Labor Day Bridge walkers trek 3.5 miles in Grand Haven

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 3:04 PM

“This is probably a little more than expected,” said City Manager Pat McGinnis as he passed out drawing tickets to the steady stream of people walking past.

The majority of walkers said they planned to make the entire 3.5-mile hike from Harbor Island out to the South Pier and back.

Jo and Arley Bouwma of Grand Haven, and Jo’s sister, Dorothy Shutt of Georgia were part of that group.

“Yeah, we’re doing the whole thing,” Jo Bouwma said. “It’s a nice day to exercise. We’ve got legs to do it and he’s got his scooter.”

Walkers received a drawing ticket at every half-mile point they passed. Drawing winners received Grand Haven hats or T-Shirts, Sweet Temptations T-shirts and treats, among the many items donated by sponsors of the walk.

Refreshments were also served at the Chinook Pier.

A trolley was provided for anyone who needed a ride back to the finish line, or to a car.

Grand Haven Community Development Director Jennifer Howland said the event was coordinated through the state.

She made it a family event with her father manning the turnaround point on the south pier and her husband and children walking caboose.

Jacki Johnson of Fruitport walked with friends Marsha Brownlee of Grand Haven and Jamie Oosterhart of Fruitport.

“We usually do the Mackinac Bridge walk,” Johnson said. “We decided to do the local thing this year.”

The women were part of a contingent from Curves, who also had their husbands with them.

“I hope they don’t slow us down,” Brownlee smiled.

Mayor Geri McCaleb ushered the walkers off Harbor Island, encouraging them to walk far enough to see the refurbished lights on the pier.


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