Thursday, March 29, 2012

Annual SMU benefit raises $16,000 for alumnus, veteran

This year's recipient, SMU alumnus Josh Misiewicz, and the benefit's first recipient, Taylor Richmond of Cochrane, Wis.
Jill Spitzmueller thanks Josh Misiewicz for his service.

More than 600 attendees danced the night away.

WINONA, Minn. — More than 610 people attended Saint Mary’s University’s 12th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance on March 24.

Proceeds from the dance — and a silent auction held on campus — raised more than $16,000 for this year’s beneficiary, Josh Misiewicz, a Marine veteran and 2006-2008 SMU alumnus who was severely injured this past summer while serving in Afghanistan.

In July, a landmine exploded and Misiewicz suffered the loss of both legs and two shattered eardrums. He is recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, where his positive attitude and enduring spirit is serving as an example to others.

The benefit dance has become an annual tradition since it was started by students in 2001 in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry and Student Life staff member Nikki Richmond and her husband Nick Richmond, both of Cochrane, Wis. Taylor has a genetic terminal illness called Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T) and the money from his benefit was used to fulfill Taylor’s dream of going to Disneyworld. Each year this event benefits someone in the SMU community in need.

Donations are still being accepted. To help, send checks — payable to the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance — to Lance Thompson, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 700 Terrace Heights No. 1528, Winona, MN 55987.