Relentless Campaign…First Annual Walk-a-thon @ Ressurection Life Church, Grandville, MI

What is Human Trafficking?

Relentless Campaign Poster

Relentless Campaign Poster

“Human trafficking is a world-wide trade.  It is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or sex slavery.”  (Condoleezza Rice 2007)

For most the Western world, the world of slavery is part of the long forgotten nightmare of human history.  But the remarkable TRUTH is that Human Slavery is still taking place all over the world TODAY, including within the United States.  Today, more than 27 Million people remain ENSLAVED around the world.

This weekend, I attended a local church, Ressurection Life Churchin Grandville, Michigan.  Outside the entrance, a young woman was selling T-Shirts and other items to promote the First Annual 5K Walk-a-thon which the church is sponsoring to raise money and awareness for this cause on August 9, 2008.  The walk starts at 9:00 a.m.

It was while talking the young lady and looking at the materials that I realised that the Relentless Campaign was a ministry formed by a group of local young women dedicated to seeing sex trafficking abolished in the United States and around the world.  Because women are particularly vulnerable to becoming the victims of this henious crime, it is significant that these young women have chosen to take on this task with vigor and strong resolve.

For more information and to support their efforts, you may contact the Relentless Campaign @

Relentless Campaign Facebook page/group

Relentless Campaign MySpace page/group

*Proceeds from the walk will be donated to A21

COST:  $20 minimum entrance fee

Ressurection Life Church

5100 Ivanrest, Grandville, MI  49418

 [where: 5100 Ivanrest, Grandville, MI 49418]
[where: 49418]

Famous Daves Dang Good Ribs Rock Taste of Grand Rapids Festival!

Today, we stopped by the Taste of Food Festival in John Ball Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It was a wonderful day for the event with nice sunny weather.  The grounds were packed! 

While coming in, we met some friends who recommended Famous Daves Ribs.  The line in front of the stand was one sign that their recommendation was on target.  I also tried their bread pudding which included pineapple…different but very good.  Definitely recommend this Festival if you are in Grand Rapids during the summer.  Great food, Great place, Great people!

1300 W. Fulton St. Grand Rapids, Mi 49504

1300 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

One View of The Top…


What I love most about this set of double windows, located at the top of a two story foyer, is this…the window frames the tops of the trees.  Summer, winter, spring and fall are all displayed in their full foliage or lack of it everytime I pass by.  When I drive and walk, I tend to stare at the trunks and the lower level branches which are directly in view.  This window picture framing inspires me to lift up my eyes….

What it Means to Holla’ for REcognition…

Most of us emerge on planet earth with all the stridency that our 8 to 9 pounds of flesh can muster.  So much so that the infant who emerges without a lusty yell is promptly  spanked on the rump to produce one.  After all…one has arrived.  Say so!    

Sideline living is against the grain of human ego.  A newborn baby in a household quickly demands just about everyones’ waking and non-waking moments.

While we relish the joy of observing the expansion of new life in a newborn, this quickly becomes old by the time the child hits the terrible twos.  Who can blame the toddler?  Relinquishing prime real estate territory at ‘the center of a universe of ONE‘ cannot be easy.
But, I suspect that the inclinations of the toddler do not fully disappear.  In most of us, they simply retreat underground; temporarily masked by the need to adhere to social norms but always eager to assume center stage if and when the opportunity arises.  A silent witness to the most debilitating form of human suffering…the deep yearning to be given permission to live life with gusto….







Grand Rapids, Michigan…Your “Nextville” for a Fulfilling Retirement!

SEARCH WEST MICHIGAN HOMES FOR SALE – Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate Statistics

I recently picked up a book by media guru and real estate broker Barbara Corcoran entitled “Nextville”  subtitle…Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life.

The book focuses on the important considerations in determining how to live your life with freedom, passion and opportunity to expand your horizons.  Issues which are emerging collective themes for the ‘New Retiree.’ Corcoran mentions an interesting survey she conducted of visitors to the popular real estate portal

In the survey, baby boomers were asked what their top priorities were in searching for an ideal retirement spot.  They listed the following as highly desirable options:

  • Safety
  • Affordable Housing
  • Good Weather
  • Nice Scenery
  • Friendly People
  • Good Health Care
  • A Nearby Airport

Grand Rapids, Michigan offers many of the attractive amenities on this list for folks looking for a great retirement spot.  As Florida and other western states struggle with a number of social and climate induced challenges, cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan are ideally positioned to be considered as alternate destinations for today’s maturing baby boomers.  Let’s look at the items on the list individually…


Here are some safety statistics on the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and nearby surrounding communities.

Crime statistics for Grand Rapids, Michigan

Crime Statistics for Grandville, Michigan…neighboring suburb south of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Crime Statistics for Walker, Michigan…neighboring suburb west of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Crime Statistics for Kentood, Michigan…neighboring suburb east of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Crime Statistics for Wyoming, Michigan…neighboring suburb southwest of Grand Rapids, Michigan


Grand Rapids was recently highlighted on an NBC News Feature as one of the most Affordable Places to live in the United States.  In addition, Grand Rapids has been cited  by Money Magazine as a one of the cities in which prices are expected to increase significantly within the next decade.


Yes, I know we’re in the Midwest, so winter can be an issue to some.  But on the flip side, Grand Rapids, Michigan is within driving distance to some great skiing and snowmobiling… and spring, summer and fall are just gorgeous. In fact…so nice that you’ll forget that winter was so miserably cold!


There’s a lot to do around Grand Rapids.  The area has a great selection of restaurants, hotels, shopping venues, Museums, outdoor attractions and much more.  Click here to read more about things to do in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan.  In addition here’s a list of some options for the 40+ crowd.


Grand Rapids is a family oriented community.  This sometimes makes it more difficult for newcomers to connect and feel a part of the mix.  A number of initiatives are underway at various levels within the city to make Grand Rapids, Michigan a more welcoming community.

These include surprisingly frank and refreshingly honest discussions on Radio in Black & White which bills itself as ‘the most integrated hour’ in Grand Rapids.  The weekly program hosted by Emmy award winning journalist Rick Wilson and Diversity Management Specialist Skot Welch provide thoughtful analysis and provactive discussions about diversity on the local and national scene.


US News & World Report in 2008 listed Spectrum Health as one of the nation’s BEST hospitals in the ear, nose and throat category.  This is the fourth time that the hospital has been ranked on the national index.

Metropolitan Hospital just opened the strikingly innovative 170 acre Metro Health Village which includes the hospital and a number of support and retail service on a green campus.

The Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital which is part of Spectrum Health offers cutting edge speciality care in pediatrics.  St. Mary’s Hospital is expanding their facilities and doing innovative work in their holistic approach to healthcare.

The Grand Rapids Medical Milewhich was initiated by the opening of the Van Andel Institute in 1996 now includes hosptials, a medical school and research facilties. These are just a few of the exciting developments taking place in health care and biotechnolgy in Grand Rapids, Michigan today.


The Gerald Ford International Airport is Michigan’s second busiest commercial airport and is the largest regional commercial service airport serving the west Michigan community.

While all of the areas highlighted are important considerations when planning your retirement, finding the right place to expand your passions, desires and dreams is a much more nuanced endeavor.  In future posts we will be covering some of the other reasons why Nextville might be Grand Rapids, Michigan for you!

Copyright 2008  Audu Real Estate All Rights Reserved

Search for a complete list of homes for sale in Grand Rapids, Michigan

To order your exclusive relocation package or get additional information on retirement options in Grand Rapids, Michigan contact us at

retro picture courtesty of Cairo Braga’s pixs on





Congratulations! Ed Vogt Successfully Completes New Agent Real Estate Mentor Training Program

Audu Real Estate is pleased to announce that Ed Vogt, a licensed Real Estate Agent and Residential Property Specialist has successfully completed the ‘On Track For Success’ Mentor Training Program

Ed Vogt, Residential Real Estate Specialist Audu Real Estate

Ed Vogt, Residential Real Estate Specialist Audu Real Estate

Ed Vogt graduates from the Mentor Training Program after 2 years of enrollment in which she has successfully participated in over 24 Transactions and received more than 200 hours of Formal Classroom instruction and training.  This was in addition to the mandatory 6 hours of Continuing Education per year for real estate agents required by the State of Michigan.

The Mentor Training Program offered through Audu Real Estate is a unique, one of a kind experience  that  provides real estate agents with intense and in depth real estate training in all areas of the real estate transaction, negotiation, lead management, technology including blogging, short sales and foreclosures and business management. Agents also benefit from Life Management Coaching which is incorporated into various aspects of the training process.

The program was created by Lola Audu, Owner and Broker of Audu Real Estate to deliver a comprehensive well rounded training experience for new agents. It has also assisted long term agents to refine their goals and upgrade their business and professional skills.

Participants in the program receive weekly assignments and have the opportunity to ‘shadow’ an experienced agent in a variety of real life situations.  Agents are also eligible to receive company leads to bolster their entry into the profession while growing their own personal business portfolio.

Audu Real Estate Congratulates Ed Vogt on her significant accomplishments and wishes her all the best as she continues her career as a Full Agent.

 Copyright 2008  Audu Real Estate  All Rights Reserved

To View Articles by Ed Vogt about Grand Rapids, Michigan Real Estate…click here

Beating the Traffic Game…Grand Rapids, MI Road Construction Drive Arounds.

Aaargh…I’m doing it again…driving on autopilot, I forget that the road I’m heading towards was just closed.  There are so many signs and traffic routing barrels all over the place in Grand Rapids, Michigan this summer that driving involves mastering the intricacies of detours.  As more home buyers are looking at listings on-line, the summer now affords marvelous weather to check out some excellent deals in person. So, we’re on the road a lot!

It is sometimes said that there are just TWO Seasons in Michigan…Winter & Construction Season. The winters are harsh here in the Midwest, so it does take it’s toll on roads.  I am grateful that crews work diligently to fix the damage during the summer months even if there is some inconvenience to drivers.  However, with summer gas prices at record highs this summer, driving out of ones way can be expensive. 

That’s why I was delighted to find this map and website address in the local Advance Newspaper magazine of July 8, 2008.  It’s a great resource to have when out looking for homes or even just running errands. This website map by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is really cool.  Check it out for updates on road construction, re-routes, speed limits and even where traffic cameras are mounted.  For those of you speeders on Michigan roads…watch out, you’re being watched!

Now, if they could only post where one can get the cheapest gas…:)