Love was in the air last Saturday at the Cherry Creek Golf Club as couples came out in support of the Shelby Fire Department at the annual Red Hot Night charity event.
Celebrating its 21st year, the valentine-themed dinner and dance brought together the community for a night of love and support for a cause close to the firefighters’ hearts: the Great Lakes Burn Camp.
Held twice yearly, the weeklong camp is a special place where burn survivors ages 6-17 can heal and grow together, regardless of their ailments.
All proceeds from the night will go towards the children’s participation at the camp, including lodging, food and events.
Attendees danced the evening away after enjoying a four-course meal and dessert amid the glow of crimson lights. A silent auction was held along with red-and-white-ticket raffle drawings with prizes ranging from Swarovski crystal jewelry, Pistons tickets, gift certificates to local restaurants and even an HDTV.
Rows of champagne glasses lined a table in the middle of the room for the special champagne diamond raffle in which one lucky glass contained a real diamond at the bottom. Door prizes based on ticket numbers were also drawn.
“This is the 10th year I have been coming and it’s really a night that you end up looking forward to,” said Kerry Hitchings, a local middle school teacher. “If I had to pick one charity that I would like to give money to every single year, it would be this charity.”
The Great Lakes Burn Camp winter session will be held in two weeks. Participants will travel up north to Boyne Mountain.
They will be instructed on how to snowboard and ski, among other winter activities, and spend a day at the indoor water park.
“Normally, everyone looks at the kids differently when they walk around here but when they go to camp, they get to be regular kids who can take their shirts off and go swimming,” said Frank Pierce, Shelby Fire Lt. and camp counselor, with tears in his eyes. “We’re the outsiders as firefighters; we take care of them and they have no worries for a week.”’
To find out more about the Great Lakes Burn Camp, visit their website at www.greatlakesburncamp.com.