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'Car people giving back to the community'

Emma Dale • Jul 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM

The cruise to honor the late Scott Flahive that has occurred for the past 22 years took place again Wednesday.

Flahive was a Grand Haven police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty in December 1994.

The parking lot outside of the Driftwood Inn and Starlite Lanes filled Wednesday evening as classic cars parked and people mingled before the drive commenced. Music played while raffle tickets were sold, and gift bags filled with items from sponsors were given to each driver who participated in the event.

Organizer Kurt Pravda said they raised $2,000 last year to go to the Scott Flahive Memorial Fund, and he was enthused to see the turnout this year. He also noted how supportive people in Grand Haven are of the cruise.

“(It’s) a bunch of car people giving back to the community,” Pravda added.

Photos from Wednesday’s cruise

A first-year participant, Roman Marciniak of Spring Lake said he was looking forward to driving with everyone. With his daughter being a police officer, he explained it was important to him “to support local enforcement.”

John Shears, one of Flahive’s high school teachers, and his wife Pat came out Wednesday night to show their support. The couple now live in Ludington, but they were Grand Haven residents for 38 years. They said their son also attended high school with Flahive.

“The law enforcement has a big spot in our heart,” Shears said.

Mike and Chris Campbell from Otsego also decided to attend for the first time. Although the two are frequent car show members, they noted the importance of this cruise, stressing “it is for a really good cause.”

Accompanied by Grand Haven Department of Public Safety and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, the cruise ran all the way out to Stanton Street and back into Grand Haven, where they proceeded down Lake Avenue and by the beach.

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