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Voelker Foundation to meet Saturday

July 6, 2012
By JOHANNA BOYLE - Journal Staff Writer ( , Journal Ishpeming Bureau

ISHPEMING - The John D. Voelker Foundation will hold its annual meeting in Ishpeming for the first time this weekend.

The annual meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Al Quaal Lodge at the Al Quaal Recreation Area.

Named for the famed Ishpeming author of "Anatomy of a Murder," the foundation's main goal is to distribute a scholarship to Native American students pursuing a law degree.

In recent years, however, the foundation has pushed for the dedication of one of Al Quaal's lakes in honor of the author. Dedicated in 2003, the renamed Voelker Lake is a project close to the heart of one of the foundation's board members.

Anthony "Gigs" Gagliardi was a close friend of Voelker, who died in 1991, and worked with his late wife Joanne Gagliardi to rename the lake and establish it as a trout habitat for fishing. Gagliardi said he would be giving an update on the lake at the annual meeting and hopes the foundation will begin stocking the lake again.

Gagliardi owned the Roosevelt Bar in Ishpeming and became friends with the cast and crew of the film "Anatomy of a Murder" as it was being filmed in Ishpeming in 1959. The former bar is also the site of "The Wall," which contains the autographs of the principal actors and crew members on the film. It is currently owned by Globe Printing.

"We spent days and months and years together," Gagliardi said of his relationship with Voelker, as they spent time together fishing, playing cribbage and talking.

Naming the lake - located just behind the Al Quaal lodge - in Voelker's honor was important not just to remember the author, but also to make the lake available to area children for fishing, which builds good sportsmanship, and to help maintain fish habitat within the state, Gagliardi said.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.



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