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Great Lakes Sports Commission hosts first-ever Happy Hour in Marquette

Athletic directors from three U.P. universities make special appearances
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:13 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - On Tuesday night, a fundraiser was held in downtown Marquette to benefit a non-profit promoting recreation and sports tourism in northern Michigan. And there were some special guests in attendance.

At least 35 people gathered at Ore Dock Brewing Company to attend the Great Lakes Sports Commission’s first-ever Happy Hour Series. The non-profit’s Board Chair, Doug Luciani, says the event was both a fundraiser and a “friendraiser.”

“We want people to know about the Great Lakes Sports Commission,” said Luciani. “We have money to loan and grant for sporting and recreation opportunities across northern Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula.”

One example is a $150,000 grant for a potential multi-functional community lodge on the Michigan Tech Trails.

Proceeds from tonight’s event will help continue GLSC’s mission of pushing for sports and recreation tourism across the state’s 36 northernmost counties.

The athletic directors from Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State, and Northern Michigan Universities were part of a panel, providing information about collegiate athletics.

“We have a lot of projects that we work on together in our athletic conference,” said NMU Athletic Director Forrest Karr. “And I think it will be great to tell people about how that works. Kind of behind the scenes in intercollegiate athletics.”

Karr says the future looks bright for GLSC.

“We talked about the potential for an ice climbing wall in the greater Marquette area,” Karr stated. “There’s all different kinds of projects that are being looked at.”

Luciani praised the athletic directors’ appearance and support of the commission’s goal.

“They really get what we’re doing,” he said. “They’ve been trying to do the same thing in the Upper Peninsula for years.”

After raising over $1,100 tonight, Luciani called the evening a success.

GLSC plans to make the Happy Hour Series an annual event for multiple locations. The next one will be in Traverse City in the first quarter of 2022.

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