Editorial Once again Muskegon shows its true spirit 2009: Muskegon Residents

Editorial Once again Muskegon shows its true spirit

Muskegon residents have a reputation of being generous, but they blew away Community Foundation for Muskegon County officials with their contributions Thursday.

That's when the Foundation hosted its first-ever "Match Day," a way to give a boost to area nonprofit agencies, which are hurting because of the economic downturn. Many agencies are experiencing a double-whammy from the poor economy -- their income is down while the demand for their services is up. The Foundation promised to add 50 cents to every $1 donated up to a total of $75,000. The money would be awarded on a first come, first served basis to a list of 100 qualifying agencies. There was plenty of publicity about the event and everyone hoped for the best. What they didn't expect was that people would start lining up at 6 a.m. for an event that began at 7:30 at the Frauenthal Center in downtown Muskegon. People were so eager to ensure that their charity received the match, they stood in line for up to two hours. In the first two hours, more than 340 people plunked down contributions. In the end, more than $440,000 was donated, blowing past the Foundation's goal of around $150,000. "The best part of Muskegon is down here," Tim Lundholm, president of the Muskegon Christian School board, told The Chronicle after standing in line for 90 minutes. He was still 10 minutes away from the donation window at that time. We couldn't have said it better.

Time after time, when a call goes out for help, Muskegon residents respond. Whether it is a fundraiser for a family facing catastrophic medical bills or donations to the food pantry, people will open their hearts -- and their wallets.

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