ESCANABA - The Delta Half-Way House, Inc. has received a grant from the Robert and Jeanine Dagenais Foundation to purchase a much needed furnace. The grant is made possible by contributions to the Foundation from First Bank and the Riverside Auto Group.
Delta Half-Way House was established in 1969 to help people seeking recovery from alcoholism. Today, it oversees the Delta Drop In, a facility that facilitates Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon and Narcotics Anonymous meetings for people who want to live clean and sober lives. The hope is to assist them in becoming strong, healthy contributors to the community.
The facility currently hosts over 20 meetings a week. The month-to-month running of the Drop In is accomplished through voluntary membership dues and minimal rent from the various groups using the house for meetings. Those monies are used for heat, electric service, telephone and cable, as well as purchasing necessary supplies.
A grant from the Robert and Jeanine Dagenais Foundation was obtained by the Delta Half-Way House to purchase a new furnace for the facility. On hand for the presentation are: from left, Robert Sebeck, Half-Way House Board member; Michael Nardi, president of First Bank; Dona LaPorte, Half-Way House Board member; Kevin Kucharczyk, Half-Way House vice president; Jeanine Dagenais, Dagenais Foundation; Mary Jo Johnson, Half-Way House board member; and Bill Cramer, Half-Way House president.
Each group that uses the facility supplies their own literature, informational pamphlets, etc.
In making application for the grant, members of the Half-Way House Board stressed the need for the furnace and the board's inability to pay for one.
"There is a major item - the furnace - that needs replacing," the application read. "Our budget this year will not stretch to cover the costs of replacing the furnace and the additional costs for completing installation."
The application further stated that the new furnace "would afford the Delta Drop In and Delta Half-Way House to provide a warm, economical place for meetings to support those in our community seeking a better way of life."