By Jim Kasuba,

Photo by Constance York - for The News-Herald

Photo by Constance York – for The News-Herald

When organizers set a high goal for a fundraising event, they know there’s always a chance they’ll be disappointed.

There’s so many things that can wrong, and to reach the goal everything has to to go right.

Dana Browning, chairwoman of Blessings in a Backpack-Wyandotte, said last year’s charity game brought in $17,000 for the cause, but this year organizers aimed for $20,000.

Browning knew bringing in an extra $3,000 wasn’t going to be easy, but they managed to pull it off.

“I will be smiling a long time over this game,” Browning said about the Jan. 21 game that featured Detroit Red Wings Alumni players who went up against a team of mostly former Wyandotte students. “Our profit was a little over $20,000, which I am extremely happy about.”

Called “Pack the Yack,” the fundraiser lived up to its name, as the stands at the Yack Recreation Center were packed with about 540 fans who purchased tickets.

Browning called it “an awesome turnout” that also was helped by a silent auction and bucket auction, both of which were big hits.

“I want to thank the anonymous donor who won the 50/50 (drawing) and donated her half back to Blessings,” Browning said.

The amount donated back to the program from the raffle winner was $453.

It’s probably fair to say nobody who attends the game expects the home town Wyandotte Bears to beat the retired professional hockey players, but they can always dream. The score was 12-5, in favor of the Red Wings Alumni.

“Although Team Wyandotte came up way short on goals, we had a fun time,” Browning said. “Some of the players on the Red Wings Alumni team that were first-time players against Team Wyandotte were Pat Peake, Jason Woolley, John Blum, Nick Libett and Wayne Presley.”

Blessings in a Backpack donates food on a weekly basis to children who qualify for the Federal Free Lunch program at Wyandotte’s elementary schools.

Under the program, Browning said it costs $100 per year to feed a child, so $20,000 feeds 200 students for an entire school year.

Now that the program has been introduced to all four of the district’s elementary schools, Browning wants to expand it to Wilson Middle School as well.

“Hopefully this will put us closer to packing for Wilson, since all of the elementary schools are up and running,” she said. “Our goal is to add Wilson as soon as possible. We have approximately 560 students at Wilson who qualify for this program, so that is an additional $56,000 a year.”

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