The Coast Guard Connection
The Coast Guard has had a presence in Cheboygan since 1944. The Coast Guard Connection committee helps make Cheboygan feel like home away from home for some 60 Coast Guard service members during their tour serving on the Icebreaker Mackinaw. We want the Coasties to feel that Cheboygan is a welcoming place and that we appreciate their service time here. Further, the Coast Guard Connection welcomes the families of service members and works to make the adjustment of moving to a new post as comfortable as possible.
Every summer, about 1/3 of the Mackinaw shipmates depart for other assignments–to be replaced by an equal number of shipmates reporting aboard for duty. A Welcome Picnic, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, gives members and families information about businesses and services available in Cheboygan plus schools, camps, athletic, and recreational opportunities. Quarterly potlucks hosted by the Coast Guard Connection give the shipmates and their families time together to talk in a social setting and share a meal.
The Coast Guard Connection helped coordinate and participated in the Coast Guard Open Base Day this past summer. The Mackinaw was available on a Saturday in July for the community to tour the ship. County and City officials, police and fire departments, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Coast Guard Connection all participated, having booths and information to pass out.
Thanksgiving week, volunteers and committee members helped load Christmas trees aboard the Mackinaw for the annual Cheboygan to Chicago voyage. Then, the community turns out to wave off the ship on departure day. In December a Holiday Community Skate allows community members time to meet Coasties and chat.
Commemorating their Coast Guard service tour in Cheboygan, the Coast Guard Connection gives each service member a holiday ornament featuring the Mackinaw and a community message.
We look forward to a continuing relationship with the Coast Guard, family members, and the Mackinaw. Cheboygan especially welcomes service families who have never seen ice and snow before. We hope you love the beauty of winter as much as we do!