Service center plans for expansion
The local St. Vincent de Paul Society purchased the former Jax Bar and Restaurant, located at 223 S. Cedar St., next door to the current service center.
“We had a great need to expand,” explained St. Vincent de Paul committee member Barb Brazeau.
Fellow member Bonnie Garvin added, “Eventually, we’ll move the food pantry and furniture room into that building. We also have a great need for a meeting room.”
Local St. Vincent’s volunteers are planning a series of fund raisers to help pay for the purchase and the needed remodeling at the former restaurant. Upcoming events include:
• St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, Saturday, March 17, 5-8 p.m., at St. Francis de Sales School cafeteria. The dinner includes corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, carrots, rolls and dessert. Entertainment is planned, as well as a 50/50 raffle and more. Tickets are $8 in advance,
$10 at the door and children under 8 eat free. Take out is also available.
• Society volunteers will be running a concession booth for the Women’s Club Trash to Treasure sale on May 19 at Little Bear West Arena.
• Bakers are being asked to donate items for the society’s annual bake sale booth during Folkfest, in front of the St. Vincent de Paul Service Center on Cedar Street.
• Other events being planned include a can and bottle drive, and a raffle with prizes to be determined. Memorial tiles are still for sale at St. Vincent’s for $50 each. Each tile is individualized to commemorate a person or event.
As the area’s economy has worsened, demands on the local St. Vincent de Paul Society’s resources have grown.
“St. Vincent’s is much more than just the store downtown,” said Garvin. “The society is spiritually based, and meets frequently to remain focused on its mission of service to the community. It works closely with the Manistique Ministerial Association. The store is its means to help the needy, and all profits are used for that purpose only. It helps with shut-off notices, medical transportation, prescriptions, clothing, victims of abuse, victims of house fires, etc. It also offers spiritual guidance and encouragement when needed. All are welcomed, and all are equally served, no matter what faith or no faith.”
The local society was established in 1975 by John Matthews, Ben Multhaupt and fellow Knights of Columbus members and their wives. The first resale shop opened in 1978 at 331 Oak St.
The service center continued to operate out of that building until June of 2007 when the local society purchased and remodeled the building at 231 S. Cedar St.
With volunteers’ hard work, and the generosity of friends and St. Vincent’s societies from other communities, the new building costs were paid off in a few years.
The Oak Street building was later purchased by St. Francis de Sales Parish and demolished to make room for a Marian Grotto.