*In 2022, we would like to tell you more about the Chamber’s partner organizations. Today’s feature is the Friends of the Ludington State Park.
Chamber Donates $12,000 to Event Partner
Over the past six years, the local winter beer festival has given $49,000 to the Friends of the Ludington State Park to support improvements to the park not covered by a normal operating budget.
January’s 7th Annual Pure Ludington Brrrewfest benefitted the volunteer organization another $12,160.43 – and some exciting things are already under way for 2022.
“We are very proud and glad that the Chamber continues to partner with us,” said FLSP President Patrick O’Hare. “(Brrrewfest) is our largest single fundraiser every year… and it has helped tremendously with the various projects the Friends group takes on.”
The first FLSP project was the purchase of an all-terrain track vehicle for use by persons with mobility challenges. The track chair will be available to rent, free of charge, and will be able to maneuver on trails, sand and hills throughout the park.
Presently, one track chair has been fully funded, and the group is considering the purchase of a second track chair to accommodate more guests.
“It has significant stability,” O’Hare explained. “It will be at the state park on a reservation basis for individuals who have mobility challenges. They exist in about a half-dozen of the state parks, and I really expect the Ludington State Park will be the model user for the track chair, especially with the road to Big Sable Lighthouse and the number of people who can’t make that 1.8 miles.”
At Brrrewfest, FLSP volunteers set up tables and barricades, take tickets, check IDs, pour beer, cleanup and more. Many of the group are retirees, and volunteering keeps them active in the community.
“We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers through the Friends of the Ludington State Park. We could not pull off this event without them,” said Brandy Miller, president/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. “It is so rewarding to see that all of the proceeds from the event benefit their group and their mission to support one of our area’s largest attractions for visitors and locals alike.”
Other projects in the works for FLSP in 2022 include:
- A SeeCoast Enchroma Enable Viewer for individuals who are color-blind. This has been installed on the Skyline Trail and is the first in the State of Michigan. This technology will allow color-blind individuals to see color (including the sunset) at the park.
- A bicycle repair station near the warming shelter.
- The FLSP concert series that will feature 20 acts at the park this summer.
- Lantern-lit snowshoe hikes during the winter months.
Past FLSP projects paid in part by Brrrewfest proceeds include a playground structure at the park at the Hamlin beach area, constructed in 2018, and a kayak launch on Hamlin Lake (next to the boat ramp), added in 2021. Both projects are universally accessible.