WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University will present the 12th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance from 8:30 p.m. to midnight Saturday, March 24.
The beneficiary of this year’s formal dance — open to the public — is alumnus Josh Misiewicz, a Marine veteran who was severely injured this past summer while serving in Afghanistan.
Marine Lance Corporal Misiewicz grew up in La Grange, Ill., where he was a well-known hockey star. He attended Saint Mary’s for two years (2006-08) before pursuing his passion to become a U.S. Marine.
In July, his life changed in a flash: a landmine exploded and he suffered the loss of both legs and two shattered eardrums. He recovered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, where his positive attitude and enduring spirit served as an example to others.
Misiewicz received the Purple Heart medal this past fall.
Even though the federal government covers Misiewicz's medical expenses, the family is facing many other long-term costs including transportation, home improvements, and a hand-controlled vehicle. Josh and his parents are planning to return to Winona for the event.
The benefit dance has become an annual tradition since its start in 2001 by students in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of SMU staff member Nikki Richmond and her husband Nick Richmond 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 Disney World. Each year this event benefits someone in the SMU community in need.
The dance, featuring music by the Johnny Holm Band, will be held in the Toner Student Center gymnasium. Ticket prices are $18 per person or $30 per couple. To purchase tickets or receive more information, contact Lance Thompson at (507) 457-1686. Dance tickets will also be available at the door.
In combination with the dance, a silent auction will be held on campus from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 22-23. A variety of homemade goods, gift baskets and specialty items will be on display in the game room, located in the Toner Student Center. The public is welcome to bid.
To make a donation, send checks — payable to the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance — to Thompson at Saint Mary’s University, 700 Terrace Heights, Box 1528, Winona, MN 55987.