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MMCC’s annual fundraiser attracts a crowd with food and fun

Laker Current staff report

Sunday, April 21, marked Mid Michigan Community College’s premier fundraiser, A Northern Tradition. The 11th annual event, held at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare, attracted more than 800 donors and raised more than $108,000.

Prime rib, compliments of the Doherty Hotel, was a crowd pleaser. They were among some 15 restaurants serving food.

Prime rib, compliments of the Doherty Hotel, was a crowd pleaser. They were among some 15 restaurants serving food.

For a $50 ticket, each attendee received a $25 gift certificate to Jay’s, an exclusive historical print by artist Terry L. Dickinson, and a chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate to Jay’s. Some 15 area restaurants served free food, and a variety of interesting demonstrators helped make the evening informative as well as entertaining.

A Northern Tradition has raised more than $1.1 million since it began.

Dickinson, an artist from Kingsley, Michigan, was on hand to visit with attendees and to sign prints of the Clare Train Depot, which were exclusive to this event. Each ticket holder received a numbered and signed print with the price of admission.

Artist Terry Dickinson signed prints of Clare's historic train depot, a print he did especially for A Northern Tradition

Artist Terry Dickinson signed prints of Clare’s historic train depot, a print he did especially for A Northern Tradition

Former two-time contestant on the TV series Survivor, Mike Skupin, was the fundraiser’s special guest.  He spent much of the evening telling stories of his Survivor experiences and signing photos and memorabilia from the show. Skupin, a Michigan native, is also a successful businessman and entrepreneur, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and sports enthusiast.

Survivor Mike Skupin was a special guest and eagerly signed autographs

Survivor Mike Skupin was a special guest and eagerly signed autographs

A Northern Tradition is hosted annually by the MMCC Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to enhance Mid Michigan Community College’s services to its students and the community through fund development, scholarships, program development, and improved facilities. A large portion of the $108,000 raised came from 91 sponsorships by local businesses and community members.

“The community really stepped forward to support the college again this year,” said Matt Miller, MMCC Foundation Director. “Jay’s Sporting Goods can’t be thanked enough – this event wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for their generosity. We’re also indebted to the individual and corporate sponsors, those who provided the food and beverages, the ticket sales people, the many volunteers, and those who purchased a ticket.”

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