Chamber Chat

Bringing community to the West End streets

Community and business go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. For a business to grow, a community needs to support it by utilizing the service or products offered.

Building a business has some basic concepts and when done right can lead to a vibrant and successful outcome. Building a community is a bit more complicated. It involves many businesses, schools, government and other organizations working together to create a place people can call home and be proud of.

The phrase “It takes a village,” can be applied to many aspects of building a healthy community. Everyone chipping in makes for a lighter load. A great example of this is Inspiration Orchard, a Partridge Creek Farm project, on the corner of North and York streets in Ishpeming.

Building up on a corner lot that had been razed, the park will feature various fruit bearing foliage, shade trees, a pathway, benches and a pavilion. Numerous volunteers came out for the initial work bee and several other people have and continue to lend a hand on this community project.

In addition to the park project a group of volunteers are bringing back the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament on Father’s Day Weekend, June 14-16, to downtown Ishpeming. It’s been over 20 years since the Gus Macker has been a part of the community activities on the West End. In addition to the basketball games there will be pony rides, a bounce house, food trucks, a dunk tank challenge (as in making a person get dunked in a water tank) and a chicken wing eating contest.

More than just a basketball tournament, the Macker engages the community in a festival. Profits from the tournament are donated to the organizations of choice by the tournament committee. The Ishpeming Gus Macker will be donating to Big Bay Health Camp as well as any of the school programs offering to help volunteer at the event.

Volunteers are still needed to make this event a success. The event is in need of people to help with score keeping, site maintenance, first-aid, security, set-up and tear-down. Most shifts are only three hours long and can be done with a group or individually. For more information or to sign-up to volunteer, go to the Ishpeming Gus Macker Facebook page.

For information on the website or to inquire about listing, email ginccmarketing@gmail.com or call 486-1111.

Editor’s note: Bob Hendrickson is the executive director of the GINCC. He currently resides in Negaunee with his wife, Laura, and daughter, Sierra. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing, fishing and hunting along with family time.