September 28, 2015 – The ISM Music & Entertainment Industry Academy will be closed this week and next and will re-open on Monday, October 12th. The temporary closure is due to extensive water damage caused by a water heater failure in the building. “Unfortunately the water from upstairs found its way to our production room and damaged thousands of dollars’ worth of sensitive electronic equipment. It also took out some of our electricity. It’s not something anyone could have foreseen. It was just one of those things life throws at you and you have to decide how you are going to respond”, commented marketing volunteer, Ronda Collier. “And, we choose to respond positively”, added Assistant Director, Cindy Ehrenberg. Ehrenberg continued “We cleaned up the water as best we could and now we wait and see what tomorrow brings.” “We are not defeated” said executive director, Bonita Mitchell. “Although, it sometimes seems like we take two steps forward and one step back, we continue to persevere and move forward. Today, we are counting our blessings. In the face of a slight disaster, we choose to focus on the amazing. For one thing, there is usually no one in the office on Monday Mornings and, it just so happens that Cindy was here interviewing two potential MSW interns from Western Michigan University, when the water began gushing out of the ceiling (both candidates jumped into action to help). Second, Cindy reached Ronda to come help when Ronda is usually working from her home in Ann Arbor on Mondays. She was in town when we needed her most. How awesome is that?” quipped Mitchell. “We are just going to do our best and see what God does next”, she promised.
The facility located in the basement of The Salvation Army Building in Benton Harbor had recently been remodeled thanks to First Church of God of St. Joseph, The Bridge Academy and Fresh Décor Pro Hardware both located in Benton Harbor and YouthWorks from Minneapolis, MN. In addition to the equipment loss, the new wood floor in the production room was also a loss. “We continue to be incredibly grateful to The Salvation Army for the space they have allowed us to use and to those who helped give it a facelift. We know their work was not in vain,” said Mitchell. “We will continue to walk in our purpose.”