Stories

Feature Story Founder of Holland, Mich., Albertus C. van Raalte.

Holland history: Van Raalte’s Vision of New “Kolonie”

Holland's founder Albertus C. van Raalte envisioned establishing a colony of his own — not a cosmopolitan American city, but a close-knit Christian community.

Longform Jenifer Murray, a contracted grant coordinator with Munson Healthcare, works on programs for new parents in her office.

Northern Michigan works to build supportive services for parents in "maternity care deserts"

Many in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula live in areas with a serious lack of resources, facilities, and practitioners for pregnant people, new parents, and infants.

Feature Story Veteran Michael Jackson

Many veterans struggle with homelessness; these programs are helping

Disabled veteran Michael Jackson credits the nonprofit Fresh Coast Alliance for providing him with the holistic and individualized assistance he needed to avoid homelessness. 

Feature Story  The DNSWM brain injury support group celebrates its first in-person meeting in the fall since the pandemic. (DNSWM)

How the pandemic made a brain injury support group more accessible

After going virtual during the pandemic, the brain injury support group hosted by Disability Network Southwest Michigan has shifted to a hybrid model as in-person meetings resume so more people can attend. 

Feature Story Lucia Rios's first time driving her new car. Her nephew Angelo Mata is in the front seat. He helped her identify how to work with the new technology.

Living with a disability is expensive

From buying a car to getting groceries, these necessities cost more when they need to adapt to someone who uses a wheelchair. Lucia Rios explains the hidden costs of living with a disability. 

Feature Story Spoons & Tunes is a Soup-Tasting Fundraiser

February along the Lakeshore: Museum exhibits, Valentine’s celebration and ice carving

A beer-tasting fundraiser, art exhibits, swanky dinners, a kids’ program, and a lecture on the future of the nonprofit sector, The Lakeshore has it all this February. 

Feature Story Michigan Veteran Entrepreneur (MVE)-Lab hosts pitch nights. (MVE)

Entrepreneurial program for veterans coming to Muskegon

Michigan Veteran Entrepreneur (MVE)-Lab will be coming to Muskegon to offer veterans the opportunity to become entrepreneurs

Feature Story A performance from the 2022 West Michigan Student Showcase. (Michelle Nickless Greer)

West Michigan Student Showcase returns for 42nd year

Carla Flanders will lead the annual celebration showcasing nearly 250 students from 35 different school districts throughout Muskegon, Ottawa, Oceana, Newaygo, and Mason counties. 

Feature Story Conference

Young professionals group plans its first leadership conference

The Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals (HYP) plans to host its first-ever leadership conference, dubbed the Future Leaders Conference, on Feb. 16 at the Holland Civic Center Place.

Feature Story Nick Nykerk, leff, and Phil LaMothe are the new members of the Lakeshore Advantage board. (LA)

New leadership on Lakeshore Advantage board brings expertise in key focus industries

Phil LaMothe, plant manager of fairlife in Coopersville, and Nick Nykerk, president of Lakewood Construction in Holland, have joined the Lakeshore Advantage board. 

Feature Story A replica of the first cabin built in Holland, Mich.

Holland history: The founding of a town — religious roots and other reasons

Religious freedom was only one of the reasons that drove Dutch settlers — including Holland founder Albertus van Raalte — to the new world.

Feature Story Help is just a phone call away.

Community mental health meets Northern Michiganders where they’re at with mobile crisis intervention

The Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority mobile crisis intervention services reach across Crawford, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Missaukee, Roscommon, and Wexford counties.    

Feature Story The 2022 Holland Human Relations Commission Social Justice Awards recipients pose for a picture after the awards ceremony.

Miles of Smiles, public defender among social justice award winners

I AM Academy, Heights of Hope, and social justice advocate Ann Weller were also among the award recipients who "exemplify the virtues of social justice by promoting equal opportunity and equal access for residents of Holland."

Feature Story Shaun Page (left), Chick-fil-A Operator, presenting a check to Action House CEO Scott Rumpsa (right)

Lakeshore nonprofit wins $75,000 through Chick-fil-A’s ‘True Inspiration Awards’

Community Action House plans to use these funds to further expand services at its recently opened Food Club & Opportunity Hub in Holland. 

Feature Story Taylor Twork, a GVSU student,  is a recipient of the Thomas and Susan Den Herder Education Scholarship.

How to apply for nearly $900K in scholarships with one application

College, trade school, and high school students can apply for scholarships from the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area with one easy application.

Feature Story From left: Dennis Young, Tom Sikkema and Melinda Young.

Ride YourWay fills niche for wheelchair-accessible transportation service in West Michigan

Last year demand for Ride YourWay grew nearly ten-fold. The company now has seven wheelchair-accessible vans and one ambulatory sedan to serve clients from Muskegon to Kalamazoo.

Feature Story Workers at Kenzie's Be Cafe in Grand Haven. (Kenzie's Be Cafe)

GHACF supports 13 organizations with nearly 600K in grants

One focus of the grants was to shore up organizations that support disability equality, including Kenzie’s Be Café, the Disability Network of the Lakeshore (DNL), and Eat Well Do Good.

Feature Story Hope College Professor Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren

Can humility help us navigate difficult conversations?

Hope College Professor Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren talks about his upcoming community discussions on “Humility: The Quiet Power of an Ancient Virtue.”

Feature Story Downtown Holland preserved its historical buildings with the help of the Prince family, local merchants and government — and a lot of ingenuity.

Holland history: The downtown revival

Holland's downtown nearly perished with the rise of malls in the 1980s. However, innovation helped the area and the merchants thrive.`

Feature Story Steelcase is making an impact on a global scale, helping better the world through furthering work on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and driving social innovation from its headquarters in West Michigan.

Design as an 'inescapable' part of life in West Michigan and where you can find it

The world of design involves hard and soft skills, hands-on creativity and abstract vision. Here's how design is defined by the individuals who are doing the work in West Michigan.