Victims' rights memory garden dedicated

Becky Vargo • Jul 28, 2017 at 12:00 PM

During Thursday’s dedication of the William Van Regenmorter Memory Garden at the Ottawa County Courthouse in Grand Haven, a moment of silence was held in honor of crime victims who lost their lives.

Officials unveiled the fully blooming garden created in the former state legislator’s honor.

Van Regenmorter was known as the father of crime victims’ rights. He also founded the Crime Victim Foundation.

Van Regenmorter represented portions of Ottawa County in the Michigan Senate and House for 24 years. He died in 2012 at the age of 73.

A campaign to raise $20,000 to establish a quiet place for people “to stop and refresh themselves” was launched more than a year ago. Groundbreaking took place in late April.

Project coordinator Joan Grillo, the victims’ rights advocate for the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office, said enough extra money was donated to allow lighting to be placed in the garden.

Donors were able to purchase bricks memorializing loved ones. The bricks encircle a fountain. Once the ceremony concluded Thursday afternoon, donors were invited to lay a rose on the bricks they purchased.

The ceremony included remarks by County Prosecutor Ron Frantz, the Rev. Jay Pruim (retired), State Director of Crime Victim Advocacy John Lazet and Van Regenmorter’s daughter, Deb Hoekwater.

Bricks may still be ordered for the patio around the fountain. The additional funds will be used to maintain and expand the garden. They may be ordered online at: miottawa.org/Courts/Prosecutor/memory_garden.htm.

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