Long-time friends of a Farmington Hills family devastated last year by a brutal attack have organized a March 23 event at St. Fabian Catholic Church to raise funds and celebrate the community's compassionate response.
Proceeds from the euchre tournament will help members of the Cipriano family, who are recovering from the April 16 assaults that killed Bob Cipriano and left his wife, Rose, and son, Salvatore, with severe injuries. Salvatore's twin brother Tanner and sister Isabelle were not injured. Another son, Tucker, faces a trial later this year on felony charges connected to the crimes.
Salvatore and Tanner are students at Catholic Central High School in Novi.
Since the tragedy, people have stepped up in many ways to support the family, including a 5k run/walk.
"We're able to witness grace," said Bitterle, a member of the book club organizing the March 23 fundraiser. "It was such a horrible tragedy, but what's coming out of it has been a miracle."
Bitterle said the club started 20 years ago as a gathering of Michigan State University alums who all graduated in the mid-1980s. Rose Cipriano joined 12 years ago, through a connection with one of her co-workers. The members get together to golf, their kids have grown up together.
Because the family has requested privacy, Bitterle said, the event will give the public an opportunity to reach out and help. The event, which may become an annual gathering, is not set up to be really competitive, she added.
"Everyone plays from beginning to end," Bitterle said. Participants will move from table to table, depending on the outcome of each game. "It's fun, it's social, it's low-key."
Why euchre? "Everyone played euchre at Michigan State," Bitterle said. "It is a social thing for this particular group."
WDIV-TV personality Jackie Paige has signed on as emcee. Buy in for the tournament is $50. Snacks, pop and water will be available, and participants can bring in their own beer or wine. The hall at St. Fabian will accommodate about 200 players. Look for on-line registration soon at ciprianochildrenstrust.org; paid reservations must be received by March 16.
Organizers are also collecting silent auction items; anyone who wishes to donate can contact Patti Flanagan, firstname.lastname@example.org.