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Muskegon “Love Note” Initiatives Get Support From City, Fees Waived – Snowboard Inventor Statue Event Coming Up Saturday

Andrew Trzaska | November 7, 2011

Some Muskegon area residents looking to share their love for their city will get a break from the city of Muskegon for event fees.

On the recommendation of city staff, the Muskegon City Commission voted Monday to waive any event fees in the next year for events associated with six initiatives funded by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.

This summer, the Foundation (CFMC) gave out $3,000 total for what it called “Love Notes” – relatively small things or actions to add value to the Muskegon community.

The Community Foundation got the idea from Peter Kageyama, consultant to the city and writer of “For the Love of Cities”. This summer, he held a workshop at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts on ways to build a sense of place within Muskegon.

Ideas from community members were fielded by the CFMC in July and posted on the Foundation’s Facebook page for a public vote. When the votes were tallied, six winners in locations around the county were picked to receive $500 each of the $3,000.

Included in the winners: a historical Literary Landmark plaque for the Hackley Public Library; movies on the beach that will be held twice a month from June to August; a children’s mural in Whitehall at the Howmet Playhouse; the Lakeside Community Pocket Park, for which development started back in 2010, and a downtown statue honoring the creation of the first snowboard in Muskegon.

City special event permits run $50 each, With some of the initiatives possibly as multi-event affairs, their $500 could easily be eaten up if the city charged them every time.

Love Notes initiative recipients will still need to pay for any other city services used, including on-duty police.
Cathy Brubaker-Clark, Director of Muskegon’s Planning Department described the fee waiving as a way as a “staff initiative” that came from within the city government as a way to show partnership.

“We think they are going to be exciting projects,” said Brubaker-Clark. “We didn’t want to hinder them with a fee because they are really small projects.”


One “Love Note” Event Coming Up This Weekend


A representative of another one of the Love Note winners appeared at Monday’s Commission meeting to speak about his initiative.

Kenneth Johnson used his $500 as start-up cash to hold a fundraiser for something that would cost more than that: a sculpture honoring the creation of the first snowboard by Muskegon resident Sherman Poppen.

To do this, Johnson organized “Play it Forward”, a large, multi-performance music coming up held this Saturday, November 12.

Held at the Watermark 920 conference facility between the Nims neighborhood and the Y and Heritage Landing, the Play It Forward event will feature 13 local bands and performers across many genres.

All ages can attend and the event will run from 12 p.m, until 10 p.m. on Saturday.  Tickets are $5 in advance, or $8 day of show.

Games, food and a silent auction will also take place to raise money.

Johnson explained the foundation’s grant helped get things going and allow him to help raise money for the statue that has multiple other community backers: “With that grant and the cooperation of local businesses this would not be going on.”

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