Holiday Happenings

Published December 22, 2016

CENTER LINE — By definition, they were the best and brightest homes in Center Line this holiday season.

Jan Ornsten and Kimberly Fenderson, members of the Center Line Beautification Commission who took part in the judging for the city’s annual “Light Up the Sky” contest Dec. 18, said their holiday tour of the city found about 200 well-lit properties displaying a beautiful array of festive cheer, music and variety.  

“We had two winners. It was a really tough decision,” Ornsten said.

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Published December 21, 2016

WARREN — Sometimes, the clients that Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers serves live alone. Sometimes, they can’t get out to run basic errands most take for granted. Some need everyday household items. Some need help with their chores or yard work.

Others just need someone to talk to. And for homebound seniors and others with limited mobility, the “most wonderful time of the year” can also be the most lonely.

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Published December 20, 2016

C&G Newspapers

METRO DETROIT — More than 2,000 years later, the story of Hanukkah continues to inspire local Jews to celebrate and reflect as archaeologists and scholars expound on clues about a major subject of the festival, the Second Jewish Temple.

The eight-day Hanukkah festival, which begins on different dates of the Western calendar each year, starts this year at sundown Dec. 24. Jewish families often celebrate the festival by lighting menorahs, eating latkes and jelly doughnuts, playing a dreidel game, opening gifts and more.

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Published December 20, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Monday, Dec. 12, a group of Santa’s helpers delivered hot meals, Christmas gifts, blankets, stockings stuffed with personal care items and more to local senior citizens, most with ties to the Shelby Township Senior Center.

Retired dispatcher Bonnie Bowman and dispatcher Carol Smith, who has been with the Shelby Township Police Department for 17 years, coordinated the event with the help of the Shelby Township Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 142 and donations from businesses, churches and individuals in the community.

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Published December 17, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Joseph Zago knows what it’s like to be down and out.

It was well into the Great Recession when Zago lost his job, got his driver’s license suspended, and then lost his home in Michigan as well as a rental home in Arizona to bankruptcy. He said he depended on his friends, and a few strangers, to help him get back on his feet.

Today, Zago is president and founder of The Carpet Guys, a successful floor-covering company based in Troy.

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Published December 16, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — For the fourth year in a row, Christmas is a golden time of year for the Salvation Army in St. Clair Shores. 

The person the charity is calling a “Secret Santa” has, for the fourth year in a row, dropped a 1980 South African gold Krugerrand into the red kettle at the Kroger on Marter Road and Jefferson Avenue in St. Clair Shores. The coin is estimated to be worth $1,200. 

Capt. Andrew Shiels, of the Salvation Army, said that that money has done a lot of good over the years.

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Published December 15, 2016

Each year, the Goodfellows of Detroit gives out some special gifts just in time for Christmas. This Christmas season, the Goodfellows were joined by a number of the actors and performers from the Tony and Grammy Award winning play “Beautiful,” which is currently being performed at Detroit’s Fisher Theater.

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Published December 14, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — A local neighborhood is getting into the holiday spirit with a light contest sure to brighten the spirits of all who pass by.

The Williamsburg Townhouse Cooperative, on Harper Avenue at Masonic Boulevard, is hosting a lighting contest and walk Dec. 15 for its residents and all who want to come enjoy the festive decorations.

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Published December 14, 2016

DETROIT — Thanks to Meijer, 10 children involved in the Make-A-Wish program will be having a far merrier Christmas than before.

Meijer donated 10 gift baskets to Make-A-Wish Michigan to deliver to kids suffering from debilitating diseases. Make-A-Wish, which helps fund the wishes of the children, such as visiting a theme park or going to the Super Bowl, accepted the baskets and helped Meijer distribute them to the children Nov. 28.

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Published December 14, 2016

DETROIT — Three local nonprofit organizations are getting a helping hand from local musicians.

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Published December 14, 2016

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — This holiday season, the Grosse Pointe War Memorial is once again teaming up with the Wins for Warriors Foundation to give veterans and their loved ones a memorable gift.

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Published December 14, 2016

TROY — This is the second year that Schroeder Elementary School students Anna Swencki, a fourth-grader, and her sister Emma Swencki, a third-grader, have shopped with a cop. 

Their mom, Theresa Swencki, a single parent, said her daughters understand what a budget is. 

She said she is unable to work due to health problems, and she provides support for her ex-husband, the girls’ father, who suffers from kidney disease. 

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Published December 14, 2016

As long as your holiday shopping list may be, there’s an even longer list of ways that criminals can spoil your celebration.

The holiday season means that families are spending more money than they typically do during other times of the year — on party supplies, charitable giving and, of course, gifting. Increased spending means increased opportunities for thieves to take advantage of your jolly generosity.

One of the most common scams to hit neighborhoods in recent years is to swipe packages off doorsteps once they’re delivered to customers.

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Published December 14, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A holiday tradition that began last year will return to the lobby of the Shelby Township municipal building, located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave., south of 24 Mile Road.

Donation bins will surround the township’s Christmas tree, which also will serve as a “giving tree” decked with tags noting desired items for the Samaritan House in Washington Township, which serves needy families in northern Macomb County.

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Published December 13, 2016

As the days whittle down to Christmas, woodworking high school students have been acting like real-life versions of Santa’s elves to construct toys for local children.

At Henry Ford II High School, woodworking classes teamed up with the Michigan Woodworkers’ Guild to make wooden vehicle toys, particularly cars and trucks. Those toys will be distributed to young patients at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit this month.

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Published December 13, 2016

HAZEL PARK — This weekend, Santa Claus will park his sleigh and reindeer on the rooftop of the Hazel Park District Library and come inside for one-on-one time with the kids.

The free event, Crafts with Santa, is one of the most popular events at the library, located at 123 E. Nine Mile Road. It will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 17.

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Published December 13, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Shelby Township’s seventh annual Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk will kick off from behind the Shelby Township Senior Center.

Race director Michael Ward said he expects the race to exceed 450 runners — he’s hoping for 600-700 — and raise more than $11,000, which is how much it brought in last year.

All of the profits will be donated to charity, Ward said. Last year, he distributed the funds to approximately 10 charities. He called for other charities to reach out to him.

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