Big fireworks are planned for July 13 at Clark Lake this summer. What’s the occasion? Ralph Mahalak Jr and his family are celebrating the completion of their new cottage in the Kentucky Point cove. And they want to share this milestone with the lake. “We’re bringing in the pros,” says Ralph. “These guys are known to dazzle. They will launch their big display from a barge in the lake.” And there will be music. “We’ll coordinate with the Pointe so there won’t be a battle of the bands…ours will compliment theirs.” And the fine print? “These pros will be insured and have the proper permits.”
You may have seen Ralph Mahalak Jr in the Thanksgiving video on this website (scroll down to see video). If so, you know that his Monroe Superstore is a sponsor of this website. The Monroe Superstore is one of six auto dealerships in Michigan, Ohio and Florida owned by the Mahalak family. The Monroe Superstore was founded by Ralph’s late father, Ralph Sr.
The Mahalak’s have nearly a 40- year history at Clark Lake that began when Ralph Sr and his wife, Jane, purchased a cottage in the Kentucky Point cove. That started the long tradition of the Mahalak’s enjoying Clark Lake every summer. “I was about 20 and a sophomore in college at the time,” recalls Ralph Jr. “My four siblings—Mike, J.P., Monica , Alex—and I got Clark Lake in our blood.“ And nothing about that has changed through the years. “There is something magic about being here. No matter what may be on your mind about business or otherwise, you put it aside when you arrive at the lake. When you’re here, everything is good.”
Top L to R: J.P., Mike, Ralph Jr, Alex Bottom L to R: Jane, Ralph Sr
Ralph Jr points to the lake’s sense of community and activities that spring from it. “We had a great time with our Raft-O-Rama in entry in 2014 when the theme was Broadway Plays. My son had a DJ set-up, and I piloted. Our group of 22, all in costume, made the most of it and we came away with an award.”
More recently Ralph Jr and his brother, Mike, asked Mike McKay to build beautiful new cottages side by side. You’ll see them in the Kentucky Point cove. A third brother, J.P., also has a place in the cove.
Left: Mike and Janine, Right: Ralph Jr and Joan
The Malahak’s love of the lake hasn’t stopped with the planned fireworks celebration on July 13th, Raft-O-Rama and a being sponsor of this website. They also supported the Dam Strong project. In addition to being on the Dam Strong Honor Roll, you’ll find a Spirit Trail bench at the dam with their father’s name on it.
Please welcome to this website the Monroe Superstore, one of six auto dealerships in Michigan, Ohio and Florida.
The Monroe dealership has been serving customers since 1966. Ralph Jr says their success starts with their long-term employees—Five Star Associates. “We feel blessed that this great group is so dedicated to our fantastic customers. It’s really wonderful.” Beyond that, he comments “We know that to win our customer’s business, we had to distinguish ourselves from other big competitors by being unique.” That included building an 18-obstacle Jeep off-road course. “It highlights the off-road capabilities of the Jeep.”
The Monroe Superstore also hosts a daily radio show at 5 pm on ESPN 106.5, The Ticket.
As you take a deep dive into the history of the Monroe Superstore, you can see the result of what Ralph Jr says about it “we never rest—we have lots of goals, and by fulfilling them we know our customers will benefit.”
Malahak’s know the secret of marketing (“when a brand demonstrates loyalty to which consumers are loyal to, consumers will be loyal to that brand”).