“It’s a bike tour, with all of the funds going toward the Save the Catwalk fundraiser,” said 18-year-old Jack Costello, a member of the Grand Haven High School Student Senate.
Slated to take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, the ride is open to bicyclists of all skill levels, and consists of two routes: a 10-mile course and a 33-mile course. Each route begins at the YMCA at Mulligan’s Hollow and ends at City Beach.
Additionally, each route will be on an open course, which means no roads will be shut down for the ride. At the conclusion of the ride, there will be a cook-out and gathering at City Beach.
Costello said people can sign up by visiting www.ghcatwalk.org and clicking the “Tour de Grand Haven” fundraiser banner at the top of the page. The cost to participate is $40, and those under 18 and over 65 can register for $20.
“We have no (participant) limit because our whole goal is to raise as much money for the catwalk as possible,” Costello said.
Costello noted that the idea for the helping raise money for the catwalk and hosting a bike tour emerged last summer during the Student Senate’s summer retreat when one of their advisors told the students about how the catwalk would be coming off the pier.
“We wanted to make it a point to contribute to this cause and put (the catwalk) back up,” Costello said.
Save the Catwalk organizer Erin Turrell said she’s been inspired by the students who’ve shown interest in the fundraising project.
“They want that (catwalk) to be here when they come back from school and when they bring their own children back home,” she said.
Turrell noted that students and school leaders have come to committee meetings with their own ideas and perspectives on the catwalk and how to raise awareness.
“They have been a really integral part of our committee,” Turrell said. “They are the next generation of historians and community leaders, and it is refreshing to see.”
In addition to organizing the bike event, Turrell noted that students have used social media to promote the catwalk, and are also explaining to fellow students the importance of the project.
“(They) are really educating that generation about why this is so important,” Turrell said.