Page 1

CONGRATULATIONS

Grosse Ile Boys Soccer

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The greatest compliment you can give is a referral.

8146 Macomb St. Grosse Ile, MI 48138-1574 Bus: 734-675-6870 Fax: 734-675-0492 rita@ritacole.com

DIVISION 3 CHAMPIONS!! See story on Page 33

November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Gi-GrandNews.com

Business Association of Grosse Ile

Family takes it to a higher level

Thanksgiving tradition

Thanksgiving will be here in a few short weeks, and it’s that time of year to celebrate our “uniquely American holiday.” It’s a nationwide time for reflection, looking back to the year that’s almost over, and giving thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us. Families gather to share the joy of being united and honor age-old traditions passed down through generations. Maybe it’s the travel to the ancestral home, or the special preparation of the holiday meal, or curbing your appetite by watching the Lions before fabulous feasting, and spending the rest of the evening in a tryptophanic By Bill Stevenson haze that becomes the Thanksgiving ritual. For others, starting the day with the Turkey Trot downtown and bundling up the fam for America’s Thanksgiving Parade down Woodward Avenue is the November norm that even grandparents did when they were kids. But for one local family, they’ve taken the Thanksgiving family tradition, literally to new heights. The Rhind family of Grosse Ile - father, Scott and siblings, Jillian and Jonathon, not only attend the Thanksgiving parade, but for the past six years have been in the parade as “float navigators,” for the Parade Company, the SEE TRADITION, Page 4

Grosse Ile’s Rhind family

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Page 2 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

GROSSE ILE GRAND

In 2019 Leo Stevenson has been recognized by:

2019.

2019


GROSSE ILE GRAND

November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 3

Island Glow is back to delight Township residents The Grosse Ile Downtown District Authority, in conjunction with the Grosse Ile Recreation Dept., will kick off the official start of the Christmas holiday season with the Island Glow event on Dec. 6 and other events throughout the season. But before the holiday season even arrives, don’t forget Ladies Night Out on Macomb Street on Nov. 15 from 5-8 p.m. Check in at the commons for special deals from businesses. River Oaks Realty will have many vendors and a bonfire until 9 p.m. Island Glow annually attracts hundreds of residents to the downtown area to enjoy fellowship, treats and goodies, the arrival of Santa Claus and, of course, the lighting of the large Christmas tree in front of Pierdino’s Restaurant. The evening’s events begin around 5:45 p.m. when people begin to gather at the commons on Meridian. There is music and mingling and then, around 7 p.m., the star of the show - Santa arrives on a fire truck as the Grosse Ile High School marching band plays

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” After he arrives, Santa will be greeted by Grosse Ile Township Supervisor Brian Loftus who will present the jolly old elf with a key to the township. Santa will then lead a procession down Macomb Street to the front of Pierdino’s where the tree will be set aglow and the Christmas season officially welcomed in. The tree lighting marks the end of the official event, but the fun goes on as Santa lingers and meets with his admirers before departing in a horsedrawn carriage. Businesses on Macomb street treat customers to to holiday goodies and special deals on food and merchandise. A favorite feature of Island Glow is the “Lights at Lyon,” where participating

groups can decorate six-foot Christmas trees in any manner they choose. For $65 the DDA will provide a lighted tree and you are free to use you imagination to decorate it. Remember, it is outside, so make sure decorations are durable and if you add lights, please use LEDs. Trees must be decorated by 4 p.m Dec. 6 to be ready for Island Glow. Please contact DDA at 734-6764422, ext. 253 or angelas@grosseile. com. Payment must be received by Nov. 20 if you wish to be included in the program. Island Glow also marks the return of Santa’s Mailbox located on the Macomb Commons, Kids can mail letters to Santa there through Dec. 20. Be sure kids include a complete mailing address.

The Friday night event gets the season rolling, but there is more. On Saturday, Dec. 7 residents can have breakfast with Santa at Centennial Farm. From 10 a.m. - noon, kids and adults like can have a pancake breakfast with the man of the season, take pictures and make craft - all for five bucks. The following Saturday, Dec. 14, kids will have a chance to make two gifts for loved ones at the Elf Workshop at Centennial Farm. The workshop runs from 10 a.m. until noon. The Elf Workshop carries a $10 fee and is open in youngsters in kindergarten through sixth grade. There will be different options and crafts provided for each age group so that everyone can take something home. Then, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 22 - Dec 22, come and visit the holiday boutique at Custom House. There will work from more than 30 local artisans displayed in an old-time Christmas setting. The boutique is open 2-8 p.m. on Fridays and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.on Saturdays and Sundays.

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Holiday Fun in Downtown Grosse Ile!

Please join us for the...

4th Annual Lights at Lyons Park! Enjoy the splendor of the season nightly throughout December on Macomb Street. Interested in sponsoring a Tree? Contact DDA at 734-676-4422 ext 253 or angelas@grosseile.com no later than 11/18 Cost is $65 per Tree (terms available on grosseile.com)

STAY AT HOME SHOP MACOMB This Holiday Season Saturday, Nov 30th

Contact 734-676-4422 Ext. 252 for rates and information

TM

Angela Sukockas, Director Downtown Development Authority, 734-676-4422 Ext 253 or Angelas@grosseile.com To Stay in the Know, like us on Facebook: “Meet Me On Macomb - Downtown Grosse Ile”


Page 4 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

TRADITION Continued from page 1

marketing and operating division of the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation. Their involvement began in 2013, when Jillian, then a recent grad of Wayne State University, received an email from the university that the Parade Company was looking for volunteers. “For years,” Jillian said, “our family used to go down to Detroit to watch the parade, and then go feed Santa’s ‘reindeer’ on Belle Isle. We were always excited to see the parade, but the chance of being in or involved in the pageant seemed like a great opportunity.” “My dad and brother signed up right away, and

we all were introduced to the behind the scenes production at the Parade Studio.” The Studio is a massive, old steel fabricating factory, on Mt. Elliot Street where eight to 10 new floats for the Thanksgiving parade are built. It also houses another 30 to 35 floats that are recycled. Scott Rhind recalls, “We had a hand in building the floats, from the fabricating and sculpting with chicken wire. The Parade Company told us to ‘paint like second graders,’ and then the professional artists would follow and make the floats like the Mona Lisa.” “We all had to attend float driving school and pass a rigorous test. On the day of the parade, you have to be able to maneuver the float from the Studio to Woodward, then down Woodward to West Jefferson, then back to Mt. Elliot,” said Scott. “As it turned out, our son Jonathon became the driver, while he was still a senior at Gabriel Richard High School and Jillian and I were the spotters.” As Jonathon Rhind explains, “There are three types of floats in the parade. One type is a flatbed version that is towed by a Ford F-150. Another type is a semi-open kind that the driver is inside the float, but has full visibility. The last type is a fully-enclosed float covering a truck frame, engine, dashboard, and steering wheel.” “For the past several years, I have been driving the fully-enclosed versions, which only has a four by four inch camera monitor mounted on the dash. I can

GROSSE ILE GRAND see the roadway by the yellow lines, but my Dad and sister are the eyes and ears, giving hand signals, and constantly communicating with me via walkie-talkies on headsets,” said Jonathon. “My mother, Kathy, gets a little nervous, but she is always there, cheering us on and being the family videographer.” Over the years, the Rhinds have driven the Henry Ford Hospital floats, the new Henry Ford Hospital float with a model hospital and helicopter, the Turkey Trot float, and the Wayne State University float. Just before they enter the TV Zone, make-up artists and costume handlers jump aboard to straighten up designs or touch-up float riders for that television moment. As they pass the reviewing stand, artists and technicians lower float pieces, or ratchet down towering heads to clear the People Mover bridge.

Last year was a particular challenge as the wind chill hovered below zero, and the Wayne State University float was two-stories tall - the tallest in Detroit Thanksgiving parade history, and 102 feet long. “Going less than five miles per hour, it takes a bit of time to go down Woodward,” said Jonathon, “Since the parade is televised, it starts and stops with the breaks for commercials. That is the time that is called the ‘Break and

Thank,’ all the spotters and float walkers go into the crowd, and shake hands, wave, high five, and thank all the spectators for coming out to the parade.” The Rhind family is unanimous in their praise of the parade crowd. “It’s so cool to see the pure joy on the kids’ faces and the excitement of the huge crowd,” said Jillian. “It’s also interesting when something goes wrong in the parade.” One year, the Mother Goose float, ran out of gas just before the TV Zone, prompting marching bands, and floats, and clowns to snake around the stalled fowl. Scott Rhind remembers, “This was during the three years of construction of the QLine, and the joke was we were having a parade inside a construction zone. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we were throwing construction barrels out of the way to get by Mother Goose. We were able to make the squeeze, and a

tractor came by and towed Mother Goose the rest of the way.” Another time, after the parade down Woodward was over, the Parade Company crew underestimated the height of the traffic lights on West Jefferson. The Rhinds were driving and controlling the Turkey Trot float. As they attempted to go under the stop lights near the RenCen, the overhead wires tore of the bill of the hat and the nose of the turkey, much to the horror of all concerned. For those families who want to get the “best seat in the house,” on Thanksgivng parade day, Scott Rhind offers this tip: “take I-75 to the Lodge to Forest Avenue. Park at Wayne State University. Set-up your chair in a spot on the first three blocks, and walk North through the staging area. You can get up close and person with the floats, you can see them blow up the huge balloons, you’ll see bands practicing, and dancers performing their routines” Or, for those less intrepid souls who prefer watching America’s Thanksgiving Parade, in the warmth and comfort of their own home, enjoy the holiday festivities with your family. Whatever the case, just remember the Rhind Family, and know that the family who parades together, stays together. If you would like to volunteer to be a part of next year’s Thanksgiving parade in Detroit, visit the Parade Company’s website, at theparade.org.


GROSSE ILE GRAND

November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 5

Chamber honors four women of achievement Each year, the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce presents its Women of Achievement Awards to Downriver residents who are affiliated with a nonprofit organization or a business that belongs to the chamber. And sometimes the honorees are both businesswomen and nonprofit volunteers. Winners were chosen by a chamber selection committee from member nominations and were judged solely on content with names removed from the forms. Sarah Kew of Southgate is this year’s winner of the chamber’s Unsung Heroine Award. She’s devoted to Kiwanis, a global nonprofit group of volunteers who provide community service in many forms, focusing particularly — but not exclusively — on the needs of children. Kew isn’t just involved with Kiwanis, she is governor of the group for the entire state of Michigan. She leads 160 clubs and their 4,500 members. She also works from home for online retailer Ruby Ribbon and, with her husband, cares for her 5-yearold son Maxwell. “I love volunteering and helping to make the world a better place,” Kew said in her award speech. “My biggest motivation is my son.” Creating a better future for children like Maxell inspires her in all that she does, she said. She also volunteers with the Kiwanis Key Leader program, which offers activities and workshops for teenagers, and with the Michigan Young Professionals group. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell offered a special Congressional recognition for Kew on Oct. 18. The formal recognition talked of Kew “working quietly behind the scenes” to ensure that Kiwanis continues its work for children and the community. “Known amongst her peers and colleagues for her high degree of professionalism, compassion and ambition, she is well-loved and cherished by so many within the Kiwanis organization and beyond,” the Congressional Record states. “Sarah truly embodies all the qualities of an admirable leader. She humbly strives for excellence without seeking

Photo by Jim Jacek

Sarah Kew, Kimberly Kramer, Anita Twardesky and Ann Rudisill were award winners at the SWCRC Women of Achievement Awards last month. They were joined on stage by SWCRC chief Ron Hinrichs.

praise or recognition for any of her significant accomplishments.” Kimberly Kramer of Lincoln Park, founder of Your Look Logos LLC, was honored with the chamber’s Entrepreneur Award. Kramer’s company, based in Lincoln Park, offers promotional products— everything from pens to leather-bound journals — imprinted with brand names, and also prints T-shirts. She helps the chamber with networking events, and is an active volunteer with the Downriver West Kiwanis Club and Mimi’s Mission. Kramer said, “I’m grateful to do what I love every day and this recognition is very appreciated!” Ann Rudisill of Wyandotte, founder of nonprofit Downriver for Veterans, was awarded the chamber’s Inspiring Achievement Award. In 2018, Rudisill and her enterprise were featured on the Facebook-based reality show “Returning the Favor” featuring TV personality Mike Rowe. The episode has been viewed millions

of times, and inspired donations for Downriver for Veterans and raised awareness for those in need of its help. Rudisill, a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran, was serving in the Downriver Regional Veterans Treatment Court in Southgate a few years ago when she realized that many Downriver veterans were without basic needs — food, clothing and more —and had no way to get to Detroit for VA services. She formed DFV in 2017, and it’s been going strong ever since. Rowe donated $30,000 to the group, which enable it to purchase a handicap accessible van to get veterans in wheelchairs to medical appointments or where they need to go. The DFV warehouse in Wyandotte is stocked with food, clothing, furniture and hygiene products, and Rudisill and her volunteers box up food and other sundries to make regular deliveries to veterans in need to can’t get there. DFV also help veterans with housing, transportation and paperwork.

“Everything we do here is out of the heart,” Rudisill said during the awards ceremony. “How do you not help somebody that helped our country?” Members of DFV’s advisory board include Dingell and Wyandotte Mayor Joe Person, a Vietnam veteran. Rudisill is known as a “spitfire” who never takes no for an answer. If a veteran has a problem, she will work until she finds a way to solve it. Anita Twardesky of Trenton, community outreach and public relations manager for Wyandottebased Riverside Kayak Connection LLC and president of Downriver Linked Greenways was honored with the chamber’s Leadership Award. Twardesky, who also serves on the Healthy Trenton Coalition, has been a leader in the fields of outdoor recreation and economic development Downriver for many years. She is a founding member of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Alliance, SEE WOMEN, Page 7


Page 6 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

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GROSSE ILE GRAND

November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 7

FROM THE SUPERVISOR

After some reunion reflections, back to Township business As always, I am writing well into the future but these are my thoughts at the moment. Ann and I are currently in Colorado Springs after a three-day vacation in Vail. I graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1974, the 16th graduating class and I’m still convinced that much of the concrete was still hardening while I was there. In June of 1970 some 1,444 of us took our oath of By Brian Loftus enlistment and four years later 813 were commissioned - full disclosure, I was not the top graduate. Forty-five years later I have rejoined many of my classmates for a reunion and a football game - Air Force vs. Army. We are all in our late 60s now, and sadly 80 members have passed. We were supposed to be the smartest and fittest America had to offer in 1970, how could we now be falling like mere mortals? Returning from memory lane, some hot topics I think you will find interesting. First, we just finished our midyear review and our current budget is very healthy - no surprises, thanks to our management and staff. The audit report will have been presented at the Nov. 4 business meeting, dull stuff unless you’re responsible for the budget. As I said in a previous article, most of what we do in the way of providing

government services depends on days and dollars. The dollars part is OK could always be better but compared to many communities we are healthy. If only I could find more days. On a more visible topic, our Downtown Development Authority has been busy pondering ways to update Grosse Ile’s business district on Macomb Street. We recently met and interviewed three firms to guide us on improvements to the district’s overall appearance and “vibe.” Lots of new ideas and proposals, Angela Sukockas will have some announcements in the near future. I am excited about moving the business district in a new, more exciting direction. I hope you read Bill Stevenson’s front page article in last month’s Grand, it was a great explanation of our new waste removal service contract. Based on some of the comments on social media, a few did not or would not understand the changes to our (and the nation’s) recycling program. It was not “anything to save a buck” as opined, it was based on real world market demands. I think we all remember the previous recycling mantra “bring us everything, we can recycle it.” Apparently not so much any more, most of the former markets for recycled materials have disappeared, hence the severely restricted list of items accepted. As Bill stated in his article, as much as 85 percent of items we have been putting in the blue bins are rejected at the materials recycling facility (MRF),

WOMEN Continued from page 7 led the development of Huron River Trail Town and founded Destination Downriver. For Twardesky, it’s all about bringing people and communities together to get more people Downriver outside for recreation, education and exercise — and promoting the area in the process. She’s an active chamber member, and has served as parks and recreation director for the cities of Woodhaven and Flat Rock. She chairs the Trails Committee for the Michigan Recreation and Parks

reloaded into another truck and hauled to a landfill. The overall result is that, should we continue to fill the bins with unwanted materials, we would pay to handle those materials twice and they would be hauled further, resulting in increased fuel consumed, emissions and road wear. The dollars we are saving are yours, along with less harmful impact on the environment. We will have much more guidance soon on what can be recycled and other changes with the new service provider so please watch for notifications and other outreaches with the information you will need to know. I hate to dwell on a less than positive situation, but I must comment on an article published in the Free Press on Oct. 4. Emma Keith wanted to write an article about our deer herd on Grosse Ile and our efforts to control it, I agreed to a phone interview (I was in the Traverse City area at the time and she claimed to have a deadline). Big mistake! When I read what was published I wondered why she bothered to call me at all. None the facts, data or history I took the time to explain to her were contained in the article, but plenty of opinions and misinformation from irresponsible “associations” somehow managed to fill the column inches. The article was so inaccurate and so derogatory regarding Township staff and volunteers that I wrote to the editor, Mr. Peter Bhatia, clearly pointing out the errors and expecting that he would publish a correction. I

Association, and is a member of the State Wide Advisory Group Michigan Water Trails. “We have a great community Downriver and are very fortunate to have so many parks, hiking and biking trails, rivers, and other waterways,” Twardesky said. “Access to our natural resources is key to our region for both economic development benefits and recreation use.” In 2013, the chamber honored her with its Image Award in recognition of her promotion of the Downriver area. Winning the Leadership Award this year prompted this Facebook comment from her: “Thank you seems hardly enough. Congratulations to all the women who were honored! You all are amazing

sent the email and a letter via first class mail on Oct. 7 and am still waiting but certainly not holding my breath. That article was shamefully inaccurate with no correction provided, please consider this lack of journalistic integrity the next time you consider anything published in the Free Press. On a much more pleasant topic, the Hooray for Halloween parade was great fun - thank you Grosse Ile Recreation! Unfortunately for me, being in the front of the parade meant I couldn’t see the antics of the ‘Witch Wives’ who really put on a fantastic show farther back. Witches, whoever you are, you obviously put a lot of time and effort into costumes, choreography and practice - well done! So fall really is upon us, trees changing color and leaves accumulating, turning up our thermostats and hoping our furnaces will work as expected, storing the lawnmowers until next spring, getting ready for Thanksgiving. This is a great time of year (especially for me because I’m not flying during the holidays any more!). I won’t pass up this opportunity to remind you to please visit the shops on Macomb Street and the Historical Society’s Holiday Boutique as you plan your shopping adventures, you will be close to home and hopefully will run into new and old friends, always a bonus. Let me close by wishing everyone a happy, thoughtful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

women doing amazing work in our community. What an inspiration! Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber —thank you for making this an unforgettable experience from start to finish!” The Women of Achievement Awards were presented during an Oct. 18 luncheon at Crystal Gardens in Southgate. Women’s health care advocate and philanthropist Karen Colina Wilson Smithbauer, a Trenton native who now lives in Monroe, served as guest speaker. Christy McDonald of Detroit Public TV served as master of ceremonies.


Page 8 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

GROSSE ILE GRAND

THREE STORES IN ONE!

Township offers new, smaller lease space at airport commerce park By Paula Neuman For two years, construction and renovation has been underway at Grosse Ile’s Airport and Commerce Park. And now, Building 63 at 27502 Meridian Road — once “an oversized industrial footprint” — is ready with smaller, separate units “ready for flexible development,” according to a press release from Mike Duker, airport and commerce space manager. “Several deposits have already been accepted,” said Angela Sukockas, airport marketing manager and Downtown Development Authority director for the township. “I think there was a determined need; we had requests for smaller leasing spaces so we decided to make the spaces more accommodating. The space is needed, and it’s looking great!” Each unit in Building 63 offers a large, 14-foot door as well as a regular sized entry door. Plumbing is installed for restrooms, as well. “They will all be ready to install,” Sukockas said. “It will be a matter of how the leaseholder wants to handle it. They can do their own build, or we can build it and include in the lease.” The units — 180 to 70,000 square feet in size — are tailored for small to midsize businesses, start-up entrepreneurs or even for hobbyists and collectors. Rents for the spaces start at $1,150 per month, which, according to Duker, is “more than comparable to similar units in the area.” The units are zoned for nonresidential mixed use. “We welcome anything, but it would be nice to have people in and out of there on a daily basis and create some energy,” Sukockas said. “We

have so much space and so many buildings from the old naval base.” The 670-acre airport on the island’s south end was opened in 1929 as a naval reserve air base. During World War II, it was renamed as Naval Air Station Grosse Ile. The military station closed in 1969, and in 1970, 549 acres of the property were turned over to Grosse Ile Township to serve as the Grosse Ile Municipal Airport and Commerce Park. The space includes hangars, all of which are currently leased. According to the township’s latest master plan, Grosse Ile acquired 30 acres of parkland within the Airport Industrial Park from the Michigan Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aeronautics for recreation purposes in the year 2000. The Grosse Ile Recreation Department along with community sport groups developed seven soccer fields and a sledding hill at the Airport Recreation Area, with a portion of the funding coming from a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The property also has three 60-yard practice football fields on Airport Commerce Park property, adjacent to the Airport Recreation Area. The township’s “downtown” shopping area on Macomb Street is about two miles from the commerce park, and Sukockas and Duker “really try to think of ways we can tie it all together,” Sukockas said. And if Building 63’s renovations attract businesses, “other facilities could potentially become available,” she said. “If we have enough interest, perhaps we can continue on this path.”

Ask Marie Pucak how she happened to become the owner of Grosse Ile Pet & Garden Center and she will tell you that while owning a store such as this was not something she planned, it now appears undeniable that this is where she belongs. After a high-profile and successful career in the corporate world of the Cleveland, Ohio area, Marie Pucak relocated to Grosse Ile when her husband Rick was offered a promotion in the Detroit area. Literally left on an Island where she didn’t know anyone, she accepted a part-time job working for the Grosse Ile Marketplace in 2014. “They needed my help, and I needed them. God put me where I needed to be,” Marie quipped. In May of 2016, Marie purchased the business from the previous owners and will be celebrating her second full year of ownership this month. “I never expected to fall in love with being a store owner, but now I can’t imagine my life any different”, she said. Asked what sets her garden & pet supply apart from other comparable businesses, Marie was quick to say that their customer service is second to none. If we don’t carry an item that a customer wants, we will try to arrange to stock it. And my staff treats everyone who comes in here like family. We really have three different businesses operating under the same roof. Our pet food and supply segment, our huge garden center and our recently expanded gift section. Come in and visit us soon!

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GROSSE ILE GRAND

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By Gail Albin More than twenty years ago, we lived in Troy. We lived close to the very active Troy Community Center and Recreation Department. We had several great summer concerts that I enjoyed. I envied the ability of many harmonica players and was becoming interested in learning how to play the harmonica. I went to a few Harmonica Club meetings and then we moved to Grosse Ile, to be closer to our daughter and son in law. I don’t consider myself musical by any standard, but when I love a song or an instrument, I love it fully. After months of thinking about it, I bought a harmonica and it came with a starter guide and the music notes for many well-known songs. Every day, I would study and practice. I got better each month, never reaching the ability that I hoped I would reach. There are so many positives to owning and playing a harmonica. They are not expensive by musical instrument standards. They fit nicely in a pocket or a purse. I imagine playing a wind instrument is good for the lungs. The computer has lots of information and videos of people playing very well. My late husband encouraged me to keep up my practicing. I did notice that he closed his office door when I started. He probably didn’t want the ringing of a phone to distract me. I went to an evening harmonica club in a fairly close suburb. I was the only woman there that night and had the least ability. I never went back. I keep my harmonica near my bed. If I have trouble sleeping, I reach for it and play some songs I have memorized through the years. I would not be able to write down the notes from memory, but the notes come to me when I play a song that I have practiced and played dozens of times. It has brought me a lot of joy, also envy of other harmonica players who have natural ability. It is a wonderful hobby/pastime.

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November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 11

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November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 13

Information Center’s annual gala is a success

By Dave Gorgon The annual gala fundraiser of The Information Center was a success Oct. 10 at Crystal Gardens in Southgate. The gala is the primary fundraiser to enable the center to provide free community programs and services to those that need them in the Downriver area and surrounding region. The evening featured dinner, an open bar, a silent auction and a celebration of Motown’s 60th anniversary by Phase 5 and the Phase 5 Orchestra. Toni Battle, community relations coordinator for the Henry Ford Village Senior Retirement Community, served as emcee. The Information Center is an accredited nonprofit information and referral agency that connects people with services that can help them. Since 1975, the center has provided a community Helpline with free comprehensive information and referral services for the public; assistance to the unemployed; services for seniors and the disabled; and personalized assistance understanding eligibility for public benefits and other human services. The Information Center’s certified health insurance navigators also provide free assistance for those searching for health insurance options. For more information about The Information Center, call (734) 282-7171 or visit the website theinfocenter.org.

Representing Yeo & Yeo CPAs and Business Consultants of Southgate were Tim Crosson Jr. (left), Caitlin Siver and Grosse Ile’s Mike Georges.

Photos by Dave Gorgon

Robert and Brenda Ice represented their Loving Care Home Care on Grosse Ile at the gala.

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Page 14 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

GROSSE ILE GRAND

Grosse Ile gets a little creepy The Halloween spirit - or perhaps it was the spirits of Halloween - invaded Grosse Ile late last month especially at the Hooray for Halloween Costume Parade on Oct. 26. The event featured trick or treating for boys and girls who turned out in costumes of all sorts. But the parade is not just for children as adults, too, put on their spooky holiday finery and made the walk down Lyons and Macomb. Stealing the show for the second year in a row were the Real Witches of Grosse Ile with their elaborate costumes and marching choreography.

Photos by Dave Gorgon


GROSSE ILE GRAND

November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 15


Page 16 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

GROSSE ILE GRAND

May 9 date set for opening of Wildlife Refuge Gateway Earlier this month Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI), the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced that on May 9, 2020, there will be an event to mark the Grand Opening of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway and visitor center. The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the first and only international refuge in North America and stretches along the shoreline of the Detroit River and western Lake Erie. The refuge focuses on conserving, protecting, and restoring habitats for 30 species of waterfowl, 117 kinds of fish, and over 300 species of birds, while providing quality opportunities for people to connect with nature. It is home to a variety of ecologically important bird species, including bald eagles, osprey, peregrine falcons; fish species including whitefish, sturgeon, salmon, perch, and walleye. “This refuge and conservation mattered so much to John. It was his vision for a place to gather, learn and protect the wildlife and natural resources that make our region unique,” said Dingell. “After decades, and the incredibly hard work of many, I look forward to celebrating the Grand Opening of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway and visitor center in May. Being at the refuge truly reinforces one’s appreciation of the outdoors, and I hope everyone can join us for the occasion.” “This visitor center will provide a place for all to develop a love of the great outdoors through education and exploration,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

THE DETROIT RIVER INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE IS THE FIRST AND ONLY INTERNATIONAL REFUGE IN NORTH AMERICA AND STRETCHES ALONG THE SHORELINE OF THE DETROIT RIVER AND WESTERN LAKE ERIE. “We are proud to announce that we will be opening the new John D Dingell Jr. Visitor Center to the public on May 9, 2020,” said U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “We appreciate our partner’s and the community’s patience as we near completion of this beautiful, new facility. “This will be a wonderful gathering place and beginning of a new chapter for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in the Downriver community and we hope everyone will come out and help us celebrate this spring.” In the early 2000s, then-Representative John Dingell joined then-Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Herb Grey to form a group of local, regional, state, and federal agencies to establish a wildlife refuge along the lower Detroit River ecosystem.

Dingell grew up hunting and enjoying the outdoors in these same areas and made it his mission to establish the refuge. The process formally began in 2001 when President Bush signed legislation written by Dingell to create the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. Since that time, the refuge has grown from a couple of small tracts of land into a 6,200-acre refuge that spans 48 miles of the lower Detroit River and western Lake Erie. The Refuge Gateway embodies the vision of the refuge. Co-managed by Wayne County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it includes restored native habitat on the site of a former factory, a 700-foot fishing pier into the Detroit River, and a state-of-theart LEED-certified visitor center and offices. The Refuge Gateway will provide public access to the river in Trenton and is the gateway into the hiking trails of the refuge’s Humbug Marsh, the last undeveloped mile along the U.S. side of the river. In 2017, the visitor center was named after John Dingell as a tribute to his decades of service in establishing and expanding the refuge. In early October Congresswoman Dingell (D-MI) and Margaret Everson, Acting Director of US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), toured the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. “Seeing the area and work being done matter to me, the community, and the whole region,” said Dingell. “After decades, and the incredibly hard work of many, I look forward to celebrating the Grand Opening of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway and visitor center in May.”


GROSSE ILE GRAND

November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 17

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Page 18 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

GROSSE ILE GRAND

Don’t forget Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday This is the third time I’ve picked up the gauntlet and accepted the challenge of encouraging the support of small, local and independent in these publications. The weekend that serves as a focal point comes up fast. “Shift your Shopping” weekend this year is Nov. 29-30 and I encourage you to get out and support Downriver’s local and independent businesses. By Peter Rose Nov. 29 is Plaid Friday and Nov. 20 is the more wellknown Small Business Saturday. I encourage you to participate. While many spread their shopping for gifts out over more time than just the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many use the muchhyped Black Friday to kick it off. The weekend after Thanksgiving sees a spike in shopping activity everywhere. Small enjoys the surge as well, but the marketing tsunami from national chains and internet options takes an inordinate amount of the pie as the season gets into higher gear. It takes an enormous amount of money to advertise like that, money that only publicly traded companies can spend. At a time when it matters a great deal, BIG gains huge advantage over SMALL, through the expenditure of surreal monies to buy our business, and in so doing, to divert as many dollars as possible from independent and locally owned businesses everywhere. Independent businesses are benefitted tremendously by the increased traffic that comes at this time of year. The stakes at this time of year cannot be overstated. Every transaction matters a great deal to indies. We all do a great deal of work to prepare and ready ourselves, and as the year rushes to a close, time gets compacted. We run out of year; we run out of time to make the year a winner. Shopping during the holiday season can be exactly as we all remember it, and as it should be - not a ball of stress, not the insane traffic and crowds and lousy service that the malls promise.

Nothing like that at all, as a matter of fact. We simply have to choose the places to shop that offer smiles and warmth and service and uniqueness. While I write from a vantage point of Wyandotte’s independent businesses, the downriver region is loaded with choices that are guaranteed to make you a happier person this holiday season. It is more than safe to say that we can all do with anything at all that makes us happier, less stressed, and more grateful. Independent businesses deliver an experience that is just not available elsewhere. I write these columns to remind of that truth. American Express created Small Business Saturday. We Indies were thrilled to have all that airtime devoted to small, local, independent. Indeed, it worked exactly as American Express planned it for themselves, and it also had a powerfully positive impact on the awareness of millions that really hadn’t given all that

much thought to the options of local as opposed to national or internet. Everyone won. That campaign buttressed the efforts of local-first organizations like Love Wyandotte across the nation, which all strive mightily to provide some wind in the sails for the businesses that comprise their ranks. Organizations that exist not for profit, but for the hopefully increased profit of their membership. For the sole purpose of fostering and catalyzing a more flourishing independent business environment for at least the area in which they operate. Organizations like this also push back as much as possible against the Black Friday scourge, in the creation of versions that are friendlier to local and independent. Hopefully, now, when you see ads and materials that refer to Plaid Friday, you’ll know a bit more what they’re talking about! They’re giving you some good,

solid advice - some words of wisdom that will improve your entire outlook on life, if only you take heed. As you do take the advice and shop local and independent this holiday season, let it sink in I’m actually right - you are happier as a result! There are other crucially important reasons to shop local. Like keeping your dollars local to protect and nurture your own well being. Remember, your community is not made up of totally separate, unrelated sectors like non-profits, residents and businesses. No, your community is all of those and more, all working in miraculous union, just like your own body. Your heart, your limbs, your brain - all working seamlessly to make you what you are. Same with communities. If your business community is compromised, your entire community is lessened. For now, though, let’s focus on the wonder of the holiday season. If all of us experience it with more warmth and joy by just shopping locally, we ‘ll make a huge difference for all of us to enjoy as the Downriver community! Shift Your Shopping: Shop local and independent this season. All any of us would ever ask is that you think local first. During holidays, sure, but all the time!


GROSSE ILE GRAND

November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 19

Remember veterans on their day, November 11 In 1918, 101 years ago at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month an Armistice was declared between our Allied Forces and Germans that ended World War One. The following year President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. That became a special day to honor all those that served in that war. By David L. Dyer That observation included parades and public gatherings as well as a brief pause in business and school activities. On Nov. 11, 1921 an unidentified American Soldier killed in the war was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, DC. This became the tomb of the unknown soldier. In the year 1954 after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the nation’s history and

after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, Congress struck the word Armistice and replaced it with the word Veterans. Nov. 11 became a day to honor veterans of all wars. The next development in the history of Veterans Day unfolded in 1968, when Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Bill which would

ensure three-day weekends for federal employees and encourage tourism and travel by celebration four national holidays (Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day on Mondays. The first Veterans Day under the new law was Oct. 25, 1971. Confusion ensued as many states disapproved of this change and continued to observe

the holiday on the original date. In 1975 after it became evident that the actual date of Veterans Day carried historical and patriotic significance for many Americans, President Ford signed a new law returning Veterans Day to Nov. 11 and it remains so today. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which is a common misunderstanding of so many people. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injury incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all Americans living or dead and especially gives thanks to living veterans who honorably served their country during war or peacetime. If you should spot someone in uniform, regardless if you know the person or not, the uniform they are wearing represents your freedom. Reach out to them and thank them for their service. Never forget, “Freedom isn’t Free.”


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Page 22 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

GROSSE ILE GRAND

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Grosse Ile has lost two outstanding women Friends and family said a fond farewell to long time Island resident Dianne Batch on Oct. 21. A retired nutritionist who worked at Wyandotte Hospital, Dianne was active in the Islanders, the theater group which folded in 2007 and also with AAUW. Many of her AAUW fellow members turned out to pay their respects to Dianne at a celebration dinner at the TV Grand Event in Trenton. My memory of Dianne is the By Pamela A. Frucci many plays she performed in or produced with the Islanders. When they folded, we spent some of the money left in the treasury to pay for a commemorative bench at the Commons. It’s decorated with the comedy and tragedy masks and The Islanders written out along with the words: 250 productions…That’s Entertainment.” Dianne was an active part of the Islanders’ entertainment. Dianne died at 85. We lost another great gal when Phyllis Gillan passed away just after her 94th birthday on Oct. 9. Her son Barry was with her since she lived in the Olds Estate he owns on Elba Island. Phyllis was born in Springfield, MA and was raised

by her grandparents since both her mother and dad died before she was three-years-old. Although trained as a nurse, she became a stewardess for Delta Airlines and on a layover in Miami Beach met her future husband Allen Gillan. They were married in 1950. Avid travelers, they became trip directors for Nomads out of Metro Airport and enjoyed decades of travel all around the world. When they retired, they sailed up and down the Intercostal Waterway. After Allen died in 1996, Phyllis moved to Grosse Ile where she was active in the Historical Society, the Art Alliance, and the Garden Club. An artist, she would volunteer to do art work for various events and projects. She was also helpful to her son Barry in restoring the Olds Estate where they lived. Her family plans a celebration of her life in the spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Humane Society or to the Fur Angels c/o Diane Schuler (313) 655-3444. TEDDY BEAR IS GOOD MEDICINE When Linda Washburn, member of the Mary/ Martha Circle of the Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church, heard that the children of Harms School where a couple carloads of volunteers tutor children on

Monday afternoons in Southwest Detroit, are given cuddly stuffed animals when they show up in the principal’s office upset or crying, she’s been buying and sending up a bag full of stuffed animals. Principal Cruz caught me the other day with a good news story I shared with Linda. He had a bad acting boy sent by his teacher to his office. When he gave him a teddy bear called Joshua and told him, “Take care of Joshua; you’re responsible for him,” the little boy changed his attitude for the better. AND THE HATS ARE HIT Another lady who attends the Mary/Martha Circle has a hobby of buying yards of fleecy material and sewing over 400 warm hats for cold weather. She gives them all away, including enough hats for the 21 kids who are tutored on Mondays at Harms School. They were handed out on Oct. 28. The kids then had an assignment to write a thank you note to Elaine Richardson. Elaine was pleased to get the notes and the kids got experience in writing. Mrs. Richardson uses the thank you notes when she visits her tax man. This helps claim all the money she spends to sew the 400 hats!

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$18,795 2018 GMC SIERRA 1500 CREW CAB DENALI 4X4 Auto, 6.2 V8, Loaded, Leather Interior, Pwr Moonroof, Nav, Pwr Running Boards, 22” Chrome Wheels, Toneau Cover,Like New, Only 11,000K, Stk#39864 .......................... $45,695 2017 FORD F-150 XLT SUPER CAB 4X4 Auto, 6 Cyl. Eco Boost, Loaded, Nav ,Sports Appearance Package and More! Stk#39,855 ......... $31,495 2017 FORD ESCAPE SE Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Only 11K Miles! Stk#39858 ......................................... $17,695 2017 FORD ESCAPE TITANIUM Auto,Air, Loaded,Leather Int.,Rear Camera, Remote Start,Blind Spot,Monitor, Only 20,000 Miles, STK#39722 ........................................................................................... $20,495 2014 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED 4X4 Auto,V6,Air, Fully Loaded,Heated Leather Seats And More! Stk#39761 ............................$17,495 2017 FORD FUSION SE Auto,Air, Fully Loaded,AluminumWheels, Stk#39699 .........................................................$16,395 2017 FORD ESCAPE SE Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Stk#39703 ................................................................... $17,995 2015 FORD ESCAPE SE Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded,Only 33,000 Miles, FORD CERTIFIED Stk#39685 ...... $14,995 2017 FORD EXPLORER XLT 4X4 Auto,V6, DualAir, Loaded,Heated Leather Seats, Pwr Moon, Nav,Blind Spot Monitor, Stk#3995 ...... $25,995 2018 FORD F-150 XLT SUPER CREW 4X4 Auto, 6 Cyl. Eco Boost, FullyLoaded,Navigation, Sport Package, 20”Wheels Only 14,000 Miles,FORD CERTIFIED Stk#39995............................................................... $35,695 2016 LINCOLN MKZ AWD Auto, 5.0V8, Fully Loaded,Chrome Package,Only 52,000 Miles, Stk#4003 .................. .

Auto, 2.0 Eco Boost, Power Windows, PowerLocks,Heated Leather Seats,Tilt,Cruise

Controls and More Stk#39924 .............................................................................................

2016 FORD ESCAPE SE 4X4

Auto, Air, Fully Loaded, Stk#40012 .....................................................................................

$18,995 $14,995

2017 FORD EXPLORER XLT 4X4

Auto, V6, Dual Air, Fully Loaded, Leather Interior, Power Moonroof,Navigation, Blind Spot Monitor, Stk#39976 .....................................................................................................

$25,995

SAVE 500 $

On Pre-Owned Vehicles Only

$500.00 Off the Reduced Sale Price Tag

500

$

00

2015 FORD EXPLORER XLT 4X4

Auto, V6, Dual Air, Fully Loaded, Leather Interior, Power Liftgate, Trailer Tow Package, 20”Wheels, Stk#39912 ........................................................................................................

2016 FORD TRANSIT CONNECT TITANIUM

Auto,Air FullyLoaded,Leather Seats, AlumWheels, Stk#39929...........................................

2018 FORD ESCAPE SE

Auto,Air, 1.5 Eco Boost,Heated SeatsAnd More! Only 14,000 Miles, Stk#39938 ...............

$18,495 $18,995

2018 FORD FLEX SEL AWD

Auto,V6,DualAir,Heated Seats,Rear Camera,Remote Start, Only 13,000 Miles, FORD CERTIFIED Stk#39955 ............................................................................................

$26,995

2018 FORD ESCAPE SEL

Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, FullyLoaded,Heated Leather Seats,Rear Camera, PowerLiftgate, Stk#39893 ...................................................................................................

2010 CHEVY EQUINOX LT

Prior sales excluded. Coupon must be presented at time of sale. Expires Nov. 30, 2019

$18,995

$18,695 $8,995

Auto,Air, FullyLoaded,AlumWheels, Stk#39764 ......................................................................

2010 FORD ESCAPE LIMITED

$9,495

Auto, V6, Air, Fully Loaded, Leather Interior, Power Moonroof, Stk#39633 ............................

2014 FORD FOCUS SE

$9,995

Auto, Air, Fully Loaded, Stk#39945 .........................................................................................

2017 FORD F-150 XLT SUPER CREW 4X4

2017 FORD ESCAPE TITANIUM

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2018 FORD F-150 XLT SUPER CREW 4X4

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2016 FORD FOCUS SE

$34,995

Auto, 6 Cyl. Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Navigation, 20 “ Wheels, Only 7,000 Miles, Stk#33995 ...........................................................................................................................

$33,995

2016 FORD FLEX SEL

Auto,V6, Dual Air, Fully Loded, Leather Appearance Package, Power Moonroof And More! Only 24,000 Miles, Stk#39992 ........................ $22,895

2014 FORD F-150 SUPER CAB FX-4

$12,995

Auto, 3.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Leather Interior, Power Moonroof, Navigation, 20”Wheels, Only 44,000 Miles, Stk#39977 .............................. $23,995

Auto, Air, Fully Loaded, Chrome Wheels, Stk#40027.................................. $13,995

Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Touch Screen, Rear Camera, Only 5,900 Miles, Stk#39878 .........................................................................................$19,795

Auto, Air, Fully Loaded, Aluminum Wheels,Only 14,000 Miles, Stk#39952 .........................

2015 FORD ESCAPE SE 2016 FORD FLEX SEL

Auto, V6, Dual Air, Fully Loaded, Leather Interior,Navigation And More! Stk#39953 ..........

2014 FORD F-150 XLT SUPER CAB 4X4

Auto, 3.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Chrome Package,Leather Interior, Stk#40010 .........

2014 FORD FUSION SE

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$20,395 $20,659 $11,795

2018 FORD ESCAPE SE

GREEN TAG SALE

2011 CHEVY SILVERADO CREW CAB 4X4 Auto, 5.3 V8, Fully Loaded,Stk#39399

$22,995 2019 FORD TRANSIT T-250 MEDIUM ROOF CARGO VAN Auto, V6, Air, Power Windows & Locks, Tilt, Cruise,130”Wheel Base, Only 15,000 Miles, Stk#39811 ............................................................................................. $29,995 2017 FORD ESCAPE SE 4X4 Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded,Only 12,000 Miles, Stk#39957 ..................................... $19,495 2017 FORD EXPLORER XLT 4X4 Auto, V6, Dual Air, Fully Loaded, Leather Interior,Remote Start, Comfort Package, Reverse Sensing, Rear Camera, Only 18,000 Miles, Stk#39775........................................ $29,995 2017 FORD ESCAPE TITANIUM Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Heated Leather Seats,Power Moonroof And More! Only 17,000 Miles, Stk#39960............................................................................................. $19,695 2017 FORD ESCAPE SE Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Only 13,000 Miles, Stk#39661 ................................... $17,995 2017 FORD FUSION SE Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Heated Leather Seats,Luxury PKG., Tech PKG., and More! Only 16K Miles. Stk#39852 ................................................................................ $17,495 2016 FORD ESCAPE TITANIUM Auto, Air, Fully Loaded, Heated Leather Seats And More! Only 19,000 Miles, Stk#40006......... $17,995 2015 FORD ESCAPE SE Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded,Aluminum Wheels, STK#38544 ................................... $14,995 Auto, V6, Air, Fully Loaded, Leather Interior, 20”Wheels, Stk#39915..................................

WAS $18,395

NOW $16,495

2016 FORD EXPLORER XLT 4X4

2018 FORD FOCUS TITANIUM

WAS $15,995

Fully Loaded, Leather, Moonroof, Navigation, Stk#39626

NOW $14,995 2016 FORD ESCAPE TITANIUM

Auto. Air, Fully Loaded, Leather Int., Power Moon Roof, Navigation, Only 32,000 Miles. Ford Certified Stk#39549

WAS $19,495

NOW $17,795 2016 FORD ESCAPE SE

Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Touch Screen And More! Only 22,000 Miles, FORD CERTIFIED

WAS $17,295

NOW $15,295 2018 FORD FOCUS TITANIUM

Auto, Air, Fully Loaded, Leather Interior, Power Moonroof, Navigation And More! Stk#39623

WAS $16,795

NOW $15,295 2018 FORD ESCAPE SE

Auto, 1.5 Eco Boost, Fully Loaded, Like New! Only 16,000 Miles, Stk#39540

WAS $19,395

NOW $18,295 2017 FORD ESCAPE SE

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WAS $17,695

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Page 24 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

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At the mountaintop Leo Stevenson of Merrill Lynch is named one of Forbes top wealth advisors in America

L

eo Stevenson has been named to the Forbes “America’s Top Wealth Advisors” list for his work as managing director of wealth management at Merrill Lynch’s Wyandotte office. Stevenson, a Wyandotte native and Grosse Ile resident, is managing director of wealth management at Merrill Lynch. It was his second year on the Forbes Top 250 Wealth Advisors list, which is based on a number of criteria. He is ranked as the number one financial advisor in Michigan among non-independent By Dave Gorgon firms. Forbes is a national magazine. The ranking is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria that weighs factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records and industry experience, along with encompassing best practices in the agency approach to working with clients, among other items. Stevenson said he works with his clients to understand their concerns and priorities, developing wealth management strategies to help them as they work toward their goals, focusing on retirement along with personal and business planning. Stevenson also has been named to Barron’s list of Top 1,200 Advisors six years in a row. He has trained more than 300 Merrill Lynch financial advisors nationwide on practice management, while making the Downriver area one of his primary focuses. In fact, his seminars designed to help people manage their finances “so they can retire and potentially live out their dreams” have been presented to several thousand people in the region. A recent seminar attracted more than 200 people – clients and potential clients – at Crystal Gardens in Southgate. “At the seminars, we talk about the options people have when they’re investing and what to expect – how to

get paychecks for their entire lives from the money they saved,” he said. THE CLIENTS “I have 12 people who work with me in Wyandotte,” Stevenson said. “What differentiates us that we go beyond fulfilling the financial needs of our clients. We take a very keen interest in their personal lives. “We just don’t sit with our clients and talk numbers,” he said. “It’s really about a holistic approach to everything in our clients’ lives. We’re there for them. We assist them. People see that

difference in us. They see that we truly care.” Gary Martin, who worked with Stevenson when both were at BASF in Wyandotte, called him “a very good friend and trusted advisor.” Most of Stevenson’s new clients now come from word of mouth. “They tell their friends about us, which is really cool,” Stevenson said. Local Boy Makes Good Stevenson grew up as the youngest of three children in his parents’ Wyandotte home at Ninth Street and St.

John’s. He said his father was in a stock club. “I was a little weird in that I enjoyed looking at company financials when I was 10 years old or so,” he said. “My love for this industry and profession actually started when I was 12. I’ve invested my entire life.” As a pre-teen, Stevenson bought his first stock in an auto supply company known as Hayes Albion with money he made delivering the Detroit Free Press. He still has the stock certificate in his office. He continued investing, researching different companies and products that he saw being used. “Growing up in Wyandotte, I didn’t have my first new bike until I was 13,” he said. “I bought it with paper route money. I didn’t get my first new baseball mitt until I was 17. Fifty years ago in Wyandotte, we had hand-medowns. It was all right. Nobody knew any different and everything was good.” While attending Roosevelt High School, Stevenson would occasionally help a business class instructor by teaching investing. He was already so knowledgeable. He graduated high school in 1974 and went on to earn a finance degree in 1978 from Michigan State University. He went to work as an accountant at BASF and then at a Division of Molson Brewery of Montreal when the Canadian firm bought the accounting division. He worked his way up the ranks to become director of international marketing. The division was eventually old off to Lever Brothers, a much larger company in The Netherlands. BULLISH ON AMERICA Stevenson’s career changed 25 years ago when he went to work at Merrill Lynch. “I felt that there is a real need for individuals that worked all of their lives, paid off their house, sent their kids to college, saved in their 401Ks and then realized they have a nice nest egg and need help in managing it so they can retire and hopefully live SEE LEO, Page 25


November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 25

GROWING UP IN WYANDOTTE, IT’S REALLY BEEN AN HONOR AND PRIVILEGE FOR ME TO HAVE MY OFFICE IN WYANDOTTE. ~ Leo Stevenson

LEO Continued from page 24 out their dreams,” he said. “My whole goal when I meet with someone is to understand what they want to accomplish and what their dreams are and then attempt to help them achieve their dreams using my knowledge of financial markets.” Stevenson and his team provide client services, managing portfolios and investment returns, following 35 different metrics. He said the data helps determine asset allocations among their clients using his staff’s more than 100 years of combined experience. Their client services are more than investing. The team also helps with estate planning, insurance needs, credit, retirement planning and mortgages, plus their personal needs. “We’re always looking out for our clients,” he said. “We don’t have a crystal ball and we can’t guarantee investment results, but we’re very data driven and use our experience to help us make decisions.” A dozen years ago, Stevenson purchased the big metal bull that rests outside the Merrill Lynch office on Biddle Avenue. The bull was the creation of metal artist Keith Coleman and was outside River’s Edge Gallery down the street when Stevenson made an offer that was accepted. The bull – a famous corporate symbol of Merrill Lynch – was relocated in September 2007 as part of an elaborate ceremony that celebrated the grand opening of the new office. Stevenson said the city agreed to close Biddle on a Friday night. There was a large banner proclaiming Merrill Lynch was “Bullish on America.” The Roosevelt band performed patriotic songs and several chorus groups sang as a 1930 John Deer tractor pulled the several hundred pound bull to its new home. City officials and several thousand people were in attendance. The office is in a building that was created in the 1800s, starting as the Arlington Hotels. The site has had many inhabitants over the years, most notably Armstrong Clothing. Before Merrill Lynch could move in, workers had to shore up the foundations, walls, ceilings and roof to preserve it. “It was very close to being demolished,” Stevenson said. “Now, it’s home to a national company on a prime corner of Wyandotte’s Downtown, which is pretty cool. There’s a landmark bull and a landmark building.” Does he have any general advice for investors young and old? “Starting to save as young as possible is important,” Stevenson said. “If someone saves $2,000 a year for 30 years and can earn 6 percent

compounded on average, they will accumulate over $150,000. For older investors, we are living longer and are much more active in our older years. Having a sufficient nest egg as we age is important for personal wellbeing.” COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT One of the factors Forbes considers when selecting its Top 250 list is community involvement. Stevenson said he and wife of 12 years Marie enjoy giving to others. Marie is a teacher in the Wayne Westland Schools. The couple’s interests are wide ranging. Stevenson has been part of the advisory board at the Salvation Army and helped start a soup kitchen in Wyandotte. The couple are major supporters of the Kids Talk program at The Guidance Center. He is active with the Pallottine Fathers Mission, is president of the Grosse Ile Golf and Country Club and is vice chairman of the Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority. “We really appreciate what he does for our organization,” said Major Brian Reed of Salvation Army Downriver. “He’s a very humble guy who wants to give back to the community. He likes the Salvation Army mission and really supports everything we’ve done.” Stevenson consistently comes through for the Wyandotte American Legion and Auxiliary. He

purchases the food for the post to serve after the annual Wyandotte Independence Day Parade. He made a sizable donation so the post could hold a 100th anniversary celebration tribute, which is scheduled for November 9. “I think Leo is just amazing, to be honest with you,” said Auxiliary Unit President Cari Salamon. “He is cordial. He’s inviting. He’s always been there whenever we needed him. “Leo has always been an asset to the community and to American Legion and to your life in general. He’s just a nice guy.” The Stevensons have endowed $200,000 for Roosevelt graduates and $100,000 in scholarships for Grosse Ile graduates attending Michigan State. Like her husband, Marie Stevenson is a graduate of MSU. Two of their six children are also Spartans. “We’re so blessed that giving back has to be second nature to us,” Stevenson said. “If we can help other people out, we’re very fortunate to be able to do that. “Growing up in Wyandotte, it’s really been an honor and privilege for me to have my office in Wyandotte. Our office has been here 20 years now. Wyandotte has always been a very strong community. All 13 of us in this office are very happy to be associated with Wyandotte. Every day, I see friends coming to the office, stopping by to say hello. It’s really a neat situation.”

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Page 26 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

GROSSE ILE GRAND

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Photos courtesy of Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital

Members of the Good Yarn Club at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital show off some of the soap sacks they have created for people in need in the Downriver area and across southeastern Michigan.

Yarn Club brings together knitters for the good of others A new group of dedicated crafters is making a difference at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital and beyond. Members of the Good Yarn Club meet monthly at the hospital to put their knitting and crocheting skills to use for a good cause. The Good Yarn Club has yarns and patterns for its members to create life changing items for their community. Soap sacks – small knitted bags that can be used as washcloths or to store soap – are one of the most popular items that the group creates. The sacks are distributed to homeless shelters and other community agencies for people in need. The club also is an officially registered Knitted Knockers group and creates breast prostheses for breast cancer survivors who cannot obtain a

prosthesis due to cost. Group members say devoting their time to give breast cancer patients a little normalcy in their journeys is extremely rewarding. All items created are distributed to patients at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, across the Downriver area and throughout Southeastern Michigan. Interested knitters can bring their needles or hooks and drop in to join the club. Yarn and patterns are provided. Anyone who knits or has an interest in learning is invited to join the knitting fun from 5-8 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month. The group meets in the Surgical Services Conference Room. Email goodyarnwyandotte@gmail. com for more information.

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November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 27

T.A.I.L.S happily carrying on mission to serve animals Although they’ve had a couple of setbacks, T.A.I.L.S. founder Roberta Holl and house manager Lora Schaller have relocated on Macomb Street in their own shelter and are happily “moving forward.” Patiently awaiting approval from the zoning board to take in dogs and cats in order to find them homes, they’ve passed inspection by a state agency with a few minor changes By Pamela A. Frucci like redoing the flooring in a building which was once a home for families living on Stoney Island. It also has been a gift shop, construction office, pet groomer, and a photography studio. The building, which T.A.I.L.S. is leasing, is now attractively landscaped. So far, awaiting approval to move forward, they’ve entered into Macomb Street activities such as “Paint the Town Red” when they lit up the shelter in all red lights. They have enough money in the bank to operate the shelter thanks to their annual fundraiser at IslandFest. A future event is offering a photo op with a pet and Santa Claus. The hours of the shelter on Macomb beginning on Nov. 1 will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. Lora Schaller has been involved with T.A.I.L.S. since 1996 when T.A.I.L.S. was founded around her dining room table when she lived on Parkway and Roberta started out volunteering to walk dogs for exercise at the Centennial Farm shelter before she got active in the organization. Heading the board, which meets monthly, is Robin Benson. Until they get approval from the zoning board to house animals, members of T.A.I.L.S. care for homeless pets in their homes. Roberta especially “mothers” newborn kittens. Although the animal control officer Julie Cortis operates the former shelter at the Centennial Farm, the Macomb Street unit and the board have a heart for all animals who need care and a home. Their motto is “Go where the need is.” They even do a yearly drive to collect deposit bottles and cans with

a drop-off at their Macomb Street shelter. That income goes to help pets who are involved in disasters like fire or floods no matter where in the United States. Both Roberta and Lora have pet dogs at home and mentioned that seniors who have pets live longer. They’re taking that message to the Grosse Ile Senior Citizens Club in the future. They both feel strongly that T.A.I.L.S. not only looks out for Island residents who have pet problems or are seeking a pet, but they give aid wherever there’s a pet with a problem. Their outreach is that they will take care of homeless pets anywhere. LEGACY LIBRARY PLANNING COMMITTEE GEARING FOR FUNDRAISER, ELECTION What was once just a vision on the part of Pam Frucci has been fueled by the Legacy Library Planning Committee, which has met monthly since August at the Frucci home. In the works are becoming an officially named committee appointed by the township board, a rendering of the proposed building has been designed by the Sidock Group in Wyandotte (they’re the architects who converted the old hangar at the airport into a modern township hall,) and the Creative Writing Club has written promotional pieces to convince voters to vote for an increased millage in 2022 when we again vote to support the Trenton Library for use by Island residents. Frank Kootsillas, who grew up on Grosse Ile but now lives in Southgate, wrote this for the October CWC “prompt.” It’s an appeal to Island voters to support the upcoming millage. Also in his prompt is a clever message spelling LIBRARY which would be made into Burma Shavetype signs mounted along the road to convince voters to pass an increased millage. My effort for the October Creative Writing Club meeting was to write a version of “There’s Nothing Like a Dame” from South Pacific but change the words to “There’s Nothing Like a Book.” I talked my husband Jack into

paying a visit to the CWC and singing it to the club. The Legacy Library Planning Committee will continue its efforts to realize a reading library on Grosse Ile. Watch for updates in future issues of the Grosse Ile Grand. KEEP MICHIGAN BEAUTIFUL PLAQUES FOR SEVERAL LOCAL PROJECTS At their annual meeting and awards ceremony, the Keep Michigan Beautiful board met in Lansing on Oct. 17 and 18. My husband Jack and I are both on the board. I nominated the Big Bear Lodge in Flat Rock and they received the Michigan Award for choosing to mimic Charlevoix’s roadside flowers by planting their grounds with beds of colorful flowers to bring cheer to Telegraph Road. We sat with the owners the Dennis Camaratas and their chef Juan Sanchez. Dennis and Juan do all the gardening. We laughed because they remembered back in 2011 when Jack and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary there. I requested foot long hot dogs on the menu since that was our first meal at a drive-in in Flat Rock as a married couple back in 1961. (They provided other choices for our guests.) Other local award winners were the Ford Piquette Avenue plant where the first Model Ts were assembled. The Grosse Ile Historical Society had a representative of that historic building present a lecture a year or so ago. Westcroft Gardens’ Community Grown Gardens received a Michigan award as well as the Downriver Council for the Arts. Volunteers with the DCA have planted an attractive flowered entrance to their historic building in Wyandotte. The Friends of the Detroit River received the President’s Award for restoring the habitat on Stoney Island which was eroding. ISLAND BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE LIMPING ALONG WITH ONLY THREE MEMBERS An official committee on Grosse Ile since 1975, the Island Beautification Committee now consists of only three active members: chair Brian Medved, Terry Eifert, and founder Pam Frucci. It was back in 1974 that I retired

from teaching so I could be a stayat-home mom to Jay born in 1969. I was shocked at all the trash I saw accumulating along our roads. I approached then supervisor Dewey Henry in his office and asked if he could get the roads cleaned up. He looked at me and said, “Why don’t you do something about it?” I organized a study committee and we checked out beautification organizations in other towns. A year later we requested the township appoint a beautification commission. They preferred a committee since a commission required that a township board member sit on a commission as a liaison. We’ve been an active committee for 44 years. Before funding by the township, the IBC raised funds by running a monthly paper drive. Back in the early years prior to the bottle bill, we did an annual litter survey and one year counted over 4,000 throwaway bottles and cans along our main roads! Through the years we have placed litter cans throughout the Island, planted and maintained the SW, NW, and NE corners of Four Corners. We are hoping there are volunteers out there in the community who will join us in our mission to “keep the Island clean and green.” Apply at the township office from 8-5 p.m. SECOND ST. JAMES CHAPEL MUSICAL PROGRAM IS NOV. 9 Open to the public is the second in a series of musical programs planned by St. James Church’s Music Director Jim Johnson. Appearing at 7 p.m., Sat., Nov. 9 in the chapel is Dave Martin, a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music educator who lives in Wyandotte and teaches vocal music at West Middle School in Taylor. For two decades, Dave, with a two degrees in music education, has inspired students to find their voice. There is no charge for the program but free will donations are accepted.

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GROSSE ILE GRAND

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November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 29

What’s Happening Grosse Ile ... THANKS+GIVING FUN RUN At Saint James Episcipal Church, 25150 East River, Grosse Ile, on Thanksgiving Morning, Thursday, Nov. 28. 1-mile KIDS DASH at 8:30 a.m. and a 5K walk/run at 9 a.m. Pumpkin pies are given as prizes to first-, second-, and third-place finishers. Participants will receive a fun giveaway at the finish line. Entry fees are free-will donations. Your donations support local families through the Spirit of Hope Soup Kitchen, the Sacred Heart Food Pantry, and Saint James ministries. All donations are tax deductible. For more information and to register, visit http://www.saintjamesgi.net. TAKE IT OUTSIDE High School Nature and Wildlife Photo Contest: Enter starting Oct 1, 2019. Deadline Thursday, May 7, 2020 Open to all high school students. Sponsored by the Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy. Enter at www.ginlc. org. FREE LUNCH FOR VETERANS Texas Roadhouse, 14600 Pardee, Taylor, is offering a free lunch for veterans and active members of the U.S. Military and Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meals can be chosen from a special Veterans Day menu. Proof of service includes military or VA card, or discharge papers is required. GROSSE ILE SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB Meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 11:30 p.m. Refreshments followed by a short business meeting, programs, bingo. This is a social club for men and women 55 years and up living on Grosse Ile. ARTS & CRAFTS HOLIDAY SALE Artists and crafters are welcome to apply for a table(s) at this one day event at Wayne County Community College District Downriver Campus (Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center- Concourse Area), 21000 Northline Rd., Taylor, on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Deadline to apply is Wednesday, Nov. 20. Applications can be found at the Facebook page, downriverartscraftsguild.com, or at

the Downriver Council for the Arts 81, Chestnut Street Wyandotte or by contacting Maureen Keast at 734-7776109 or email mkeast1@aol.com.

OPEN PICKLEBALL FOR ADULTS On Tuesdays and Thursdays through May at Meridian Elementary School Gym from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

AAUW SCHOLARSHIPS The AAUW Wyandotte-Downriver Branch offers several scholarships annually to female undergraduate students at Baker College, Henry Ford College, Lawrence Technological University and Wayne County Community College District. Interested students can pick up an AAUW application at their school’s counseling office. Candidates must have earned a minimum of 12 credits, be a United States citizen and a resident of the Downriver area. An essay is required. For more information, contact rjhart720@yahoo. com or visit downriver-mi.aauw.net.

VOLUNTEERS The Township is always on the lookout for volunteers. Helpers are needed for community events like the Fall Festival, Halloween Parade, Island Winterfest, Winter Olympics and the Easter event. Volunteers are also needed as golf course rangers and workers at summer events like Safety Town and youth camps. And, as always, volunteers are needed to help plan, set up and clean up Island Fest. To become involved call 734-6752364.

YOGA Tuesdays at the Downriver Council for the Arts, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte from 5:30-6:30 p.m, every Tuesday. Suitable for all levels, this Hatha Yoga Flow will focus on linking breath to movement, deep stretching, building core strength and improving balance and overall well-being. Bring your own yoga mat. Drop-in for $10 a class or $35 for (4 classes). For more information call 734-720-0671 or visit www.downriverarts.org. YMCA AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM Kids attending the program and the Downriver Family YMCA will receive snacks, help with homework and the chance to explore literacy, STEM and arts enrichment programs; to learn more, contact Stefanie Patrico at spatrico@ ymcadetroit.org. VAN TRANSPORTATION Senior citizens, low income, disabled, essential errands. $5 on island, $6 offisland, round trips. Reservations at least 24 hours in advance, two to four days preferred. Call (734) 675-2364 or (734) 216-2905. ISLAND WALKERS Mondays through Fridays from 6:45-7:45 a.m. year round at Centennial Farm Activity Room; aerobic walking to music.

LIBRARY TEEN VOLUNTEERS Interested in volunteering at the library? If you’re 14-17 yrs old, take a look through our volunteering information and fill out our application. Follow this link to the Teen Volunteer Application, fill it in and drop it off at the library’s circulation desk or email it to Amalia Ash: ataash@trenton.lib.mi.us. Once the completed application and work permit is given to library staff, you will be contacted within five days for a volunteering opportunity. Please note that as we have a limited number of volunteer opportunities and changing library needs, we cannot guarantee a certain number of volunteer hours or immediate placement. COME KNIT The Knitting Club of Grosse Ile meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Riverview Veterans Memorial Library. Come from some great fun, conversation and, of course, knitting Call 734-283-1250 or go to Riverviewpubliclibrary.com. LOOKING FOR A NEW BEST FRIEND? The Grosse Ile Animal Shelter, 24525 Meridian, has dogs, cats and kittens ready for new homes. Stop by and meet your new best friend. For shelter hours, call 692-9688. LIBRARY Remember the Veteran’s Memorial

Library in Trenton severs the community of Grosse Ile, as well at Trenton, Woodhaven and Brownstown. The Library is committed to providing services to all patrons. Adult services include a monthly Adult Book Discussion which meets the first Tuesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. We also provide beginning computer classes. The library often has special speakers or presentations including author book signings, informative presentations, and genealogy help. There are state publications and informative flyers on local non-profit , and educational opportunities. We also offer access to databases and the internet through free wi-fi access and 34 public computers. Copy machines and fax services are also available. DVD movie rentals are $1 each. New movies rent for three days and regular movies rent for one week. There is also a free family movie on the second Saturday of the month. The Trenton Historical Society meets here twice a month to assist patrons with genealogy research. Used books are for sale in an ongoing book sale as well as the Friends of the Library Used Book Extravaganza in April and October. Located on West Road, the library is open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays The library number is 734-676-9777. COME AND READ Established in 1934 as a response to the lack of a library on the Island, The Book Club of Grosse Ile has developed a distinct, unique identity. This book club is composed of scholarly women, who are looking for the challenge and stimulation only quality literature can bring. Books are rotated twice a month, which gives members the opportunity to read over 20 new books per year. There are three speakers during the year, most of whom are authors, who shine light on various subjects including the writing process. In addition, two book discussions allow members to interact and reflect on current literature and topics. Coming together for various activities brings about joyful, spirited interaction among members. The Book Club of Grosse Ile supplies everything a book club

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Page 30 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

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Rotary Club donates to Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry By Dave Gorgon Members of the Rotary Club of Grosse Ile are in support of Michigan’s largest client-choice food pantry, which is located in the Downriver area. Rotarians made donations to the Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry after a presentation during a monthly Rotary meeting by Fish & Loaves Vice President Sue Vokal. The faith-based, nonprofit Taylorbased pantry serves seven Downriver communities, plus others during emergency situations. Vokal said it costs about $25,000 in expenses every month to feed the thousands of needy people that visit the pantry. Fish & Loaves is supported by donations,

fundraisers, grants, food drives and other charitable activities, plus about 300 volunteers. Fish & Loaves operates with a mission to ensure that “No One Goes Hungry.” The pantry allows clients to shop in a store-like setting six times per year. Equipped with ample commercial freezers and refrigerators in a 12,000-square-foot pantry and warehouse space, Fish & Loaves is able to provide a more robust selection of food items than other pantries throughout the area. Last year, the pantry distributed more than 1.6 million pounds of food annually to about 3,000 households impacted primarily by job loss. Throughout the 12 months of 2018, Fish & Loaves welcomed

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16,000 visits by households seeking food assistance, averaging three to four new client visits daily. Vokal said she was blessed to be invited to speak before the Rotary Club and encouraged members to visit the pantry on Northline Road. “The Rotarians are truly dedicated to helping others,” she said. “I am so impressed by their heartfelt caring for other people and other causes.” For more information about ways to support the Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry, visit the website www.flcfp.org or keep updated at the group’s Facebook page, facebook.com/ fishandloavesfoodpantry.

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Rotary Club day does its part in eliminating polio worldwide By Dave Gorgon By the end of World Polio Day, members of the Rotary Club of Grosse Ile felt confident that polio would be eradicated around the globe. The free public event, “A Community Celebration – End Polio Now!” took place Oct. 24 at the Macomb Commons on Grosse Ile. The four-hour family-fun event included a pig and corn roast, apple cider, donuts and live entertainment. Donations collected go toward the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match 2-to-1 all donations collected for a total yearly contribution of $150 million. Polio is a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world. The disease invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in hours. It can strike people of any age, but mainly affects children under the age of 5. World Polio Day on Grosse Ile “was

a huge success,” said Grosse Ile Rotary President John Burgan. “The efforts we made will pay off. We are now even closer to seeing a world where no child will be paralyzed by polio. “The community support was over the top. We came together: one day, one focus, end polio now.” Burgan praised all of the participants, including event chairwoman Sandy Cullen, the manager of the Grosse Ile Yacht Club. “Sandy pulled everything together,” Burgan said. “The vision only became reality by her hard work and expertise.” Since 1985, Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to ending polio. Locally, the effort has included Purple Pinky fundraisers, the Tour de Ile, the Purple Gang Hit on Polio fundraiser and by Rotarians’ donations. Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million people. To keep up with Grosse Ile Rotary efforts and special events, visit the club’s Facebook page facebook.com/GrosseIleRotaryClub.

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Page 32 • November 9 - December 11, 2019

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CULINARY CAPERS If you like easy recipes, you will LOVE the two shared by Joni Bologna of Allen Park and Melva Bonis of Grosse Ile. Joni’s Fresh Cranberry Relish is not only super simple to make, but it also keeps refrigerated for two By Evelyn Cairns months, so it can be served on Thanksgiving and at other holiday meals ... if it’s not gobbled up before then. The Allen Parker has been making the relish for over 30 years and advises against using a substitute for the most important ingredient: Grand Marnier, because nothing can replace the French liqueur, she said. Instead of paying $30 or more for a bottle of the liqueur, though, consider instead buying an airline-size mini (minis are hard to find, but are available at Discount Drinks for about $3.50). And since you will need only two teaspoons, you may not want to invest in a large bottle. Otherwise, search the internet for Grand Marnier substitutes, which include frozen orange-juice concentrate. JONI’S DELECTABLE CRANBERRY RELISH 1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries 2 medium-sized Pippin or Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and cored (I used Granny Smith) ¾ cup sugar ½ cup orange marmalade 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier 1½ cups chopped walnuts ½ teaspoon cinnamon Wash and dry the cranberries, then chop in a food processor. Turn the cranberries into a large bowl, then chop the apples in the food processor and add to the cranberries. Stir in the sugar, marmalade, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, chopped walnuts and cinnamon. That’s it. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate overnight. The relish will keep for 2 months refrigerated. Always stir before serving. . Melva’s Awesome Red Grape Salad is so special that even people who

don’t like grapes love it, Melva said. She got the recipe from her son-inlaw’s mother, Beryl O’Dea of Oxford. After making the recipe myself, I know why it has become a favorite wherever Melva takes it. For Christmas, you might consider substituting green seedless grapes for half of the red. MELVA’S AWESOME RED GRAPE SALAD 3 pounds red grapes, washed, dried well and set aside 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup chopped pecans 8 ounces cream cheese, softened ½ cup granulated sugar 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla ¼ cup light brown sugar Melt the butter on a dinner plate or shallow dish in the microwave oven. Remove the plate from the oven and add the pecans, tossing until combined. Return to the oven and microwave for 1 minute. Remove the plate and toss the pecans again. Return to the oven and microwave an additional 1 minute, then set aside to cool. Meanwhile, place the cream cheese, granulated sugar, sour cream and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Fold in the grapes and turn the mixture into a serving dish. Sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and the chopped pecans. Refrigerate and enjoy! READER LIKES SUGAR-FREE TRIPLE-CHOCOLATE CAKE EVELYN: I made the Sugarfree Triple-Chocolate Bundt Cake yesterday for my son’s birthday. He is disabled and diabetic. The cake came out fantastic. I had to use two Bundt pans because one was not large enough. Not a problem because then we can keep some here, and I am taking the other to my son’s today. Keep up the good work — Chris Jakubek of Grosse Ile. Hi, Chris: Thanks for writing and including your telephone number. We agree that the cake is surprisingly delicious for being sugar-free. When I baked it, I used a 10-inch Bundt pan, which was just right, but I like your idea of using the two smaller ones. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Contact me at evycairns@aol.com

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November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 33

We’re No. 1

Grosse Ile wins Division 3 state soccer championship

By Tom Tigani The Grosse Ile High School Red Devils soccer team overcame the elements as well as its opponent at Comstock Park in Grand Rapids Saturday en route to capturing the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 state championship on Nov. 2. Some 500 home fans made the trip and watched as their Red Devils beat Grand Rapids South Christian 2-1 in an overtime shootout win that started and ended under sunny skies, but in the middle was played under some of the worst conditions Coach Jon Evans has ever seen. “We had every other kind of weather in between: rain, sleet, snow, you name it,” he said. A 24-2-1 season (two of the losses came in season-tournament, penaltykick shootouts and technically were ties, Evans said) put the Devils in the championship game for the second straight year. But unlike last year when they lost to Hudsonville Unity Christian, they went the distance Saturday.

Goalkeeper Adam Skehan was the star of the show, stopping South Christian on two penalty kicks while another was shot wide. Bosh Tanyi scored the winning shootout goal and also scored in regulation near the end of the first period to tie the game. Josh Davis and Max Aston also scored in the shootout. It was a big week for Tanyi, who also scored the lone goal in the Division 3 semifinal game Oct. 30 against Macomb Lutheran North in a 1-0 win that put the Red Devils in the championship game. To reach the state semifinals, Grosse Ile knocked off Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 6-0 and Detroit Frontier 3-0

in a Division 3 regional. To reach the regional, the Red Devils won a district title, where they eliminated Monroe St Mary Catholic Central 2-0, Flat Rock 8-0 ad Canton Prep 8-0. In seven state playoff games, Grosse Ile outscored it opponents 29-1. “It was just an all-around solid team effort,” Evans said. “That’s how it’s been most of season. We kept growing stronger as a team throughout the year. “It’s been a crazy, crazy, fun season, that’s for sure.” The state championship is the second in school history, the last coming in 2002 when most of this year’s seniors were born. The Devils also have won five straight Huron League titles.

Grosse Ile is no stranger to deep runs in the state tournament. In addition to being the Division 3 state runner up last year, Grosse Ile reached the regional finals in 2017 and 2016 and the state semifinals in 2015. Evans said while they’ll be losing about nine seniors next year and bringing in a lot of freshmen and sophomores, he’s optimistic about next year’s team. “I think we can reconstruct our lineup,” he said, “and as long as we work hard in the offseason, we can get right back to where we’ve been playing the last few years.” Team members relaxed with some pizza and soft drinks on the long bus ride back home, singing songs and posting on social media to celebrate. “The kids just had an enjoyable time on the bus. Them being around each other was a celebration in itself.” The team continued the celebration with a pep rally GIHS at the end of the day on Nov. 4.

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Red Devil gridders close 2019 on a positive note By Hank Minckiewicz The 2018 season was a record-breaking one for the Grosse Ile football team. Coach John Bodner’s team was unbeaten during the regular season, won the outright Huron League championship, beat five playoff qualifying teams, outscored their opponents by 100 points and qualified for the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs. That was 2018. The 2019 season was a different story. The year the Red Devils struggled in terms of wins. The Devils lost their nonleague opener against Gabriel Richard and their only win in Huron League play was a thrilling overtime victory over Huron. But the Devils put a pretty bow on the campaign with a dominating 38-16 victory over non-league Dearborn Height Crestwood on Oct. 25. It was a satisfying end to a less-than-pretty season. After stopping Crestwood on its first possession of the game, Grosse Ile broke on top with a 47-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard scoring run by junior Joey Pizzo. It was the beginning of another huge night for the standout junior, who has blossomed into one of the top players in the Downriver area. Pizzo would finish the night as his team’s leading rusher with over 100 yards, score on a run and on a pass from quarterback Nate Brown and kick a pair of field goals, including a 45-yard bomb. Grosse Ile would never trail in the game. Crestwood answered Grosse Ile’s first touchdown with a field goal, but that was as close as the Chargers would get all night. Grosse Ile led 26-3 at halftime. With Pizzo and fellow running back Justin Riggs occupying the Charger

Photos by Larry Caruso

Joe Pizzo (above) and Nate Brown (7) helped lead Grosse Ile to a season closing 38-16 win over Crestwood

defense, Brown found plenty of opportunities through the air for big plays. He finished the night 13-for-22 for 160 yards and two touchdown passes. He also ran for a score. Kegan Mott was Brown’s favorite target; he caught seven passes for 134 yards, including a five-yard scoring pass. Among Mott’s catches were grabs for 34, 20, 17 and 16 yards. Will Davis also caught three passes and Riggs rushed for 49 more yards. Leading 6-3 midway through the first quarter, Grosse Ile went to work marching 62 yards for another score. Pizzo had a 31-yard run on the drove and Mott caught a 17-yard pass. Brown scored from five yards out. The lead got bigger moments later when the

Red Devils blocked a punt at the Crestwood goalline. The ball went high in the air and Grosse Ile lineman Jack Weise caught it and tiptoed a yard into the end zone for six more Red Devil points. Grosse Ile got the only touchdown of the second quarter when it went 79 yards on nine plays. Mott carried the team down the field with catches of 34 and 20 yards and Pizzo finished it off by catching a three-yard toss from Brown. The second half was more of the same. Grosse Ile went 58 yards to open the second half and scored on a five-yard pass from Brown to Mott. Following a Nick Esordi interception, Pizzo kicked his howitzer 45-yard field goal as the lead grew to 35-3. Pizzo kicked another in the fourth quarter and Cestwood added

a pair of meaningless scores after the matter had already been decided. The win felt good after a season that largely did not go the way the Devils had hoped. After losing their first four games, Grosse ile beat

Huron on a Pizzo field goal in overtime. Between the win over Huron and the win over Crestwood, Grosse Ile lost to Flat Rock 27-20, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 26-12 and Riverview 24-10.


November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 35

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GROSSE ILE GRAND

High school sailors near end of 2019 campaign

2019 GROSSE ILE HIGH SCHOOL COED VARSITY SAILING TEAM

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Gillian Bellard Kyla Bugarin-Buccini Norton Coulibaly Mallory Dieball Meghan Dieball Vasilios Dionyssopoulos Faith Gaertner

By Tom Tigani Many high school athletics fans might not realize it because their school doesn’t have a team, but sailing is among the fall sports that wraps up this time of year. Grosse Ile High School’s coed varsity sailing team is nearing the end of 2019 competition in its segment of the Midwest Interscholastic Sailing Association. The season wraps up Nov. 9 and 10 with the MISSA Shepherd Championship Regatta in Chicago. MISSA is the regional governing body for high school sailing in the Midwest. This year there are there 55 Midwest secondary school teams including the Red Devils. Association membership varies from year to year but has been near that number in recent history. Coach Robb Matthews has been involved with the team, which has existed for some 20 years, since his oldest daughter, Molly was a member. She’s now attending Roger Williams University in Rhode Island while younger sister, Maren, carries on the family tradition. “It’s been a season of a little rebuilding,” said the coach. “We’ve participated in some pretty good regattas. It’s been a good year, but we’ll probably finish somewhere in the middle of the pack.” The Red Devils were state champs last year and runners-up in the Great Lakes Championship. It’s a pretty young team this year, with just a few seniors, three of them girls. There are 10 girls total and four boys on the team, including captain Rylan Van De Wetering. The Red Devils will have been in 12 regattas by season’s end. Matthews admits that sometimes GIHS students don’t know there is competitive sailing at their school.

“Our kids sometimes take a pretty good ribbing on whether it’s a sport or not,” he said, “but once you start talking about winning regattas, people are like, ‘OK you know what you’re doing.’ “We have a nice core of kids who are passionate about sailing and sail all year long. At least 60 percent of them sail competitively in the summertime, so that’s pretty cool. That experience they have outside sailing season is what makes them great sailors.” It’s one thing to sail as a pastime, but something else to do it in competition. “Putting yourself up against different competitors all over the place really helps you to grow as a sailor,” Matthews said. He believes most people don’t realize the skill and physical attributes needed to participate in the sport — and that it is a sport. For example, sailors often must extend themselves outward from the boat horizontal to the water to counter the effects of wind. And his team’s youngest member is small enough to get quickly below decks to haul the sail out. Matthews said sailing is unique in that boys and girls can compete on the same team, noting that even rowing is generally not a coed sport. “In sailing, women and men race head to head on the same course on the same boat all the time. A good female sailor has as good a chance at winning a regatta as a male. “People 85 years old are racing and eighthgraders are racing, sometimes on the same boat.” While no octogenarians are on the GIHS team, it’s still pretty inclusive. “Even within our team there’s a broad age range,” Matthews said. “MISSA bylaws allow as young as seventh grade. Sure, it’s intimidating for an eighth-

Kellan Knapp Maren Mathhews Anna McAughey Eva Ottenbreit Sydney Porter James Souiliere Ryan Van de Wetering

grader at first, but they get to be friends and do very well with each other.” Blending it all together is where Matthews comes in. “As coach I try to ensure that transition of knowledge and continuity of performance,” he said. “Everybody’s got their skill set.” Some GIHS girls qualified recently for a twoday invitational regatta in San Diego, and joined members from other area teams such as Grosse Pointe South and Detroit Country Day to compete together. Because his coed varsity team doesn’t have as many people on board its Collegiate 420 (which has a jib and a mainsail) as some ships, crew members must be able to do a lot of things. They need to be conscious of weather and keep the ship at a proper trim (the angle at which it goes through the water). “There’s a significant physical aspect to it,” Matthews said. “It’s a combination of hand-eye coordination and timing, and the whole thing plays out before your eyes. You have to play three or four steps ahead and know exactly what to do in certain situations. “But it’s not just the physical part; the mental part is every bit a part of it too. It’s a great sport, even if it’s a small sport.” The Collegiate 420 isn’t a very complex boat, Matthews said, but it suits learning sailors and ensures a level playing field. Teams, however, typically rotate through 20 types of boats in a regatta. Times in a typical regatta can run somewhere between that of a golf match and a baseball game. Though it’s not a spectator sport per se, Matthews said some venues can accommodate fans, including a nice shoreline facility in Cleveland where parents can cheer. Though there hasn’t been as much to cheer about this year, Matthews said he has enjoyed the season. “We really have a dynamic group of hardworking kids who sail year-round and take a lot of pride in it. It’s really rewarding to see these kids participate in a sport they love. “A lot of these kids will go on to sail all their lives and continue sailing with each other.”

AS COACH I TRY TO ENSURE THAT TRANSITION OF KNOWLEDGE AND CONTINUITY OF PERFORMANCE. EVERYBODY’S GOT THEIR SKILL SET.” ~ Robb Matthews, coach


November 9 - December 11, 2019 • Page 37

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Grosse Ile girls win fifth straight league title By Hank Minckiewicz Give it up for the Grosse Ile girls cross-country team. The Red Devils won the first two Huron League jamborees this season and then dominated the Huron League meet on Oct. 17th at Willow Metropark. The Red Devils scored just 36 points to easily outdistance Milan, which had 66. Huron was third with 88, Riverview fourth with 95, Airport was fifth with 123, Flat Rock sixth with 128 and Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central brought up the rear with 164 points. Individually, three of the first four runners home we’re Grosse Ile runners. Sophomore Caitlin Korte was second in 20:12, senior Meghan Dieball was third in 20:35 and sophomore Andi Fulmer was fourth in 20:36. All the runners trailed Milan’s Seanna Schmidt, who won the race with a lightning-fast 19:19. Senior Hannah Fulmer finished 10th in 21:09 and sophomore Anna Melanson finished the scoring for Grosse Ile with a 17th-place finish in 21:39. For good measure fellow

sophomore Cierra Armstrong was 18th in 21:47. In addition to the varsity run, Grosse Ile girls claimed three of the top five spots in the junior varsity race, with Ami Yezman winning, Zeinab Hamadi finishing third and Katie Keim finishing fifth. The Huron League championship was the fifth straight for the Grosse Ile girls and considering the number of sophomores and the strong jayvee finish, it doesn’t look like the domination is anywhere near ready to end for coach Larry Swick and his girls. On the boys side of the race, Grosse Ile finish sixth with 155 points. Milan, with 40 points, edged Huron for first place. Huron was second with 45 and Riverview was third with 77. The top to Grosse Ile finishers, sophomore Joey Gall and junior Luke Porter finished side by side. Gall was 20th in 18:10 and Porter was 21st in 18:11. Greg Howard, Nicholas Griffin and Griffin Mihalko finished the Grosse Ile scoring.

At regionals at Lake Erie Metropark on Oct. 26th, Grosse Ile’s girls finished fifth in the 12team meet. The Red Devils scored 131 points to finish behind winner Tecumseh, Dearborn Divine Child, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and Chelsea. Korte ran another strong meet and finished third in 19:20, qualifying for the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 state finals. The Grosse Ile sophomore was beaten only by senior Madison Price of Trenton and junior Caitlin Knape of Tecumseh. Dieball, Andi Fulmer, Cecilia Vesperman and Armstrong finished the Grosse Ile scoring. The Grosse Ile boys were 12th at regionals. Gall was their top runner. At the state finals, running fairly miserable conditions at MIS, Corte finished among the top 40 Runners. She was 39th in 1924. East Grand Rapids won the girls D2 state title with just 36 points in the 28-team race.

Photo by Larry Caruso

The Grosse Ile girls cross country team won both league jamborees and the Huron League meet to capture its fifth straight league crown.

SPORTS ROUNDUP

Red Devils finish season at MHSAA state tennis meet

The Grosse Ile tennis team, which won another Huron League championship this season, capped the year with a 15th-place finish at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 4 state finals at Hope College on Oct. 18-19. Coach Audrey Shade’s Red Devils scored five points in the meet. The meet champions were Allegan and Kalamazoo Hackett, which each scored 21 points. Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett was third with 20. The Red Devils did most of their scoring in the doubles portion of the meet. At No. 3 doubles the team of Nick Hahn and Alex White got a first round bye and then beat the team of London Emmons and Reese Gulisek of Pawpaw 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 before falling to a team from Allegan. At No. 4 doubles the Grosse Ile team of Divum Mittral and Henry Vergoven beat the team of Jack Elliott and Brandon Tripp of Berrien Springs 7-6, 6-3 to score for their team. In singles play, No. 2 player Anthony Naso knocked off George Anusbigian of Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 6-3, 7-6. Lucas Kopp (No. 1 singles), Alex Stewart (No. 3 singles) Stephan Kobiljak (No. 4 singles), Michael

Carney and Lorenzo Delgado (No. 1 doubles) and Ben Percha and Robert Stance (No. 2 doubles) all played in the state finals for Grosse Ile. Grosse Ile qualified for the state finals at the division 4 tennis regional hosted by Hillsdale. Also qualifying there were Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and Jackson Lumen Christi. At the regionals Nick Hahn and Alex White were regional champs at three doubles, Ben Percha and Robert Stance were runners-up at two doubles and Divum Mittral and Henry Vergoven were runners-up at number for doubles.

GROSSE ILE HAS A GIRLS GOLF QUALIFIER The Grosse Ile girls golf team has seen its fortunes fall the past couple of seasons, but if this year’s regional results are any indication, the Red Devils may be on their way back. Grosse ile finished fifth at regionals where the top three teams qualify for the state finals. Fifth was obviously not good enough to make the game this season but fielded a young team that included a junior, two sophomores and two freshmen. And one of those ninth-graders - Lily Bargamian

- fired a 91 at regionals and that was good enough to qualify for the state finals as an individual. Only three girls qualified individually from the regional, Bargamian and two girls from Airport. Following Bargamian on the scoresheet were sophomore Heather Tauby (101), freshman Caily O’Ferrell (105), sophomore Grace Kuzmiak (110) and junior Mara Rossi (124). At the Division 3 state finals - a two-day affair held at The Meadows Golf Course at Grand Valley State University - Bargamian shot 83-91 -174 and gained valuable experience that she will be able to call on the next three years. VOLLEYBALL It’s playoff time for the state’s volleyball teams and Grosse Ile finds itself starting out in a five-team Michigan High School Athletic Association district tournament hosted by Flat Rock. The Red Devils opened Nov. 4 against Romulus with a chance to advance to play the host Rams in the district semifinals. Huron and Summit Academy are on the other side of the bracket. The finals were Nov. 7. The winner advances to a regional hosted by Airport.


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