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Event to benefit suicide prevention efforts

MARQUETTE — Party ’til the cows come home at the Michigan State University North Farm in Chatham on Saturday for the fourth annual It’s All In The Barn.

The event will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. and is hosted by Alger County Communities That Care, which aims to promote a safe, prosperous and healthy environment for all youth and adults.

The barn, built in the 1890s, and farmland will be packed with activities for all ages.

Attendees will be greeted with appetizers at the door and served a full farm to table meal, said Mary Jo O’Halloran, a coordinator for ACCTC.

“Our pigs were grown and raised in Alger County that we’re serving. Our entire menu is out of local farmers gardens. We also have a big cake and pie auction, which is so much fun.”

Attendees can purchase auction paddles for $1 and bid on homemade cakes and pies donated to the event. Also available this year will be raffle baskets all worth between $300 and $500 and focused on Alger County activities. Basket themes will include date night in Alger County, go fish in Alger County, taste of Alger County, pamper, outdoors, adventure and more.

Great Start Collaborative is sponsoring a kids tent and games for the event.

Music will be provided by Granny Fox and the Farm Hands band. Dance with Contra Dance and watch a performance from Morse Dancers.

All proceeds raised during the event will go toward suicide prevention efforts and to sustain the Alger County school social worker.

“We’ve worked hard to assist as best we can and part of that is programs and the other part of that is a school social worker and we can’t do it without raising the funds, so this event is helping us do that,” O’Halloran said.

Each May, ACCTC sends a combined total of $30,000 to three of four public schools in the county. Munising and Superior Central receive $12,000 and Grand Marais receives $6,000. The schools then match these funds to hire a social worker whose services are shared among the schools.

The programming helps students gather skills on managing emotions and social skills, but having an individual to talk to is imperative to today’s youth, O’Halloran said.

“Growing up isn’t easy and sometimes you need someone who isnt your parent to go talk to,” O’Halloran said. “In a rural community, we’re underrepresented in terms of services for kids to go meet with.”

O’Halloran encouraged all to attend the event that benefits local youth and is packed with family fun, she said.

“Come and celebrate, celebrate the fall, celebrate Alger County and what we have to offer,” she said. “Come prepared to have excellent food, all farm to table. We meet you with appetizers and we continue right on through a phenomenal meal. We have music and dance, it’s just a great community opportunity, a U.P. opportunity. It’s a downhome old-fashioned party. We’re alcohol free, there’s kids running around, it’s just having a good time and it’s a great barn.”

Tickets for the event are $25 for adults; $15 for children 12 and children 5 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in cash or check only. Pre purchasing tickets is encouraged as only a limited number will be available at the door. Pre purchase tickets at The Brownstone Inn in AuTrain, Mama Cow’s in Chatham, the Marquette Food Co-op, Alger Parks and Recreation, Falling Rock Cafe & Bookstore in Munising, and the Peoples State Bank of Munising.

The MSU North Farm is located at N5431 Rock River Road in Chatham.

For additional information contact Alger County Communities That Care at 202-2244.

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is tcarey@miningjournal.net.