MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Grills were sizzling on the patio of the Mariucci Family Beacon House as some U.P. legends threw down for a good cause. Tom Izzo and Steve Mariucci traded in their coach’s whistles for a set of tongs and a chef’s coat as a way to raise money to help support the Beacon House.

“There’s nothing more fitting and more timely than seeing that helicopter fly over,” Steve Mariucci said.

“Every time we see that helicopter we know that within minutes we’re going to have a family calling us saying my dad, my brother, my mom, my sister, my son, my daughter,” Mary Tavernini Dowling, CEO of Mariucci Family Beacon House said. “The wonderful professionals at U.P. Health System, they’re the ones that gonna take care of them and we know that we’re going to welcome their family members in and we’re going to take care of them.”

With the mission of being a home away from home, the Beacon House aims to ease the stress on families when going through a difficult time.

“Being that the hospital moved over to this new location and we needed to be close right and so we are able to be here with the generosity of so many people that helped build this fabulous facility,” Mariucci said. “It’s been full since we had our grand opening which was right before Christmas, so it was kind of a cool Christmas gift to the U.P.

“What this facility means to families is that some would be so displaced when they are traveling from as far away as New Jersey, for example, those families were able to support their son as he recovered in the hospital here,” Gar Atchison, CEO of U.P. Health System-Marquette said.

Regardless of the winner all of the proceeds from Thursday’s event went back to the Beacon House, but that still didn’t stop Mariucci from telling everyone who he thought took home the title of grill master.

“Wait…that one says that you voted for pork,” Mariucci said. “Thank you for saying that but you need to take that out and go put it on the beef over there.”

Donations to the Beacon House can be made through monetary donations and items on their donation wish list. You can also support the Beacon House by purchasing an item off of their Amazon Charity list. All donations can be dropped off to the Beacon House Monday through Friday between 9 am and 6 pm, or on weekends between 11 am and 3 pm.

Donation wish list