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Outdoor benefit for CLC features food, games, music and auction, including an African Safari


The biggest fundraiser of the year for Community Learning Connections (CLC) of the Tecumseh Area, a nonprofit with programs that support Tecumseh Public Schools students and their families, has moved to May 15 and an outdoor setting. Originally the March Mingle, the event has transformed into the May Mingle to allow up to 200 attendees in this pandemic year. It will be held at Tecumseh Golf Club, 5200 Milwaukee Rd., from 6-10 p.m.

“In years past we’ve raised close to $60,000, so we’re definitely hoping to exceed that this year because we have some making up to do from last year,” said CLC Executive Director Heather Perez. “Because it’s outdoors we can socially distance. We’re going to have tables and games outside, live entertainment, people will be moving about.”

Perez said they will follow all of the CDC guidelines for outdoor events. Guests will still need to wear masks when inside the clubhouse and certain common areas when getting food.

The Mingle depends on local restaurants for the food served during the evening, and this year eight restaurants will bring offerings. “For the first time in 25 years we’re offering to pay for the food, and the restaurants were just absolutely phenomenal in quoting us and bidding out the menu this year. They were very, very kind to us, in fact, 3 Dudes & Dinner isn’t charging us anything once again,” said Perez. “We have an amazing assortment of food that will be available.” Food establishments involved include 3 Dudes & Dinner, Doll n’ Burgers, Grand River Brewery, Kapnick Orchards, Tecumseh Golf Club, Sunset Ridge BBQ, Tuckey’s Big Boy and Twin Pines Eatery.

The May Mingle theme is “Hollywood Nights,” and attendees are welcome to come dressed as their favorite celebrity but are advised to dress for the outdoors and for comfort. Outdoor games will include cornhole, yard Jenga, and putt-putt golf. There will be a full bar at the golf club, and both silent and live auctions will allow bidders to vie for more than 150 items.

The entertainment for the evening is The Jim Rice Group, with Tim Brown as the DJ and Andrew Rowley as the emcee and auctioneer. Food will be served from 6-7:30 p.m., with the live auction beginning at 8 p.m. Both the live and silent auctions will also stream online for those who want to bid in that manner. There will be a preview of auction items at starting May 13, and bidding will begin May 14 at noon and will close the night of the event.

The live auction item with the biggest cash value at $9,650 is a six-night South African Safari for two to three hunters, which is a game-hunting, trophy-hunting excursion. The package includes three meals a day, lodging, transportation to and from the airport, accommodations, a guide, and transportation in South Africa. Airfare, gaming fees, and taxidermy fees are additional. The trip was acquired through Charity Safari, which offers the trips to qualified nonprofits who apply to be awarded a trip package.

Also part of the live auction will be a one-year full golf membership to Tecumseh Golf Club with a value of $4,000, a culinary experience for eight from 3 Dudes & Dinner, a Traeger Ironwood 650 six-in-one grill with Wi-Fi control from Martin’s Home Center, one-of-a-kind metal art from Logan Church, LC Metals and More, and a VIP experience to the 2022 Mingle.

Some of the many silent auction items include a Kroger $250 gift certificate, massages from Adrian School of Massage, a 30-minute flight exploration with Skywalker Flying, a $368 gift certificate to Dr. Flue’s chimney sweep service, a Green Bay Packers autographed football, a Detroit Pistons signed ball cap, a one-year membership to Hidden Lake Gardens, a glider ride from the Adrian Soaring Club, movie passes, many gift baskets, gift cards, memberships, and more.

The event is made possible by lead sponsor Old National Bank as well as sponsors DiggyPOD, KIRCHHOFF Automotive, Marty and Carol Boot, Tom and Jeanette Meyer, Premier Bank, Foundation Realty, Kiwanis Club of Tecumseh, D & P Communications, County National Bank, Jesse Pizana, Victory Builders, Tuckey’s Big Boy, Steve Hutchinson, Sunderland Insurance and Schmidt & Sons Pharmacy. “The Tecumseh Golf Club and Tim Simpson have been wonderful supporters of us over the years, and they’re actually giving us the venue for free, so that was huge,” Perez said.

Tickets are $45 each and may be purchased through any CLC employee or board member and at Tuckey’s Big Boy, Old National Bank, Schmidt & Sons Pharmacy, as well as at Online ticket sales will end at noon on Friday, May 14, but tickets may also be purchased the night of the event.

Perez said there has been a huge increase in the amount of basic needs items the organization has been helping families with, as well as the social-emotional supports needed by students. “We rely on the generosity of our community to be able to continue our work, and feel very blessed to be here serving the children and families of Tecumseh,” she said.

The rain date for the May Mingle is Saturday, May 22. For more information on CLC, visit

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