MCMC Auxiliary to host block party next week

ICE CREAM: The Big Rapids Jaycees served up ice cream at the Mecosta County Medical Center Auxiliary’s Community Block Party and Ice Cream Social last year. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — With schools letting students out for the summer and warm weather settling in, the Mecosta County Medical Center Auxiliary is inviting the community to share in sweet treats and fun next week.

The MCMC Auxiliary’s annual block party, formerly known as the ice cream social, will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on June 14 at Centennial Park, located between MCMC and River Street Park in Big Rapids. The event will include ice cream, pies, a bake sale, food, music and a raffle.

For more than 50 years, the auxiliary has hosted the annual event to socialize with the community. However, since the 1980s, the event’s focus has been to raise money for scholarship’s for high school students in the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District and hospital staff who wish to further their education, said Michele Christner, auxiliary president. The recipients of the scholarships are announced during the event.

“There is a need for people in the medical field, whether it be nurses, doctors, PAs or anything like that,” Christner said. “Since we are associated with the hospital, we like our money to go toward something in that field.”

This year, three individuals will be announced and receive $2,000 scholarships. Since the scholarship program began in the ‘80s, the auxiliary has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarship funds. Since there is always a need for medical staff in rural areas, Christner hopes some of the recipients will choose to stay and practice in Mecosta County.

Historically the event has been an ice cream social. However, the auxiliary broadened it last year from an ice cream social to a block party. Again this year, the event will include food like sloppy joes, drinks and a bake sale.

“We want people to stop by after work and have a meal and maybe share that with their family,” said Tom Hogenson, MCMC public relations manager. “We try to adapt this to a little more modern needs and social cycles.”

In addition to the food, entertainment will be provided by the Ferris Community Summer Band, which will perform at 7 p.m., and members of STAGE-M will perform songs from its upcoming presentation of “The King and I.”

The auxiliary also will be accepting donations and raffling off a Kindle Fire at the event.

“(The block party) is for the community to get to know us better as an auxiliary, honor the kids who get the scholarships and have a fun time in the summer,” Christner said.

Later this month, the auxiliary will hold an informational meeting for anyone interested in joining the group. The meeting will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on June 26 at the MCMC classroom.

For more information on the block party or the informational meeting, call (231) 592-4327.

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