Fundraising for U.P. organizations through jewelry


MARQUETTE– For the past couple of years, Beth Millner Jewelry designs a new pendant to benefit a local non-profit.

“Everybody submits in different paperwork, lets us know if they have a dot org so that we can make that they are legitimate,” said Jane Wagar, Shop Assistant, Beth Millner Jewelry. “We check out their social media. We choose four local Upper Peninsula organizations and then we work with them to create a pendant that we feel like represents that organization.”

Pendants represent the Hiawatha Music Co-op, Moosewood Nature Center, Marquette Regional History Center and the newest ones benefit the Peter White Public Library and Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum.

“Everybody loves the children’s museum,” said Wagar. “It’s such a wonderful place to go and it just is sort of like a pillar of the community.”

The design features children’s hands reaching for the stars.

“Kind of the heart and soul of what this organization is,” Nheena Weyer Ittner, Director, U.P. Children’s Museum.” It’s about children and it’s about imagination and fun and reaching for stars.”

The children’s museum says fundraisers like this help keep the museum running.

“The children’s museum has a budget of about $400,000 and we get about 40-percent of that from philanthropy and the philanthropy comes to us in many different ways and just to have a piece of jewelry that also is a fundraiser is a delightful way to raise money,” said Ittner.

The ‘Reach for the Stars’ pendant was just released. The Hiawatha Music Co-op pendant will be retired next week and two more will retire in the fall. After that, pendants for the Bonifas Art Center and Heritage Trail Network will make their debut.

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