Northern Michigan News: Governor William and Helen Milliken Honored

Former Michigan Governor William Millken and Helen Milliken will receive the 2011 Legacy Award at Northern Michigan’s Crystal Mountain Resort on August 20. The Traverse City couple is being honored for their leadership and dedication to protecting culture, heritage and the arts in Michigan.

Michigan Legacy Art Park presents the Legacy Award each year in Northern Michigan to recognize those who have made a positive impact on Michigan’s arts, history or culture. William and Helen Milliken will be in attendance to receive the 2011 Legacy Award during this year’s Legacy Gala on August 20 at Crystal Mountain Resort near Traverse City.

One of the state’s most beloved political figures and most esteemed Traverse City residents, William G. Milliken served three terms as governor from 1969 to 1983, longer than any in Michigan’s history. Governor Milliken’s reputation stands as a protector of civil rights, the environment, and the art. He was a leader who got things done through legislative consensus and cooperation. Helen Milliken has been a powerful voice for public support of the arts. Instrumental in the develpment of a state-wide public arts project, Mrs. Milliken has also served as chair of the Michigan Artrain since its inception. It is for these reasons and numerous others that the Millikens have been selected as the 2011 Legacy Award honorees.

Michigan Legacy Art Park recognizes those who have positively influenced Michigan’s history, art and culture with the Legacy Award. In 2009, the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II were the first to receive the honor in conjunction with the installation of David Greenwood’s Fallen Comrade, a tribute to the P-51 “Mustang” fighter plane that the Tuskegee Airmen flew bravely into battle. In 2010, the Legacy Award was presented to George and Althea Petritz who were among those that helped establish Buck Hills ski area and later took sole ownership of Crystal Mountain. Over the last 60 years, the Petritzes have left a lasting imprint on the economy and culture of Benzie County, not only as business owners but as engaged members of the Northern Michigan community.

Along with celebrating the achievements of the award recipients, the Legacy Gala will serve as a fundraiser for Michigan Legacy Art Park. The Art Park is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with a mission to inspire awareness, appreciation, and passion for Michigan’s history, culture, and environment through the arts. Funds raised this year will help the Art Park continue to provide a rich cultural experience and valuable learning opportunities for thousands of Traverse City-area residents, students and visitors each year.

Tickets to the 2011 Legacy Gala on August 20, 2011, are $100 per person and can be purchased online at or by calling 231.378.4963. Or consider becoming a sponsor of the Legacy Gala this year as we honor the Northern Michigan Governor and Mrs. Milliken. A portion of your sponsorship is tax-deductible. If interested, please contact Renee Hintz at 231.378.4963 or by e-mail at [email protected]

About Michigan Legacy Art ParkLocated  on the grounds of Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, Michigan Legacy Art Park, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, offers an unparalleled experience of art, nature and history. More than 40 major works of art line 1.6 miles of hiking trails that wind through a 30-acre preserve of wooded hills. The Art Park inspires artists to create sculptures that interpret Michigan’s history. The Art Park is a unique cultural and recreation destination.

The education programs at Michigan Legacy Art Park are growing each year to better serve the needs of Northern Michigan students. Traverse City-area teachers bring hundreds of students to explore the Art Park for curriculum-based fieldtrips each year. Through the “Looking to Learn” materials for teachers, students receive memorable lessons about history, math, science, culture and the environment. In addition to fieldtrips, Scouts of all ages can come to the Art Park to earn special patches by walking the trails, exploring the Michigan-inspired artwork, and completing a booklet of activities.

Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa and Michigan Legacy Art Park received the Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration in March 2009