Grandparents steal the show at first-ever awards brunch

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 6, 2014

BIRMINGHAM — Grandparents are known for bragging about their beloved grandkids. But on Sept. 7, grandchildren will get a chance to do a bit of boasting of their own.

For the first time, The Community House in downtown Birmingham is hosting a Grandparent of the Year awards brunch. The community-wide event will treat families to brunch on the terrace, some special awards and plenty of memories to be made.

The award ceremony will feature recognition for all of the lucky grandparents nominated — it’s an inclusive, noncompetitive event, according to Brett Nicholson, director of Human Resources at TCH.

“Everyone receives an award. Each participant will give a short, 100 word admiration of their grandparent, which will be read onstage while their photos are shown on the screen,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for the community to recognize their grandparents.”

The idea was prompted by TCH staff when they noticed what a big part grandparents and grandchildren play in their organization. From the annual Mother/Daughter Tea to Kinder Music and other events, there are ample opportunities to bring the two generations together, Nicholson said.

Not to mention, the number of grandparents in the United States is quickly on the rise. According to TCH, there’s expected to be 80 million grandparents in the country by 2020 as a result of the baby boom. All those grandparents are also thought to be playing a larger role in their grandchildren’s lives, according to another statistic that claims in 2012, 30 percent of children under 5 with working mothers were cared for regularly by a grandparent.

That’s why the event’s main sponsor, Talmer Bank, decided to get involved in the brunch.

“Our bank name, Talmer, is a tribute to me and Gary Torgow, our chairman, to our grandfathers, named Talmage and Merzon — two men who dedicated their entire working lives (to) serving others in the communities in which they lived,” said David Provost, chairmen of Talmer Bank and Trust, in a prepared statement. “What better way to honor them than on Grandparents Day?”

In fact, the Grandparent of the Year awards brunch does take place on National Grandparents Day. On such a special occasion, TCH is hoping to draw as many families as possible to celebrate their grandparents and say thank you for all the inspiration and love.

“We thought we’d have everyone on the beautiful terrace for bunch and to honor these wonderful people who are the reason we’re all here,” said Nicholson.

To nominate one or more grandparents, complete a nomination and reservation form, with a digital photo and the honoree narrative.  Forms are available at or by email at Nomination forms, honoree narratives and digital photos are all due by Aug. 15.

The Grandparent of the Year awards brunch will begin at 10 a.m. The cost is $30 for adults, $15 for kids younger than 12 and free for nominated grandparents. For more information, call (248) 644-5832. The Community House is located at 380 S. Bates St. in downtown Birmingham.