2014-01-30 / Front Page

Annual CBC fundraiser underway

Beacon House selected as 2014 third charity

MANISTIQUE – It’s officially CBC season, and this year, a new charity and a higher fundraising goal are bound to make things interesting. The annual fundraiser culminates with an all-day telethon on April 13.

CBC stands for the charities it represents: American Cancer Society, Bay Cliff Health Camp, and a third charity selected from applications each year. Along with the many volunteers and CBC board members, the annual fundraising drive is headed by three chairs. These chairs each serve three years, moving up in rank each year until they exit. This year, the first chair position is held jointly by Victoria and Kelly George. The second chair is Erik Mason, and the third chair is held jointly by Stacey and Doug Morrison.

“We’re excited to have Stacey and Doug on board with the CBC for this year and the upcoming years,” he said. “They’re a good duo – very organized, very involved with the community and very familiar with nonprofit organizations. They definitely have been a great asset to add to the team.”

According to Mason, this year’s goal is to raise $50,000. Last year, the organization exceeded its goal of $48,000, pulling in $51,544.

“We think we can do it,” he said.

This year’s third charity, the second “C”, will be the Beacon House, located in Marquette. Mason said the beacon house was selected due to the volume of people from the area who utilize its services.

“They receive many, many visitors there from Schoolcraft County,” he said. “It’s a real beneficial place.”

The Beacon House is a nonprofit hospitality house located just blocks from Marquette General Hospital. Those who are visiting the hospital either for their own medical care or to be near those who are receiving medical care can stay at the Beacon House free of charge. Guests are asked to bring their own towels and make their own beds, and, in exchange, they are provided with a room near the hospital. Donations from guests, as well as various fundraising events throughout the year, keeps the facility open to all who need it.

“Everyone that we’ve spoken with … they’ve either had someone or personally have experience staying at the Beacon House, for either themselves, when they’re going to the hospital or when their loved ones and/or family members are staying there,” Mason said. “They provide a great place for them to stay.”

According to the Beacon House, over 146,115 guest nights have been provided since the doors opened in 2002. This total included residents from all over the U.P. – 39 percent from the western region, 31 percent from the central region, and 27 percent from the eastern region. Manistique falls within the central region.

Mason noted the organization had a number of worthy applicants this year to be the third charity and that those applications will be considered for upcoming years.

Fundraising has already begun throughout the community, with various events scheduled right up until CBC Sunday. These events can be viewed in a separate story on A1.

In addition to the events, “Buck Boards” will be placed at area businesses. Residents donate $1 bills to the board to help that business win the traveling CBC trophy. CBC buttons are also available for purchase throughout the community.

According to Mason, outreach for this year’s fundraiser is a primary focus for the organization. A Twitter account (follow (at)CBC_ Schoolcraft), Facebook page, and appearance requests for U.P. politicians are in the works, he added.

Liz Hill will handle the annual CBC tabloid this year, following the passing of longtime CBC member Dorothy Hoholik.

Any residents who have items to donate for the CBC auction, can turn them into the State Savings Bank, Mason said.

“It would be great to have as many auction items as we can,” he explained. “All the profits will go to the three charities.”

Despite all the work to be done and full event schedule, Mason said the community somehow makes it happen each year.

“It’s amazing how many volunteers within the community take part in the CBC who you may never know are part of it,” he said. “It’s a really neat program that’s lasted 47 years and going strong because of all the volunteers in the community.”

They always say 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work, but, here, there’s a lot of people that do a lot of the work for CBC,” he added.

Carnival games during the CBC telethon, traditionally run by the Kiwanis club, will be handled by the YETI Key Club this year, with donations from the Kiwanis for prizes. This is just another example of how the organization keeps growing and adding more volunteer, Mason said.

“That’s what CBC does – it’s such a strong organization – once you’re a part of it, you want to continue on,” he explained.

To find out more about this year’s third charity, the Beacon House, call (906) 225-7100 or visit www.upbeaconhouse.org.

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