Brad Boyink gives back to his community

To the Editor: I’m at the age where it is nice to be able to remember the past, and young enough to embrace the current and the future.
Aug 14, 2013


I remember when Dr. Creason first conceived the Musical Fountain idea. I also remember the many false rumors, acquisitions and negative opinions related to building the fountain. 

I remember the number of hours donated by the volunteers, and their commitment to the vision of building something special for the City of Grand Haven. One of these volunteers was Bernie Boyink. Bernie was very instrumental in the original lighting, sound and music.

I also remember the negative phone calls and comments he received about his participation in such a crazy idea. When I asked Bernie why he would tolerate these comments, he quoted one of his two favorite sayings: “There are three kinds of people in the word; those who make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happens.” Bernie chose to give back to his community.

Today, Bernie’s grandson, Brad, is continuing his grandfather’s footsteps as he attempts to give back to the community. What is interesting is that history is repeating itself — as he, too, has to endure negative opinions, misconceptions and misleading comments. 

Brad has donated extensive hours to upgrade the Musical Fountain lights, sound and music selections. I’m confident that his grandfather would be very proud of his approach in making sure today's and the next generations will enjoy the fountain.

Like the fountain, the Holiday Road light show has become a tradition for many families in the surrounding communities, while providing area charities with funds. The amount of personal funds and hours he has contributed over the years should be appreciated.  Like his grandfather, he is committed to making our community a better place to live.

Are you getting involved to make this a better community? I do not consider offering up negative criticism without knowing all the facts being proactively involved.

— Rick Boyink, Grand Haven Township



Maybe Brad should try his show on Dewey Hill.

Grand Haven Happy

Brad and Bernie are certainly loved, respected, and wholerheartedly thanked for all their years of helping our community to be a better place and it is! A yoeman's job done and them some. Thank you Brad!

My comment on the CG Festival fountain's one particular poor taste song article with words and phrases not becoming must still be pointed out. You do NOT slam the very reason there's even a CG Festival here and not get negative feed back nor should you. No one's perfect and that means no one in the community also. I'm sure Brad's song selection was done with the right intentions but that still dosen't make that particular song appropriate for the event. That said, keep up the great work Brad as we all live and learn and strive to do our best sometimes under lots of pressure. You are a real appreciated credit to the local area and so is your family and we know it so well!


"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” - This quote was Brad's response to the concerns regarding the selection of "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark" being used at our supposedly family-friendly Coast Guard Festival fireworks show.
With volunteering towards a positive cause comes a lot of responsibility, especially when it affects the reputation of our city and lures tourism to Grand Haven, which affects the local economy. New, popular tunes and ideas can be refreshing. However, they require a responsible process of selection and editing for family-friendliness and a tastefulness that caters to the young and old, alike. It isn't some young, wild generation that is bringing in the bulk of the tourism revenue to Grand Haven. It's the older generation and the parents of young ones who are bringing their families to our area in hopes of a safe, wholesome vacation experience. Brad, and any other volunteers for our area events have a huge responsibility to keep Grand Haven a "grand" place to live and vacation. (Myrtle Beach and Panama City were once nice, family-oriented vacation spots, as well. Today, they're destinations for wild partying and immorality.) Our local citizens care greatly about the direction and future of our city. When you volunteer your time towards a community service or event, you represent what we stand for as a community, and not just your personal viewpoints and moral stance alone.


Thank you to everyone who has support me over the years, especially my family. Although the negative comments do take a toll, I know in my heart I'm contributing good things to the community. This is what keep me going.


Hannah - Many have suggested Dewey Hill but logistically it would not work. What people do not realize is how big everything would have to be. For example: the angels on the hill over over 20 feet tall, and the star is mounted to a full size power poll. When I attached the color pixel lights on the anchor this year for CGF it took 785 lights.

There is also very little parking down there and people are not going to get out of their cars to sit in the grand stand when the winds are whipping and you have freezing temperatures. Structures built would have to be over 30 feet tall and all of the holiday shaped wireframes we have would be indistinguishable as most of of them are only 4-8 feet tall at best.

But putting all of that aside, I have no desire to disturb the Nativity on Dewey Hill. If the public feels the Nativity is outdated we should all come together as a community and update it, but not replace it with Holiday Road. They are two very different shows and should remain that way.


I live a very long way from Grand Haven, but after reading about the Boyink family from a friend, I can say quite unequivocally that our community could use more people like Brad Boyink. Your lucky to have him.

Grand Haven Happy

rmullin, YES we are!


From another family rich in Grand Haven history, we thank Brad and the Boyink family....

Grand Haven Happy


Simply great! We're old now and the 3rd generation in the rich history but we have 3 more generations younger than us here in the Grand Haven area. Spanning from 1885 until now 2013, 128 years and still counting. I'd never thought about it until your post. Thanks

Yes, we are very fortunate to be a part of Grand Haven's wonderful rich history and several of the rating venues and polls have noticed and confirmed what a fine place it is also including our outstanding school system etc.

Brad and his family are another great example of the many fine community minded people living here and constantly making our area what it is today and for the future. So many thankless untold hours and days which led to many years of dedication to our area's success and excellence! Thanks to them, the future here is so bright!


Brad and Family - You took a very special and unique opportunity to give back to your community, and you have succeeded admirably. We thank you for your efforts and appreciate your devotion to Grand Haven.

Allen Smith

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