Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce awards best, brightest

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 18, 2020

 Kate Frikken is one of Roseville’s Citizens of the Year.

Kate Frikken is one of Roseville’s Citizens of the Year.

Photo provided by Kate Frikken

 Michelle Sucura is another of Roseville’s Citizens of the year.

Michelle Sucura is another of Roseville’s Citizens of the year.

Photo provided by Michelle Sucura

 The Eastpointe Citizen of the Year is Peggy DiMercurio.

The Eastpointe Citizen of the Year is Peggy DiMercurio.

Photo provided by Peggy DiMercurio

 The Roseville Business of the Year is Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

The Roseville Business of the Year is Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Photo provided by Matthew Godfrey

 The Eastpointe Business of the Year is Fresh Choice Market Place.

The Eastpointe Business of the Year is Fresh Choice Market Place.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Despite not being able to hold its annual banquet, the Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce honored the best and brightest in the two communities by privately presenting awards to individuals and institutions.

Among the top honors were the Citizen of the Year awards. This year, one recipient was selected from Eastpointe and two from Roseville. The chamber hopes to honor the recipients at next year’s banquet so they can be properly recognized. The chamber will be posting content about the award recipients on its website, erchamber.com, throughout November.

The Eastpointe Citizen of the Year was Peggy DiMercurio, who has worked as part of several local organizations to promote the arts and community service.

“Peggy has a leadership role with the Eastpointe Community Garden. The garden is in its eighth season, and Peggy’s enthusiasm is as strong as ever,” Linda Weishaupt, the executive director of the chamber, said in an email. “As the Record Keeper and Administrator, she finds joy in working with the various groups and individuals who support the garden, and through it, the community. She is also the (liaison) for the City of Eastpointe Arts & Cultural Diversity Commission. In partnership with Anton Art Center, Peggy leverages her connections and involvement in the arts sector.”

DiMercurio said she loves getting to work with the community to make it better, particularly when it allows local youths to get involved.

“I was completely taken by surprise,” she remarked. “I’m very proud and very touched that I was nominated and won the award. I really love the city, and I have been trying to do as much volunteering and outreach as I can, and it feels great to be recognized this way. Arts in the city is very dear to me. I’ve lived in the city most of my life, and I love doing projects with the Eastpointe kids. The Eastpointe Community Garden is great because it lets us make a very beautiful spot in the city and grow vegetables that we can then donate throughout the city.”

One Roseville Citizen of the Year was Kate Frikken for her work setting up a mini-library and food pantry in front of her home.

“Just over two years ago, Kate set up a free little pantry and library in front of her home on Belanger Street,” wrote Weishaupt. “Within that time, the little pantry and library have given out numerous free books, school supplies, baby, and personal care items and of course food. Supported from Kate’s own funds and donations, this action from the heart has been a lifeline to so many area residents in a time of need.”

Frikken even went ahead and hosted an “Everything but the Turkey” fundraiser so local families in need could have food for Thanksgiving.

“It was a shock. I am honored and I don’t like a lot of attention,” Frikken said of receiving the award. “It was a pretty neat thing. The pantry and library has been there for almost three years. I’ve always kind of done things like this. I was involved in charities since I was about 12 years old, and my mom started a library in her yard too. I wanted to give away food because it can be so difficult to come by in uncertain times. I’m honored so many people donate to keep this going.”

The other Roseville Citizen of the Year was Michelle Sucura, who used her position as manager of a local Tubby’s restaurant to aid those in need.

“Michelle Sucura has a generous heart and is always concerned about the well being of others. She would never let anyone go hungry and always made sure that food was available for the less fortunate,” Weishaupt wrote. “Although recently retired, she worked over 30 years at the Tubby’s on Gratiot in Roseville and, during that time, made a difference in our community. Michelle happily donated again and again to Roseville schools and athletic programs. She hosted charity nights to raise money for the schools. Donations were freely given to police and fire departments, community events along with local clubs and charities. Every year Michelle donated platters of food to warming shelters for the homeless.”

Sucura said she was humbled by the award and said that she has always worked as part of a team.

“I was really surprised I got this. It’s great. It’s awesome,” said Sucura. “I worked for Tubby’s and that’s why I got it, but I don’t feel worthy that I am the only one recognized. I always made sure we helped out Roseville whenever we could, but I was just the manager. I am a caring person and my employees were mostly younger girls so I was sort of like the mom and tried to be a mentor to them. I always say, ‘Give because you want to give, not because you want something back in return.’”

The Eastpointe Business of the Year was Fresh Choice Market Place for its holiday spirit and donations to numerous charities.

“Fresh Choice Market Place has displayed great interest in our community from the day they opened their doors,” Weishaupt wrote. “They started with their Christmas Parade. The store was fully decorated, employees were dressed appropriately, and food and drink were provided to those attending the parade. They have donated to numerous community fundraising events through the years. This year they have donated food and resources to raise awareness to the census drive in Eastpointe and ensure that all were counted. They have provided snack bags for the community ‘back to school’ events. With the holidays fast approaching, they have donated to outreach programs to help those in need.”

Clint Pattah, the market’s co-owner, said he is happy for the recognition and believes his staff has been putting forward good work for the community for a long time.

“It feels great,” said Pattah. “I’ve been here for 15 years. We try our best and keep the store fully stocked and try to work for our customers. We order anything we don’t have for them. I think we should have gotten it a long time ago. We donate a lot. We did a lot for the schools and shelters. We will continue to keep our store clean and fully stocked and offering great customer service.”

The Roseville Business of the Year was Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

“The Roseville Golling Dealership has undertaken several beautification projects (and) personally improved an area of the Gratiot median by repairing and repainting the flag poles,” Weishaupt wrote. “Currently, the business is working with the city on a new Veterans Memorial Monument. For the community, they support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and the March of Dimes, which has benefited our local residents.”

“We’re very excited to be here with the community of Roseville and work with the chamber,” said Matthew Godfrey, the dealership’s general manager. “It’s been a trying time the last 10 months, but we’ve helped put up some signs, cleaned up the medians, and we’re happy to pitch in. We try to get involved in many charities throughout the Detroit area and Macomb County in particular. Everything we’ve done with this city has been easy and received very well.”

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