This past winter, the Michigan Legacy Art Park sold 645 raffle tickets to send one brave winner 552 feet above the Great Lakes for a rare view from the top of the Mackinac Bridge. Overall the Mighty Mac Tower Tour Raffle raised several thousand dollars to support the Art Park’s programs and events like Fairies & Forts, as well as general operations and the ongoing preservation of their 47 outdoor sculptures. When we heard that the winner was announced, we had to check in. To our surprise, the winning ticket was a gift! Read on for the interview with Christie who’s looking forward to the mighty scenic climb.
Dani: Christie, this isn’t a contest just anybody enters to win. You have to have guts to climb to the top of one of the world’s largest suspension bridges and a deep love for the special place that connects Michigan’s peninsulas. What compelled you to buy a raffle ticket?
Christie: First of all, heights don’t scare me—amazing views inspire me! That being said, the ticket was actually a Christmas gift from my Aunt Kathy, a lifelong resident and supporter of all things Michigan! But I love Michigan as well, having roots in Flint and ancestors who helped settle the region. And when I was a little girl, my grandfather would tell me stories about Mackinac Island. It was a very special place to him, and a picture of him and my grandmother hangs in one of the rooms of the Grand Hotel now. So, I guess the area meant something to me long before I ever got to visit. My children and I were up for a reunion, and just fell in love!
Dani: Who will accompany you on this adventure, and when will you make the climb?
Christie: That’s still undecided—either my youngest daughter or my father. And the trip will most likely be in late August/early September.
Dani: Accepting this prize came with some physical conditions like the ability to climb a 40 foot ladder, and tolerate extreme heights. This may sound silly, but will you do any training leading up to the big day?
Christie: No training, per se, but simply becoming more physically fit is something I’m working on anyway. This is certainly additional motivation!
Dani: Have you been across the Mackinac Bridge before? If yes, what do you enjoy most about the bridge?
Christie: Yes, I have, and I took scores of photos, trying to get the perfect shot! I love the graceful lines and symmetry of the bridge. It photographs beautifully!
Dani: Overall around $7,000 dollars was raised to benefit the programs of the Michigan Legacy Art Park, an organization that “inspires awareness, appreciation, and passion for Michigan’s history, culture and environment through the arts.” The value of this prize really aligns with the Art Park’s mission. Will your trip to the top inspire your creative side? Can you take photos from the top?
Christie: I have no doubt that this trip will be inspiring, and yes, I will absolutely be taking photos from the top!
Dani: Have you been to the Art park before or do you plan on visiting?
Christie: My family and I went a few years ago when nearby for a reunion, and we loved it! Cousins, grandparents, siblings all enjoyed it together, yet at their own pace, and it was wonderful. We would love to return this year!
Dani: Thanks for taking some time to share with us, Christie. We can’t wait to see the pictures!