'We’ve all done this together'

Alex Doty • Dec 20, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The Save the Catwalk Committee announced last week that it had reached its $1 million fundraising milestone, and this week, the City of Grand Haven thanked committee volunteers for their efforts.

The men and women of the committee were recognized by City Council during a special presentation Monday night.

“It has been wonderful, and I can’t be more proud of our community for what we’ve done,” Save the Catwalk’s Erin Turrell said. “Thank you so much, because we’ve all done this together.”

Those recognized for their contributions include: Turrell, Caleb Berko, Mike Fritz, Geri McCaleb, Hannah Stah, Brook Bisonet, Joy Gaasch, Pat McGinnis, Peggy Straub, Jack Costello, Kevin Galbavi, Bob Peskorse, Cindy Crane, Andy Ingall, Chris Riker, Bill Van Lopik, Jane Ewing, Holly Johnson, Eric Seifert, Mike Verhulst, Wally Ewing, Marie Karr, Diane Sheridan, Bob Walma, Dave Fritz, Dana Kollewehr, Sue Smolenski and Jeanette Weiden.

Mayor McCaleb presented Turrell with a panoramic photo of the pier and catwalk that had been on display in the council chambers, and other members of the committee were given framed prints of the pier and catwalk. 

Work to raise money for the catwalk began in 2016. Turrell led a committee that worked to raise money to remove, restore and replace the artifact.

The $1 million goal has been exceeded by $88,706, according to the latest reports.

Contributions of all sizes were made to the Save the Catwalk fund, ranging from large-scale donations to T-shirt sales, lemonade stands and student contributions.

Ingall, superintendent of Grand Haven Area Public Schools, said he is grateful for the contributions made by students in the district for the project.

“Top to bottom, for our kids to take ownership over something that’s in their community that they want to see for generations beyond, I think it inspired a lot,” Ingall said. “I’m really proud of the contribution and the chance to contribute.”

Grand Haven High School students presented information to all the elementary schools to show younger kids what was happening to the catwalk, and then worked on fundraising projects that district students could be involved with. Projects included a bike tour, merchandise sales, movie nights and market day sales at the elementary schools.

Turrell noted that she looks forward to the catwalk going back up once the south pier repairs are finished by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“I’m waiting for that ribbon cutting,” she said. “That’s the next big thing.”

To make a donation to the Save the Catwalk fund, visit www.ghacf.org/donate and designate “catwalk”; or send a check with “Save the Catwalk” in the memo line to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, 1 S. Harbor Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417. If you want to keep up to date on the Save the Catwalk project, visit Facebook.com/savethecatwalk.

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