Thanks to volunteers; boo to the naysayers in our communities

We’ve heard a frequent comment in the Tri-Cities of late: If the ideas for the boardwalk, the Coast Guard Festival or the Musical Fountain were to be introduced today rather than decades ago, none of them would get the green light.
Oct 25, 2013


And, with the recent departure of the Holiday Road Light Show — after proposals in both Ferrysburg and Grand Haven — it’s hard to disagree with that sentiment.

Part of the issue is that some people don’t want to be inconvenienced. They want the shoreline for themselves, without hordes of tourists. They want the best parking spot for the beach. They don’t want detoured streets.

And a whole string of traffic funneled into the city for holiday lights? No thanks.

Some of these folks simply don’t want change. Change can be more frightening than a supercharged zombie in “World War Z,” and especially to those who are used to a certain pace of life.

Another issue is fear of lawsuits. Would the Ski Bowl, for instance, come into creation if proposed today? After the lawsuit at Duncan Woods over a sledding death? Likely not.

Those three things — the fear of inconvenience, change and lawsuits — could be the trifecta of wet blankets.

But then there’s the support and cost factors thrown into the mix.

For example, the Produce Giveaway — which for years has been handing out up to 100,000 pounds of food to people in our community — won’t happen this year. This was yet another great event that makes the Tri-Cities a wonderful place in which to live.

Organizer Don Armstrong should be applauded for his years of service in bringing this about, and we understand why he decided it couldn’t be done this year. The reason? Not enough support from companies and organizations, as well as the rising cost of food.

Similarly, the folks who put on the Holiday Road Light Show did it as an all-volunteer effort. They even gave any proceeds to the Special Olympics. But they were shot down, and the light show sold to another business district that, ironically, plans to use the set-up to attract customers to their stores during the holiday season.

There are a whole lot of people in this community who give of themselves day after day, and we thank them for their service to others. But, unfortunately, they’re up against a wall of naysayers.

Imagine if this community said yes. Yes to new ideas. Yes to concepts that could make us a better place. Yes to the volunteer efforts of so many.

What a wonderful place that would be.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Vote out all incumbents in November. Change is good. Stagnation/old boys network happens when leaders are in for more than one term. Wipe them all out for new blood.


Can we see your name on the ballot?


no, bigdeal won't be on any ballot, but I am thankful for those that do feel the call. And my past records would never hold up to scrutiny.


Right on. I haven't had much good to say about our "leaders" since they removed the stoplights and replaced then with the worst traffic coordination device known to man....the 4 way stop.
I refuse to vote for any incumbent this time around. The new / untested ones could be worse, but I'm not sure how. Maybe we could get them to replace the stop lights and pay a tad bit more attention to the people who live and work here, instead of their own self-interests.


"Imagine if this community said yes. Yes to new ideas. Yes to concepts that could make us a better place"
Keep in mind that not all ideas and concepts are good, nor will they make this a better place for all of the people.


Yeah, cuz if we don't do it your way then we're ALL wrong right? Generally it's best to get a consensus of what the people want and go from there, NOT let a small board of "business owners" run roughshod over the rest of the merchants and citizens, pushing their personal wants and feelings on the rest of us who might benefit from a more forward thinking brand of leadership.
Anytime you try something new there are those who have to shoot it down, but if it's the general consesus of the community to move forward then you need to realize that you're in a minority and deal with it on a personal level. I didn't want 4-way stop signs downtown, but they're it or not. Deal with it I guess.


And, if you don't say yes to new ideas and concepts you will never know if they were good ideas/concepts or not.


Can someone fill us in on what community purchased the light show? I would like to come see it.


Can someone fill us in on what community purchased the light show? I would like to come see it.


The lights are getting loaded onto a truck next week and heading to West Monroe, LA. This is the town where they film Duck Dynasty. It's a shame they will no longer be here, but it's good to know the lights will once again put smiles on faces.

The show may be gone, but here is a personal challenge to the community. Get in the Christmas spirit and put some lights up outside this year.

Talk to your neighbors and friends and have them do the same. Together as a community let's see if we can make the Tri-Citys light up with over a million lights. Let's give families a reason to once again get in the car and drive to see lights.

The challenge has been given, do you accept?


Excellent . . . thanks for the update. While this is sad for our community, I am so very glad that the show will go on in West Monroe. I just put it in Google Maps and we hope to head down there to take a look the first part of December. Can you let us know the web site where the schedule and other details are posted so we can plan our trip?

Thanks again for your great work on this.

I accept your challenge and plan to put out more lights this year. My plan will be to try to add music and coordinate with my neighbors to make something impressive. Oh never mind, that will probably just bring out the naysayers.


Never mind ... I just found a link to the "trail of lights" ... it is so great that your legacy will continue there:


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks.


Apparently, the "moderators" do not want the Tribune to be criticized.
By the way, moderators, did you check to see if the Holiday Light show was ever registered with the State Attorney General's Charitable Trust Division?
I have seen people basically call forum members everything in the book, but you decide criticizing Boyink and your editorial board is inappropriate?
I long for the days when Len Painter was editor . . .


It's interesting you would go down the road of claiming fraud. So let's put this issue to rest with the following information:

Our IRS EIN is 46-1920314
We filed our Articles of Incorporation on April 4, 2013 in the State of Michigan
We filed IRS Form 1023 Application for Recognition of Exemption on May 6, 2013

Since you seem to be an expert you should know it can take up to 18 months to receive a 501(c)3 status. You also would not registered with the State Attorney General's Charitable Trust Division until that status was received.

Holiday Road Charities has never hid the fact its 501(c)3 paperwork was in process. If you would like to see any of the paperwork you are more than welcome make an appointment to come to my office at 627 Elliott here in Grand Haven and view the documents.

It's easy to make unfounded accusations when hiding behind a screen name. Are there any other accusations you would like to make? At this point I don't think your credibility is holding up.

Want creditability, sign your real name to your posts and backup what you say with actual facts.

I don't know what I ever did to wrong you. I'm not a perfect person, nor have I ever claimed to be. All I have every tried to do over the years is bring some joy to others. Along the way there have been people who have not shared my vision. I understand and accept that. What I don't accept are anonymous personal attacks. You can call my anything you want as long as you sign your name to it. Until then you are simply a coward with no credibility.

Brad Boyink


Obviously this is a person with extremely too much time on their hands and you shouldn't waste your time defending your actions.


Well Brad, as far as I am concerned (and my immediate family anyway) you have done a great thing for this community. You and your teams have brought smiles to our faces over the years and to see the kids smile is priceless. As far as Quinn, do what we do, ignore the downer.


I had to log on here and comment because I am fed up with theQuin writing hateful stuff about Brad Boyink and the lights committee. I sure do wonder if this is Regina Sjoberg hiding behind another name. If so, Regina, you are a council member and should be looking out for the good of the entire community, not just the 50 or so people and YOURSELF who live out that way. The committee and Mr. Boyink have given of themselves and their time year after year to try to provide a family friendly event in our community. You won your battle against the lights in Ferrysburg --- so why keep the hate rolling? Get over yourself.


I would think the opponents of the light show would be dancing in the streets seeing that their perfect, little, quiet community will not be bothered by "outsiders" this season.


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