Officials in the Charlevoix area are urging the community to come together to support members of the United States Coast Guard and other federal employees affected by the on-going federal government shut down.
The “Charlevoix Coast Guard Government Shut-down Benefit Fund” has been established by Charlevoix State Bank and the Charlevoix Rotary Club.
First responders encourage the community to donate. Lead by gifts of $500 each from Charlevoix State Bank and the Charlevoix Rotary club, donations are welcome at all branches of the bank.
“We have a close working relationship with the Coast Guard,” said Charlevoix Township Fire Chief Dan Thorp.
Thorp said there are many ways the workers support Charlevoix with public safety and events and this is a great way for the community to show its appreciation.
“Our job is to keep the people of Charlevoix safe and the Coast Guard assists us in this mission everyday,” said Charlevoix Police Chief Gerard Doan.
“They bring a level of knowledge and ability to public safety that we couldn’t do on our own.”
He added, “The public is always looking out for our officers and EMS staff. We want to encourage the public to show support for our Coast Guard colleagues during this time.”
Local resident Joy Halverson sparked the idea and worked with officials to set up the fund to help members of the Coast Guard.
“We see the Coast Guard folks working in our community, their boats on the lakes, and their willingness to help with blood drives and things like that.
It seems like now is a time when they need us and we should step up to help,” she said.
Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce President Sarah Hagen said that the business community stands ready to assist the service members affected by the shut down.
“I know several of our members have quietly been offering assistance where they can,” she said. “We think this is a great way for the community as a whole to support the men and women who work hard all year-round to keep the waterways around us safe.”
“Support us by supporting them” is the message from Charlevoix EMS Director Don McMullen.
“When someone is in need, the whole team of first responders does their part,” he said. “One of our teammates needs help now and we encourage support for the Coast Guard.”
Donations can be made at any branch of Charlevoix State Bank.
Donations will be used to buy grocery gift cards and other essentials as Coast Guard ethics rules allow.