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Chip in for Chip

November 2, 2009 - Diane Speer
I've seen a lot of directors come and go over the years at Thunder Bay Theatre. Ordinarily, they direct a few seasons, then opt to move on to bigger, better opportunities.

In the 20 plus years I've covered TBT, only one director has left the area and then several years down the road decided to move back permanently because he loved the community of Alpena and the people so much. There wasn't a job awaiting Chip Lavely when he first came back, but eventually he landed several, including at his church, Trinity Episcopal, and at the Alpena Senior Citizens Center. He quickly became involved in the church, in the community and at Alpena Civic Theatre.

While working at the Senior Center many months ago, Chip received what he thought was a minor cut on the foot. But being a diabetic, the cut ultimately turned into something much more serious and he had to give up his jobs. The foot wouldn't heal, he endured multiple hospitalizations and doctors feared they would have to amputate.

Just when it seemed like Chip's foot infection may have turned the corner, he found out he has lung cancer. Currently, he is undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Sadly those who know Chip best consider him the poster child for why all Americans today need health insurance.

Because Chip doesn't have insurance to cover his multitude of medical expenses, his friends at Trinity Episcopal Church and Alpena Civic Theatre have planned a CHIP IN FOR CHIP fundraiser Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 4:30-7 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. Tickets are $14 and include dinner and a Chinese auction.

Chip knew what a great place Alpena was when he made the conscious decision several years ago to move back here. This fundraiser is now a chance for local residents to show that we truly are a community that cares. Please plan on attending.


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