As their respective teams prepare for a battle on the gridiron, Michigan and Michigan State fans will also compete. Except this battle will be to raise money for VINA Community Dental Center.
The 14th annual VINA Tailgate fundraiser is set for Thursday, October 27 at Crystal Gardens from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The night consists of a silent auction with more than 100 silent auction items, including fall décor, fan gear, golf packages, collectible items, gift cards and tickets to various experiences and sporting events. There will also be a live auction for tickets to the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game this year. More than 200 people will come together with the goal of raising money to provide low-cost dental care to the underserved populations in Livingston County.
Whichever school’s fanbase raises the most money for the nonprofit dental clinic wins the VINA Tailgate, and over the the past 13 years, Michigan fans have won six while Michigan State fans have won seven. Organizers say this year’s event could tie it up for the Wolverines or help the Spartans extend their lead.
In addition to the silent auction, Tailgate tickets give attendees access to a buffet of tailgate food, raffles, a cash bar, cornhole games and a fun atmosphere with the Brighton High School marching band and banter between fans and this year’s Tailgate captains.
This year’s team captains have both led their teams to a VINA Tailgate victory in the last two years. Bob Cernak was the Michigan captain last year when the Wolverine fans won the Tailgate and George Moses was the Spartan’s captain in 2020 when Michigan State fans won the virtual Tailgate fundraiser. Both are alums from their respective schools and are well-known in the Livingston County community.
The winning school’s flag hangs in a window at VINA until next year’s Tailgate.
Sponsorships are available until October 14 with a variety of levels and benefits. Tailgate tickets and reserved tables of ten are available for purchase until October 20. Sponsorships, tickets and donations can be purchased using this link.
VINA Community Dental Center of Livingston County is a non-profit outreach facility that provides affordable dental care and education to uninsured patients in Livingston County with limited finances. VINA improves the quality of life through better oral health, promoting healthy behaviors and elevating prevention awareness. “VINA” stands for Vision, Integrity, Need, and Action.