35th Faith in Action Annual Benefit Banquet To Recognize, Support Volunteers’ Mission

Later this month the good folks who donate their resources, time and effort to help shoulder some of the burdens of western Washtenaw’s needy will again come together again to both recognize their supporters and make their biggest fundraising push of the year.

The Faith in Action Annual Benefit Banquet will be held for the 35th time from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Chelsea banquet hall. The facilities and meal are provided by the healthcare system for free. Tickets to attend are $100.

“We’re very fortunate that the hospital provides us with the dining hall and the meal,” said Sarah Shugart. In addition to the ticket proceeds, there will be a live and silent auction. The big auction prize is a week-long trip to Hawaii with a $500 flight stipend.

“We did well last year raising the most we’ve ever raised and we expect to do at least as well this year,” Shugart said. “It’s always a good evening where people enjoy themselves, and our board members enjoy mingling in the crowd talking to supporters.”

FIA personnel have been quite busy at their facilities in Chelsea and Dexter. The group don’t just feed those whose mouths might be neglected otherwise. The group recently donated 37 Easter baskets to families with children who deserve a basket full of goodies every April 5. FIA also accepts durable medical equipment, large furniture and operational automobiles as donations in order to provide these necessities as well. There are even plans to help area residents with affordable housing, which Shugart says is a problem in the Dexter and Chelsea areas.

“We’ve been very lucky these past few years,” Shugart said. “We are blessed with a very generous community, both here in Dexter and also in Chelsea. The support we’ve received has allowed us to do a lot for many people.”

This year’s Howard S. Holmes Humanitarian of the Year Award will be issued to Anne Comeau, who was surprised with the award announcement by FIA staff at The Common Grille in Chelsea.

Shugart said Comeau was chosen because she is an exemplary individual, when it comes to doing good work both for Faith in Action and the broader local community.

“Friends and colleagues describe Anne with phrases such as ‘quiet grace,’ ‘strong conviction,’ “’alm and level headed,’ and ‘the moral compass,'” Lisa Allmendinger wrote on ChelseaUpdate.com “The board of Faith in Action considers her the epitome of ‘faith in action.’ She believes in people, from the youngest to the oldest, from the fortunate to the unfortunate. Everyone needs help at some point, everyone can offer help at some point, and the two situations can change in the blink of an eye. Anne has volunteered for over 35 years to make this a better community, and indeed a better world, for all of us.”

For more details on Comeau, visit the following link to the Chelsea Update posting on her nomination.

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