CHARLEVOIX – A benefit event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 10 at the Ovation room of the Odawa casino in Petoskey will benefit the Center Bergmann in Charlevoix.
Attendees will find refreshments and entertainment and the theme of the event, “Starlight,” is appropriate for an organization that believes in its mission to help people with disabilities with the help of compassionate and dedicated staff and support. generous benefactors who contribute to this worthy cause.
The Bergmann Center is under contract with North Country Community Mental Health, which allocates Medicaid funds to the program on a fee basis for services determined by the services clients receive. The goal of the fundraising event is to raise $ 30,000 to supplement Medicaid funding.
Costs related to the provision of transportation services and client participation in community social activities and, more recently, the delivery of activities highlighting the arts program, are outside the federally funded budget. Without these additional funds, clients would have little or no opportunity to attend these events.
“Where our stars shine” encompasses the spirit in which the event was conceived. A silent auction, a buffet dinner, entertainment by the Pine River Jazz Band and a cash bar, all for a ticket price of $ 35, will be on the program. Tickets will be available at the door.
Auction items include 50-60 silent auction baskets and large items including a three-day stay and wine at the Vezer Family Winery in Suisun Valley, Calif., Three Nights on Mackinac Island , four golf packages and an intangible “gift of love” “gift for the live game.”
Gloria Barnes, who spearheaded the donations, provides a bench made from floorboards from Cherry Republic of Charlevoix, collected after last winter’s fire, and made by Robert and Suzanne Norman of “Woodzy ”, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The bench is on display in the lobby of the Banque d’État de Charlevoix.
Suzanne Muma is the director of the Bergmann Center; she has worked with the organization for 30 years and has been its director for 19 years.
“I have seen a lot of changes over the years,” she said. “The people we serve have many more choices in their lives, a fact which, in turn, empowers them. Eighty percent of the people we serve today are able to find employment in their community working two to ten hours a week for minimum wage.
Some of them are hired and paid, while others work, usually in pairs and with support, under a contractual arrangement with local companies, according to Muma.
Twelve dedicated full-time employees and seven to nine part-time employees work with clients, developing life skills and delivering a community living program so clients can reach their full potential as viable and active members of the community. community in which they live. The Center Bergmann board of directors is made up of nine volunteers from Emmet and Charlevoix counties. Center Bergmann currently serves 53 clients from Emmet, Charlevoix and Antrim counties at its location on Chemin Martin in Charlevoix, which includes the resale workshop.
“It’s their place,” Muma said of the Bergmann Center. “We all have our challenges and our talents, we choose to say that our clients have a variety of abilities, rather than disabilities. We could not function as we do without the generosity of our volunteers and benefactors.