Feature Story Goats have returned to Ottawa County Parks this spring, taking on the “job” of chowing down on invasive species.

Baby goats are baaaaack at Ottawa County parks

Goats have returned to Ottawa County Parks this spring, taking on the “job” of chowing down on invasive species. These kids’ all-you-can-eat work helps parks staff keep plants like bittersweet, honeysuckle, and buckthorn — even poison ivy — in check.

Feature Story A year after COVID-19 made The Momentum Center’s 2020 Prom with a Purpose impossible, the popular event and fundraiser returns May 21 with both in-person and virtual options. 

Prom with a Purpose returns with in-person, virtual formats

The Momentum Center fundraiser is back after having been canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Funds raised at the May 21 event will help the center support its clients, break down barriers of separation, and work toward creating a stigma-free community.

Feature Story Holland entrepreneur Charles Elwood has used his ingenuity and skills to organize the making of Personal Protective Equipment on machines such as 3D printers.

Local entrepreneur uses his ‘why’ to find what he needs to do next

Charles Elwood, who left the security of a corporate job to start his own business and use his knowledge to help the next generation, is aiming to make a “huge impact.” He kicked off that vision by forming — with others — a group that distributed more than 60,000 pieces of PPE early in the pandemic.

Feature Story A worker adds installation in a new Jubilee Ministries mixed-income housing project being built in Holland.

Community Foundation invests in Jubilee housing with line of credit

A $250,000 line of credit from the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area will allow Jubilee Ministries to invest in property over the next five years.

Feature Story Good Samaritan Ministries is administering the MSHDA COVID-19 eviction diversion program. Pictured (from left) are Good Sam team members Virgenmina Calo, Jessi Christensen, and Andrew Zokoe.

Hundreds kept housed during COVID by eviction diversion program in Ottawa County

Good Samaritan Ministries has worked with landlords and tenants to help hundreds maintain housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It takes work on both sides.

Feature Story Steve Harryman

How hope and joy can be found in the darkest times

Lakeshore resident Steve Harryman recounts his late wife’s cancer diagnosis with a grim prognosis and the way participation in a support group with those on a similar journey replaced her grief with joy and compassion for others.

Longform Joyanne Huston-Swanson, community relations for the Kent District Library, works with a wi-fi hotspot that is available for checkout at the library. Patrons have used the hotspots to access telehealth appointments, among other needs.

Telehealth expansion has made health care more accessible during the pandemic – but not for everyone

Michiganders who are older, live in rural areas, or have income challenges may have trouble navigating, accessing, or affording the technology they need to keep their telehealth appointments.

Feature Story Judge Juanita Bocanegra on the bench

Teachers play prominent role in judge’s journey from migrant work to court bench

As a child, Juanita Flores Bocanegra spent growing seasons in Holland. The 58th District judge is grateful for her parents’ support of her education, and spotlights three West Ottawa district teachers who inspired her to do quality work and reach for academic excellence.

Feature Story Rosa Chaidez wants to find affordable housing for her family.

Lakeshore housing initiatives focus on ‘missing middle’

Though wages increasing 5.2% in the past five years, the average home sale price shot up 64.5%, leaving homeownership out of reach for most moderate wage-earners — particularly those who earn $15-$20 per hour. Several Lakeshore nonprofits and trade associations are spearheading initiatives to help this “missing middle” navigate the path to buying a home.

Feature Story Nayeli Mora

How Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year overcame bullying and embraced her culture

Nayeli Mora was bullied in elementary and middle school as she struggled to learn English. As the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland’s 2021 Youth of the Year, she hopes to use her voice and her story to make a difference in her generation and inspire her peers to advocate for themselves.

Feature Story ThiMore people are starting a business in 2021. (Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash)

Why 2021 just might be the year to start your business

Uncertainty remains in 2021 as we take steps to get ahead of the pandemic. However, emerging trends — including the explosion of e-commerce and pent-up customer demand — show this might be a great time to start a business. 

Feature Story utomated Machine Systems is growing its existing Georgetown Township facility with a 35,000-square-foot expansion.

Manufacturer invests $1.5M to expand Georgetown Township facility

Automated Machine Systems is growing its existing Georgetown Township facility, investing $1.5 million in the 35,000-square-foot expansion. Lakeshore Advantage helped connect AMS with resources to support its growth.

Feature Story The nearly $10 million donation to GRCC will be used to support student resources and modernize buildings.

GRCC Foundation receives $10 million gift, largest in college’s history

The nearly $10 million donation to GRCC from the late Robert Richmond, a West Michigan developer, will be used to support student resources and modernize buildings. GRCC Foundation leaders say the gift will “keep higher education within reach.”

Feature Story Jordan-VanHemert-concert

Hope professor confronts anti-Asian racism in debut album, fundraising concert

Jordan VanHemert, an acclaimed jazz saxophonist and composer, has released his debut album, “I Am Not a Virus.” The assistant professor of music at Hope College is planning a concert in support of the album and a #StopAsianHate fundraiser. 

Feature Story A renovation is planned for Tanglefoot Park

Spring Lake campaign raising final funds for Tanglefoot Park renovation

The waterfront property owned by the village since 1916 long operated as an exclusive spot for trailers and RVs. Following pleas for Tanglefoot Park to be more community-friendly and recommendations heard at community engagement meetings, the village has launched a capital campaign to renovate the waterfront park. 

Feature Story Hunter Daniels says the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates program was a game changer for him.

Muskegon County resident finds successful path thanks to West Michigan Works! services, support

Hunter Daniels credits West Michigan Works! for providing a career coach and helping him make a plan for the future. Daniels’ success was among those celebrated at the recent Impact Awards event.

Development News Bare All Clothing

GRABB grants help area Black businesses navigate COVID-19

The GRABB Relief and Resilience Fund is specifically for Black entrepreneurs and business owners impacted by COVID-19’s on-going business interruptions and limitations. The grants support for-profit businesses that were unable to access adequate funding through the COVID-19.

Feature Story A new agreement will give GRCC students a seamless transfer to a Ferris State bachelor’s degree in music and entertainment business.

New music business program lets GRCC students enter Ferris as seniors to complete BA

Under the agreement, students could earn an associate degree in pre-music and entertainment in three years at Grand Rapids Community College, then transfer to Ferris State University for one year to complete a bachelor’s degree in music and entertainment business.

Feature Story Stacey Workman is a financial adviser.

5 ways to feel inspired during Financial Literacy Month

Statistics show that most people are concerned about money — with regard to either the present, the future, or both. As April is Financial Literacy Month, The Lakeshore asked financial adviser Stacey Workman for tips that could help people achieve their short- and long-term monetary goals.

Longform Second graders at Petoskey’s Central Elementary School practice mindfulness in 2019.

Meals and mindfulness: How Michigan schools are connecting nutrition and behavioral health

In northwest Michigan, educators, mental health professionals, and food service directors are teaming up to support the children they serve by connecting the dots between good nutrition and good mental health.

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