(Chelsea Update would like to thank Joseph Yekulis, public relations director, Servants of Charity for the information in this story, and Kelly Flaherty for the photos.)
Twenty-five years ago, Will Johnson, then CEO of Chelsea Community Hospital, was the first community representative to reach out to the priests of St. Louis Center with support in the form of a “dinner auction,” which would become the top grossing fundraiser for the center.
“We seemed to be in a transitional state of turmoil back then, and Will’s outreach really brought us into the Chelsea community as a part of the family,” said Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, past center administrator.
“Once we had the acceptance of the hospital, the schools, churches, and service clubs soon followed,” he said in a press release.
This year was the Silver Anniversary Year of the Fall Dinner Auction on Nov. 3, and the cumulative proceeds broke the $1 million mark in 2012.
The auction was once again a sell-out with 180 people in attendance.
Fr. Enzo Addari presented CCH Chaplain Kathy Schell with a colorful canvas painting from the residents of the center, while State Rep. Mark Ouimet, R-52, presented her with a recognition document signed by Governor Rick Snyder.
The State Council of the Michigan Knights of Columbus, represented by State Deputy Michael Malinowski, donated $20,000, from the annual “Tootsie Roll Drive,” and Joseph Merkel, Jr. of Merkel’s Auction Specialists donated his professional services for this year’s auction.
Kathi Neuman returned as the chairman of the event, with the continued support of Gloria Miller.
Ann Merkel and Sandy Zeeb served as the original chairs for this event in 1987.
For more information about St. Louis Center or this event, click here.