Grand Haven Tribune

August 21, 2017

The Grand Haven Tribune - A Michigan newspaper with comprehensive Local News and multi-media from all around West Michigan and the Lakeshore

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TRIBUNE the GRAND HAVEN โ˜… SPRING LAKE โ˜… FERRYSBURG 75ยข MONDAY, AUGUST 21, 2017 | | 5 PAGE 7 THE BIG # goals scored by Fruitport's Zack Shane in win over Shelby. CONNECT WITH US TOP 3 STORIES Pregnant woman suf- fers medical problem, causes crash 1 Local Wendy's on the move 2 Local entrepreneurs seek votes 3 at THANK YOU Kate Bailey For being our FACEBOOK of the day! WEATHER Sct'd Storms, humid cooler BY LUCILLE SNYDER 78 69 HIGH LOW TOMORROW'S FALL SPORTS PREVIEW: GIRLS GOLF SEE SPORTS, PAGE 7 CIRCUS MAGICIANS HOLD POP-UP PERFORMANCES SEE STORY, PAGE 3 The Summer Moebius Michigan Getaway event was aimed at helping families whose loved ones live with the moebius syndrome to connect, listen to speakers and enjoy fun activities. The event took place Saturday at the Grand River Sailing Club in Grand Haven. About 70 people had planned to participate in the event that Grand Haven resident Heather McCarthy helped coordinate. McCarthy's 14-year- old daughter, Melody Perez, was diagnosed with moebius syndrome when she was just 6 weeks old. McCarthy explained that people who live with the syndrome are essentially born with a "paralyzed face" and don't have facial expressions. Additionally, some of those afflicted with the syndrome might have "limb abnormalities or Poland syndrome," according to the Moebius Syndrome Foundation. Since the syndrome is rare, McCarthy said there aren't many families nearby to share experiences. She has used social media to connect with other families. This past Saturday was the third time McCarthy has connected in person with other families. Last year, she arranged a meeting for Michigan families at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids. Prior to that, she connected with families during a conference in New Jersey when her daughter was young. McCarthy said she hopes the families leave knowing they're not alone and they can count on each other for support. That support and connection is important because they can share their experiences or answer questions, because they might have encountered similar situations, McCarthy said. "It's important to have that support," she said. During last weekend's event, Dr. Bryn Webb, a physician scientist and assistant professor at Icahn's School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, planned to speak about what she's learned and experienced. Webb is also involved in researching moebius syndrome. Families gathered for moebius syndrome event COMMUNITY Editor's note: The following story is the first in a weeklong series devoted to the opioid epidemic in West Michigan. Jason Struve knew his brother's struggles with addiction all too well. Jason struggled with drug addiction himself. But their fate traveled in opposite directions. Jason, 37, has been sober for 15 years. His brother, Jeff, died at age 40 of a heroin overdose in his Grand Haven apartment. Heroin, as well as prescription pain pills like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, oxycontin, fentanyl, methadone and vicodin, are all opioids. Opioid abuse and overdose are sweeping the nation. Grand Haven is not immune. "My brother had been in and out of recovery and in and out of trouble his whole life," said Jason, a 1996 Grand Haven High School graduate. "He started going to meetings on a regular basis and was doing really good." Jeff got a job in Grand Rapids as a recovery coach, helping others claw through their drug addictions to reach the sober side. But about a month after starting his new counseling job, the drug dragon reared its beastly head, breathing fire into his cravings once again. "He had to drive (from Grand Haven), and getting a vehicle at that point gave him more freedom," Jason said. "I think eventually that led to relapse. When you've been sober for so long and go back to using the same quantity you were using previously, it's a lot harder." Courtesy photo Jeff Struve died of a drug overdose in his Grand Haven apartment in September 2015. He was 40. Family hopes others learn from Grand Haven man's overdose death OPIOID EPIDEMIC Tribune photo/Alex Doty Catfish & The Bottomfeeders perform music at Bolt Park as part of Saturday's Walk the Beat event in Grand Haven. Keeping the beat on Beechtree Tribune photo/Alex Doty Paige Wilson was one of 52 performers at Saturday's Walk the Beat event, which took place on the east side of Grand Haven along the Beechtree Street corridor. T he sound of music filled the air along the Beechtree Street corridor Saturday as sunny skies provided a perfect venue for the 2017 Walk the Beat. "We had a wonderful time. Everything worked out great," said Walk the Beat founder Dave Palmer. "I couldn't have asked for better weather or better volunteers or better sponsors. It absolutely was wonderful." Fi f t y - t w o mu s i c a l a c t s performed at 26 different venues on Grand Haven's east side Saturday afternoon for a chance at the Best Band and Best Song competition. The event also helps raise money for the Walk the Beat organization โ€” a non-profit organization that works to provide instruments, lessons, radio spots, concert experiences and other opportunities for anyone involved in music. "As far as what we raised, I think we're going to land somewhere around $35,000," Palmer said. The organizer said the Walk the Beat event provides people the opportunity to have fun while at the same time helping other people. "I have accomplished the goal that I've set out for," Palmer said. Nick Warren, singer of the band Miss Atomic, said he enjoyed the music event. "I think it's awesome," Warren said. "It's really cool to see what they're doing for everyone." Warren said this was the band's first time at Walk the Beat, and noted that it was also the first year for the band. "It's very different from a lot of festivals with the way it's set up. It's interesting, but it is well put together." Jared Williams, guitar player for the band, was also impressed with the event. " This event has bands everywhere you go," he said. "We walked down the street to the corner store and there were people everywhere." And the fact that the event was helping spread the ability to play music was also something Williams enjoyed. "That just means the world to us," he said. "That's something that's just cool to be a part of." Walk the Beat Winners "The best band is Melophobix," Palmer said. "They won 40 hours WALK THE BEAT BY KRYSTLE WAGNER See MOEBIUS on PAGE 3 BY MARIE HAVENGA See OVERDOSE on PAGE 3 BY ALEX DOTY See BEAT on PAGE 3 Jason Struve Perez

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