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How you can help Save the Catwalk

Alex Doty • Apr 15, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Organizers of Grand Haven’s Save the Catwalk effort continue to push toward their fundraising goal as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors begin work on the pier itself.

“We’ve raised over $550,000, and the money keeps on rolling in, which is great,” Save the Catwalk organizer Erin Turrell said.

Current costs to replace the necessary portions of the catwalk total $1 million. The city has already given the green light for the first two phases of the five-phase project.

Phase 1 involved removing the catwalk from the pier for $84,000. The second phase includes the purchase of steel and restoration of type 1 catwalk bents at a cost of $310,000. Phase 3 involves the restoration and replacement of type 2 bents at a cost of $250,000. Phase 4 includes restoration and replacement of type 3 bents at a cost of $220,000. Phase 5 is the installation of the catwalk on the repaired pier at a cost of $136,000.

With the exception of six bents — two of each kind — the entire catwalk will be rebuilt.

“We need to make sure we have enough money so they can finish,” Turrell said. “I don’t want another winter without the catwalk on the pier.”

Turrell noted that support for the catwalk has continued to pour in even after the city and the Save the Catwalk committee announced their $550,000 milestone during a special event earlier this year at Grand Haven’s Central Park.

“People in the community are taking it upon themselves to do this without having to be prompted or anything,” Turrell said.

Turrell noted that local businesses and organizations host special days when they donate portions of their profits to the fundraiser, student groups have planned fundraisers for the catwalk, and local charitable organizations and service groups continue to plan fundraisers for it, as well.

“There’s going to be a 10-mile bike ride and a 33-mile bike ride that is going to end at City Beach,” Turrell said, noting the city and the Grand Haven High School Student Senate’s Tour de Grand Haven. “There’s going to be food and entertainment. It’s an all-day event.”

Set to take place Saturday, May 13, rides will begin at the YMCA and end at the beach. Registration will be done online.

Turrell noted that Save the Catwalk representatives will also be at the Great Lakes Kite Festival, May 20-21, selling raffle tickets for a June 21 drawing at the Eagles club, and the Rotary Club of Grand Haven’s wine event in late June will be a fundraiser for the catwalk.

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation has established a fund to hold and administer the tax-deductible donations. To make a donation, visit the foundation’s donation webpage 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.

Donors of $2,500 or more will be memorialized with a personalized bronze plaque that will be placed on the pier.

To learn more about the catwalk project, visit the Save the Catwalk Facebook page or call City Hall at 616-847-4888.

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