Pink Arrow Community Day: West End Reveal
The 2019 Pink Arrow Community Day: West End Reveal was held on Friday, August 23, at the newly-constructed Impact Church. In previous years, the community day has been held at Gilda’s Club of Lowell and later, at the Riverwalk. The event has been growing quickly, which led to a partnership with Impact for this year’s event.
“The decision was made to move the Pink Arrow Community Day to the West End to reveal all of the new additions to our community! We began planning this day back in February while all of this newness was still underway and far from completion. Most of the greater Lowell area had no idea people were hard at work making this reveal possible. The leadership staff at Impact Church knew their new location on Fulton St. would have their doors open well in advance of our August 23 West End Reveal. Impact was very welcoming and willing to host this year’s Pink Arrow Community Day at their spacious location, providing plenty of parking and a great link to the north end park. The health and wellness fair that took place inside Impact was well attended and there were two dozen businesses and health related resources available in and outside,” said Pink Arrow Organizer, Teresa Beachum.
The day began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly-constructed pedestrian footbridge at Grand River Riverside Park that will connect the north side of the park to the existing south side. Lengths of pink ribbon were given out for people to write the names of loved ones on a cancer journey and by the end of the day, several ribbons had been dedicated and tied to the bridge.
“The greater Lowell community came together Friday morning for the ribbon-cutting of the bridge and the official reveal of the beautiful expansion over the Grand River, connecting the south park on Grand River Drive to the north park on Bowes Road, allowing foot traffic over the river. The Yeiter Meeting Cabin was also open and hosted by Lowell Historical Museum staff. The cabin will serve as an educational source, teaching the community about life along the river in this area and how our people & economy depended upon the river for survival and success,” said Beachum.
Some expressed concerns about everyone’s ability to see the bridge, due to it being located some distance off the road by foot. In yet another display of community, volunteers shuttled people from the parking lot over the bridge in golf carts throughout the day. “A very special thank you to Mark Mundt and Dale Dawson who volunteered their time to drive golf carts over the bridge allowing ALL to enjoy the view of the bridge,” Beachum said.
The park’s brand new pickleball courts were open, and pickleball demonstrations went on throughout the day. The octagonal gaga ball pits were available for younger attendees who wanted to participate in outdoor games at the park.
The health and wellness fair included a blood drive held by Versiti Blood inside of the church, who pledged to give $10 to Gilda’s Club for every donation received between 10 am and 7 pm. Local Realtor Amanda Rogers celebrated the three-gallon donation milestone with her donation on Friday.
“It’s easy, minimal discomfort and blood can’t be manufactured. Accidents happen and I’m hoping to pay it forward if I or my family ever need that kind of assistance. It’s something I’m happy to do and will continue to do as long as I am able,” said Rogers. It takes eight donations to reach one gallon.
The Ice Cream CaBus arrived early and gave out free cones to the first 300 people and Huntington Bank provided free popsicles. The Alto Lions Club brought their KidSight mobile vision screening unit. The KDL Bookmobile was there to issue library cards and check out materials from the traveling library on wheels. Spectrum Health’s Betty Ford Breast Cancer Care Services mobile unit was on the east side of the Impact lot, offering walk-in mammograms. There was a steady stream of people lined up to purchase this year’s pink arrow t-shirts and vehicles honked in support as they passed by the event on M-21.
A new addition to the Community Day was the Pink Arrow Hair Drive. This project was inspired by a Murray Lake Elementary student, Easton Dressander. Stylists were onsite from 10 am to 2 pm to give free haircuts to anyone wishing to participate. People were also encouraged to bring donations of hair to the drive.
Dana Morehouse and her daughter Ellanore decided to donate their hair to the cause. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while because my hair is ridiculously long. I saw the article posted about it and thought, ‘Perfect, community effort!’ Her [Ellanore’s] hair is long enough and I wanted someone to do it with me and she agreed,” said Morehouse. The donations far exceeded expectations and will be given to Children With Hair Loss, a national organization that makes wigs for children at no cost.
A 2019 Pink Arrow t-shirt serves as entrance fee for the Pink Arrow games scheduled for Friday, September 13. Shirts are $15 for standard sizes, $18 for 3XL, and $20 for long-sleeved shirts. Shirts are available at various retailers throughout Lowell. For more information, visit: http://pinkarrowpride.org/.