Copper Harbor Playground Project

Help us bring a new playground to the Copper Harbor School

Wow.  What an amazing community we have at the end of the earth.  Not only do people donate to the kid’s new playground, but people make fundraisers specifically for it (as you have seen in past posts).  But, geez, not only that, people are constantly seeking grant opportunities and publicity for other options.

Did you see that thermometer?  We are getting there, my friend.  Thank you!

One of the latest gifts was $500 from Shopko’s Foundation’s Community Charitable Grant program.  How great that they have a community grant program.  Thanks !

Marty accepts the check from Shopko manager Gary Schroufnagel at the Calumet location

We even made it on weatherman John Dee’s site!  Check out , and click on Current Journals.  We are mentioned at the end of the October 21st post.  Here is the excerpt, if you have a slow browser.

“ My final item on tonight’s docket is a note I got from one of the good folks in Copper Harbor that is helping to raise funds for the new playground for the harbor. She wrote me to tell me this:
“This past January when we started fundraising, Vicki and Ken at the Pines were kind enough to let me solicit funds from our dining patrons. I didn’t hit them with a hard sell, just presented them with a playground envelope, told them a little about the project and asked if they could help out with a donation. If they could, great! If they chose not to, we totally understood. The majority of our donors during that time were snowmobilers. Through their generosity, we were able to raise $7000 just from the Pines patrons alone! We were overwhelmed!!!”
Awesome job folks! The playground is going to cost a total of $145,000 (who’d of thunk they were that much, eh !?) and they have been able to raise $100,000 of that so far. If you want to read more about the project, you can visit the website that they have set up for the project and also have a .”

John has many loyal readers from the area and all over the world.  Thanks for helping to spread the word, John!

And thank YOU for your support and interest in our project.


Every spring, the Isle Royale Queen IV cruises the coast of the Keweenaw Peninsula from the Portage Canal to its dock in Copper Harbor.  Well, then it would only be fitting that it journeys back down in the fall!  This year resident Sandi Siegmeier dreamed up the idea to make the return trip a fundraiser for the playground.

Sandi and Jack on the bow

On Tuesday, October 2nd, the Isle Royale Queen IV transported 28 guests for this cruise.  Passengers were treated to spectacular weather and an amazing palette of fall colors from the north shore and into the Portage Canal.  The guests returned to Copper Harbor via the Red Carpet Trolly.

Going under the lift bridge!

This trip raised $715 for the playground project.  Thanks goes out to Captains Donny and  John Kilpela and Sam of the IR Queen.

Don and John: Captains and brothers for life


Have you looked at that thermometer lately?  WE ARE OVER HALF WAY TO OUR GOAL!!!  Pardon me for getting so excited, but it is a milestone in this project.

With this in mind, you should meet more of the folks who have been supporting, promoting and carrying this project.

Way at the top of Brockway Mountain sits the .  They have a cooler full of pop and water that they sell to thirsty shoppers.  The proceeds from each day’s loot go to support the playground.  Nice!  Thank you Clyde and Lloyd Wescoat!

The fine folks at the have a “Playground Fund” bucket that you can drop your change into after you make your purchase.  You may as well.  If your pocket is jingling, you’ll scare away the wildlife.  Thank you to all our friends at the Gas Lite who show us where to stick our nickels and dimes!

The captains inform their passengers of this project on the way back from Isle Royale.  There are a lot of people on that boat, so thank you captains for spreading the word!

Syd Faassen has been collecting receipts and donations at Econo Foods every month, and Chris O’Callahan is helping to add them up.  The receipts have brought in over $1,000, so get your fresh savings now!

You can find our little green and white envelopes at the following places in Copper Harbor.  Contributions from donation cans and envelopes come from:
Copper Harbor Welcome Center





So thanks again to all the little people with big hearts who keep the support flowing for the kids.  That’s what it’s all about!


Breakfast Pays Off

If you have eaten breakfast at in Copper Harbor since the winter, you may have received a playground envelope sometime during your meal.  Do you know why this is awesome?  The owners of The Pines support this project, and because they let their servers hand out envelopes, we have received hundreds and hundreds of dollars in donations at breakfast!

A big THANK YOU goest out to The Pines for letting us spread the word about our cause.

And Saturday, September 15th, is putting on a breakfast fundraiser for the playground!  They are serving at the restaurant from 9-11 am.

Breakfast will be off the menu, and all proceeds go to the playground fund.  No reservations will be taken for this event, so get there early!

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Many displays at this year’s Art in the Park were dedicated to the Playground Project!  A big thank you to everyone who put their efforts toward the kids!  THANK YOU!!!

Roxie knitted colorful creations before and during the show, and all her sales went to the playground!

Roxy with her art and the playground posters

Gail English from Eagle Rock Studio painted us some beautiful dragonfly wine glasses and a cheese plate.  Sounds like a party to me!  This prize was raffled off with all proceeds benefiting, you guessed it, a safe and merry playground!

Gail and George pose by the prize

Naomi Haycock twisted up a world of fun making balloon animals, hats and more!  All proceeds went right back to the kids.

Naomi sports a silly hat… what will she make next?

The hard working men of the Copper Harbor Volunteer Fire Department cooked up brats, dogs and corn all day while remaining on duty to the community.  This year they donated their profits to the playground too!  What swell guys!

The CHVFD heats things up at the grill in the park

Our very own Lynn O’Callahan even set up a silent auction for Italian Night at her place.  She’ll do the cooking and entertaining!  Thank you Lynn!

And thank YOU for all your donations and support over the past few months.  We’re really keeping things rolling in the right direction!


We are almost half way to our goal!!! Did you notice that thermometer over there?  Over $70,000!  We should all get an ice cream cone and celebrate.

The End of the Road Keweenaw Tour & Car Show brought in some big bucks for us.  A special thanks goes out to Peg & Don Kauppi for gearing people’s heads toward our project to think about the kids.

Thanks also to Staci Gibson for finding a piggy bank amongst the hogs during the Thunder in the Harbor motorcycle fest.  It’s great to see that our visitors are willing to help the youth of the town.

This weekend we will celebrate Art in the Park in the Copper Harbor Community Park.  Artists from all over will display their crafts and creations, so come on and check it out!  The Playground will have a booth set up in case you have a few dollars left in your pocket after you shop.  Proceeds from the Fire Dept cookout are earmarked for the Playground as well.  Thank you boys!  Well, okay.  Thank you men!


Marty is the man.  He is the ignition and the fuel behind this operation.  In the beginning he helped dream up the layout of the new playground.  He found out what options were available, got input from the school kids and helped put it all together.  Now he stays on top of things by taking pictures, doing research, meeting with possible donors, attending local events and other tasks we probably don’t even know about.

Fortunately there are other key players in this project making phone calls, handing out envelopes, planning events and keeping records.  We are grateful for them all.  (Thank you!!!)  But Marty is really the go-to man in this project.  He even has his contact info on this web page if you have questions or ideas.

This past weekend Marty went to the , right here in beautiful Copper Harbor.  He got the opportunity to set up a little stand to make people aware of this project.  Athletes and spectators donated on site and picked up an envelope for later.  The kids and adults at this race were quite interested in the new playground.  Thanks to everyone who donated!

Marty enlightens the crowd with his words, posters and donation can

Way to represent the kids!

During the awards ceremony of this event, the presented us with a $1,000 check.  Thank you Keweenaw Health Foundation!  If laughter and prevention are the best medicines, then they know this playground is a great way to keep today’s children happy and healthy.

Marty receives the big check with applause from the crowd

While we’re on the subject of business donations, also donated to our project.  Thank you Superior National Bank!  Is your business next?


Our latest and greatest fundraiser was held at Into the Woods Mini Golf and Gardens.  Here are some pictures of the silliness that ensued.

Our hostess with more than the mostess: Staci!

The look of determination

Not looking at all!

Trying a different technique

Using a little more oomf

The putters pose for a group shot

“Hey, I’ll try to get some balls back out of here!”

As you can see, a fun time was had by all 17 teams who attended.  Plus, we raised about $800 for the playground!

Thanks to everyone who came out to support and have a ball.  And thank you Staci Gibson for hosting this event.  Sometimes parties are more fun in the woods!


 With the kiddie population of Copper Harbor rising, and most of them being girls, some of the moms in town decided to dress their little princesses up in tutus and teach them ballet.  This turned into seven of Copper Harbor’s finest little ladies performing on stage for the Tutu Cute Ballet Recital!

Audrey, Aili Drew, Ava, Aster, Maddie, Maia and Olivia pirouetted, kicked and pliéed to selections from the Nutcracker Suite.  Ballet instructor Kristi Wohl was right there to guide them through their movements.  The performance lasted about a half and hour and was attended by over 100 people!  Wow!

This first time event, held on July 3rd, not only featured the town’s cutie pies, but showcased the culinary abilities of this little town’s bakers.  We raised money at this bake sale — which totaled $2,005 including the silent auction.  Thank you residents of Copper Harbor for attending and showing your support!

And thank you silent auction donors: Sandi Siegmeier, Judith Wagensomer, Charlie Eshbach, MC Tillson, Lesley DuTemple, Bella Vista, Brickside Brewery, Gas Lite General Store, Grandpa’s Barn and Skytop Inn, Bear Belly Bar and Grill and Lac La Belle Lodge, Aurora Studios, Staci Gibson, Rich Jamsen, Marty Faassen, Shelby Laubhan, Spirit of the North, Country Village Shops, Jeff Thiel, Harbor Haus, Barb Fontana, Garden Brook Studio, Dennis Sotala, Phoebe Wienke, Diane Funkey, Traprock Pottery, Karma Maynard, Minnetonka Resort, White House Motel, Fort Wilkins State Park Store and Eagle Rock Studio.

All the proceeds from this event went to benefit, you guessed it, the Playground Project!

A few more thanks go out to Donica Dravillas for organizing the event, Steve Brimm for capturing the moments on film, Donny Kilpela for emceeing and all the parents who helped coach their ballerinas along the way.  What a fun and unique event for Copper Harbor!

Later that week, the one room schoolhouse hosted it’s all school reunion.  Past schoolhouse attendees of all ages were encouraged to come on up, reminisce and spend some time with old friends.  Since these “students” played on the same equipment still in the school yard, they were willing to make donations to a safer and up-to-date playground.  In fact, together, they chipped in $480 to the cause!  Thank you Copper Harbor schoolhouse graduates!  Your legend will live on!


Portage Health + Grant Township School = $15,000!

Did you notice our thermometer went up?

Maybe you saw it on the news.  Maybe you read about it in the paper.  Maybe you just heard the rumor.  Maybe you don’t even know yet: Portage Health donated $10,000 to our Playground Project!!!  You can hear it straight from them at their .  This story also made the front page of the and appeared on .

Kevin Store, director of marketing and communications at Portage Health felt that it was an honor for them to be a part of this because, after all, Portage Health wants our community to be healthy!  Playing on safe, fun equipment outside is a great way to start.  Thank you Portage Health!

But that’s not all.  The Grant Township School Board also graced us with a $5,000 donation!  Of course, they want their students safe and healthy as much as their parents do.  Thank you Grant Township School Board for your generosity!  This is really getting our progress moving!

So who will be the next big donor?  Do you know anyone with a business in the health, education, youth or recreation department?  If so, let them know that supporters are jumping on board to make our dream for the kids a reality.  Urge them to contact Marty at (906)289-4306 to ask how they can make their donation and make a positive impression in the community.

We feel very fortunate to receive these generous donations from businesses, boards and supporters like you.  Thank you so much!

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