by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor
The Wertz Warriors made their annual stops in Millersburg and Onaway last Friday as part of their seven-day snowmobile trek across Michigan. It is the 33rd year of the ride, which was organized by former Tiger Vic Wertz as a way to raise money to completely fund the Winter Special Olympics.
Each year, the Warriors are invited to Millersburg Eagles Aerie 4482 and Stoney Creek Restaurant & Lounge to receive generous contributions to the cause.
Presque Isle County has been a part of the itiniery for more than a couple of decades. The Night Hawk Inn in Hawks hosted them for many years, and the Millersburg Inn (now Three Cedars Restaurant) kept it going. Now the Millersburg Eagles and Stoney Creek owners Rod and Judy Crawford continue to make the county proud with their unwavering support of Special Olympic athletes.
The late morning stop in Millersburg at the Eagles’ building included coffee and 100 homemade cinnamon buns made by Pat Watson. With frigid temperatures outside, everybody was packed in the warm club with little room to even put on a green warriors’ jacket.
Eagles’ president Larry Kaltz presented Warrior veteran Bob Myers with a check for $1,200. “We also sold $225 worth of the cash back raffle tickets,” said Kaltz.
Myers awarded the group a framed certificate to acknowledge the donation.
“Everyone knows it goes way beyond what you see here,” said Myers. “If it weren’t for people like you, we could not make this happen. We really appreciate it.”
Tammie Davis was there to represent special Olympians and handed over her own personal check for $100, which received the loudest round of applause during the ceremony.
The warriors then embarked again for the quick trip to Stoney Creek for a large lunch of chicken and meatballs, and to receive another check from three major fundraisers, which included a golf scramble in September; auction in December; and Texas Hold’em tournament in January.
Master of ceremonies Joe Brewbaker said the amount raised was $12,207.50.
“That’s a lot of dough, you know, in these tough times,” said Myers. “When we can raise money like that it’s because of this community.”
Myers gave a special thanks to his “Wertz Warrior buddies” who came to Onaway to take part in the auction. “I also want to thank them for all the money they spent that night. I think their wives had a little something to do with that.” Myers also presented the Crawfords with a framed certificate.
“Like Mark Fidrych used to say, ‘throw it up on the wall.’ ” said Myers with a laugh. “Anyway, we are happy to be here and give you that certificate of appreciation.”
“I would like to thank everybody for everything that you have done,” said Crawford. “You do a great job.”
The Eagles also helped with the auction.
The state winter games were Feb. 4 to 7.