Elks makes donation to Jacobetti home

The Michigan Elks Association on Monday donates $14,255.01 to the Michigan Veteran Homes D.J. Jacobetti for physical and occupational therapy equipment. Holding the check are Bob Wellman, the MEA veterans administration voluntary services representative for MVHDJJ and a member of Marquette Elks Lodge 405, and Pam Gadzinski, exalted ruler of the Negaunee Elks Lodge 1116. Back row from left are Cary Lincoln, Jacobetti director of nursing; Mark Ketchem, exalted ruler of the Ishpeming Elks Lodge 447; Bob Anttila of the Ishpeming Elks Lodge and MEA state trustee; David Sladek, MEA state president from the Calumet Elks Lodge 0404; Linda Smith, Jacobetti executive secretary; Samantha Knuttila, director of restorative services at Jacobetti; John Berandt, U.S. Army veteran; and Sarah Johnson, Jacobetti volunteer and donations coordinator. Not shown is Ron Oja, Jacobetti administrator. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

MARQUETTE — Michigan Veteran Homes D.J. Jacobetti on Monday accepted a donation of $14,255.01 from the Michigan Elks Association, which will directly benefit and support the veteran members at the home.

Bob Wellman, the Michigan Elks Association veterans administration voluntary services representative for MVHDJJ and a member of Marquette Elks Lodge 405, worked with the MVHDJJ staff to determine high-priority needs that would directly benefit the veterans at the MVHDJJ home.

The donation will allow the Jacobetti facility to purchase two bidirectional recumbent bikes, a Shuttle Mini-Press and an adjustable therapy table, all of which will expand physical and occupational therapy services.

The donation fits into the overall Elks mission.

“One of our slogans is ‘As long as there are veterans, the Elks will never forget them,'” Wellman said. “Here at the home, we have veterans.”

Wellman himself was a hospitalized veteran.

“I know the loneliness,” he said. “Not only are you away from family, but you’re shoved in a hospital. I was shoved in a hospital for about 30 days, basically. I still in my heart feel those memories and things, so whatever I can do as an Elk and with the Elks to make these members here at the home a better life or more enjoyable, I’m all for it.”

MVHDJJ administrator Ron Oja expressed gratitude for the donations.

“It really expresses to us once again the level of support, and we appreciate that support so much,” Oja said. “It goes back and shows us how much that the community is behind supporting our veterans and our members. It’s really important to us.”

Wish list announced

Michigan Veteran Homes has published a wish list for its homes in Marquette and in downstate Grand Rapids and Chesterfield Township highlighting much-needed items to support veteran members this holiday season.

The Jacobetti home is seeking monetary donations to support the Life Enrichment Fund, which is used to improve the quality of life for members.

Monetary donations can be made at https://bit.ly/DonatetoMVH, or checks can be written to MVHDJJ and mailed to 425 Fisher St., Marquette, MI 49855. Donors should indicate the fund designation “Life Enrichment” in the memo section of the check.

The home is also seeking in-kind donations such as new seasonal clothing, personal care items, Forever stamps and portable compact disc players with headphone jacks, Marq-Tran ticket books, 2023 wall calendars, and AA, AAA and C batteries.

These items can be brought to the main entrance of the home. All personal care items must be new and the package unopened. Also, no used clothing is being sought.

For more information or to coordinate a time to drop off in-kind donations, contact Volunteer and Donations coordinator Sarah Johnson at johnsons93@michigan.gov or 906-226-3576, ext. 2520396. Updated wish list items and donation tips may be viewed online at https://bit.ly/MVHDJJHolidayWishList22.

The Life Enrichment Fund is used to improve the quality of life for members through experiences, community outings, therapeutic programming, tickets for outside events and other activities.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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