Ludington hosts annual lake jump

LUDINGTON — With a clear sky and a chill in the air, dozens of brave individuals ran head first into Lake Michigan for the annual Ludington Lake Jump.

The jump took place at 11 a.m. on April 11. This celebration of spring was fittingly delayed from March 28 due to cold weather.

"It was originally scheduled for the Saturday following the first day of Spring," said Tom Calabretta, President of the Mason County Historical Society. "Of course, that day was bitter cold, and Lake Michigan was frozen for several miles out, so the 'Ice Date' of April 11 was invoked. This Saturday proved to be much more conducive with an air temperature of 47 degrees, and a water temperature of 35 degrees."

Each year the Annual Lake Jump benefits a local charity chosen by an independent board. Last year, the proceeds went to bringing the Vietnam Veterans' Wall to Ludington. This year, the committee selected Mason County Historical Society's Port of Ludington Maritime Museum. The museum is intended to bring a sense of history to this part of western Michigan, highlighting aspects like its logging industry, the railroad and carferry, and how these institutions were linked to the people who lived through those times.

The newly appointed society Executive Director of the Society Rick Plummer, was there to lead the charge into the freezing water.

"It was a beautiful day with over 150 jumpers, and much money raised," remarked Plummer. "I am always so impressed by the generosity of our community and region to support worthy causes like ours. The PLMM will greatly enrich our cultural assets and go a long way toward making Ludington and Mason County a tourist destination. The thousands of visitors to the new museum will be astounded by the state of the art museum with its dynamic, interactive exhibits. The museum will also add to our area's cultural economic development."

Put on to celebrate the coming of spring and jump start the summer season, this was the sixteenth year the Lake Jump has been hosted.