Fundraiser ensures needy families have nice Christmas

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C&G Newspapers

CLINTON TOWNSHIP/ FRASER — Local families down on their luck needn’t miss the happy faces of their children opening gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.

The Goodfellows in Fraser and Clinton Township will take care of that.

The organizations raise money each year to help purchase toys for the children in their communities whose families otherwise couldn’t afford it. Clinton Township’s spaghetti dinner fundraiser will be Oct. 20 and Fraser’s will be Nov. 5.

“Our major concern this year is that we’re going to have more families that are going to need our help,” said Clinton Township Goodfellows President Sharon Harrison. “We’re trying to get the word out to the public to come and support us, so we can get the kids what they need.”

Both groups pledge to keep all money raised within their community. It’s used to buy Christmas gifts for children, hats, gloves and scarves.

Last year, the Clinton Township Goodfellows gave gifts to about 840 children, Harrison said. The number of people in need should be up this year, she said.

“Our goal is that no child in the township goes without a Christmas,” she said. “A lot of people feel funny (registering for help) because they’ve never been in this position. They’ve always had a job and been able to provide for their families, and now they’re about to lose their house and are struggling to keep food on the table. We want to help.”

Clinton Township families can request Goodfellows’ help at six registration events. They are 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 8 and 3-6 p.m. Nov. 10 at the main branch of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, 40900 Romeo Plank Road; and from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 4, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, 1-3 p.m. Nov. 11 and 4:30-7 p.m. Nov. 15 at the south branch of the library, 35891 S. Gratiot.

Information about registration also gets distributed through the school system. Families must provide proof of residency for each of their children.

The spaghetti dinner fundraiser is at the Italian American Cultural Center and includes raffles to help raise money for the effort.

“We try to make it fun for everyone to come to,” Harrison said. “I can guarantee they’re going to get a good meal.”

Fraser’s event on Nov. 5 includes an all-you-can-eat pasta bar, a cash bar, auctions, raffles and a garage sale.

“Usually, there are over 100 people there,” said Robert Brannon, Goodfellows vice president. “This year we’re expecting 300.”

This year’s event will be a little more glamorous than in the past, Brannon said. People or businesses are able to sponsor a table for $50, which can be decorated with a centerpiece and eight place settings however they chose.

Besides the spaghetti dinner, the Fraser organization also raises money through a newspaper sale, which will be Dec. 3-5 this year at various intersections in the city.

The Fraser Goodfellows also got a handout this year from Hanover Grove. The community held a karaoke fundraiser and raised $3,000 to donate to the organization.

“They were very shocked at the amount of money we raised,” said Gary Niedojadlo, president of the Board of Directors at Hanover Grove. “We also collected several crates of food for the food bank.”

The Clinton Township fundraiser will be 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Italian American Cultural Center, located at 43843 Romeo Plank Road in Clinton Township. Tickets are $7 per person and free for kids under age 5.

For tickets or more information, call Sharon Harrison at (586) 321-3239. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Fraser’s fundraiser will be 6-10 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Vintage House Banquet Center, 31816 Utica Road in Fraser. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

For more information, call Robert Brannon at (586) 285-9866.