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Parades held; Blues Fest off

Negaunee band suspends concerts; food truck coming

Carl Saari, a resident of the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette, waves at the passing parade staged for the facility, also on Wednesday. (Courtesy photo)

MARQUETTE — The D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, Norlite Nursing Center and the Marquette County Medical Care Facility all held parades to help connect their residents with friends and family on Wednesday.

At the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, it was also a wonderful way to recognize the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, organizers told The Mining Journal.

“Memorial Day is special to us. Our activity department organized this event as a way for families and members to see each other and maintain social distance, and as a way for the community to share their feelings with our members on this special holiday,” said Ron Oja, administrator at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans.

At the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, which has been closed to visitors since March 12, it was a welcome opportunity for connection.

“I loved that all the staff worked together so every member and every family could have the best experience possible. The parade was breathtaking and from the heart,” said Lauren Anderson, an activity therapy aide at Jacobetti who spearheaded the event.

A pair of participants in the Norlite Nursing Center parade in Marquette Wednesday are enjoying themselves. (Courtesy photo)

Over 100 members participated in the event, which organizers said included “so many beautiful moments,” all while following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans guidelines.

Before the event, staff worked with members to decorate the parade area and to create posters to say “hello” to their loved ones. Families, volunteers and friends of lined up to say hello to the members and the event was an “overwhelming success,” organizers said.

While staff has “actively worked to ensure members stay connected with family through Skype or phone contact” since the visitor restrictions, “this event was a really sweet way for members and families to connect safely,” organizers said in an email, saying they thank “everyone who came out to celebrate and support the veterans at the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans.”

Blues Fest canceled

The Marquette Area Blues Society Board of Trustees has voted to cancel the 2020 Marquette Area Blues Fest, citing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was scheduled to take place over Labor Day weekend at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette.

For Thursday, May 21.

Chief among the board’s reasons were “concerns for the safety of attendees, volunteers and artists due to the uncertainty surrounding the virus, specifically regarding the safety of large gatherings,” organizers said in a press release.

The board also cited the potential loss of revenue due to financial hardships as another major factor in the decision.

The headline acts that had already been signed have all expressed an interest in returning to the Blues Fest in 2021, according to the release.

“The trustees also voiced the hope that blues fans will help out their favorite local and national musicians during these trying times by supporting their online concerts, and purchasing their music or merchandise,” organizers said in the release.

Advance tickets already purchased for the 2020 Blues Fest will be honored at the 2021 Fest.

For more information, contact MABS President Mark Hamari at ham@charter.net or 906-235-9690. Further updates regarding future MABS events can be found by checking its Facebook page or website at www.marquetteareabluessociety.org.

Negaunee City Band suspends summer concert season

The Negaunee City Band has announced it will suspend its summer concert season until further notice.

Brad Gischia, band president, thanked the executive board and band director Brandon Nelson for their input in this decision, which “was not made lightly,” organizers said.

Gischia stated in the announcement that “band members regret not being able to perform for their always faithful audience and look forward to the time when it will again be safe to do so.”

Salvation Army to host Feeding America Truck

The Salvation Army at 1009 Baraga Ave. in Marquette will be hosting a mobile Feeding America Food Pantry from 5 to 6:30 p.m. May 28.

The mobile pantry will use a drive-through process to limit personal exposure. Clients are asked to arrive at 5 p.m. rather than coming early, and to clear a place in their trunk or back seat for volunteers to place the food.

Walk-ups will also be allowed to participate, with social distancing guidelines, organizers said. The food will be distributed by Salvation Army employees, as well as volunteers from the Red Cross and Incredible Bank.

Some 15,000 pounds of food will be delivered and distributed to up to 300 families suffering from food insecurity, but The Feeding America Food Pantry is open to anyone needing food. The truck was purchased by Superior Health Foundation.

For anyone who cannot attend the event or who needs additional food:

≤ The Salvation Army encourages anyone to call its offices for its normal monthly food pantry. People with transportation are now encouraged to drive-through either the Ishpeming or Marquette location for a food basket. However, anyone who has transportation problems can continue to have a food pantry basket delivered to their home in Marquette County as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

“People have really loved the pantry delivery option that we have offered during this crisis,” Capt. Doug Winters, officer/pastor at The Salvation Army, said in a news release. “We will continue to deliver to people who can’t get to our pantries until our county public transportation gets back to a normal schedule.”

The Salvation Army is committed to serving everyone without discrimination and does not want anyone to go hungry if they are hesitant to leave their homes, the release states.

“This includes people who have just lost their job or have reduced hours,” Winters said.

Marquette-Skandia/-Gwinn residents should call 906-226-2241 and Negaunee/ Ishpeming and west residents should call 906-486-8121 for The Salvation Army Food Pantry services.

For anyone who wants to help:

≤ Donations of food should be delivered directly from the grocery stores, as other donations are quarantined for at least two weeks.

≤ Monetary donations are encouraged during this crisis. Mail: Send a check to The Salvation Army, 1009 Baraga Ave., Marquette, MI 49855 and in the memo write “CV19”

≤ Online: https://donate. salvationarmywi.org/WUMCovid19Donations

≤ Text: Text WUM to 24365

Online/text donations are allocated to The Salvation Army unit in the zip code of the donor.

The Salvation Army has operated continuously serving the people of Marquette County for 130 years. Locally, The Salvation Army operates two food pantries, lunch feeding programs, kids programming in Marquette and Ishpeming, on-going casework for families in need, and emergency disaster services.

Seasonal programs include backpack and school supplies distribution, Christmas Toy Shop, and Christmas Baskets in Marquette and Alger counties. In the Marquette County service area, 90 cents of every dollar raised is used to support programs and services. 100% of every donation marked COVID-19 will go directly to services in this community.

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