2017 Lovells Bridge Walk raises record amount of money
Carlie Wilson | Staff Writer
For many, flashing lights and wailing sirens are indicators of tragedy, but on August 19 fire trucks and ambulances paved the way for a family-friendly event.
For one Saturday each August, the community of Lovells gathers for a walk that celebrates and raises money for the local fire department.
This year’s Lovells Bridge Walk event started on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 8 a.m. with the Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast. After that, buses began shuttling people to the bridge area for the parade and bridge walk.
The parade was the kick-off for the walk. This year, a variety of floats participated. The main show was the endless line of fire trucks all flashing lights and sounding their horns and sirens.
The parade was not fire truck designated; other parade floats and vehicles were encouraged to participate. The parade featured an appearance by the Grayling Vikings High School Marching Band, which played “Wave the Flag,” “Louie Louie,” and previewed its halftime Queen medley.
The parade lasted only a few minutes, but the message remained clear: raising money for a noble cause doesn’t have to be boring. Once the parade ended, citizens gathered and walked across the bridge.
The purpose of the event was to raise money for the Lovells Township Fire Department. The event first began in 1991 as a small-scale version of Michigan’s Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk, and it has continued on for the last 26 years. The morning is filled with countless events starting with the pancake breakfast and ending with a community luncheon.
The 2017 event was “record breaking” in all aspects, according to a press release from Cynthia Infante-Inman, a co-chairman for the event.
“Over 300 people walked the ‘famous’ Lovells Bridge. We dedicated our pavilion to Fred Schaibly (who passed away January 2017), who served as our Township Supervisor for 32 years. Record-breaking funds were raised, over $8,500 in proceeds to benefit our volunteer Fire and EMS Department. They are beloved by our community. The department plans to buy vehicle extraction equipment with the money that was raised.”