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Open house to highlight changes in venerable Graveraet school

Alternative high school fundraiser

September 19, 2012
By JACKIE STARK - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Built in 1927, the Graveraet school is ingrained in the history of Marquette.

Named after a founding family in the Marquette area, the school is also home to the Kaufman Auditorium, which was also named after another well-known Marquette family.

It's that name that will be celebrated Sept. 26 as students and faculty at the Marquette Alternative High School - which is currently housed in the Graveraet School - host their first fundraiser of the year in the new and improved Kaufman Courtyard.

Article Photos

The renovated Kaufman Courtyard at Graveraet school is seen. (Journal file photo)

"We want to open our doors up and allow the community to come in and see what we're doing inside the building," said Sara Cambensy, director of the Kaufman Auditorium. "So many people have graduated from here, whether it's high school, middle school, intermediate school. And we just redid the fountain. We want to make sure people can take time to come and see it and enjoy some sweets and hors d'oeuvres.

"We're going to open the entire school, have people be able to walk each floor and look at old yearbooks, old floor plans, pictures of the past, present and future."

Money raised will be used to help maintain the courtyard and fountain as well as to help fund a school field trip.

The fundraiser will be held in honor of Michael Graveraet Kaufman.

"The students really wanted to make this an annual fundraiser, and, every year, they want to give it a greater cause than just raising money, but also to honor a community member who is a part of a family that has certainly given a lot to us at the Marquette Area Public Schools," Cambensy said. "We thought it would be nice to honor him."

MAHS English teacher Cindy DePetro said the Kaufman family have had a significant impact on the community as a whole.

"As a person who was born and raised in this town, the Kaufmans have been very generous, and way back in 1982, I won the Kaufman Award, the superintendent Kaufman Award," DePetro said. "I was able to pay for my entire first year at Northern Michigan University, so this is very near and dear to my heart. Also, I've witnessed some of our students at the Marquette Alternative School win, so I've seen that extended hand continue into this generation. I think it's important to remember the people who help take care of this community."

The fundraiser will include a silent auction, with some merchandise donated by local businesses as well as artwork from MAHS students on sale.

The celebration will also feature live music from MAHS math and physical education teacher Matthew Brintlinger and his wife.

The festivities cost $10 per person and will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Andrew Crunkleton at 225-4302, extension 215 or Cambensy at 225-4213.

Tickets will also be available at the door or online at

With MAHS students helping in the organization of the fundraiser, DePetro said the celebration will not only help raise money, but is teaching the school's students a vital lesson: get involved in your community.

"It's teaching our kids to invest in the future of their town," DePetro said. "This is a very historical, beautiful building. We feel very fortunate to be in it and what greater lesson than not to say 'Just give us the money,' but let us help raise the money."

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.



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