MCBA 2019 Law Day Program:



By Diana L. Coleman

Legal News

Muskegon County Bar Association’s 2019 Law Day program paid tribute to those who serve the Rule of Law as well as awarding scholarships and monetary gifts to area student competition winners.

The theme for this year’s program, “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society,” came from the American Bar Association.  In 1957, Charles S. Rhyne, American Bar Association President, envisioned a special day to celebrate our legal system.  A year later, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day USA to strengthen our great heritage of liberty, justice and equality under the law and in 1961, Congress designated May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day USA.  Law Day programs are held nationwide on or around that date.

Belinda Barbier, Co-Chair of the MCBA 2019 Law Day program, welcomed all to the event.  Barbier introduced Ellen Zwarensteyn, Executive Director of the Michigan Center for Civic Education, who congratulated the education system in Muskegon County for providing its students with a great, comprehensive civics program in its schools.

The 2019 Golden Apple Award recipient, Karen Reynolds, was nominated by Mark Lewis of the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (MACTC). The award was presented by Kristyn Gilmore and the Hon. Maria Ladas Hoopes.  Reynolds, a former Wyoming police officer, holders a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and teaches at MACTC. She is also an adjunct professor at Baker College and Muskegon Community College. In addition to her normal teaching duties, Reynolds was also recognized by the State of Michigan for her efforts in leading a multiple county legal summit at the MACTC.

The Frank D. Scott award was presented to Kim Green by David Kortering and Jenny McNeill.  Green was recognized for her work in Family Court as a probation officer.  She made her way through the education system while working full time, gaining first an associate degree, then an undergraduate degree, and finally her master’s degree. Green is dedicated to serving those who come under the services of the family court.

The 2019 Liberty Bell Award was presented to co-winners, Dr. Dick Kamps and his wife, Lynn Kamps.  This award is presented to a non-lawyer working in the community to improve the legal system used by residents.  Dick and Lynn Kamps were recognized for their dedication and persistence in developing the Step Up program.

The couple felt a need to do something to help people in the community.  Step Up has two homes in downtown Muskegon neighborhoods to house young adults along with a house manager.  It is their vision to equip and empower young adults in Muskegon County to be financially independent, to aspire to further their education, and to find fulfillment in their work as they develop healthy relationships with others and pursue a relationship with God. The program’s focus is on foster youth who age out of the system, by giving them an address and opportunities for education and ability to prosper. To learn more or donate, call 231-557-9411 or visit

Elementary Art contest awards, presented by Rachel Terpstra, all went to North Muskegon Elementary students: Emiri Leos (first place), Isabelle Feldpausch (second), Cameron Brody Hurst (third), and Elliott Joseph Chumley-Jarvis (fourth).  Each winner received a monetary award.

Middle School Essay contest awards were presented by Samantha Jonas to Brooke Berry (first) of Montague NBC, Demitri Lawrence (second) of Calvary Christian, Ava Myers (third) of Montague NBC, and Corina Mitteer (fourth) of Whitehall Middle School.  They each received a monetary award as well.

The 9-11 grade speech contestants were judged by Hon. Maria Ladas Hoopes, Arn Boezaart, Hon. Neil Mullally, and Nancy Crandall.  This group of winners were presented with gifts ranging from $75-$500.

The winners were Kaleigh Nesbitt of Calvary Christian (1), Claire McCall of North Muskegon (2), Benjamin Gerst (3) of Calvary Christian, and Alexandria Assaad, also of Calvary Christian (4). 

Three of the 12th grade Speech contest winners, judged by Prosecutor DJ Hilson, Hon. John Ruck, Hon Mike Nolan, and Bill Loxterman, were from Whitehall High School, with a fourth, Noah Jacobs, from Muskegon Catholic Central. They were: Patrick Bouman (first place, $2000 scholarship), Kaiden O’Neil (second place, $1000 scholarship), Noah Jacobs (third place, $500 scholarship) and Cole Bennett (fourth place, $250 scholarship). Patrick Bouman also presented his winning speech to the audience. 

Attorney Visishta Boeringa, Co-Chair of MCBA 2019 Law Day, closed the ceremonies.