Visit the Light - Charity Island Lighthouse

Reviews - Letters

Island Dinner
Voice: John Babiarz, Bay City
Excerpted from Bay City Times

What are we going to do for dinner” How many times a week do you have this debate? We, we found the Answer-Charity Island Dinner Cruise. What a great way to spend an evening! We were lucky enough to try this unique dining experience recently during its inaugural season. [+/-] See More

If you’ve spent any time on Saginaw Bay wondering what was on the Charity Islands (like I have) or even if you’ve spent time on the island in the past(like several of our fellow dinners had) you’ll enjoy this cruise.

After reading about the dinner cruise in The Bay City Times on June 27, we decided to give it a try. We were not disappointed. The food and the atmosphere was exceptional. The only thing than either of these was the hospitality of owners/hosts Bob and Karen Wiltse. They were obviously proud of the opportunity they had created as they followed through on their “make yourself at home” offer with a tour of their new home and a friendly meal on the home’s wrap-around porch.

Don’t let the summer slip away without trying this enjoyable dining experience. Take the Charity Island Dinner Cruise. You’ll be happy that you did. And Bob and Karen will be happy to have you.

August 13th
Robin Nicotri

My husband and I were on your dinner cruise Saturday, August 13th to celebrate our anniversary and we really enjoyed the experience. I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your hospitality. For us, it was the personal touch of our hosts that made the trip so unique. We plan to visit you again next summer with a large group of our friends. They are all looking forward to having as much fun as we did. Again, Thank you.

Dear Karen and Bob,

Enclosed is our check in payment for 2 gift shop Items , 1 tee shirt and 1 package of seasoned perch breading. We were one of the three couples who enjoyed the boat ride, fabulous meal, and wonderful tour of your lighthouse home. You were most gracious hosts and we enjoyed every minute of the excursion. Thank you again for an unforgettable experience.

Bill and Donna Lee Hebert

Dear Bob and Karen,

How can we ever thank you enough for your wonderful hospitality while we visited Charity Island. It was a very memorable trip for everyone. The food was delicious and the boat ride to and from the Island was very relaxing and enjoyable. It’s great to have a place to visit that allows you to do that. Enclosed is the check for the additional meal we needed.

Elaine Liversedge

Dear Karen and Bob,

It was a very good cruise. The afternoon was very enjoyable and the history of the Island was very interesting. It appears that your research on all the construction was very good. I do wonder why “wind” Power was not considered for part of the power. I am aware there would be a few negatives since the Island is used only part of the year. Again, had a great time and we will be back another time.

Take care,

Ken and Pauline Reddick

Dear Karen and Bob,

I again want to thank you so much for allowing myself and Elizabeth to join in with the group on Wednesday’s trip to the Island. Nature’s landscape is one of beauty and peacefulness and comes in many different forms. It is within these special places, where all God’s creatures come together and live in harmony. Charity Island is one of those special places because of your love for the Island. Thanks for caring.



Dear Karen and Bob,

From the time we got on the boat until the time we got off at the end of the trip, we were treated like family. Mark and the girls were wonderful, the history lesson was great, the food outstanding, and the hospitality was the best.

Thank you

Paula Carr

Dear Karen and Bob,

I was with the group from Mt Pleasant on June 17th . You and your family are great people. You really made the trip enjoyable and the history of the Island was really awesome. I didn’t know the Island existed. The meal was really good. You went above and beyond. I just wanted to say thank you.

Liota Curtiss

Dear Karen and Bob,

Your kindness was extraordinary. Thank you both for inviting me to come on this wonderful excursion. It was great.

Yvonne Schell

Dear Bob and Karen,

Our family was truly blessed on Saturday July 8th 2007 when you took time out of your family schedule to take us to Charity Island. Thank you for taking the “Ellison Clan” on the boat ride to the Island and the personal tour of the lighthouse our ancestor maintained for 5 years in the 1800’s. It was educational as well as enjoyable. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May God Bless you,

Most Sincerely,

Debbi Tyndela

Dear Bob and Karen,

I am late with this note but, better late than never. On Tuesday September 23rd we visited your Island with Butler tours. We enjoyed it so much! You have a beautiful home with an awesome view and the lunch was outstanding! Everyone was so nice and made us feel welcome. Thank you for a wonderful day! We are spreading the word here in PA.


Art and Ellen Berg

Dear Bob and Karen,

We want to thank you both for the best get away we’ve had in the past 4 years. Don and I absolutely loved the trip to the Island with your wonderful guests, staff and fresh fruit. Bob’s presentation at the pavilion was very informative and interesting. Don had the perch for lunch and I had the Beef tips and both were great. We will continue to promote the cruise. Keep enjoying what you do.

Thank you both again,

Josie and Don

Dear Karen,

The trip on the boat was great. The talk your husband gave was heartwarming and informative. The tour of your home was wonderful. The gifts were perfect. One little tip—the items on the floor of the gift shop are hard to get at for us “old people”. It would be helpful to bring them up a couple of feet. Your trust was priceless!

Yours in Christ,


Bob and Karen,

Thank you so much for your generous hospitality on June 11th 2008. We greatly enjoyed visiting with you and the food was delicious! We will always remember your kindness and joyous smiles.

Thank you,

Benjamin and Bethany Jacques

Bob and Karen,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to visit you and tour your beautiful home and island. It was a delightful learning experience for us. Thank you also for taking the time to retrieve the pair of sunglasses we left at your home. Your generosity in this regard is greatly appreciated.


Heather Price and David Hammerbacher

Bob and Karen,

I know this is late in coming. I’m sorry. Thank you so much for the wonderful afternoon and evening. I was so happy to be included. A great experience I shall remember always.


Grandma Jordon

Bob and Karen

You made a special day even more special! Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality. Your house on the Island made a perfect setting for my marriage proposal to Maureen! We will be back

Rick Sag


Just wanted to write and say “THANKS” for your kindness shown to me and my group on our recent trip to Michigan. What a wonderful treat we had and Best Wishes to you and yours in finishing your dream. People like you are very much appreciated and we love your sharing a part of your lives.

Most Sincerely,

Emmet O Kessinger, Jr.
Wolf Bus Lines Inc.

Hello Bob and Karen

It was such a delightful stay and dinner at your Lightkeepers Home.  I really felt as if we were visiting family.  The food was great, tasty, well seasoned and yes one does not need bread with such a meal!

I must say a word about your staff; they were very friendly, efficient and have wonderful personalities.  As a group we do think highly of personable personnel.

Just to let you know, you can purchase a copy of “Walking through the watermelon patch” from Borders.

On behalf of myself and September Days Seniors, I say Thank You for a wonderful excursion.

Remember to always follow your dreams and “DARE TO BE DIFFERENT” poem in the book.


Marian Caldwell

Dear Karen and Bob,

Your dinner/boat tour was a lot of fun for Ron and I. Thank you for welcoming us so warmly. Your crew took good care of us coming and going. Our dinner was outstanding and delicious. Cooking our meal right there at the Island made it wonderful. The sunset was something to see-beautiful. We loved our surprise going back. Thank you for taking such good care of us.


Ron and Mary Bergeron

Thank you so much for the trip and tour of Charity Island. The dinner was wonderful. We really had a great day and will remember it for a long time.

Dell and Diane Vaughn

Michigan Magazine

Dear Bob and Karen,

We so enjoyed our excursion to your beautiful Island. Having been so close to it all these years, it was great to see it up close and in person. You are doing a wonderful thing to allow the public access to your beautiful home.

It is easy to see all the love and care you have extended to preserve this spot.

Thank you so much for your hospitality. A word of thanks also to the captain and crew and their preparation and serving of the fabulous meal.


Betty and John Talaga

Dinner cruise staff,

Thank you so much for making my 60th birthday so special. The dinner was delicious and the service was great! Enclosed is a little something for all of you.,



Dear Mr. and Mrs. Wiltse,

Just had to tell you how great it was to spend Saturday afternoon/evening at your lovely home & the dinner provided. Your hospitality made my visit a memorable one and I want to thank you for making us feel so welcome.


Liz Bennett

Traveling with Frankenmuth Travel