A recent charity event raised over $35,000 for the Fisher House Michigan.

More than 200 area residents dedicated to assisting military veterans and their families gathered in January at the Howell Eagles Club for the 27th Annual Sportsman Charity Dinner. Bob Beck and Mark Stellberger, creators and organizers of the event, and a host of helpers, work throughout the year to plan and execute the dinner with over 33 entrees, soups as well as desserts.

“Mark and I feel this is one small way to honor our family members who have served and lost their lives for our freedom,” said Beck, “but we could not do it without the assistance of some very talented people. A huge thank you goes to the local chefs, Cathy Brown, Mark and Gunter; especially, my wife, Melissa, the support of the Eagles board, the hunters and fishermen who believe in this event as much as we do. This is the first year we have partnered with the Howell Eagles Club and they have been an outstanding partner.”

Stellberger as well as Beck, his wife, Melissa, and his daughter, Deanna are also an auxiliary members of the American Legion. Fisher House Michigan Director, Kate Melcher, Chief of Staff, Suzanne Schaffrath and Dennis Belaire attended the dinner and shared stories of the men and women who have used Fisher House facilities.

Donations, proceeds from the dinner, silent auction and raffle items as well as partnering with Peacemakers for gun raffles helped to raise $17,848 and thanks to the generosity of a silent donor, the funds were matched bringing the final donation total of $35,696 to Fisher House Michigan.
Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost, while a loved one is receiving treatment. The homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide and are always close to the medical center or hospital that they serve. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee.

“This donation could not have come at a more opportune time,” said Melcher. “We are putting the finishing touches on our Ann Arbor House which will be dedicated on June 19thof this year. The Fisher House at the John D. Dingall VA Medical Center in Detroit will follow soon. It is not too late to participate, there are many ways. We are hosting an Amazon Online Shower for the supplies and kitchen items for Ann Arbor Fisher House and are gearing up for the opening.”


Photo 1 - Terri Harter and Stacy Dunlap volunteer as servers for the dinner

Photo 2 - Kate Melcher, Fisher House Chief of Staff, sharing stories of veteran families

Photo 3 - Suzanne Schaffrath, Kate Melcher, with organizers, Melissa and Bob Beck

Thanks to Joyce Fisher for her assistance with this article.