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      Cruising for free, donating for good

      With breathtaking views, it's no surprise that many U.P. residents are talking about a free Pictured Rocks cruise this Saturday.

      While U.P. residents won't have to shell out $35 at the ticket counter, Pictured Rocks Cruises will be collecting donations.

      "We thought if someone was going to get a $35 trip for free in the Upper Peninsula, then they could give a couple of dollars to a good cause while they're here," said John Madigan, manager of Pictured Rocks Cruises.

      Last month, Makayla Whitehead was left severely injured after a pit bull mauled her after school. Makayla is on the mend, but those close to the family say Makayla's mom needs help.

      "Her mother is a single mom who's a really good woman who could use some help from people from the Upper Peninsula, and we take care of our own here," said Cori Cearley, a family friend and fundraiser coordinator for Makayla.

      As a premier tourist destination in the U.P., the Pictured Rocks Cruises garners a lot of attention, perhaps the perfect setting for a fundraiser.

      On a typical summer weekend, the cruises can attract hundreds of people, so fundraisers hope a free cruise this Saturday will inspire Yoopers to pitch in to help Makayla.

      While cruisers take in the beautiful view, the community of Munising hopes some attention will be given to one of their own.

      "They're not the type of people that ask for help," Cearley said. "They usually get by on their own, and they're just floored that people are willing to help them."

      Saturday's free cruises are scheduled for 12, 4, 6, and 7 p.m. To get onboard, you'll need to have identification verifying you live in the U.P.