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Published: Sunday, 5/20/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Aiding good causes warms the heart

BY MARY ALICE POWELL
BLADE COLUMNIST

Fund-raisers come in all sizes and range from events to help buy a boiler for a museum to efforts to provide diapers to needy families.

A homemade baked goods display at the supermarket was one way mothers were raising money for their children to travel to Washington.

The price for 10 brownies was $5. In contrast, it is not unusual to pay as much as $150 for tickets to elaborate, fund-raiser dinners sponsored by agencies for community causes. Every spring, fashion shows are an invitation for women to have lunch, see the hot new fashions, and feel good that their $40 ticket went to a good cause.

But a fund-raiser for a boiler? Of the many contributions I have made, the $20 ticket to help pay for it is the most unusual and one that truly warms my heart.

The fund-raiser was launched by the Thompson House Museum and Gardens in Hudson, Mich., at a Broadway Revue at the American Legion Home in Hudson. Featuring Lenawee County vocal artists, the revue was directed by Pam Smoke, of Hudson. The 120 ticket holders got a second taste of local talent thanks to museum supporters who furnished decadent dessert buffet sweets.

The cost of a new boiler for the 1890 Victorian mansion will be $18,000 and it is hoped the goal will be reached before cold weather sets in.

The beautiful home is a Hudson treasure that since 2005 has been open to the public for tours where thousands of William Thompson's collections are displayed. Mr. Thompson was the third generation of Thompsons to live in the house.

A prominent banker, his legacies to Hudson include the Thompson Athletic Field, the Hudson Library, restoration of the cemetery, a new community building, and extensive support of the police and fire departments.

Rev up the motorcycles Aug. 11 for two fund-raisers. You don't have to ride a motorcycle to Sam's Place in Blakeslee, Ohio, to enjoy the festivities, but more than 700 bikers are expected to travel to the little town near Bryan. The proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets for a HD 2012 Sportster, food, and drinks will benefit children with spina bifida.

Randy Mohr, Sam's proprietor, will be giving away cups, key chains, and T-shirts. Randy's homemade beef barbecue sandwiches will be a featured food and drinks will include his dad Mose Mohr's famous Mosehopper, a yummy ice cream cocktail.

Otherwise, Sam's usual menu will be available. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ride for Hope, an all-day motorcycle event in Adrian, is sponsored by Steve Dusseau in recognition of his daughter Julie, who died in 2006. Julie participated in the activities at Hope Community Center, a recreation and learning center that serves about 150 developmentally disabled people daily.

The day will begin with a pancake breakfast for the 150 expected bikers and include an evening pork and chicken barbecue and a raffle for a 2008 Harley Davidson. For details, call 517-605-4954.

Thanks to a drive sponsored by Lenawee Great Start, 500 babies in Lenawee County should have plenty of diapers. The goal in a recent drive was 20,000 disposable diapers that were collected at several sites around the county. Disposable diapers can cost $75 a month per child.

Lenawee Great Start is a partnership that includes parents, health-care providers, business leaders, and community agencies with a goal to support the healthy development of children from birth to 5 years old. It is believed the rewards are higher graduation rates, fewer people going to prison, lower welfare dependency, reduced special education costs, and a decrease in teen pregnancy.

Mary Alice Powell is a retired Blade food editor.

Contact her at: mpowell@theblade.com.



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