News & Notes - 5/10/23 Royal Oak Review

Royal Oak Review | Published May 11, 2023

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Taco Fest to return
ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak Taco Fest will be making a return this summer with a larger footprint.

Taco Fest will take place June 30 to July 4 in downtown Royal Oak. According to a press release, the event will be located on the east side of Main Street between 11 Mile Road and Fourth Street, centered around Centennial Commons and portions of the Royal Oak city complex parking lots.

“The inaugural Royal Oak Taco Fest was a huge success and draw for people from all over metro Detroit,” Event Producer Jon Witz said in a press release. “This year’s Royal Oak Taco Fest will be bigger and better, and we anticipate that the changes we’ve made to meet the demand we saw at the event last year will deliver an even greater experience for attendees. So, get your tickets early.”

The event will have more than 50 of the “finest taquerias, taco trucks and other eateries from the region,” which is 25% more options than last year. For information on tickets and scheduling, visit,


Fundraiser walk to support legal aid clinic
ROYAL OAK — The Salvation Army William Booth Legal Aid Clinic’s 11th annual Walk for Justice fundraiser will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Detroit Zoo.

The fundraiser is aimed to help “impoverished families and veterans throughout metro Detroit find access to justice,” a press release states, and the clinic provides “quality guidance and advocacy in a wide variety of areas involving homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and consumer advocacy.”

Along with being able to take in the zoo, attendees also will be able to participate in a silent auction.

“In America, we believe in ‘justice for all,’ but that is not always the case for those in need in our community,” states Amy Roemer, clinic director at the Salvation Army William Booth Legal Aid Clinic. “At The Salvation Army William Booth Legal Aid Clinic, we believe access to exceptional advocacy for all members of the community is a crucial component of a free society and that positive experiences with the legal system can be life changing. Our Walk for Justice fundraiser supports this vision by helping us continue our mission to provide free legal counsel, advocacy and education to individuals, families and veterans throughout metro Detroit.”

Early registration costs $40 for adults, and registration will cost $45 on the day of the walk. Children will be admitted for free and law students can register for $30. The registration cost includes zoo admission, parking, an event T-shirt, refreshments and entry in a door prize drawing.

For more information about the Walk for Justice fundraiser, visit, call (313) 361-6340 or email


School district honors Support Person of the Year
ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak Schools announced that Jessica Conklin, a paraprofessional in the autism spectrum disorder program at Addams Elementary School, is the district’s Support Person of the Year.

According to a press release, Conklin said the award is something she will “always cherish.”

“I absolutely love my job and all that I do,” Conklin said in the press release. “Working with the kids brightens my days. Even in hard moments, they always say or do something that makes me laugh and smile. I also couldn’t do the job I do without the support of our amazing Addams team. Addams Elementary has always been a very special place. The environment is one that we can all thrive in. We work as a team, and I have always felt valued, and my ideas are truly valued.”

As a paraprofessional, Conklin is responsible for providing direct support to the students in the autism spectrum disorder program.

“She works with classroom teachers, ASD resource teachers, and other staff to support students,” the release states. “She has three children in Royal Oak Schools, two at Addams, and one at the high school, who is a member of the Unified Sports team. She also helped out with the high school Unified Basketball Team this year.”

Addams Elementary School Principal Tim Boyer, who nominated Conklin for the award, said she is a “jack of all trades” who builds “strong, positive relationships” with students.

“She understands the students she works with, which allows her to challenge them at their level while providing a safe environment,” he said. “She does an amazing job working with teachers to align her practices with classroom teacher expectations. She has taken her passion for supporting students in our ASD program and spread her impact across our entire building.”


Presentation to focus on women lighthouse keepers
ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak Historical Museum’s Speaker Series will be hosting Ellen Kehoe for a discussion on women lighthouse keepers.

Kehoe’s talk, titled “Women Lighthouse Keepers on the Great Lakes” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, May 12 at the museum, located at 1411 Webster in Royal Oak.

Attendees will be able to view the sights of the Great Lakes lighthouses and the stories of some of the women “who kept the lights burning.”

“Museum volunteer Ellen Kehoe has traveled to lighthouses along Lakes Huron, Superior and Michigan over the last several summers and will share her photographs along with the history of these fixtures on our Great Lakes,” a news release states.

Tickets cost $10 and are limited to 40 people. Preregister at For more information, call the museum at (248) 439-1501. The museum is open to the public 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.