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A Northern Tradition reaches for $1 million

2011 A Northern Tradition courtesy photo.

By JANET SOWLE, Editor

One hundred and eighteen thousand dollars is a lot of money. The Mid Michigan Community College Foundation will attempt to raise that and more during A Northern Tradition, the foundation’s annual fundraiser. When you consider that their goal is only 10 percent more than the $108,000 they raised last year, maybe it doesn’t seem like so much after all.

In the 10 years of the Mid Michigan Community College (MMCC) Foundation’s number one fundraiser, A Northern Tradition has raised more than $883,000 dollars. This year the goal is to raise the total to over $1 million.

The event will run from 6-9 p.m. on April 22 at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare.

Many of the funds raised that night come from the sponsors and to help with this goal they have been asked to increase their giving by 10%.

2011 A Northern Tradition courtesy photo.

“It’s been amazing the amount of response we’ve got from that,” Matt Miller, VP of Student & Community Relations at MMCC, said. “People say yeah sure. Take my $250 and move it to $275 or my $1,000 sponsorship and move it to $1,100. They’ve really responded and it’s been fantastic.”

One sponsor in particular really stepped up this year. Warner Petroleum is located down the road from MMCC’s Harrison campus. “They’ve been a $5,000 sponsor for a number of years and this year they decided to double their sponsorship,” Miller said. “They’re a good local company — local folks who are really dedicated to education and they understand the importance of it.”

The deadline for being a sponsor wrapped on up March 30 but ticket sales have just started. Cost to attend the event is $50 and includes a $25 gift certificate to Jay’s Sporting Goods to spend the night of the event, a limited edition wildlife print by Michigan native Pauline Pierce Harmon, food donated by 14 local restaurants and a chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate to Jay’s Sporting Goods.

Every event has different features and this year is no exception. Mushers will be there with their sled dogs and a trapper will be showing some pelts. Every year there is also a special guest who attends.

Pat Sheridan

“Pat Sheridan is our special guest this year,” Miller said. “He played with the Tigers for a few years and the Kansas City Royals and Yankees, and won a World Series ring with the Kansas City Royals before coming to the Tigers. He has a number of wonderful stories to share about the many years that he spent playing professional and college baseball.”

Attendees will have a chance to meet and interact with Sheridan during the event. There will also be an autograph session.

The proceeds from this event allow the Foundation to support the college’s services to the community through scholarships, program development, improved facilities, and programs for at-risk youth.

“The Foundation funds support programs like the Students of Promise program,” Miller said. “We also do mini-grants for the college community. Each year we go out to faculty and staff and say ‘Are there things you’d like to do but just can’t because there’s not the budget for it?’”

2011 A Northern Tradition courtesy photo.

Mini-grants have been offered the past four years.  They’ve been able to purchase a venipuncture arm for the nursing department, and recently purchased Kindles for the library that can be loaned out to students. In addition, they’ve provided Library and Learning Services with calculators and textbooks.

Tickets for A Northern Tradition are available in advance at the MMCC Bookstores, Jay’s Sporting Goods and from Foundation members. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For more information about the event or to learn how to make a donation, contact Matt Miller at (989) 386-6600 or at mmiller@midmich.edu.

A Northern Tradition, the MMCC Foundation's annual fundraiser, will be held at Jay's Sporting Goods north of Clare on April 22. Photo by Janet Sowle.

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