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Impact Report

Impacting Our Local Community

Rob Garrison said it best.

“2020 was quite the year. Between a global pandemic, rioting in our cities and a contentious Presidential election, we know that everyone was tired and frustrated and perhaps ready for 2020 to be over. The uncertainty that the pandemic has placed on so many families is disheartening. We are saddened by the medical, financial and personal suffering that so many have endured in 2020. In that vein, we at Michigan Mortgage have doubled our efforts to make the most impact in areas that we can control: our clients, our employees and the community.”

As we work our way through 2021, we wanted to take a moment to pause and look back on all of the good that happened last year.

Impact ReportHere are a few of our favorite highlights. If you’d like to learn more about 2020 community involvement, click here and flip through our Impact Report.

#MMGivesBack – Honoring Our Local Educators

Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we launched #MMGivesBack – Honoring Our Local Educators to give back to those that give so much to our local community. Three times in 2020, we recognized a West Michigan educator that went above and beyond in the classroom and donated $1,000 to their school.

We surprised the following teachers, delivered a gift basket and thanked them for their dedication to their students.

Rosanne Willard, Oakridge Elementary in Muskegon
Tammie Thompson, Griffin Elementary in Grand Haven
Julie Anderson, Beach Elementary in Fruitport

Each woman (and their school) was deserving of our Outstanding Teacher Award and $1,000 donation!

As part of #MMGivesBack, educators that financed their mortgage – purchase or refinance – with a Michigan Mortgage Loan Officer received $100 worth of school supplies and we donated $50 worth of school supplies to another teacher on their behalf. In total, we donated supplies to 75 classrooms in more than 20 West Michigan school districts.

Michigan Mortgage Service Scholarship

In conjunction with our #MMGivesBack and Service Rewards programs, we launched the Michigan Mortgage Service Scholarship in hopes of recognizing High School Seniors with dreams of pursuing a career in service.

Careers Include:

  • Military
  • Teachers & Educators
  • Government & Politics
  • Police
  • Firefighters
  • First Responders
  • Doctors & Nurses

We will award two $1,000 scholarships to West Michigan Seniors in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Dancing with the Local Stars

Our very own Dave Lehner competed in the 2020 Dancing with the Local Stars event in Muskegon. This event was pre-pandemic and one of the last times our community was able to gather for a great cause.

Dave and his team spent hours practicing their routine and gave a flawless performance. We were so happy to be in the audience cheering him on!

Standup for the Cure

This is one of our favorite local events and we were disappointed to miss a fun-filled day at the beach, but our employees stood up and participated at their own homes. Some hiked and explored outdoors while others kayaked, swam and played basketball in their backyards.

Shawn Norden, one of our fabulous Loan Officers, worked hard to raise awareness and get people involved in the 2020 fundraiser. We are always excited to support her and the local food bank and food programs in our area.

“While 2020 was challenging in many ways, it has taught us many lessons that will affect our business for years to come,” Rob said.

Thank you for taking this wild ride with us!

Michigan Mortgage Supports Dancing with the Local Stars

The 12th annual Dancing with the Local Stars Muskegon event will feature the largest cast to date, including of our very own.

Loan Officer and Co-Branch Manager Dave Lehner is one of 42 local stars teaming up with 11 professional dancers to raise money for local food pantries and programs.

“It’s a fun way to help our local community,” Dave said. “Our office takes pride in giving back and this is a great cause to support.”

His group includes: Nate Johnson, reentry and outreach director for Fresh Coast Alliance; Jonathan Seyferth, Coopersville city manager; Melanie Swiftney, author and director of marketing and communications for the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation; Patti Winsemius, dance instructor at Cassell Training Center.

His professional dance partner is Carly Switzer, diagnostic medical sonographer at Spectrum Health Butterworth and Blodgett Hospitals, a seven-year participant of the event.

“The practices are fun but hard,” Dave said. “We have to learn a lot of moves and keep the beat at the same time, but we will be ready to perform for the big night!”

Last year, the Muskegon event raised more than $135,000. Dave hopes to help raise even more money this year. Dancing with the Local Stars has raised over $1 million since its creation.

“Our goal is to beat the amount we raised last year,” said Shawn Norden, Michigan Mortgage Loan Officer and Dancing with the Local Stars Co-Chair of the Sponsor Committee. “Right now, we are on record pace! We could not do any of this without the help of our event sponsors.”

Much like Dave, Shawn has recognized a hunger issue in our community and is willing to do anything she can to help.

“We donate the funds collected from this event to food pantries and programs in Muskegon County, Northern Ottawa County and Southern Oceana County,” she said. “These recipients depend on our funds every year.”

Performances will take place the evenings of February 27-29, with an additional matinee on Saturday, February 29. Tickets went on sale on January 2 and sold out within days.

“I am looking forward to laughing, getting laughed at by my friends and family and showing off my dance moves,” Dave said.

If you’d like to donate, stop by our office and look for Dave’s decorated box. Thank you in advance for your support!

Hometown Highlights: The Be Event 2019

BE is the most common verb in the English language.

To BE is to exist, live, take place, happen; to belong, to attend; to remain in a certain state or situation undisturbed, untouched.

Image promoting The Be Event 2019What is the BE event? A goal setting conference, featuring eight speakers, each focusing on key areas of life, ranging from relationships, finance, health, career and more.

The event is a time to be intentional about the 2019 year, creating goals, letting go of that which does not serve you and connecting with other men and women that want to BE better, not perfect!

It is a time to be filled, present, loved, accepted, excited, passionate, hopeful. It is a time to connect with our community, share common energy and to recognize and embrace the fact that we are the change that the world needs.

We all want to DO BETTER in areas of our lives, however we strive so deeply for perfection and balance that we get caught in a constant feeling of falling short. We compare ourselves to other people’s outsides, and some of us compare net worth to self worth. This conference is for anyone that has made mistakes, wants to do better, wants to connect, has a dream, wants to live with purpose and make a difference.

Who attends the BE event? Men and women who need encouragement, leaders who lead with love, community impactors, encouragers, growers and learners, evolved, evolving people who desire a commitment to each other, a desire to first BE, then DO, then HAVE and most importantly to GIVE and connect in a world that can be isolating and competitive.

You cannot command change unless you are willing to actually BE the change. Your hands, your words, your willingness to show up with integrity and kindness in all that you say and do matters. Because our world is LOUD, the BE event gives women and men alike, a space where they can see and feel each other’s light.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Jean Houston, a nationally recognized scholar, philosopher and a founder of the Human Potential Movement. She talks to audiences around the world, using her deep knowledge of culture, new science, spirituality, and human development to inspire leaders to better their lives in the everyday. Dr. Houston challenges us through engaging teaching, inspiring revelations, and humorous stories to reconnect, recharge, be liberated and engage in our communities and our daily lives.

“The entelechy of an acorn is to be an oak tree, a caterpillar to be a butterfly, and a popcorn kernel to be fully popped. We are all loaded and encoded with a dynamite purpose, a special
gift and ability that comes naturally to us—so naturally that we may even take it for granted and not recognize it as our innate, great purpose.” – Jean Houston

This year’s event will be at the beautiful and historic Frauenthal Theater in Muskegon on September 14. For additional information about the event, for ticketing and sponsorship information go to www.thebeevent.com.

When registering, use promo code Be2019. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are we not to be?” – Marianne Williamson

Image showing an autographed Justin Abdelkader jersey.

#MMGivesBack: Stand Up for the Cure

Each month, our staff selects a local charity to support through our #MMGivesBack program. Our goal is to give back, get involved and make a difference.

In honor of Loan Officer Shawn Norden and her passion for breast cancer awareness, we have selected Stand up for the Cure (SUFTC) Muskegon as this month’s charity.

“As a breast cancer survivor, I learned very quickly the importance of early detection,” Norden said. “It is not a cliché. Finding breast cancer early offers you less invasive treatment options and a much greater probability of survival.”

“My wish is that every woman has the same access that I did for finding breast cancer early – that is why I Stand Up for the Cure,” she said.

The event – the fifth in Muskegon – is slated for Saturday, July 13, at Harbour Towne Beach.

SUFTC’s mission is “to help women find breast cancer early – when it’s more treatable – through education, awareness, screenings and research while building a supportive, compassionate community.” The event aims to introduce non-paddlers to the fun and healthy sport of standup paddle boarding.

According to the organization, “Seventy-five percent of the funds raised at the 2019 event will go to local programs managed through Hackley Community Care, with the remaining twenty-five percent going to Van Andel Institute to fuel Dr. Carrie Graveel’s research into triple-negative breast cancer, which is the most aggressive and deadly form of the disease.”

“We help those right here in our community every day,” Norden added. “This is a huge reason why I support SUFTC. Of course, we want to end breast cancer forever – but until that happens, we need to help those afflicted by this horrid disease.”

Online registration is now open.

As part of this year’s event, Michigan Mortgage will be giving away a Red Wings jersey autographed by Muskegon’s very own Justin Abdelkader.

If you’d like an opportunity to win, stop by our office (6207 Harvey Street, Suite B) between now and July 12. The cost to enter is $10 for one chance and $20 for three.

If you’re planning to attend the July 13 event, stop by the Michigan Mortgage booth for your chance to win. All proceeds will go directly to Stand Up for the Cure.

The winner will be announced at noon on July 13. You need not be present to win.

If you have questions related to the giveaway, please call Shawn Norden at 231-557-9414.

“I am so grateful that our community has embraced this event and all it stands for,” Norden said. “We would not be able to be successful without our very generous sponsors, participants and the community as a whole.”

Muskegon Event Details
Location:
Harbour Towne Beach, Muskegon
Date: Saturday, July 13
Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Activities: Kid’s Paddleboard Race, 5K Expert Race, Relay Races, Fun “Sea of Pink” Paddle, Yoga on the Beach, Free Breast Health Screenings, Live Music, Catered Lunch & Happy House, a Silent Auction and much more!

For more information about this year’s event, click here.

Image of Michigan Mortgage staff members at the event

Fall Family Fun Customer Appreciation Event

On October 20, we invited past clients and our realtor partners to Mellema Farms for a “Fall Family Fun” appreciation event prior to the “Big Game” (University of Michigan took on Michigan State University at The Big House).

It wasn’t perfect weather wise, but we enjoyed spending time with everyone in attendance.

Mellema Farms had pumpkins on display and offered hayrides to their most popular pumpkin patches. We served fall treats and warm coffee to those willing to venture out in the gloomy weather. New this year, we set up a fall-themed display for complimentary family photographs.

Kaitlin Grace Photography was on the farm to lend a hand and capture multiple photos of each family. We hope you enjoy the finished product!

Special thanks to our past clients and realtor partners that braved the weather – thunder, rain, hail and a little bit of sunshine – to spend the day with us at Mellema Farms. We appreciate your continued support!

To view a photo gallery from this year’s event, click here.

Michigan Mortgage team at Flat of Flowers event

12th Annual Flat of Flowers Fun

May in Michigan brings excitement to the halls of Michigan Mortgage.

After a long, cold, snowy winter, we anticipate the beauty that spring brings to the lakeshore. With the spring warm up, we look forward to our Client Appreciation Flat of Flowers event so we can say thank you to our wonderful, loyal clients and friends that support MM year after year!

“We look forward to this event every year,” said Branch Co-Manager and Loan Officer Dave Lehner. “We like to catch up with past clients and see how their families are doing, welcome our new clients and celebrate the start of spring.”

This year, the rain came down but didn’t deter from the fun. Braving the weather and the mud with smiles and umbrellas in tow, it was a blast catching up with all who attended.

We hope that everyone felt a little spoiled when they left with a beautiful array of flowers to enjoy over the summer.

Thank you to everyone who popped in to say help and enjoy some warm coffee and treats under the Michigan Mortgage tent!

We’d also like to extend a HUGE thank you to Weesies Brothers Garden Center in Nunica who did not disappoint. They offered a beautiful selection of varying flowers to fit everyone’s taste. We appreciate you hosting the event!

We look forward to seeing everyone next May for the 13th Annual Flat of Flowers event!