BENTON HARBOR — One of the topics planned for Saturday’s Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Women’s Unity March became one of the reasons for cancelling the event.

The march was to begin with speakers at Resiliency Plaza in Benton Harbor and make its way across the Blossomland Bridge, ending on the steps of the Berrien County Courthouse with a closing program, “Marching Forward in Unity.” 

“We would like to march across the bridge because of everything that bridge represents,” said organizer Kim Jorgensen Gane.  But Mother Nature had other ideas.

“There was ice and snow, and the sidewalk over that bridge is not cleared. There are people who have no choice but to walk across that bridge no matter what the weather, and that is one thing I would have talked about. People miss court dates because of that sidewalk not being cleared,” Jorgensen Gane said. 

A winter storm dumped snow amounts ranging from 2.6 inches in Fairplain to 6 inches in Bridgman by 10 a.m. Saturday, when the decision was made to cancel and reschedule the march. Winds from the northeast were causing blowing and drifting, making travel treacherous. Berrien County remained under a winter storm warning until 4 p.m. 

Jorgensen Gane said the decision to cancel the march was tough, but she believes the March 16 event will be even bigger and better.

“March is Women’s History Month. There’s already a lot of interest and offers of help for planning an event for March 16,” she said. “Between the holidays, sickness and the weather, I was having a hard time getting people to commit to Saturday.”

The Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Women’s Unity March was one of 10 planned in Michigan cities and hundreds planned worldwide.

The third annual event began as a protest against administration policies on the day after President Donald Trump took office two years ago. Local events such as ones in Adrian, Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Douglas, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Holland, Marquette and Traverse City are sister marches to a large event in the nation’s capital. 

Contact: jswidwa@TheHP.com, 932-0359, Twitter: @HPSwidwa