More Beacon House
By this time, you’re likely quite familiar with Beacon House… the mission, the people behind it, and the money needed to make it all happen. Really, what area non-profit has garnered more media attention and fundraising publicity over the last decade than Beacon House?
And now their new facility, the Mariucci Family Beacon House, is taking shape off 7th Street with a target opening of Christmas 2021. Have you seen it lately? The impressive hotel-like building, with accommodations for singles, couples, and families, and plenty of home-like features, is the tangible result of a successful and on-going fundraising machine. Eat your heart out Ronald McDonald.
Fundraising in the private sector is a competitive business, which seems oxymoronic when talking about charities. But as we know, there are only so many discretionary dollars to go around. And Beacon House has mined the veins of sympathetic philanthropists to a textbook level. Good for them!
How’d it happen? Like most successful endeavors, the right people came along at just the right time. CEO Mary Tavernini Dowling orchestrates the dual assignments of guest care and paying the bills. Major donors Sue LeGalley and Renee Prince volunteer vast amounts of time and talent, and Steve Mariucci is the gift that keeps on giving. Like 500k for the new building and countless arms twisted in pursuit of the goal.
All that fundraising success means that the Mariucci Family Beacon House can continue the mission of serving the families of people getting medical care in Marquette. That’s how Mariucci got involved in the first place. Family members were able to stay together at Beacon House while Steve’s mom was here for cancer care, and from that, Steve was sold on Beacon House.
According to Tavernini Dowling, Mariucci’s commitment to the cause is undeniable. “He is so incredibly passionate about helping us make this a Christmas gift to the whole U.P. He knows that we never know who is going to need us next.”
And that’s the real story of Beacon House. Fundraising aside, the mission has always been about providing families a comfortable and affordable home-away-from-home during some of the most trying times. The new facility will be able to accommodate as many as 80 to 90 guests per night.
And thanks to the aforementioned fundraising machine, they pay, or donate, what they can. Nothing is expected, but often times, much is given.
For more about Beacon House and how you can volunteer or donate, go to upbeaconhouse.org.
Parking at Presque Isle
Jumping off the black rocks at Presque Isle now offers a new challenge… hiking. Yes, hiking. Because on busy days you’ll find it’s quite a hike from your car to the cove.
We’re not suggesting that a long walk is a deal-breaker, but rather that parking is severely limited for an attraction that gets more popular every year.
The man who helped determine the future of Presque Isle, famed park designer Frederick Law Olmsted, saw Presque Isle and refused to develop a plan for it due to his belief that it “should not be marred by the intrusion of artificial objects.”
A recent visit, on a cool and cloudy weekday, found few available parking spaces for the artificial objects we use to get around.
Olmstead didn’t know, back in 1891, that black rocks cliff jumping would cause traffic and parking problems on this land of which he said, “Preserve it, treasure it, as little altered as may be for all time.”
And the folks in charge are sticking with Olmstead’s recommendations. According to Assistant Director of Community Services Andrew MacIver, “We do not have any plans to increase any parking, especially beyond the developed area at the south side of the park.”
So it appears to be a problem without a solution. As we’re finding with many of Marquette County’s more popular destinations, they’re no longer “undiscovered.” So until priorities change, we’ll just have to enjoy the jump… and the hike.
This 4th of July
Though it’s commonly referred to by its date on the calendar… July 4th, officially it’s Independence Day, the day we celebrate the birth of a nation, and this year, the rebirth of a nation.
Due to circumstances largely beyond our control, July 4th, 2021 is unlike any in recent history. The independence we’re celebrating this year is about freedom as a nation, AND freedom from a pandemic.
Most of us have never experienced anything remotely like what we went through last year. That’s a 2020 vision better left in the past.
It would be nice to think that something like that could never happen again, in our lifetime. But our best hope is that we learned something about pandemics… like how to deal with the next one. Not necessarily for lack of effort, but we could have done better with this one.
The typical 4th of July celebration combines everything THE national holiday should. After a year off, the 2021 edition checks every box, and more… parades, picnics, festivals, fireworks, patriotism, politics, and this year… the end of the pandemic.
This Independence Day… THIS 4th of July, is beyond question, a celebration of freedom. Enjoy.
In other Words…
Regarding the Braveworks proposal for development behind the businesses on the 100 block of South Front Street, the city commission has scheduled a public hearing for this item at their regular meeting on Monday, July 12th at 6PM.⠀
Got a comment? Go to the hearing and put it on the public record where it matters, and not just on Facebook, where informed and reasonable discussions often go to die, and seldom make a difference.