Dinner held to help NMU employee

Alex Eisner

On Friday, March 19, there will be a kidney donor awareness benefit dinner in the Jacobetti Center commons area for an NMU employee.

Janece Hanycz, a vendor payment account representative in NMU’s Vendor Payables department, is in need of a kidney transplant. This benefit is being presented by the Community Services Committee of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 1950 at NMU, and the NMU Hospitality Management program.

All proceeds from this event will help Hanycz’s travel expenses for the surgery when a donor is found, said Kathy Solka, a member of the UAW committee and principal secretary in NMU’s Engineering Technology department.

Hanycz said she will have to travel to Madison, Wisc. to get the surgery.  This will be her second kidney transplant. Hanycz received her first transplant when she was younger; however, transplanted kidneys must be replaced periodically.

“More than one transplant is especially common if you receive it at a young age,” Hanycz said.

Michelle Kimball, chair of the committee and senior library assistant in the Learning Resources Center, said the main goal of this dinner is to help Hanycz while raising awareness of the importance of organ donation.

It’s important for people to know about donation and how they can give back to the community, even in death, Kimball added.

Information about living and non-living donation will be available at the dinner.

“There will be information pamphlets and the ability to sign up for organ donation,” Hanycz said.

Also, two representatives from the Michigan Eye Bank will be there to answer questions about kidney donation, Hanycz said.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are almost 83,000 waiting list candidates for a kidney.

The benefit dinner will also have a raffle with prizes ranging from gift certificates to local restaurants and car detailing packages to overnight hotel stays and tickets for professional football games, said Solka.

Solka added that Dave Guizzetti of All Star DJ’s, a music and entertainment business, has donated his time and services to this event.

“We’re trying to make it festive for Janece, and we’re hopeful that a donor will come out of this,” Solka said.

The dinner is being prepared by students and staff from NMU’s Hospitality Management program.

“(Professor in the Technical and Occupational Sciences department) Chris Kibit and the students have been amazing and been very (respectful) in doing events of this type, and they were more than willing to do something like this for one of Northern’s own,” said Solka. “We’re also very appreciative to the students who are giving up their Friday night to cook.”

This event is open to everybody and a minimum donation of $10 is requested, said Hanycz.

The dinner is from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will include two types of pasta, two sauces (one vegetarian), a bread, salad and dessert, said Solka. Take-out orders are available.

Anyone interested in making a donation or getting tickets for the dinner in advance should contact Kathy Solka at [email protected] or Michelle Kimball at [email protected]