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TODAY IS Friday January 19th
Benefit for Men in Gilead Lake Fireworks Explosion
Monday Jul 17, 2017 1:26pm
Bronson American Legion • Bronson, MI

By: Sheila McCrea

A benefit dinner, auction and corn hole tournament will held on Friday August 4 at 6pm at the American Legion in Bronson to benefit the Bronson men involved in the Gilead Lake fireworks accident.

All proceeds from the benefit will be given to Eric Smith, Joe Drennan, and Peter Foster. These men have organized and put on the Gilead Lake fireworks show for the past five years with donations from the community. This year, the event turned tragic when a spark ignited a bucket of mortar-round-type fireworks at the beginning of the fireworks show, setting off an explosion of fireworks, which blasted the men--including other helpers Cody Penny, Toben Schnell, and Adam Losinski--off of the makeshift pontoon and into the water. The men suffered serious burns and blown eardrums, but Smitty's Pizza owner, Bronson High School teacher, and golf coach Eric Smith took the brunt of the injuries. He has since been released from the Bronson Methodist Hospital Burn and Wound Center in Kalamazoo but is facing a long road of physical therapy and medical bills.

The benefit will include an Italian dinner, live music, a silent auction with a variety of items to bid on, and a corn hole tournament at $50 per team with a maximum of 16 teams. Though the dinner charge is set at $10 per person and $5 for kids under 12, any additional donations will gladly be accepted. All events will begin at 6pm on Friday, August 4 at the American Legion Hall in Bronson, MI.

Any businesses or individuals interested in donating to the silent auction or dinner items, wanting to sign up for the corn hole tournament, or interested in helping set up or clean up after the event are asked to contact Tricia Mayer at 517-462-0700, Candra Rustad at 269-832-8365, or Jodi Herman at 517-617-9994. Cash donations can also be taken to Holly Rees at PNC Bank.

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