Anticipating another outstanding year on (and off) the water, the board members of the popular West Michigan Offshore announced its plans for the 2019 boating season in a recent press release.
Since WMO was founded in 2015, the organization has raised more than $64,000 to grant wishes for the local Make-A-Wish foundation, hosted several premier events each season and grown to include more than 250 members.
This year, according to newly elected WMO president Roger Zuidema, the group plans to host five premier events as well as a number of port parties throughout the season, all of which are included with a club membership.
“You can always find boating fun along the Gold Coast of West Michigan and hope you’re making plans to attend,” Zuidema said in the release. “We are blessed with 12 awesome ports, a big lake and great people – loving the boating lifestyle.”
As of November, Zuidema, along with newly elected business manager Cheryl Houda, joined Curt DeKam, Corey Hoff and Scott Otterbein on the current WMO board.
Zuidema said the first event for the organization is going to be the Grand Rapids Boat Show (Feb. 13-17) at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids
“We will have two WMO members’ boats on display at the show—Brian Hartman’s Skater and Christie and Keith Wilkerson’s Hustler,” Zuidema said, adding that WMO will host a volunteer/sponsor appreciation party on Friday night. “With 40,000 people coming through the doors, the show builds excitement for the club. It’s also great to see boaters come downtown, share stories and amp up the anticipation for the year.”
A couple of months later, WMO is planning to host its Spring Kick-off Party at Boatwerks in Holland on Saturday, April 20. According to Zuidema, last year’s party raised more than $7,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Following the business meeting, hors d’oeuvres will be served and a three-tiered auction will take place, including a silent, poker style and a bid auction.
The first on-water event of the season—the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend—takes place June 13-16. With close to 100 boats participating in the 2018 event, the MPW includes the Parade of Power street party, a poker run and a Sunday fun day event. Saturday’s poker run stops include White Lake, Grand Haven and stops at the USS Silversides, LST393 and the PBR 7331—all historical boats on display in Muskegon harbor.
Once again the Rock The Coast weekend is shaping up to be a top-notch event, Zuidema said. Starting in Grand Haven, club members will be in full force with a dinner run to Dockers on Thursday night, cocktails at the marina on Friday night and Saturday’s Rock The Coast run to Holland for lunch and the WMO Port Sheldon Raft-up later in the day. Saturday night will be full of activities. Speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden is going to be on hand capturing photos of the event.
Last but not least, the Gold Coast Summer Blast—the newest premier WMO event—is going to be held August 23-25. The run travels from Grand Haven to the South Haven Municipal Marina, where members can head into town for awesome eats and drinks.
“The board is excited about creating events that meet the needs of our membership and appreciate all those who have joined team WMO,” Zuidema said. “With 12 great ports, we feel that the Gold Coast of West Michigan has plenty to offer for in- and out-of-state boaters. Club membership includes complimentary registration to the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend, Rock the Coast and the Summer Blast event, making WMO membership one of the best values in powerboating, along with the opportunity to meet great people.”
For all membership information and more, visit westmichiganoffshore.com.
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