Aid by the Dozen cares for the community

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Aid by the Dozen members Chris Dubey, left, and Geri Skiba pose with a photo album from prior years featuring Aid by the Dozen members.

ALPENA — These 13 ladies have a heart for the community, raising funds for charity all year long.

Aid by the Dozen, organized in 1954, chooses to give a donation to a different nonprofit organization each month.

Over the years, the group has donated over $17,000 to charities in the Alpena area, including Friends Together, Alpena Baby Pantry, Children’s Closet, Zonta Walks for Women, Women’s Giving Circle, Toys for Kids, Friendship Room, and the Salvation Army. They also give donations to those who have recently experienced a house fire or car crash, to cancer patients, and they provide gas funds for travel to and from medical appointments.

Current members include Carole Kelly, Tammy Daleski, Lori Zeller, Chris Dubey, Marlene Montie, Maxine Gagnon, Sherry Allen, Leora Jacobs, Kaye Ross, Mariette Jore, Geri Skiba, Nancy Belanger, and Catherine Murphy.

They’re a baker’s dozen, at 13 members.

News Photo by Darby Hinkley The Aid by the Dozen ladies gather for a group photo at a recent meeting at the 19th Hole in Alpena. Pictured, front row, from left, are Marlene Montie, Leora Jacobs, Nancy Belanger, Kaye Ross, and Carole Kelly. In the back row, from left, are Geri Skiba, Catherine Murphy, Sherry Allen, Tammy Daleski, Lori Zeller, Mariette Jore, and Chris Dubey. Missing from the photo is Maxine Gagnon.

“Originally, there were 13 groups with 13 members each, and that’s where the Aid by the Dozen came in, a baker’s dozen,” said Chris Dubey, who has been in the club for 60 years. “We used to have something called Fun Fest,” which was held at McRae Park several times, and other places such as the union hall, Dubey said.

“We were actually the second group organized,” Dubey said.

They’ve done several benefit dinners for people who have had medical needs over the years, Dubey said.

They have also delivered Christmas baskets to families in need. Dubey said helping those in need is the group’s mission and passion.

Marlene Montie is the group’s Sunshine Lady, who sends “Thinking of You” cards to a variety of people, including shut-ins and those in care homes.

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Marlene Montie is the Aid by the Dozen Sunshine Lady, who writes and sends cards to shut-ins and many people in the community. She is seen writing out a card at her home on Wednesday.

“It’s very encouraging,” Montie said of being the Sunshine Lady. “I really like it.”

She said she receives cards in return some of the time, which is a nice gesture to keep the encouragement going. She does it because she enjoyes blessing others. She said getting a physical card in the mail is a nice surprise, and she thinks more people should mail out cards to each other, because it’s more personal than email.

“I wish a lot more people would do it,” she said of sending cards.

She sends out about 15 cards per month, and more during the holiday season.

“At Christmastime, we’ll take Christmas cards and each of us will write out about 10 of them, and then they’re taken to the care homes, and those people just love that,” Montie said. “I would encourage anybody to do that. It just makes their day, and your day.”

Montie started as Sunshine Lady when she joined Aid by the Dozen in 2017. Her sister, Dubey, encouraged her to join.

“She has been in club since she was 18,” Montie said of her sister.

Dubey is the group’s treasurer. Skiba is the scribe. Murphy is the president.

Both Dubey and Skiba love being a part of the Aid by the Dozen, because they enjoy doing everything they can to help others.

Reach Lifestyles Editor Darby Hinkley at dhinkley@thealpenanews.com, or at 989-358-5691.


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