PERE MARQUETTE TWP. — Pastor Henrik Lidman and Josiah Coates are mixing things up, joining together to host a Thank You Party for medical staffers, law enforcement, firefighters and teachers on July 28 at the 10 Spot.
Those essential workers will be honored from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 28. They will receive something called “Thank You Bucks” that can go toward purchasing meals at one of the 10 Spot food truck vendors. On top of the meals, there will be games, a bouncy house and live music.
“We’re going to make the enclosure a little bit bigger and keep everyone safe,” Lidman said Monday afternoon beneath the tent of the 10 Spot, while Coates took a quick break from the Weiner Wagon. “Our dream is that those people from those four categories will come.”
To get the “Thank You Bucks,” those employed in those four categories will have to show a badge or work ID. They’ll show those at a Thank You tent set up in one corner of the 10 Spot, receive the bucks and then head over to whatever food truck they choose.
“Hopefully, this will be full with people and the kids can play in a safe place. They can sit here and eat,” Lidman said.
Lidman is the pastor at Prayer & Praise Assembly of God on North Staffon Street in Ludington, and the church typically hosts a block party each year. This year, the church decided to go in a different direction.
“I invited Josiah to bring the Weiner Wagon to the church parking lot, but I think the reverse is much better. It becomes a much more neutral spot. People don’t think they’re going to be hijacked. There’s not going to be an offering. There’s not going to be a sermon.
“Stop on by (the 10 Spot).”
Coates said that the community of food trucks at 10 Spot fosters this kind of event.
“We’re individual business owners, and we all came together and said, ‘We think this not only good for us individually, but for the community,’” he said. “You have a bunch of small businesses that are very community-minded. We’ve felt the impact of the culture and COVID and everything that’s happened in the community.
“The response to this idea from the community has been nothing but positive. We’re very excited about being able to provide a space that can bring the community together (and) give something back to the community. That’s what we’re all about.”
Lidman connected with Coates about the idea, and it started to take off from there.
“We wanted to create a party atmosphere. We wanted to do it for two hours on a Wednesday (to make it) short, snappy, it can be a blessing for everyone involved,” Lidman said.
Lidman spent a significant part of Monday traveling to various locations where medical staffers, law enforcement and firefighters are working. He also reached out to local principals to help inform the teachers, who are currently on their summer breaks.
“If you look at what (the teachers) have done, with kids who struggle with (attention deficit disorder), now you’re going to learn by Zoom. Teachers put extra hours in,” Lidman said.
“And we think about the police, but think of the correctional officers, the ones with the jail. You take away all of the activities (for the inmates) and all visitation for a year, and that creates just an environment where inmates are cranky. It’s just bad.
“To do something where we say we don’t know what you went through, but thank you. Here is a party, with no strings attached.”
In addition to Prayer & Praise working with 10 Spot and the food trucks there, additional financial support is being provided by Redreaming Paint Co., Superior Exteriors, Mission Graphics, Ludington Window Cleaning and Lakeshore Carpet Care, Malliett Construction and Hobby Crest Resort.
“We think it has potential for a lot of people, and we want to be ready for that,” Lidman said.
The pair also have a planned make-up date in case there is poor weather set for Wednesday, Aug. 4.