Day 332: Great Lakes Proud

Day 332: Great Lakes Proud
The Awesome Mitten - Great Lakes Proud
Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Proud

Austin Holsinger started Great Lakes Proud to share the love and passion for Michigan and its lakes that was instilled in him at a young age. Having grown up in Indian River, a small town in northern Michigan, Holsinger knew early on that he wanted to do something with his life that benefited not only his local community, but our state and region as a whole. As every Michigander can relate, “the beautiful Michigan summers, the beautiful yet treacherous winters, and everything in between” define Holsinger’s life.

Great Lakes Proud (GLP) is an outlet for people who want to voice their passion for the Great Lakes wherever they go. The brand’s stickers can be purchased for a mere $5 and simply serve as a vehicle for Great Lakes lovers to express their adoration for these five, glorious lakes and everything they stand for. A minimum of 1% of Great Lakes Proud’s proceeds goes towards supporting, cleaning, and promoting the Great Lakes. In 2011, GLP exceeded that 1% promise and was able to give back almost 5%. GLP partners up with organizations throughout the state that keeps our lakes clean, enjoyable, and safe.

Within the next year, GLP is expanding and looking to establish an even stronger independent presence. The main focus will be sponsoring beach clean-ups and other fun events that get people outdoors and enjoying the wonderful gift of the Great Lakes. Holsinger’s lifestyle is built heavily around physical fitness and activity and he, therefore, loves to work with organizations and people that also promote that way of life. He insists that the Great Lakes provide the most beautiful landscapes for an activity based lifestyle – whether it be running, swimming, biking, or sailing – and anyone who has caught even a mere glimpse of the Great Lakes cannot help but agree.

The Awesome Mitten - Great Lakes Proud
Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Proud

Have an idea that could benefit the Great Lakes? Share it! Great Lakes Proud chooses how its proceeds will support the Great Lakes based on what its customers want. By posting on their Facebook wall, communicating via their website, sending a Tweet, or emailing Austin directly at GreatLakesProud@gmail.com, you can directly influence the work that GLP does!  GLP receives all kinds of requests and loves to help companies and individuals alike accomplish goals that benefit the Great Lakes.  Great Lakes Proud loves to hear what is going on in the lives of their fans and friends, so stay connected and help them help our Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Proud stickers are available at a number of retailers across the state, from as far north as Mackinac Island to the south end near St. Joseph. However, the most convenient way to get your Great Lakes Proud sticker is to simply order one from the GLP website or Facebook page.

-Jennifer Hamilton, Feature Writer

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The Awesome Mitten was born when I moved back to Michigan from Nashville, TN in September 2010. Almost immediately, I became frustrated. I couldn’t figure out why there weren’t more Michigan residents singing our states praises! I was so irritated, I wrote a Letter to the Editor. Three weeks later, I had started a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a landing page for the website, determined to do something to make Michigan residents aware of all the cool things going on in their own state. Email me: alex@awesomemitten.com