The Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB) has partnered with WGVU Public Media to present LZ Michigan, an event scheduled for September 23, 2017 at Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids. The event will honor all veterans, including those who were killed or declared missing in action.
In addition to MAPB and WGVU Public Media, PBS Stories of Service, ArtPrize and the West Michigan Whitecaps are coming together to sponsor the event, which is expected to draw hundreds of veterans from around the state.
“It is important and necessary to remember, honor and celebrate our community’s veterans and their families,” said Michael T. Walenta, WGVU Public Media general manager. “Since the success and tremendous turnout at the first LZ Michigan in 2010, I have been continually asked when we were going to host another program. We are privileged to once again bring this event to West Michigan.”
Walenta announced new partnerships with ArtPrize and the Human Hug Project, a national movement out of Nashville that is raising awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Todd Herring, director of communications for ArtPrize, said a veterans art competition will be held during the week leading up to LZ Michigan 2017, along with a preview screening of the film, “The Vietnam War,” by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.
Ian Michael, co-founder of the Human Hug Project and a Marine Corps veteran, said volunteers with the group have hugged more than 20,000 veterans as they travel to VA hospitals across the country. “We offer a hug, a warm embrace, to remind veterans they are heroes,” said Michael. “We hope a hug can help unlock their stories because we need to celebrate their stories.”
The day-long September 23 program will include speakers, musical entertainment, military displays, historical artifacts and the WGVU Real Oldies Car and Motorcycle Show.
For more information, visit www.lzmichigan.org.