Get Your Snowball 2019 Tickets – They’re Going Fast
Getting It Done Again, With Rosie Spirit



MayeThe 4th Annual Snowball Dinner-Dance is on tap for this Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Harrison Moose Lodge, an event that will include a buffet dinner, music and dancing, as well as lots of raffle and silent auction items. Maye Tessner-Rood, who heads up this fundraising event to benefit the Veterans Freedom Park Statue Fund, was up to her eyebrows in donated auction items Tuesday in the Hayes Township Board Room. She is pictured with a special Vietnam Era statue [see detailed inset] and a commemorative pen fashioned from a bullet. The pen is one of five that were donated for the event. Snowball festivities will begin with Presentatiopenn of Colors at 5:30 p.m., with dinner service to begin at 6 p.m. The silent auction will continue throughout the evening with awarding of winning bids after the 9 p.m. raffle drawings. Dinner tickets cost $15 and are available in the Cleaver office, from Tessner-Rood at the Hayes Municipal Complex, and at various merchants throughout the area. (Cleaver photos by Dianne Alward-Biery)


By Dianne Alward-Biery

Cleaver Staff Writer

Copyright Clare County Cleaver

HARRISON – The 4th Annual Snowball Dinner-Dance which is slated for Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Harrison Moose Lodge, 5185 N. Clare Ave., promises to be every bit as entertaining and uplifting as the first three. Tickets are selling at a steady clip, and Snowball organizer Maye Tessner-Rood has suggested that an early purchase would be wise and reminds that the tickets would make terrific stocking stuffers. Tickets cost $15 each and include an evening of tasty dining, dancing, raffle drawings, silent auctions and patriotic camaraderie – all of which are aimed at raising funds to purchase the next statue in line for installation at Veterans Freedom Park which will honor veterans of the Vietnam War. That statue has a price tag of $33,000 and all proceeds from the Snowball will go toward its purchase.

Snowball 2019 will begin with the Honor Guard from American Legion Post 404 presenting the colors at 5:30 p.m. Buffet dinner service will begin at 6 p.m. with roast beef, chicken, beef, potatoes, vegetable, roll, salads and lots of desserts. Tessner-Rood said that once again her son Jake will be cooking up pulled pork for the occasion – 100 pounds of it.

“We will be using both rooms for dinner,” Tessner-Rood said. “There will be plenty of additional seating, so you’re not crowded.”

In line with all the volunteer efforts that make the Snowball a reality, Tessner-Rood spoke of the people involved this year.

“The staff at the Jackpine have volunteered their time and will serve,” she said. “My family will be here helping, six ladies from the Harrison Moose Lodge have volunteered to help and the Men’s Moose will be in the kitchen.  It takes a lot of people to make it happen.

Tessner-Rood said the Moose has donated the shotgun and use of the building, as well as obtaining the raffle license, and “have been a big part of the event.”

She said Commander Rich Young and other members of the American Legion in Mount Pleasant volunteered to come work in the kitchen and that they also are selling Snowball and raffle tickets.

“If people want to buy a table of tickets, we will reserve the table for them. The reason we’re doing that is the last couple of years people would scarf a table and wouldn’t let anybody sit down, then nobody would come and sit with them. Then it was a hassle if somebody needed seats.”

She sited the example of a gentleman who had just purchased 18 tickets for his family members would be coming from different locales.

“There’s no way we’re not going to seat them together,” she said. “We will do tables of four, six, eight or 12.”

In keeping with this Snowball’s theme of “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” guests are encouraged to step out for the evening in their nostalgic 1960s attire. (Paisley bell-bottoms, anyone?) In addition to easy listening dinner music, DJ Terry Fetters of Cadillac will be spinning some well-worn tunes of that era.

A drawing for the three major raffle prizes will be held at 9 p.m., which is just about the same time the high bids will be tallied on silent auction items. The three-prize raffle winners will be drawn, with first choice of prizes going to the first drawn, and the first choice of the remaining two prizes going to the second winner drawn. That three-prize raffle includes a huge wheelbarrow filled with Made in Michigan items; a 12-gauge Remington shotgun; and a 39-inch smart TV. Raffle tickets cost $5 each or three for $10.

An additional Lottery Board has been planned as well.

“The Moose has donated the shotgun and use of the building,” Tessner-Rood said. “They got my raffle license for me; they’ve been a big part of the event.”

All dinner-dance tickets and raffle tickets are available at the following locations: Bob’s Party Store, Clare County Cleaver, Cupcakes by Tammy Sue and Not So Shabby Primitives, Harrison City Market, Kylie’s Boutique; O’Neil’s Flowers, Gifts and More, Carriage Inn, Harrison Chamber of Commerce, the Moose Lodge, American Legion Post 404, the Clare County Veterans Service Office and from Hoyt or Tessner-Rood. Any unsold raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the Snowball.

Silent auction items will have an added twist this year, as Tessner-Rood and Deb Hoyt have sent out invitations to chambers of commerce in all 50 states, along with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, requesting locally made items and literature that represent some of what their areas have to offer. These auction items will be grouped by their four time zones.

“We have asked them for a brochure,” Tessner-Rood said. “We have always promoted Made in Michigan, and we’re continuing to do that, but with everything going on in the world, we think we should promote ‘Hey folks, you can vacation right here in the great USA and we have a lot to see.’ So, we’ve asked that if they send us something, just send us a brochure on their state.”

“We have Ohio stuff, we have Idaho stuff,” Hoyt said. “Oh my gosh, we are just having so much fun.”

Many additional auction items have been gathered thus far, including some hand-painted glass bottle/jar art and lighted bottles, hand-painted glass window sashes, as well as an unusual spinning spiral outdoor thermometer.

Three truly exceptional items that will be up for auction are military-themed shadow boxes containing vintage photos and other armed forces memorabilia. Tessner-Rood said the boxes were created by a lady from Houghton Lake, and the box face frames were fabricated from scratch by Jerry Harris.

Another really handy item in the burgeoning auction collection is the contribution from Michigan Works: backpack-style totes that are actually picnic packs containing picnicware for four – cutting board, plates, even a blanket.

“What we’re doing as we get things is building theme baskets,” Tessner-Rood said. She went on to describe a movies night basket containing soda pop, water, popcorn, ice cream cups and much more. “And there’s a $10 gift card to Family Fare in there so they can go get the ice cream.”

Thus far, that theme basket idea has yielded Italian, Something for the Birds, Baking, Cookie Baking and more. And anyone who knows Tessner-Rood and Hoyt knows that as more items flow in, so will flow more and more creative ideas.

“And for a big item, Jay’s Sporting Goods gave us a $500 kayak,” Tessner-Rood said. “A Precision 10, with a $50 gift certificate to put toward the accessories.”

The kayak will be awarded through an additional raffle with a limited number of tickets, each costing $10.

Tessner-Rood reminded that the fundraising is done on a cash or check basis, however, the Moose has in the past allowed participants to draw cash from their credit/debit cards in order to complete their auction purchases.

It takes a great deal of time and effort to coordinate an event of the Snowball’s magnitude, but these two ladies remain undaunted.

“We come in early in the morning and stay late to do this,” Tessner-Rood said.

She said inquiry also has been made with the owner of State of Copper who had indicated a desire to contribute again, and with the owner of Khaki Army who had previously supplied highly detailed and conflict-specific statues.

Each year, the Snowball has offered a design for its fundraiser T-shirts, sweatshirts, regular hoodies and zippered hoodies reflecting the most recent efforts on behalf of Veterans Freedom Park. All four counties represented at the park [Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Midland] will be listed, along with this year’s fundraising theme “We Can Do It with the Rosie Spirit” and art by Josiah Blackmore of Red Threads in Midland depicting the recently installed Korean War statue.

“They will all be in black and gray,” Tessner-Rood said. “It’s a limited edition of 210 pieces all together.”

She said it is tricky to estimate how many people will attend, because some people will wait until the last minute to buy tickets in case the weather is inclement.

“My theory on that is buy your ticket early,” she said. “It’s a donation. Our guys don’t get a choice. They protect us in the rain, snow, sleet, hail, swamps, desert – it doesn’t matter. And the party will go on regardless of the weather. We’ll be there.”

Tessner-Rood said the Rosie theme has continued to weave its way through the Snowball endeavors, because it harkens back to something Americans long to retain.

“It’s what we all long for,” she said. “We don’t want to give that spirit up. It’s what bonded us in World War II, and ultimately it’s got to be here to bond us today.”

Save the date for the 4th Annual Snowball/Dinner Dance on Jan. 12. (No, it is not too early to plan!)

Every year has been important to us to honor our veterans of a particular war. We have honored WWII and the Korean War. This year’'s goal is to purchase the Vietnam War statue for our Freedom Park. The cost is $33,000.

I am inviting you to join me in this “Welcome Home Vietnam Vets” effort of honoring those who served and deserve to know that Michigan is proud of their service to our country. These men and women served their country, regardless of our or their beliefs. They served this country and the Commander in Chief of the United States of America on behalf of all of us. They served and were not honored at the time they returned home. They fought on the battle field, then had to fight for recognition when they returned home.

It is past time that we show them we are thankful to them for their service. Unfortunately, we have lost many of them. But to those who remain let’s say "Welcome Home!” and to those who are gone, say to their families “Thank you!”

I hope that you will join me in this effort. I believe that with the efforts of Clare, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties working and pulling together "We Can Do It" with the Rosie spirit. United we stand.

I am getting this out early enough so you can consider a pledge. You would have until January to pay that pledge.

Our past success could not have happened without all of the community support and the support of businesses around Michigan. Our success is your success. This park belongs to you! We cannot continue to be successful in our efforts without your continued support. This is our opportunity to give back to those who continue to sacrifice the most and ask the least. They put their lives on the line so we may continue to enjoy our freedom.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to each of you.

God Bless our Veterans, Serving Military and the United State of America.