WSCC 2018 summer events popular with the public

SCOTTVILLE — The West Shore Community College Board of Trustees heard a report Monday afternoon about several community/education activities that have taken place on campus during the summer.

West Shore Community College Wellness Center director Julie Paige-Smith is shown updating the college board of trustees on Monday about the recent Muddy Fox Trot run that raised funds for the college foundation.

West Shore Community College Wellness Center director Julie Paige-Smith is shown updating the college board of trustees on Monday about the recent Muddy Fox Trot run that raised funds for the college foundation.

WSCC executive director of community relations Thom Hawley said the events are growing in scope and popularity with the community. Hawley introduced WSCC Wellness Center director Julie Paige Smith and Business and Opportunity Center director Crystal Young, who gave reports to the board on programs they directed.

Paige-Smith spoke about the recent Muddy Fox Trot 5K event that raised money for the WSCC Foundation.

“It was fabulous,” said Paige-Smith. “With most summer events you want beautiful sunshine, but when we heard the forecast was for rain it was going to make it muddier than ever and we loved it,” said Paige-Smith. “We had about 230 participants this year as children from age 4 years and up took part in it. We would run flights of competitors that left the starting line every 10 minutes or about 25 people at a time.”

She said there were high school and college students, families and just about everyone else enjoying the muddy fun as participants included college president Scott Ward.

“To have 230 people come out on a lousy weather day was really something,” said Paige-Smith. “There were 14 obstacles for them to go through and we had over 40 volunteers who donated their time to help with this event.”

Paige-Smith also said that the event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the generous sponsors that assist with the program every year.

“Next year will be year number five, and we hope to see you all there,” said Paige-Smith.

Young filled the board in on the Black Rocket and College for Kids programs.

“Black Rocket is a digital program offered completely online and focuses a lot on video stuff,” said Young. “We offered five different classes and there were a handful of kids for each class but these kids were dedicated and each group had every kid coming to each class. We did video animation, mindcraft, roadblocks and virtual reality.”

Young said what is interesting is watching the type of kids who take these classes.

“Ironically we had young males in these classes, so I talked with Cathy Surd from the West Shore ESD, and we are going to try and get some girls to take the classes in the next round,” said Young.

Board members also heard about College for Kids, which had the largest number of participants ever.

“This is the fourth year I have talked about this with you and this is the first year we have reached 100 students,” said Young. “We had a couple new classes this year like Creative Carpentry and Archery.”

Young said these young people only have so many opportunities to try different things because of the quick pace of today’s world.

“It is an amazing opportunity for these kids to come on a college campus because so many of them are coming from families where college education is not a given,” said Young. “So it is a really big deal for them and a lot of fun.”

This year they ran 20 classes for students age 9 to 15 years old.

“We do have partners in the community who help us with scholarships,” said Young. “What is interesting is Manistee, Mason and Oceana counties is where we usually pull from, but this year we had several students from Oakland County as well as North Carolina who were here visiting grandma and grandpa. They had so much fun that the North Carolina group is bringing seven next year.”

Young said College for Kids is a not for profit  group and the Zonta Club, Manistee County Community Foundation and the Mason County Foundation all provided scholarships. She said they are hoping to see the program continue to grow in the future.


Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at

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