Brat sale kicks off heating help effort

Haley Gustafson | Daily Press Geri Nelson, left, of DTE Energy, hands off a bag of brats to Wayne Pepin of Escanaba during the Menominee Delta Schoolcraft Community Action Agency’s Big Brat Sale Wednesday afternoon in Escanaba.

ESCANABA — The Big Brat Sale kicked off the Menominee Delta Schoolcraft Community Action Agency’s efforts to raise money for heating assistance for the area’s needy Wednesday. The main event is coming Saturday.

Menominee, Delta and Schoolcraft county residents having trouble paying their home-heating bills will get a big boost during the Community Action Agency Walk for Warmth on Saturday in all three counties.

The fundraising campaign helps fill the void for many residents who need help, but fall just a bit short of qualifying for state heating programs.

Every dollar raised is used in the county where it’s raised, said Cathy Pearson, CAA executive assistant.

Last year’s walks raised $61,640.

All residents, including individuals, businesses, youth groups and service clubs, are once again being encouraged to participate.

In Escanaba, the walk will begin at 10 a.m. EDT at the Elks Lodge and proceed down Ludington Street to 14th Street and end with a return trip to the Elks. In Menominee, the walk will begin at 10 a.m. CDT at the senior center and proceed down 10th Avenue to Spies Public Library and end with a return trip to the senior center. The Schoolcraft event will launch at 9 a.m. EDT at the Manistique Senior Center, 101 Main St.

“The walks are mainly symbolic to drive home the point that some of our residents are forced to live in extremely cold conditions,” Pearson said.

More information and pledge sheets are available at the CAA offices in each city or on the CAA website, www.mdscaa.org.

Residents who need more information should call Pearson at 786-7080, Lori in Menominee at 863-3042, or Sharla in Manistique at 341-2452.

The Escanaba event is cosponsored by the Island Resort and Casino, Radio Results Network, WJMN-Local TV3 and Community Foundation for Delta County. The Menominee walk is cosponsored by the Island Resort & Casino, WFRV-TV5, Bay Cities Radio, Radio Results Network, Wisconsin Public Service and Hot Flame Gas. The Manistique walk is cosponsored by Kewadin Casinos, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, Radio Results Network and WJMN-Local TV3.

Another event that raises awareness for the walks and to raise funds is the Big Brat Sale, which was held Wednesday in Escanaba. The event raised $3,500.

“We’ve never doubted that we serve good, caring communities, and year after year this event helps prove it. Many people are unbearably cold in their homes, and these walks and brat sales make a difference,” Pearson said.

The effort has received widespread community support over the years. Local schools hosted a “Crazy Hat Day” or “Pajama Day” for students who could wear the apparel if they donated $1 or more. “We’d also like to challenge our younger folks to join us on walk day,” Pearson said.