Jaycees holding annual Blue or Green fundraiser

MANISTEE — On Oct. 7, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University football teams will clash on the field, continuing a longstanding intrastate rivalry.

Leading up to the game, however, a war will wage between the schools’ fan bases in Manistee County.

What color does Manistee bleed? That’s the question the Manistee Jaycees are asking the community, and the only answer they’ll accept is either Blue or Green.

For the second straight year, the Jaycees are encouraging local fans of each university to compete for bragging rights while supporting the organization’s signature project for 2017: raising funds to buy ice skates to be rented at the Manistee County Teen Center for use on the rink at Sands Park during the winter months.

“Throughout the year we’ve raised funds to support ice skating at Sands Park,” said Kenny Kott, member of the Jaycees. “Most of the skates the Teen Center currently has to rent (for free) are quite outdated.

“And anybody who has grown up in Manistee has probably visited the Sands Park skating rink at one time or another,” he said. “It’s a really nice thing they’ve been able to offer the community for a long, long time.”

For its final fundraising effort of the year, the Jaycees have set up donation jars at five local businesses — one designated for the Wolverines and one for the Spartans at each location — to determine the most generous fan base.

“If you’re a Michigan fan, you donate to the Michigan jar, if you’re an MSU fan you donate in that jar,” Kott explained. “All of the proceeds go directly toward new ice skates for the Teen Center.”

Competition is already under way with jars located at Chopo’s Northside Bar, The Fillmore, TJ’s Pub, The Bungalow and Stu’s Pub. Donations will be accepted during business hours throughout the days leading up to the game, as well as the day of the contest.

“It’s basically designed so people can either toss in their spare change, or donate something more substantial,” Kott said. “Last year, we had a couple people dropped off $100 checks, so the generosity we saw was pretty outstanding.”

Despite Michigan winning on the gridiron, the Michigan State fans of Manistee took home bragging rights during last year’s inaugural Jaycee fundraiser. In total, the local Blue or Green event raised over $700.

“We really discovered how generous people can be in this community,” Kott said. “Michigan and Michigan State both have quite a large fan base in Manistee County, so we think this is a good way to pit them against each other for a good cause.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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