Keego Harbor Jacket Club members donate their time to a volunteer cause.

Keego Harbor Jacket Club members donate their time to a volunteer cause.

Photo provided by the Keego Harbor Jacket Club

Jacket Club has a taste for serving others

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published February 28, 2019

 A past Keego Harbor Jacket Club Wild Game Dinner brought fundraising opportunities and unique eats to the Santia Banquet Center.

A past Keego Harbor Jacket Club Wild Game Dinner brought fundraising opportunities and unique eats to the Santia Banquet Center.

Photo provided by the Keego Harbor Jacket Club


KEEGO HARBOR — The 53rd annual Keego Harbor Jacket Club Wild Game Dinner will be a roaring good time for a good cause, organizers say, providing assistance for families in Keego Harbor.

The Jacket Club will host its annual dinner in Santia Hall at the Santia Banquet Center, 1985 Cass Lake Road, March 12. Doors will open at 5 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. A raffle drawing will take place at 8:30 p.m. 

The wild game dishes include walleye, elk stew, venison meatballs, quail, rabbit, pheasant, carved beef and bison, venison ragu, salad, vegetables, rice, potatoes and more. 

A special silent auction item, the “Liberty” quilt, will be displayed at Winterset Galleries in Keego Harbor. The quilt was created by West Bloomfield resident Martha Stewart and is a Great Lakes Heritage Quilters 2018 mystery quilt project. Nicole Burgess, the owner of Winterset Galleries, is hosting the silent auction item.

Tickets are available by reservation only and cost $45 each. One hundred percent of the proceeds are returned to families in need, organizers said. 

Families selected to receive assistance from the Jacket Club are chosen based on their inclusion in the National School Lunch Program’s free and reduced lunches, as well as families that Roosevelt Elementary School staff has identified as being financially in need. Roosevelt Elementary staff provides names of the families to the Jacket Club.

The Wild Game Dinner is the Jacket Club’s primary fundraiser. During the Christmas season, the club provides families in need at Roosevelt Elementary with food and gifts.

The club also allocates emergency school funds during the winter season to children who need boots, shoes or other clothing items.

Sue Williams, the treasurer of the Jacket Club, said in an email that the club’s mission is to help Keego Harbor families and individuals in need. 

“Other programs include supplying Roosevelt Elementary School with new coats and mittens for their coat closet, and to collaborate with other groups to help in emergency situations,” she said of emergencies like utility shut-offs.

Williams said the club’s Christmas program helps between 25 and 30 families annually, and the number of children varies each year. 

“In 2018, we helped 26 families and 59 kids ages 1–17. Referrals are given to us from Roosevelt Elementary School,” she said. 

A food basket provides an entire week’s food, including meat, dairy products, canned goods, eggs, butter, fruits, vegetables and snacks, she said. 

“Each child receives $35-$40 in gifts, usually one large gift and other smaller ones. The cost for the program was over $5,000,” Williams said. “Like most groups, we find that people don’t want to attend board meetings or become a member but can be counted on to help at the drop of a phone call. The community helps us put on this dinner so that we can continue to do our programs.”

Jacket Club of Keego Harbor member Patricia Ostroske said that this is her third year participating in the Jacket Club and being the chair of the Wild Game Dinner, for which she has big hopes.

“I hope we can make as much money as we can,” she said, adding that the event trawditionally has a “good turnout” with “good camaraderie.”

“It continues to grow,” Ostroske said, adding that there is such a “good community” with people getting together and supporting the cause for the Jacket Club where people need help in the city.

The Jacket Club began in 1966 when a group of individuals at a local restaurant heard the sound of screeching tires. A young boy crossing the road had been hit by a car, and his mother, carrying a baby and with two young children at her side, ran from a nearby house and stood shivering in the cold as the paramedics treated the boy, according to the history of the club. The group sought to help the woman and other families in the community facing a bleak Christmas by establishing the Keego Harbor Jacket Club.

For tickets or more information, find the Jacket Club of Keego Harbor on Facebook.

Advance registration is required. Call (248) 736-7520 or (248) 701-6027 for tickets.