Kickstarting a Town Tradition Raises Money For Local Booster Club

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In November 2019, the holidays were starting to ramp up like they always do. The Town of Griswold was planning the annual Snowflake Parade, Football was in full swing with youth and high school teams going at it. Plus, area residents were getting ready for an event that happens once a year. A charity event to raise money for the Griswold Booster Club, the annual Turkey Dip that takes place every year on Thanksgiving morning where local crazies (said affectionately of course) jump in Ashland Pond behind the Jacques Cartier Club, regardless of temperature and state of mind. It was also the first year we wouldn’t see the best dipper of them all, Jeff Collins who passed away unexpectedly just 4 months prior.

In 2020, there wasn’t a dip, because of COVID-19. There was no Thanksgiving Day High School Football Game rivalries to watch.

In 2021, things start to loosen up and start happening again. Football is on! Both Griswold and Plainfield had tough years on the gridiron but Griswold Youth took home a couple of Super Bowl victories. Also coming back… the annual Turkey Dip.

If you ask a few people in the know, they will tell you that the catalyst for bringing back the Dip was Michele Demicco. But, if you ask Michele, she will tell you that she reached out to Melissa Wooten, made some flyers, and made her twins, Jaxson and Logan jump in the lake as well as members of the GHS basketball team including Ryan Tate, Tommy Mattson, Christian Russell, Kyle Roode, Evan Merchant, Gavin Demicco, and 2/3 of the Strain Triplets, Lucas and Jacob. Michael couldn’t because he had to sing at the Football game!!! Understandable!!

Michele Demicco said in a statement, “I honestly just want to get the athletic program back to what it used to be. We are losing kids to other schools and it makes me so upset. You see the talent we have in this town. I just want to get involved and help any way I can so the kids can have the experience they deserve.”
The Turkey Dip was a success, raising a total of $1961 according to Melissa Wooten. The basketball team raised $1262, over $700 alone by Ryan “The Future” Tate. The top individual award went to Jaxson and Logan. Next year, Demicco wants to get more teams involved and start growing the event once again.

What’s the best way to grow it? Get involved, then re-name the event for the man who everyone KNEW was the absolute Turkey Dip King, Jeff Collins.

The hat will live forever….. I’m sure his daughter will have something to say about that.

Written by: Mike Minarsky

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