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Inaugural Keweenaw Business Ball is A Success! Raises $1,500 for local Food Pantry

HOUGHTON, Michigan, December 14, 2015 – On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, Keweenaw Young Professionals (KYP), Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) and the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce came together at the Continental Fire Company to host the Keweenaw Business Ball, a collaborative holiday celebration. The reason for this seasonal gathering was more than just good cheer, dressing up and networking, but to raise funds to help feed our hungry neighbors and provide local scholarships.

Brian Donnelly, a chairperson of the committee explained, “We wanted to bring together our local business and community by hosting an event where they can relax, network and still help out two great causes; a local food pantry and the high school skilled trades scholarship program.”

The entrance donations of $1,500 will be donated to the Community Action Agency (Western UP Food Bank) during a check presentation on Tuesday, December 15th at 11 am. These generous donations will allow the food pantry to purchase around 18,750 pounds of food for distribution locally.

“When our organizations work together, we see so much more success. Our counties were created with collaboration and looking out for our neighbors; so it was a perfect fit to benefit a community action group that works to improve lives and reduce poverty in our area,” explains Amanda McConnon, President of the Keweenaw Young Professionals.

Additionally, KEDA hosted a silent auction during the event which included various products and services donated by local businesses. Jeff Ratcliffe, Executive Director of KEDA, hoped to raise half of the funds they would need to distribute scholarships. These scholarships will be awarded to nine area school district students that are seeking a certificate, one year or two year degree in the skilled trades. While KEDA did meet their goal, they hope to raise the remaining funds by reaching out to area companies to match the raised funds and finalize the scholarships.

Jeff extended a big thank you to the partners who made the auction possible, “A big thank you goes out to all of the businesses in Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw Counties who generously provided items for the auction. We couldn’t do this without them.”

Cheryl Fahrner, Executive Director for the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, would like to thank all of the organizations for collaborating to have a hugely, successful Keweenaw Business Ball. We would also like thank everyone that attended, donated, and bid. We look forward to next year and continuing to do good things for the area.

Michigan Community Action is a statewide voice for community action and a member service network dedicated to reducing poverty in Michigan by supporting Community Action Agencies in their quest to change the lives of low-income Michiganders. Our local agency serves the Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga counties. You can find more information at www.mcaaa.org

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