Caring House has fun with large fundraiser

KINGSFORD — A domestic violence shelter in the southern U.P. raised thousands of dollars last night and had a lot of fun in the process.

Caring House hosted its annual Celebrity Waiters Dinner at First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford. The spaghetti dinner has taken place for about 30 years now, and it’s the largest single fundraiser that Caring House holds each year.

“This is crucial to keep service here in Dickinson, Iron and Florence Counties,” Caring House executive director Cheryl O’Neil said. “If it wasn’t for the people in this community doing events like this, I don’t know where survivors would look for help. We have standing–room–only. This is the largest crowd we’ve ever had.”

Between admissions, raffles, silent auctions and the tips that waiters collect, the dinner usually generates $10,000 or more.

“For every victim of domestic violence and sexual assault out there to know, people in this community truly care, and they show it by what they’ve done here today.” O’Neil said. “It means the world; it keeps our doors open.”

I was one of the waiters, but I wasn’t dressed as a hula dancer, as Batman’s enemy, the Joker, or as a bumblebee, like some of the other waiters were! I also saw two gentlemen in costume as State Representative Ed McBroom and State Senator Tom Casperson, and their resemblances were uncanny.