Team captains have been chosen for a popular football fundraiser that pits Spartans against Wolverines to the benefit of those that can’t afford dental insurance.

With the college football season kicking off later this month, the VINA Community Dental Center in Brighton is gearing up for its annual Tailgate fundraiser. The event takes place each year on the Thursday night preceding the Michigan- Michigan State game, which falls this year in mid-November. Bragging rights for a year will be on the line as fans of the two schools compete to see who can raise the most money in support of the VINA Center. Through the first 10 years of the event, the two teams are even at 5 wins apiece, making this year the tiebreaker

Team captains have been announced. Representing the University of Michigan will be local writer and Director of Communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, Buddy Moorehouse. Leading the Michigan State fan base will be Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy.

Along with the regular captain’s duties of cheerleading, encouraging donations, and co-emceeing the event, this year’s captains will, for the first time, battle for “neutral money.” VINA Director of Marketing and Development, Jim Gilmore, acknowledged there being many fans of other college football programs in the area that wish to donate, as well, and now they can declare their donations “neutral.” At the end of the evening, Moorehouse and Murphy will compete for the right to add this third pool to their own. Gilmore said they aren’t sure what the competition will be right now, but they are considering a game of corn hole.

Tickets to the Tailgate are currently on sale at the Brighton office, and will be available online at a future date, for $45. Gilmore expects the Tailgate to sell out, at 300 tickets. The ticket gets you into the event at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center and hors d'oeuvres. There will be a cash bar, a silent auction with roughly 100 items- many team based, a 50-50 raffle, the dollar-for-dollar gift card program, and an opportunity to buy a 50-50 square for the big game. All money stays local with the VINA Clinic to help those less fortunate.

To donate, visit VINA’s website at; visit their Facebook page, email Gilmore at; call the Brighton office at (810) 844-0240, or visit them there at 400 E. Grand River Avenue. (MK)