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Friends Together to host Community Celebration and pig roast Sunday

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Mayor Matt Waligora proclaimed Sunday Give a Hand to Friends Affected by Cancer Day. Friends Together will be holding its community celebration Sunday. Left to right are Nancy Smithem, Aneka Wagner, Waligora, Stacy Roznowski and Barb Skaluba.

ALPENA — As a thank you to the community for its support, Friends Together is hosting its Community Celebration and Pig Roast Sunday at the Bay View Park bandshell.

Friends Together offers services to those who are affected by cancer, and depends largely on community donations and volunteers. Founder Judy Burns said the event, which begins at 12 p.m., is a way to express the organization’s gratitude to the community for its generosity. It is the fourth year the event has been held.

“We do this as a thank you for the support Friends Together and the people touched by cancer receive all year long,” Burns said.

There will be a variety of entertainment and recreational activities going on throughout the day at the park, Burns said. There will be three important recognitions as well, she said. At 2 p.m. the staff at Alpena Cancer Center will be recognized as the 2017 Friends of the Year. She said everyone there works hard and with compassion to help those who are dealing with the disease in one way or another.

“The cancer center is the star of the medical community in Alpena I believe,” Burns said. “They work long hours to provide compassionate care to the patients. I don’t think the community really understands the hard work and dedication these people have.”

At 3:15 p.m. the ribbon ceremony will take place, where cancer patients, caregivers and those who died from the disease will be honored. Later one of the 30 teams that fundraise for Friends Together will be honored because of the amount of money it raised this year. Burns said fundraising in Northeast Michigan remains stronger than ever.

“We broke all of our records,” she said.

Burns said there will be drawings every hour during the event and the prizes will have Alpena themes and can be used locally. She said a kid zone will be set up where kids can play in a bounce house or build something at the Home Depot Kid’s Workshop. There also will be a DJ to provide music during the event.

There will be about 800 pounds of pork and all of the fixings to round out the meal. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

“We want people to spend the entire day with us,” Burns said. “We don’t want them to just come eat and then leave. We want people to enjoy what we have put together for them as a thank you.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.

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