A dinner table the length of a city block: Dinner on Main Street fundraising event sells out fast

Julie Nunn is excited about the inaugural Dinner on Main Street event in the coming weeks. As it turns out, hundreds of other people are excited, too.

Dinner on Main Street, a first of its kind fundraising event for Cancer Services of Midland, Clare and Gladwin, will shut down a block of Main Street on Thursday, Sept. 12. A block-long table will seat 200 diners where they’ll enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by Chef Theo Bawar of the H Hotel.

Interest in the event has been enthusiastic, as a waiting list has formed behind the initial 200 ticket-buyers. Nunn, executive director for Cancer Services of Midland, says that the non-profit spent less than $100 on marketing, needing just 50 flyers posted around town and a single Facebook post to quickly sell out the event.

Cancer Services receives a lot of its financial support from community stakeholders; Nunn points out the leadership at Dow as a significant source. Dinner on Main Street was designed to bring new donors into the fold.

"We didn’t want our supporters to experience fundraiser fatigue. We wanted to make new friends," Nunn says. "We won’t know 95 percent of our guests at the event, so we’ll have a whole new friend base."

Cancer Services recently received funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund for two new programs. The first supports children with cancer and their family. The second has allowed the organization to hire a nutritionist that will work with the students in the culinary arts program at Windover, teaching them how to prepare healthy, cancer-fighting foods which will then be provided to patients.

Dinner on Main Street will raise funds to sustain the programs year-round.

Founded in 1948, Cancer Services offers free, no-strings-attached support to cancer patients of Midland, Clare, and Gladwin counties. Though the services are many, they range from free rides to the doctor’s office to mortgage and rent assistance, wheelchair giveaways to help with utilities. The center also operates the Maria Mencia Cancer Caregiver Support Network.

While tickets are sold out, Cancer Services of Midland is still accepting sponsorships and volunteers for the event, information of which can be found online.

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