Grosse Pointe CityOctober 3, 2012
City’s Beautification Awards include one for a single well-maintained block
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
GROSSE POINTE CITY — City officials and members of the Grosse Pointe Beautification Commission honored the community’s best and brightest properties during the annual Beautification Awards Sept. 25 at City Hall.
Andrew Hartz, a member of the Beautification Commission, said each commission member is assigned a section of the City to monitor and comes back with five nominees, from which the full commission selects residential and business winners. He said they used to only have one commercial winner, but they are now up to three, which speaks to the work done on behalf of those properties.
“It’s people like you who keep the City looking beautiful,” Hartz told attendees.
Once again this year, the commission also selected a block to recognize — this time, Lakeland from St. Paul to Maumee.
The honor was a surprise to 12-year Lakeland resident Anne Stafford, who said she didn’t even know the City gave awards to entire blocks. Still, people who live on the close-knit street aren’t surprised by the win.
“It’s a pretty block,” said Lakeland resident Karen White, who has also lived there for 12 years. “I think everyone does an exceptional job of meticulous landscaping.”
Residential winners this year include James and Harriet Tepel and Robert and Judy Leonard of Cameron Place, Petersen Decker of Cranford Lane, Chady and Mona Haurani of Lakeside Court, Thomas Gage of Lincoln, Michael Gietzen and his wife of Neff Road, Ronald and Carrie Balderson of Neff, Anthony and Kimberly Romolino of Rivard, Robert Wood of St. Clair, Hans and Lori Stricker of University Place, and J. Richard and Connie Dunlap of University Place. Kevin and Christina Hayes, caretakers, and Bethany and Bertrand Bouchet, owners of a St. Clair home, also won.
Commercial winners were the Freuhauf family for 718 Notre Dame, Flagstar Bank for 16821 Kercheval and Kercheval Place for 17000 Kercheval.
“We are very happy and honored with the award,” said Ken Freuhauf, who was on hand with his father, Dick, to accept the award for the investment office. “We love being in Grosse Pointe on Notre Dame.
Beautification Commission member Joseph Jennings said the Beautification Awards not only honor those who’ve made improvements to their properties, but also inspire others to do the same.
“We’re very proud of them,” Jennings said of the winners. “It’s just a great effort that the town makes as a whole. We have very responsive residents.”
Beautification Commission Chair Tracy Lyon received a special proclamation from the mayor for her work on the commission and Project Bloom, a garden sponsorship program that debuted to resounding success in 2012 and resulted in private funding and support for gardens in the Village and Neff Park.
Other Project Bloom team members were Beautification Commission Vice Chair Susan Hartz and Beautification Commission members Susan Budrys and David Calcaterra.
“It was a lot of fun doing it,” said Calcaterra, noting that people are already on the waiting list to sponsor gardens in 2013.
Lyon thanked attendees “for making the City great.”
“It’s my pleasure to do this for my city, because I love where I live and you do, too,” she said after receiving the proclamation.
Mayor Dale Scrace, who was present to congratulate winners, said after the ceremony that the beautification efforts of residents and businesses make the community better. Project Bloom has been a particular boost at a time when budget cuts meant the City couldn’t shoulder these costs, he added.
“It’s what makes our community great,” Scrace said of all of these efforts.