Soberfest a huge success

To the editor:

Saturday, Aug. 31 saw the largest Soberfest event yet! Soberfest III brought together approximately 400 people from the community and proved, once again, fun and fellowship is possible without alcohol or substances.

Our posters, rack cards, and magnets were created and partially donated by B.J. and Tom from The Print Shop-Houghton, and partially paid for by IR Telemetrics. Donna Berryman of Superior Equipment and Events provided the games and activity tent. Chickadee’s created our colorful shirts. Pop and water from Coca-Cola of Hancock and from Pepsi of Houghton, and Birch Beer from Keweenaw Brewing Company quenched our thirst. The Coffee Tent offered samples from 5th & Elm and K.C. Bonkers. Delicious bakery came from Festival Foods, Roy’s Bakery of Houghton, and Louie’s Fresh Markets of Lake Linden. Mac-and-Cheese and fruit were donated from Julie of the Bonfire Grill. Jimmy Johns donated tasty subs. Thank you to all attendees who brought food for the potluck.

DJ Anthony Butina and live music knocked it out of the park (pardon the pun!)! The musical Rob Fritz family, the impressive guitar and singing of Carl Miller and Steve Kangas, and Jack Chamberlain on his accordion treated us to incredible local talent.

In the Activity Tent, Allison and Sarah got us moving with Zumba. Jess taught us Self-Ascension techniques to relieve stress. Julie had the group creating art with Alcohol Ink. Christina of SuperNova Studios had a full tent participating in yoga. Outside, Brandon of Paddle Sports offered free paddleboard lessons. Kim held Sound Therapy with Singing Bowls throughout the afternoon. The kids were treated to a firetruck provided by Houghton Fire Department.

To spread the word, we depended on the generosity of Jeff, Kevin, Todd, and John of Houghton Broadcasting, Mary Ann and Dirk at WMPL-Hancock, Steve and Joyce at Eagle Radio-Baraga, Jennifer at WMQT-Marquette, and John at WJNR/WOBE/WHTO-Iron Mountain. The Daily Mining Gazette helped us again thanks to Yvonne and Garrett. Dave’s BP posted our information for a day.

Our volunteers outdid themselves this year, especially the Finlandia Football Players who manned the games. Huge thanks to Roberta, Timothy, Jerry, Tim, Greg, Aubrey, Gabby, and Austin for their valuable time. Shout out to Heather of Communities That Care and Chris of Dial-Help for helping spread the word and manning information tables on-site. Thank you to Lt. Roberts of Houghton Police for providing some of his people, and to Kevin at the Dee for your support.

Donations from attendees and the following were so important for this year and next: Copper Country Ford, The Shipping Shop, Erickson’s Feed, Auto Pro Glass and Tire, Keweenaw Automotive, City of Houghton, Econo Foods, River Valley Bank, MTU Credit Union, Walmart, Anthony Butina, and Kirkish Furniture.

Our hard-working committee is already working on next year’s event. Thank you so much to all who participated!