Serving Frankenmuth since 1906
Vol. 110 No. 45 In our 110th year!
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Legacy Ball draws record attendance
With 450-plus attending, the Ball will bring in many dollars for the Frankenmuth Community
While Michigan State University football Head Coach Mark Dantonio was the highlight of the sixth annual Legacy Ball, the 450-plus people who bought tickets and attended were the real stars Saturday night.
The Ball, held at the Bavarian Inn Lodge for the first time, is the chief fundraiser for the Frankenmuth Community Foundation. While the final financial numbers are still being tallied, it should be the best one yet.
“We are still accumulating what our actual costs were for the event, but it is definitely looking like it will be the most profitable Legacy Ball to date,” Legacy Ball Committee Chair Kristi Kraftt-Bellsky said. “The moment our guests entered the room they were greeted with green and white everywhere they looked . . . from the green ambient lighting provided by the Lodge, to the lovely green and white floral and succulent arrangements that the Frankenmuth Florist put together, to the MSU napkins that Grasel Graphics provided.”
One number is tentatively known. The silent and live auctions combined raised nearly $30,000. The 10 items on the live auction block, led by auctioneer Greg Rummel, drew $17,900.
All proceeds from the Ball help back the Foundation’s mission statement “to honor the past, focus on the present and plan for the future.” The FCF is recognized as an effective and reliable vehicle for planned-giving philanthropic efforts in Frankenmuth.
Frankenmuth’s Tom Johnston walked away with the highlight live auction item of the evening. Johnston took home a vibrant painting of Spartan Stadium at night, painted on stage that evening by the band Empty Canvas and Michael McMath.
Earlier in the evening, Dantonio heard that MSU Coach Tom Izzo’s painting of the Spartan statue, created in 2013, garnered $3,500. He said this painting should go for at least $4,000.
Well, Dantonio was a bit prophetic. As the bidding topped $4,000, he had a bit of surprise for the audience.
“When Mark Dantonio threw in two sideline passes for the Michigan State/Michigan game to the winning bidder . . . I knew the evening would be even more successful than I had imagined!” Krafft-Bellsky stated.
When the bidding stopped at $7,000, Johnston, a die-hard Spartan fan and alum, took home the painting. He also got an autograph on his green and white Nike MSU Performance T-shirt from Dantonio, right on stage.
Several other live auction items gathered much attention. The Wine and Dine at Prost! Wine Bar and Charcuterie and Mac’s Chocolate Haus for 6-9 people brought in $2,400. As the bidding escalated, one could see owner Zak McClellan mouth “holy smokes” as the price went up.
A Frankenmuth Farmers Market package brought in $1,500, the soon-to-be-in-town Sunrise Pedal Trolley Pedal Pub Crawl drew $1,700 and gourmet eight-course Italian dinner for eight – “Italy in Germantown” by Dee and John Ruggirello, was gaveled off at $1,400.
The evening began with cocktail hour, silent auction, a photograph opportunity for the attendees by Karen Zehnder of Rummel Studio, a meet and greet session for the top Ball sponsors with Dantonio and music by Empty Canvas. FCF Treasurer Joe Cramer welcomed the audience, FCF Executive Director Stephen List gave an update on the Foundation, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church Father Robert Byrne gave the prayer before the meal and Lodge Owner Judy Zehnder-Keller added some humor and described the meal, featuring chicken livers, baked salmon, carved Angus prime rib of beer and famous Bavarian Inn chicken.
The buffet-style meal was served promptly and efficiently, allowing nearly 500 to dine and get ready to hear Steve Juday, MSU’s Rose Bowl winning quarterback in 1965; John Dantonio, Mark’s brother, and Dantonio.
Over the past year, the FCF has awarded grants to over a dozen causes. The two largest were the Frankenmuth Youth Sports Association for land near Heritage Park ($343,00, over 10 years) and the recently-opened but still under construction Frankenmuth Farmers Market $150,000 over three years).
Others include the Frankenmuth School District Community Education’s musical ($2,510), youth football equipment – shoulder pads ($7,300), Made in Michigan Film Festival ($3,000), the FSD Community Education – Saginaw Symphony ($6,000), the Cass River Greenway Committee water quality match grant ($2,500), murals for the Frankenmuth Fire Department ($1,200), Frankenmuth High School band uniforms ($5,000), City of Frankenmuth for the Women’s Club’s concessions stand upgrade ($8,000), Junior Achievement of Northeast Michigan at FHS ($2,000), Kiwanis Club of Saginaw for Camp Kiwanis roofing and awarded scholarships from 24 scholarship funds to 2015 FHS graduates.
The Emil Rummel Agency was the Legacy Champion presenting sponsor of the Ball. Legacy Leaders were Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth Credit Union, Frankenmuth Insurance and TriStar Trust Bank. Legacy Pillars were Covenant HealthCare and Air Advantage. The auction paddle sponsor was Dr. Curtis Young and the Legacy Advocates included the following: AXA Advisors/Steve List, Bavarian Inn Restaurant/Bill and Karen Zehnder, Fairfield Inn/SpringHill Suites, McDonald’s of Frankenmuth, Plante Moran, Rau’s Country Store, Schaefer & Bierlein, Star of the West Milling Company, TriStar Trust Bank, Wells Fargo, Mike Young, and Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth.
The Legacy Friends included Patricia Arvilla, Bavarian Inn/Bill and Karen Zehnder, Craig Bierlein, Dr. Steve Bierlein – Family Eye Care Center, Diversified Therapy, Frankenmuth Family Dental, Frankenmuth Jellystone Park, Gafkay Law, Independent Bank, Nuechterlein Electric, SunGlo Services, Weiss Equipment and Yeo & Yeo.
In-Kind Donations were given by the Bavarian Inn Lodge, the Frankenmuth Florist, the Frankenmuth News, Rummel Studio and Sullivan’s Black Forest.
The Ball Committee, in addition to Krafft-Bellsky, included Dave Bellsky, Lisa Bourdon-Krause, Wayne Cormier, Cramer, Vicki DeGrace, Renee Elliott, List, Sharril McNally, Pam Mossner, Deb Sassone, Scott Wenzel and Shellie Wenzel.
The FCF Board of Governors is led by President Jon Webb and members James Bickel, Cramer, Julie Gafkay, Tim Hildner, Dr. Nancy Haskin, Sue Piesko, Terry Weiss and Bob Zeilinger.