MARQUETTE - The Medical Care Access Coalition was selected as the beneficiary of an upcoming concert event for a most specific reason.
One of the event organizers - a member of the Northern Michigan University Student Nurse Association - believes the MCAC literally saved her life.
"Last March, I was diagnosed with stage four malignant melanoma," said Alicia Crouse, a Grand Rapids native and NMU nursing student. "I had just got into nursing school and was facing the choice of staying in school or paying for my medical treatment. Dr. Greg Sulik, who diagnosed the cancer, set me up with MCAC and I was on the road to getting well while staying in school."
With MCAC's assistance, Crouse had surgery last April, with Dr. Mark Geissler donating his services. Dr. Ross Siemers is now her oncologist and Dr. Dennis Herzog her dermatologist.
"I will be with (MCAC) until I am done with school," Crouse said. "So many people are out there are like me, with no insurance, who MCAC helps. I wanted to give back to them."
NMU Student Nurse Association is known for its charitable efforts and is doing the March 16 Playing for a Cause concert as a new fundraiser.
Playing for a cause
Benefit Concert for the Medical Care Access Coalition
Friday, March 16. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.in the banquet room at Upfront and Co., Marquette
Featuring music by Stranded, Drone Wolves, Midnight Manual and The Chanteymen
Hors d'oeuvres and drink specials will be available. An auction of student services will take place along with raffles.
Tickets are $5 for Northern Michigan University students; $10 in advance for the general public; and $15 at the door for the general public. All ages are welcome.
The event is sponsored by the NMU Student Nurse Association, NMU's Chapter of Xi Sigma and the Northern Michigan Constructiors.
"Every fall, we do a charity ball to benefit a different organization each year," said Rachel Snyder of Marquette, a member of the association. "This year, we wanted to add another fundraiser for the winter semester. MCAC is such a huge thing for our community and with Alicia really being helped out, we thought it would be great cause to choose."
Other sponsoring organizations for the concert are the NMU Constructors and Xi Sigma.
The concert, which starts at 6 p.m. March 16 in the banquet room at Upfront and Co. in downtown Marquette, will feature four bands: Midnight Manual, The Drone Wolves, The Chanteymen and Stranded. There will be hors d'ouevres and drink specials.
"Upfront donated the room for us to use. That was huge," Snyder said.
"We're also going to have a live auction in which student services can be purchased for a day," she said. "That should be fun."
Crouse said the NMU Constructors will have a table and set of Adirondack chairs for raffle that have been specially painted by a local artist.
Heather Fischer, an NMU student nurse, has done pottery to be raffled for the event as well.
Snyder, who is graduating in May, wants to be a registered nurse in oncology/hematology with a particular interest in bone marrow transplants. She's amazed, she said, by the work MCAC does for the area.
"This organization gives so much to the community," she said. "It would be nice to have the community come out to support them."
For Crouse, an upperclassman who wants to be an obstetrics nurse, the whole situation of being able to receive treatment while continuing her studies thanks to MCAC has been a bit overwhelming.
"It has given me a good perspective as a nurse," she said. "I've learned a lot by being a patient. And I really wanted to do something to honor MCAC and all the doctors and nurses and other people who donate time to that organization.
"I had no idea how to give back. It's too big a gift, what they gave me," Crouse said. "But to be able to help this way is going to help others."
Playing for a Cause will be an all-ages show with admission set at $5 for students, $10 for the public in advance, and $15 for the public at the door.
Tickets can be purchased at Snowbound Books and the NMU Bookstore.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.