Agency event to support med transport

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette A Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly van is seen at its Hancock office. A pancake breakfast and open house Saturday will raise money for the medical transport program.

HANCOCK — Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly will host a pancake breakfast and open house at its office in Hancock Saturday to help raise funds for its medical transport program.

Little Brothers will also be selling tickets for its sweepstakes, in which the top prize is a 2012 Ford Mustang convertible. Tickets are $5 each, $10 for three, $20 for six or $30 for 10. The drawing will be held Sept. 16.

“All year, we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary, so we’re incorporating this into a lot of our events,” said Little Brothers program director Gail Ross.

Like the breakfast, the sweepstakes will also raise money for the medical transport program. During any given week, Little Brothers drivers take 85 to 90 elderly residents to medical appointments, said Paul Bruchman, coordinator for the medical transport program.

They don’t play favorites, Bruchman said; the program is available to anyone 60 and older. They can range from people with trouble walking or seeing to people in electric wheelchairs, Bruchman said.

The service is free, and having health insurance is not required, Bruchman said.

Little Brothers drivers transport people to all the clinics and hospitals in the area and also make multiple trips per week to Marquette.

“A lot of our folks don’t get out, and this is an opportunity to get out and talk to somebody, especially on a long trip,” Bruchman said. “If you’re going to Marquette, they like to open up and talk about their history. I’ve met a couple gals who were Rosie the Riveters in World War II.”

The program has about 21 active drivers, Bruchman said. But with volunteers having their own busy schedules, Little Brothers is looking for more people to help.

Drivers must be 21, with a clean driving record, and also pass a background check.

“I’ll train them in how to use the straps in the various vans because they’re configured slightly differently, and I can teach them how to hook the chairs up properly if needed,” Bruchman said.

Bruchman’s been in the position for about a month. The ex-forester had previously worked in Little Brothers’ firewood program. It’s been really rewarding, he said.

“People are just flowing with praise and thanks every time we drop them off,” he said. “There’s some ladies who say, ‘I (couldn’t) afford the $100 trip to Marquette. I don’t know what we’d do if it wasn’t for you.’ So that’s a nice feeling to have when you go home at the end of the day.”

Saturday’s breakfast will take place from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday at Little Brothers’ Hancock office at 527 Hancock St. Tickets are $5. Kids 8 and under eat free.

COVID restrictions still apply. There will be limited indoor seating; outdoor seating and takeout will also be available.

For more information, call 906-482-6944.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today