Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Making A Difference The Morning Espresso Takes To The Road

One of the biggest challenges that comes with operating a network of 22 radio stations is connecting with individuals on a meaningful level. It’s one thing for a single business to be plugged into a defined community, but when the audience Smile FM serves spans nearly the entire state of Michigan, it’s a whole different ballgame. That’s where the idea for the Morning Espresso Making A Difference Tour came from.

Jenn and I were talking one day about how much we enjoy connecting with people face- to-face. I said, “We should just pack up our families in a camper, take the show on the road for a week and meet as many people as we can.” The vision was born, but we wanted to make the experience more about the various communities we visit and less about promoting our show or the network. So we decided to get a sponsor, bring a band and give back to those who are making a difference, really getting in done where they live.

The 3 rd annual Morning Espresso Making A Difference tour is scheduled for August 13 – 18, 2013. Each morning of the tour we'll be broadcasting on location from a different community, and hosting a benefit concert each night with Smile FM artist Julian Drive. The tour itinerary is as follows:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 7:00 pm Supporting: KDR Challenge Dream Makers Theater, Sault Ste. Marie, MI The mission of KDR Challenge is to increase awareness to youth of the dangers of distracted driving, especially using a cell phone while driving. Bonnie Raffaele created the non-profit organization after the death of her daughter Kelsey Dawn Raffaele. She travels speaking to high school and college students throughout the state and country.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 7:00 pm Supporting: Big Brothers Big Sisters Bay Pointe Community Church, Traverse City, MI Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan is looking for mentors to invest as little as one hour a week and provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better.

Thursday, August 15, 2013, 6:00 pm Supporting: Habitat for Humanity Bayview Park Band Shell, Alpena, MI Habitat for Humanity of Northeast Michigan brings people together to build homes, community, and hope. They are looking for volunteers as well as home sites and potential new home owners needing assistance.

Friday, August 16, 2013, 7:00 pm Supporting: Ennis Center for Children Kensington Community Church, Lake Orion, MI Ennis Center works with children who have experienced abuse and neglect through Michigan’s Foster Care program. Their mission is to preserve families when possible and create new families when necessary. Ennis Center provides services to over 3,500 children and families each year with an emphasis on southeastern Michigan.

Saturday, August 17, 2013, 7:30 pm Supporting: The Refuge Lapeer Event Center, Lapeer, MI The Refuge is operated by churches throughout Lapeer County who take turns providing temporary overnight shelter on a weekly basis November through April. Their mission is to equip the congregations of Lapeer County to provide shelter for the homeless and promote the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are looking for volunteers as well as funds to purchase a permanent building.

Sunday, August 18, 2013, Approx. 5:00 pm (Following Lansing Lugnuts baseball game) Supporting: Lansing Teen Challenge Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing, MI Lansing Teen Challenge is a 12-13 month live-in residential facility for men 18 years old and older. They are also affiliated with Sisters Maternity Home for pregnant young ladies that are 18 and over. Both organizations need donations of personal hygiene items.

We’re excited to have Julian Drive with us on the tour this year. You may have heard their songs “From His Hands,” “Always There” and “Move Mountains Again” on Smile FM. Each night of the tour they will be performing a free concert and an offering will be collected for the respective non-profit organizations. The final concert stop of the tour will include a charity auction featuring an electric guitar autographed by several Smile FM artists. All donations collected on the tour go directly to the non-profit organizations.

The reason we’re able to make this effort successful is due in large part to Great Lakes Christian College, the sponsor of the Morning Espresso Making a Difference Tour. Their support allows us to keep costs at a minimum and offer the concerts free of charge. Big thanks to GLCC for their involvement again this year.

We’re really looking forward to seeing you on the Morning Espresso Making A Difference Tour. If we’re coming to a town near you, or if you can make the drive to one of our stops, we would love to meet you in person. Please come out to visit and let us know how you’re making a difference!

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