Paint the Town Red: “ FUNd “ evening raises nearly $40,000 for Milan

Carolyn Wetzler is excited to learn she won a 51" tv playing "Heads or Tails"

Emcee, Andrew Humphrey, from WDIV-TV Local 4

The GMACF Board gathers for a group photo

Officer Burgos accepting his "Life Saving Award" from Chief Scherlinck

Martin Ritchie, Connie and Russ Dotson

“Paint the Town Red” was the theme for the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation’s seventh annual gala this year held at the Kensington Court Hotel in Ann Arbor.  Lovely red dresses, red vest and red bow ties were worn by many of the nearly 260 guests attending the fundraiser event.


“We could not do this without the support of local businesses and organizations who donate to the auction.  We hope that people acknowledge their support and patronage” said Michael Armitage, Gala Chairman.  He also thanked the committee, who put in nearly 9 months worth of work, “especially in the weeks leading up to the event”…, the group is made up entirely of volunteers.”  Chris Wetzler, President of the GMACF,  addressed the crowd and thanked the volunteers and invited those interested in serving on the board to speak with current members of the board.  Between the live auction and silent auction, guests had  a record of over 100 items to bid on.

During dinner violinist Louie Remenapp and guitarist Patrick Aretha strolled among the tables playing for the guests.

Andrew Humphrey, Emmy award winning meteorologist and reporter at WDIV-TV Local 4,  was the emcee assisted by Gwen Hodges, from Edward Jones. They kept the laughter flowing and the bids high throughout the evening.  “Heads or Tails”, a new game this year with a grand prize of a 51” Samsung HD TV, held a lot of excitement, especially when the coin kept landing on “tails” and Andrew invited Milan Police Chief Gerard Scherlinck to come forward to verify the authenticity of the coin.

A very serious tone came across the room as a video played telling the story of Milan resident Rick Kinne, who on October 8, 2012 went into cardiac arrest.  His wife, Donna Kinne, called 911 and Milan Police Officer Justo Burgos was the first on the scene.  Officer Burgos used the department’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED), along with manual CPR, to bring him back to life.  The AED program was supported with grants from the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation.  Chief Scherlinck presented Officer Burgos with a Life Saving Award and was met with a standing ovation.


A tour of WDIV-TV studios, a signed basketball by Tom Izzo, a signed football by 34 former University of Michigan players, local raised beef with processing, an advertising package compliments of The Milan Eagle News and a Ladies Day package were a few of items which caused an exciting exchange of bidding competitions in the live auction.  The hottest item however, was a theme dinner for eight provided by Kirk Straub. Two dinner packages sold for $2,500 a piece.  The live auction concluded with a matching gift, where anonymous donors matched the donations of attendees.

Kim Simecek presented $1,500 in honor of her mother, Sharon Simecek, who recently passed away.  Sharon was an active member of the community and served on the GMACF board of trustees for many years at its inception.

Preliminary numbers indicate the event raised nearly $40,000 in profit for the community foundation.  What better way to celebrate the huge success than dancing the evening away with music by the Terraplanes.

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