The burgers and dogs will be grilling and the skis and snowboards will be sliding down Mulligan's Hollow's hills Saturday in an annual family event that helps keep the Grand Haven ski spot running.
The fourth annual Burgers on the Bowl Family Fun Day will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
As in the event's past four years, the outdoor family day is followed by a Bowl Bash Evening for adults at Harbourfront Place, 41 Washington Ave., which also benefits the small ski facility located right behind the Tri-Cities Family YMCA.
"This is our yearly fundraiser for the operations of the Ski Bowl," said Lori Olthoff, a volunteer coordinator of the event since its inception in 2003. "We usually bring in around 23,000 to 25,000 (users of the Ski Bowl each year), and we have purchased a Snow Cat, snowmobile, snowmakers, new fencing and new equipment for everyday use."
While the Ski Bowl has been very dependent on the weather in the past, the purchase of a new snow-making machine bought in December 2004 has kept the hills slippery even when the weather turns mild for winter. But those additional pieces of equipment don't come cheap, and just keeping the facility open for the winter months normally takes more money than what the city budgets for its operations.
The proceeds from Saturday's events will go into a fund set up with the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation to cover the deficits in the Ski Bowl operations and pay for improvements to the 44-year-old facility. The 2004 events raised over $20,000, Olthoff said, and last year's benefit day brought in more than $26,000.
The family daytime event at the Ski Bowl costs $10 per person or $40 for a family, and tickets can be bought on Saturday. The admission price includes a choice of a Snug Harbor burger or a Great Lakes Chili Dogs chili dog, pop, chips and a cookie, plus a lift ticket. The hills will be open at 1 p.m. for skiing and snowboarding.
Admission to the Bowl Bash Evening is $30 per adult. Tickets can be bought in advance at Earth's Edge and Buffalo Bob's in downtown Grand Haven, Chapter 11 Sports in Spring Lake, and the Tri-Cities Family YMCA.
The night will feature live music, a silent auction, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar from 8 to midnight.
Items to bid on during the silent auction include a ski vacation for four at Crystal Mountain, weekend at Schuss Mountain/Shanty Creek, Homestead condo weekend, season pass at Cannonsburg, three-month family fitness membership at Norton Pines, kayak from Earth's Edge, Weber Dentistry teeth whitening, 12-square-foot granite top from Kowalski Design Center and at least 100 more items.
The local Soul'd Out Band will be playing its custom blend of rock, soul, R&B, blues and funk at the Saturday night fundraiser. The seven-member band mixes a truck load of instruments into its pallet.
The band was founded in the fall of 2003 by Mike Reid, Keith VanDyke and Paul Wronski. The trio were determined to put together a diversified group of musicians that would comfortably play a broad mix of music.
With the additions of Tom LaNoue on lead guitar, Tom Trimbach on trumpet, Mark Blauvelt on bass and lead singer Bubba LeClair, Soul'd Out played their first professional gig at the Harbourfront Place banquet hall for the second Bowl Bash in January 2004. Mark Sluiter has since replaced Trimbach as the band's trumpet player.