Holiday Happenings

Published December 31, 2015

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Now that it’s officially winter, a new program from the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Department will celebrate the season.

The department is introducing Winter Weekends, which is three different events over separate weekends in January and February.

“We were just looking for ways to get people outdoors,” Parks and Rec Marketing Coordinator Meagan Kurnat said. “Get people outdoors in the wintertime and kind of experience the season and get some people to enjoy our parks.

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Published December 30, 2015

WARREN — Members of the Center Line Beautification Commission tasked with surveying the city’s most well-lit holiday homes and businesses weren’t disappointed on Dec. 20.

“We were out there for like three hours last night,” said Janice Ornsten, the commission’s treasurer, who sits on the subcommittee for the annual “Light Up the Sky” holiday lights contest. “The houses were so beautiful. It was really hard deciding.”

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Published December 23, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The Christmas spirit filled more than 1,200 hearts last week as select individuals were invited to shop for food and gifts inside the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit.

Held Dec. 16 and 17, the annual event helps provide a Christmas celebration for those in southeastern Oakland County who may otherwise not be able to have one.

None of the available gifts are wrapped and no children arrive with their parents.

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Published December 23, 2015

Charity starts in the community at Utica Community Schools this holiday season as students offer their gifts of resources, time and services, according to school officials.

UCS spokesman Tim McAvoy said the school district’s students have planned to participate in more than 200 charitable activities during the holiday season. Examples include caroling at local senior centers, setting up hat-and-mitten trees on which they hang donated winter clothing, stocking up food banks and assisting the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

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Published December 22, 2015

Setting up and maintaining a Christmas tree requires more than ornaments, garland and a star on top — it requires a commitment to safety, according to the Sterling Heights Fire Department.

According to a list of the Fire Department’s safety tips, Christmas trees might not be the most common cause for fires, but they can be dangerous when they happen. Electrical mishaps and proximity to heat sources are listed as two of the most common threats.

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Published December 22, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — The Fraternal Order of Police Southwestern Oakland County Lodge 128 held its Cops and Kids event to help local children Dec. 9.

Partnering with Lakes Area Youth Assistance, Novi Youth Assistance and the Meijer at 49900 Grand River Ave. in Wixom, officers from several different departments were paired with 30 local kids and shopped with $200 gift cards.

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Published December 22, 2015

WEST BLOOMFIELD — It’s hardly looks like it’s the holiday season with little to no snow hitting the ground in Michigan.

Once the snowflakes finally start falling hard on local streets, residents will have to grab their shovels and clean up their driveways and sidewalks.

But E. Kamal Sansom, clinical manager at the Oakland Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Institute, said be careful not to put too much strain on your back when shoveling out the snow.

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Published December 22, 2015

We asked local kids to send us their letters to pass along to Santa at the North Pole. All kids who submitted a letter have also been entered into a drawing to win an ice-skating party. We'll announce the winner in early January, so stay tuned.

Macomb County

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Published December 21, 2015

“I’ll be home for Christmas” doesn’t always ring true for everyone.

So local students want troops stationed overseas to know that they’re remembered, wherever they are, by those at home.

Mike Chmielewski teaches a fourth/fifth-grade split class at Elmwood Elementary School in South Lake Schools. He has become friends through coaching sports with Lt. Col. Michael Zahuranic, the product manager for self-propelled Howitzer systems and armored fighting vehicles at TACOM in Warren.

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Published December 21, 2015

For another year, Sterling Heights police officers’ annual Cops and Kids event was on target in helping low-income families afford some presents this holiday season.

Officers from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 118 and from the Sterling Heights Police Department teamed up with the Target store at Metropolitan Parkway and Dequindre Road to host a Dec. 12 shopping spree for a preselected group of young people.

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Published December 21, 2015

This year’s version of Sterling Heights’ “Project Runway” amateur fashion contest will focus less on style and more on absurdity according to organizers at the Sterling Heights Public Library.

The library will hold its “Project Runway: Ugly Sweater Edition” Dec. 29.

According to Jason Groth, library public relations and programs coordinator, the event’s timing with the end of the year was intentional.

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Published December 20, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — For the past five years, the Shelby Township Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 142, the Shelby Township Senior Center and local businesses have partnered together to bring Christmas baskets to seniors in need.

Retired dispatcher Bonnie Bowman started the initiative and is back on board this year after overcoming some health complications. After loading up a bus full of presents, volunteers — along with Santa Claus — personally delivered the goods Dec. 16.

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Published December 19, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — When 6-year-old Cameron Skwier saw more than a dozen uniformed police officers enter a back meeting room at the Wal-Mart at 23 Mile Road and M-53 for the Shelby Township Police Department’s Shop with a Cop program Dec. 16, he said he felt nervous.

However, not too far into his holiday shopping experience, he said he thought the smiling men in blue who helped children pick out Christmas gifts were nice.

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Published December 18, 2015

DETROIT — Once the holiday gatherings have subsided, you might find yourself with some down time. The kids are home from school, you have a break from work — now what?

How about spending a day in the D? Downtown Detroit offers plenty of family-friendly fun with some seasonal cheer to boot.

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Published December 18, 2015

WARREN/CENTER LINE —  Every year, as holiday decorations go up and Christmas shopping begins, students, teachers and support staff at local schools always reach out to those in need.

The Center Line High School Community Outreach Adopt-A-Family program will again help Center Line Public Schools families that otherwise would go without. CLHS students, staff and parents have “adopted” 13 families in need this holiday season.

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Published December 18, 2015

MOUNT CLEMENS — A Mount Clemens restaurant owner will be offering a free breakfast buffet on Christmas Eve in an effort to raise money to feed the hungry.

Mark Lleshi, owner of John’s Family Grill, said everyone in the community is welcome to enjoy the free breakfast buffet from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Dec. 24. He said no donations are required, though any donations that are given that day will benefit local churches and their year-round efforts to aid the homeless.

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Published December 17, 2015

MOUNT CLEMENS — Sue Coats, CEO of Turning Point in Mount Clemens, said the outpouring of support that the nonprofit organization receives on a regular basis never ceases to impress her.

After an accidental fire displaced more than a dozen women and children at the domestic violence shelter this past June, financial support from people and businesses across Macomb County and metro Detroit came swiftly, and they were all able to return within a week.

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Published December 16, 2015

Schroeder Elementary School students Anna Swencki, 8, and her sister Emma Swencki, 7, waited with their mother, Theresa, for their turn to Shop with a Cop at the Walmart store on Maple Road Dec. 8.

The sisters said they planned to purchase gifts for their mom, dad and cousins.

Theresa Swencki, a single parent, said she recently moved into the Troy School District and was pleased with the support the family has received from the district.

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Published December 16, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Wrapping up a first-year partnership, St. Clair Shores Police Community Resource Officer Kevin Kimm called the Stuff a Bus toy and food drive a “huge success” for St. Clair Shores Cops for Kids.

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Published December 16, 2015

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Jackie Michaelson has been described as someone who is effective and very good at what she does, which is helping those in need.

Michaelson has been a part of Lighthouse of Oakland County’s Adopt-a-Family program for about 16 years, which helps support families in Oakland County by matching them to people with the means to sponsor a family.

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