In This Issue: Community Celebrates Its Contributors

by Sonya Bernard-Hollins, publisher

WEST MICHIGAN– As we enter into the new year, it’s already evident that local businesses, organizations, and community members are moving toward celebrating the community in which they serve.  Jessica Ann Tyson, visionary of Events by Jessica, has worked through her organization to provide more than $20,000 to Grand Rapids area students through her annual Legacy Ball. This year, she has solicited the support of Kalamazoo residents, city officials, and businesses, to support the beginnings of the Mayor’s Legacy Ball in Kalamazoo. The event will bring on the same unique experience of celebrating Black History while honoring the students and those in the community who make a difference. Thanks Jessica!

Volunteer Kalamazoo is also continuing its tradition of honoring those who make a difference in the community. It’s 28th annual Star Awards recognizes some of the most dynamic people who do so much, and ask for nothing in return. This year, with the continued support of the Kalamazoo Gazette (MLIVE) the event will be held at Chenery Auditorium. Deadline to nominate someone for this illustrious award is Jan. 31, so hurry. We see people everyday who work behind the scenes to make our community a better place—let’s make sure we honor them.

When we think of doing our best to help others, animals often get overlooked. In Battle Creek, the Maddie’s Fund and Dinner is held to support the Animal Rescue Project which provides medial needs and other necessities for dogs and cats who have been abandoned and await a loving home. Find out how to contribute, or attend the event by reading the story on our Entertainment page.

Often times, celebrating our community comes with a cost. The Friends of Historic East Campus have worked for years to make sure the historic landmark of Western Michigan University’s East Campus maintains its rightful honor as the first home of the university founded in 1903. The committee of mostly WMU alumni (many of whom took classes in East Hall) have created a plea to get the university on their side. Read more of their story on our College Life page.

At the same time, the University of Michigan has decided to approach its bicentennial with a special website which chronicles historic moments in its history. From the first women on campus, to outstanding alumni, the site honors those who have contributed to its history. Read more on our College Life page.

These stories and the many others in this edition show a community that cares. Let’s take time out to support these and other events and causes in our communities.


Sonya Bernard-Hollins
Community Voices

Sonya Bernard-Hollins

Administrative account for the Community Voices website.