health services encompass two full Child and Adolescent Health Centers at Muskegon High School and Oakridge Middle School that provides medical, dental and behavioral health services to students from any school district, ages 5 – 21. The School Based Health Program also provides a school wellness model at Marquette Elementary and Muskegon Middle School that includes a nurse, behavioral health counseling and mobile dentistry. The behavioral health model provides mental health services in several school districts throughout Muskegon County that include: Muskegon Heights Academy, Muskegon Covenant Academy, Marquette Elementary School, Muskegon Middle School, Edgewood / Fruitport Elementary, Fruitport Middle School, Holton Middle/High School, Holton Elementary, Oakridge Upper Elementary, Oakridge Lower Elementary, Orchard View Middle School and Lakeside Elementary School.

Hackley Community Care (HCC) is committed to the overall health and well-being of all children and adolescents, and is excited to continue their partnership with Muskegon Public Schools in providing services to students and families in the Oakview Elementary School area.


Hackley Community Care (HCC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that has been providing quality health care services since 1992.
Hackley Community Care Center receives federal funding from the 330 grant for health care services. For Federal Fiscal Year 2020, the program received a grant of $2,140,071 in federal funds, which constitutes 9.7% of the program budget.
Learn more at