Saturday, December 22, 2012

Calvin Johnson, Jr.

Calvin Johnson, Jr. is a Wide Receiver for the Detroit Lions. Calvin's nickname is "Megatron". He was born in Newnan, Georgia and played his college career at Georgia Tech University. Calvin Johnson, Jr. is a Michigan Light for his role in starting a charity to help youth in Detroit as well as Atlanta.

Football Career: Calvin Johnson has demonstrated success with the Detroit Lions.  The Detroit Lions picked him with the 2nd overall pick in 2007. His career statistics are on his player page at  On March 14, 2012, Calvin Johnson signed a 7 year contract extension that will keep him a Detroit Lion through the 2019 season (Source). On December 22, 2012, Calvin Johnson broke the record for most receiving yards in a season that was previously held by Jerry Rice (Source).  It's not too early to start mentioning the Detroit wide receiver as a future hall of famer.

Charitable Work: In May, 2008, Calvin Johnson formed the Calvin Johnson, Jr. Foundation to help youth in Atlanta and Detroit. His charitable focus in 2010 was to help Metro Detroit graduating senior football players with college scholarships (Source). Here is a video where Calvin Johnson announces his foundation.

To keep up with Calvin Johnson on Social Media be sure and follow his Official Twitter Account @Bigplaycj. You can also visit Calvin Johnson's Wikipedia Page.

Special thanks to Calvin Johnson, Jr. for being a Michigan Light. His contribution to Michigan has brightened the day of many a Detroit Lion fan of all ages and his charitable work is making a difference for youth in Detroit and Atlanta.

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tom Gores

Tom Gores is an American billionaire with Michigan roots. He has homes in Beverly Hills, California and Gross Ille, Michigan. Tom Gores is a Michigan Light because on June 1, 2011, he purchased the Detroit Pistons, and he is making their improvement a priority.

College: Tom Gores graduated from Michigan State University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management (Source).

Detroit Pistons: On June 1, 2011, Tom Gores became the new owner of the Detroit Pistons, a franchise in the National Basketball Association. On July 11, 2012 it was announced that Tom Gores and his company Palace Sports and Entertainment are investing $13-$15 million in upgrading the Palace of Auborn Hills, the home where the Pistons play as well as the venue for many popular concerts in Southeast Michigan (Source).

Here is a news video of Tom Gores relishing the opportunity to be an "impactful" owner who works with the community toward the success of the Detroit Pistons.

Wikipedia: You can find more information on Tom Gores at his Wikipedia Page.

Philanthropy: Tom Gores has donated to many charities, including in Michigan he and his brother Alec donated $250,000 to Genesee High School in honor of Tom and Julia Joubran's 50th wedding anniversary in 2002 (Source).
Special thanks to Tom Gores for his help in making Michigan and the Detroit Pistons the best they can be. We look forward to hearing great things in the future from this businessman and Michigan Light.  

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Megabus is adding a Michigan route with service between Detroit and Chicago with stops in East Lansing and Grand Rapids. Previously Megabus only had Michigan service in Detroit and Ann Arbor through to Ohio. Megabus is a Michigan Light because of how this new route will help open up more travel options for people in Michigan at an affordable price.

Megabus will be offering travel options 3 times a day in each stop on this Detroit-Chicago route. Fairs start at $1.00 and must be purchased on the Internet.  I went on the Megabus website and researched fares and to go round trip from East Lansing to Chicago in less than a week's advance purchase time the cost is $15.00. The fewer tickets sold on a route the lower the price.

The Megabus website says, "Our luxury single and double deckers offer free wi-fi, at-seat plug ins, panoramic windows and a green alternative way to travel (Source)."  For information on Megabus' expansion in Michigan read this article at

Social Media:  You can follow @Megabus on Twitter

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hudsonville Ice Cream

Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company (Hudsonville Ice Cream) is located in Holland, Michigan in Ottawa County. The Hudsonville Creamery company started in 1895 in Hudsonville, Michigan and began making their now famous ice cream in 1926.  Their slogan is The Coolest Taste to Share. Hudsonville Ice Cream is a Michigan Light because they have made it a priority to use local Michigan ingredients to offer a delicious product to Michigan citizens.  They are a cool tradition in and for Michigan.

Hudsonville Ice Cream offers both permanent and seasonal ice cream flavors. Their ice cream is distributed exclusively to all parts of the State of Michigan and to select parts of nearby Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. Several of Hudsonville Ice Cream's flavors are inspired by Michigan places or traditions like Grand Travers Bay Cherry Fudge, Mackinac Island Fudge, Michigan Deer Traxx, Sleeping Bear Dunes Bear Hug, Pure Michigan Carmel Apple, and Tiger Traxx (named after the Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball Team). New flavors are regularly created and in April, 2012 the company announced the creation of 5 new flavors (Source). 

Hudsonville Ice Cream made a commitment to stay in West Michigan in 2009 when they did significant expansion of their plant operations in the midst of tough economic conditions in the state. Here is a video about the expansion and some new flavors that were introduced in 2009.

The history of Hudsonville Ice Cream can be found under an Our Story section of their website. Their official website is at Here is a video presentation on the workings of Hudsonville Ice Cream.

Social Media: You can follow Hudsonville Ice Cream at the following social media pages.

Special thanks to Hudsonville Ice Cream for being a Michigan Light. Remember as you take time to enjoy their cool ice cream in the hot Summer weather, Hudsonville Ice Cream gives you the taste of a dairy product made in Michigan.

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan.

Photo: The photo in this post was taken by Alan Stokes from a real Hudsonville Ice Cream product found in his freezer.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman is the Public Relations Director for the Wharton Center in East Lansing, Michigan and is also a motivational speaker. Bob Hoffman started a movement called in 2009 in order to spread kindness, after he was rudely cut off by another driver on a Michigan roadway. Bob Hoffman is a Michigan Light because of how ePIFanyNow has been the catalyst for spreading good to people in Michigan.

You can get to know Bob Hoffman better through his website at Bob Hoffman describes himself this way on his website:

I have a quote in my office that reads “How you spend your days is how you spend your life.” I remind myself to spend my days smelling the flowers, listening to great music and singing along, reading by the fire, enjoying my family and friends, belly laughing, having a good cry, letting go of the negative, reading positive quotes, going to the movies, visiting with the elderly who can teach me so much… (Source)
Here is the video of a CBS Evening News Story on Bob Hoffman's work at ePIFanyNow.

According to the group's Twitter page ePIFanyNow works like this: "We gather large groups of people together and ask them to go out into the community to do random acts of kindness. Then, we gather to share our stories (Source)!"

ePIFanyNow has biannual events where participants are encouraged to spread random act of kindness. The events started in the Greater Lansing, Michigan area and have expanded to other areas of Michigan. Bob Hoffman's dream is for the concept to catch on across the United States.

Events: ePIFanyNow will have an event on Sunday, August 19, 2012 from 2:00-6:00 at Bud Kouts Chevrolet located at 2801 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan (Source).

Social Media:  You can follow Bob Hoffman's work at at the following social media.
Special thanks to Bob Hoffman for passing kindness forward.  His positive attitude and leadership in this helpful movement called ePIFanyNow is a bright light for Michigan.  For additional information about ePIFanyNow, contact Bob Hoffman at 517-230-8807 or or visit:

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Eric and Dean Dompierre

Eric Dompierre is a 19 year old boy with Downs Syndrome from Ishpeming, Michigan and Dean is his father. Eric and Dean Dompierre are Michigan Lights because of their hard work to advocate that the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) change their rules to allow students with disabilities to play sports in their senior year of high school even if they have reached age 19 before September 1.

The crusade to change the MHSAA rule so that Eric could play sports in his senior year began two and a half years ago, when Dean learned that the age requirement would impact his son Eric, who was held back two years. The MHSAA initially declined the Dompierre's request for a rule exception. However, after years of advocacy the individual high schools in Michigan were allowed to vote on the issue and over 94% approved the change (Source).

To receive this athletic participation waiver the students disability must be recognized by either the American with Disabilities Act or Michigan's Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act. It is a one year waiver for 19 year olds that can be approved by the MHSAA executive committee. Part of the requirement is that "A student's disability must diminish both physical and either intellectual or emotional capabilities and cannot create health nor safety risks to participants and does not create a competitive advantage for the team (Source)."

Here is a news story on Eric and Dean Dompierre's efforts done by ESPN.

Special thanks to Eric and Dean Dompierre for being inspirational Michigan Lights. Thanks to their efforts disabled high school athletes and their parents won't have to fight this long battle in the future.

Update August, 2013: Eric Domierre is now 20 years old and was part of the Class of 2013 in his high school. Eric won the 2013 Charles T. Kuntzleman Accepting the Challenge Award. Here is a video of Eric Dompierre receiving this prestigious award in 2013.

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Better Made Snack Foods

Better Made Snack Foods was founded in 1930 by Peter Cipriano and Cross Moceri. It is a company that makes all of its products from it's headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. While the company makes a variety of snack foods, their signature product is potato chips. Better Made Snack Foods is a Michigan Light because of their tasty product that is made in Michigan and their positive contribution to the Michigan community.

Here is a commercial made for the 80th anniversary of Better Made Snack Foods in 2010.

Doubles for Kids: Better Made Snack Foods is a light to Michigan besides appealing to people's taste buds. Every time a Detroit Tigers player hits a double this season, Better Made makes a donation to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
For more information on Better Made Snack Foods visit their website at Their website shares about specials and also allows people to order products online. 
Special thanks to Better Made Snack Foods for being a Michigan Light. Remember every time you take a bite into one of their scrumptious snacks, you are experiencing the wonders of a product made in Michigan. 

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford is the Quarterback for the Detroit Lions. Matthew Stafford is a Michigan Light because of his contributions to Michigan sports that have improved the competitiveness of the Detroit Lions. Stafford's off the field actions for charity have also helped brighten the lives of people in Michigan.

Football Career: Matthew Stafford has demonstrated success with the Detroit Lions. The Detroit Lions received the #1 Overall Draft pick in the NFL in 2009 because they had went 0-16 the previous year. In 3 years, Matthew Stafford had led the Detroit Lions to the playoffs.  In his sensational season of 2011 he became just the 4th Quarterback in NFL history to pass for 5,000 yards or more in a single season. The career statistics of Matthew Stafford are available at his player page on

The following is a video off Matthew Stafford being interviewed in 2011 after their game 1 win.

Gift to Mott Hospital Patient: It wasn't just his football skills that brought Matthew Stafford to the attention of the Michigan Light blog.  Matthew Stafford spent $15,000 at a charity auction on May 19, 2012 to benefit the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Stafford purchased a travel package and six tickets to the Monday Night Football Game on October 22, 2012 in Chicago when the Detroit Lions play the Chicago Bears. He gave the $15,000 game package to a young Mott Children's Hospital patient named Faith Falzon, who is from Dexter, Michigan. Faith has an incurable bowel disorder and Stafford hoped the gift would give her something to look forward to over the next six months (Source).

To keep up with Matthew Stafford on Social Media be sure and follow his Official Twitter Account @Staff_9. You can also visit his Wikipedia page.

Special thanks to Matthew Stafford for being a Michigan Light. His contribution to Michigan has brightened the day of many a Detroit Lion fan of all ages. Best wishes to Matthew Stafford for a great upcoming season. Let's go Lions!

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Michigan Children's Trust Fund

Today we unveil a new blog in the positive and upbeat "Light" blog series started by Alan Stokes. Here we will highlight diverse people, things, and organizations spreading light in the great state of Michigan. I've chosen the first Michigan Light to be the organization I have worked closely with for the past 7 years as a member of it's staff team. It's an organization I personally believe is spreading light in every corner of the state by preventing darkness from coming into the lives of it's youngest citizens.

History: The Michigan Children's Trust Fund was started in 1982 by Public Act 250 of 1982 as an organization to lead child abuse and neglect prevention efforts in the Great Lake State. According to the organization's 2009/2010 Biennial Report, "The vision for CTF was that of Dr. Ray Helfer, a pediatrician from Lansing who at the time was a nationally recognized expert on child abuse and neglect and its consequences for the children who were victims. Dr. Helfer recognized the need for protected funds that would be available to serve families who may have risks and challenges in their circumstance and would benefit from family support (Source)."

Function: The organization raises funds so it can generously and strategically release those funds to agencies in all areas of the state of Michigan with community based programs in the form of Local Prevention Councils, Direct Service Grants, and public awareness activities and materials. The Michigan Children's Trust Fund is the Michigan chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. Michael Foley currently serves as the Executive Director of the organization. A 15 member Board of Directors is appointed by the Governor of Michigan.

The following is a video of the Michigan Children's Trust Fund's rally at the Michigan capital on April 19, 2012 for Child Abuse Prevention Month. It features children and key adults who were part of the rally.

Fundraising: Funds are raised through private sources who believe in the vision to protect all of Michigan's children from abuse and neglect. Fundraising activities include the following.

Social Media: To follow the Michigan Children's Trust Fund on Social media visit these pages.
Special thanks to the Michigan Children's Trust Fund for being a Michigan Light. This is one of those organizations that is essential to spreading light in Michigan for vulnerable children. In a perfect world the organization would work itself out of a job someday, but time has shown that there is always the need for prevention. Benjamin Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." And the Michigan Children's Trust Fund is leading the way in making prevention the cornerstone of their contribution to the state. It's a plan that benefits children as well as the society they will one day lead.

Michigan Light honors diverse heroes who are light in the state of Michigan