Memorial Day weekend for our family—and that is our work and home family—was all about the first 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid (the sponsors encourage us to say the title exactly that way) held at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan. While I am not a seasoned veteran of Southwest Michigan, I am enough of a seasonal veteran that I have witnessed the transformation of the cities of St. Joe/Benton Harbor that has happened in the last few years. It wasn’t very long ago; I remember looking over the balcony of a model home built on a cliff where surveyors had put down a maze of strings tacked to posts to show where a championship golf course and a development of homes and condos would soon appear. Now, there were thousands of people, watching some of the best golfers in the world battle against a Jack Nicklaus course that looked pretty difficult to me.
Julie, along with friends Gerard and Laura Pannekoek, joined me braving the rain, cold and wind to see the players tee off on Saturday. It didn’t hurt Julie’s feelings too much when it was time for her and Laura to slide away from the golf to attend the “Fashion on the Shore” event, where our excellent co-sponsors—including Tabor Hill and Bistro on the Boulevard—had provided a feast of champagne, wine, hors d’oeuvres and chocolate in the comfort of the VIP area at the Heritage Center on Main St. in St. Joe. From what I gathered, the women who attended were wowed by the terrific work of the talented student designers, so congratulations to the participating schools including Central Michigan University and Western Michigan University.
Hats off to all the sponsors, donors and bidders who made the annual Crisis Center event at Sand Creek such a success again this year. Crisis Center executive director Shirley Caylor does such an incredible job and the people involved deserve a tremendous amount of credit for serving young members of our communities who would have otherwise fallen through the cracks.
While working in Rapid City, South Dakota, I happened to notice the renovation happening to the downtown area and want to suggest to any and all that it is a model that needs to be emulated. I remember it being pretty controversial to take a parking lot on Main Street and turn it into a recreation area where concerts can be performed, water shoots up so the kids can run in it and get wet, and in the winter skate on the ice—all for free. The area was always packed while I was there and generated a tremendous amount of traffic downtown. Now all the business owners are investing in renovation and new businesses in the area. The Rapid City model is quite similar to what the city of Valparaiso did with its wonderful park, bringing people down for fantastic events or just to enjoy the day and atmosphere. Another big high-five to Mayor Jon Costas and the group responsible for the park.
Here is a special tip for my faithful readers: Subscribe now for the best rate on the digital edition of Shore, which will make its debut later this year. Keep reading for details coming soon.
See you in September!