News & Notes - 5/24/23 Grosse Pointe Times

Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 24, 2023


Local woman appointed to state position
Nafeesah Symonette, of Grosse Pointe Woods, has been named by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Arts and Culture Council. Symonette is the co-founder and network coordinator of arts education, advocacy and research for Detroit Excellence in Youth Arts at Connect Detroit and is an adjunct professor at Oakland University.


Gala raises funds for school
The Liggett Knight gala and auction April 28 at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Shores raised nearly $500,000 for the school, whose campus is in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Funds from this year’s event will go toward energy efficiency, sustainability and beautification efforts at the school.

The fundraiser was co-chaired by Donna Gormely (pictured with her husband, Louis Gormely) and Savarior Moss-Service (pictured with her husband, Errol C. Service Sr.).

“We would like to express our thanks to our Liggett Knight co-chairs, Donna Gormely and Savarior Moss-Service, and to all of our volunteers whose leadership and hard work made Liggett Knight successful this year,” said Cressie Boggs, director of development and alumni relations, in a press release. “We are also grateful for our generous bidders, donors and sponsors, whose generosity made Liggett Knight 2023 an exceptionally rewarding event.”


Students to share their research with public
University Liggett School seniors will share their independent academic research projects in art, science, economics, film, sports, mental health, history and creative writing during Celebration of Research, an event open to the public from 7 to 9 p.m. May 30 to June 1.

“The program this year resembles that of a conference in which participants can choose a platform to learn about all sorts of interesting topics. Members of the community can enjoy a different experience each night,” Shernaz Minwalla, head of Upper School, said in a press release.

ULS is located at 1045 Cook Road in Grosse Pointe Woods. For more information, visit


Time ‘Fore’ golf
The Helm at the Boll Life Center will hold its fifth annual Fore The Helm golf outing June 26 at Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods. This four-person scramble-style event begins at noon, with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Participants will receive a boxed lunch, use of a cart for two, contest entries, heavy hors d’oeuvres afterward and four drink tickets for Lochmoor’s 19th Hole.

Tickets cost $275 per golfer or $1,100 for a foursome. Nongolfers can purchase $60 tickets for an afterglow that includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. For tickets, sponsorships or more information, visit or call (313) 649-2104.


Students earn scholarships
The Clinton Township-headquartered Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union recently announced the recipients of its 2023 scholarships, and that list included a couple of students attending high schools in the Grosse Pointes.

Winners of the Educational Solutions Scholarship included Ava Carr, of Grosse Pointe South High School, and Ian Gudenau, of University Liggett School. Educational Solutions Scholarships are given to high school seniors who will be attending a two- or four-year college or university.

“As an organization founded by teachers, we believe education is the foundation for success and provides individuals with the tools they need to reach career goals,” MSGCU President/CEO Steve Brewer said in a press release.


Fundraiser for education foundation planned
The Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education will hold its spring fundraiser at 6 p.m. June 1 at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Shores. The theme is Experience the Impact and will focus on what the foundation and its supporters have done for schools and students in the Grosse Pointe Public School System since 2006. At press time, the GPFPE had donated more than $4.1 million to the schools since its inception.

“Spring Benefit is an important part of our year. ... Not only does it give us a chance to celebrate and reflect with our amazing donor community, but it is also one of the most critical pieces of our fundraising,” GPFPE President Cynthia Sohn said in a press release. “This year’s theme — Experience the Impact — will be especially memorable because we are going to bring a few of our grant recipients to the event, allowing our guests to directly experience the difference the GPFPE makes in our school district.”

To sponsor this event or purchase tickets, visit or contact Karen Lawrence at (313) 432-3058 or


Get ready to travel
The Helm at the Boll Life Center, 158 Ridge Road in Grosse Pointe Farms, invites anyone looking for vacation options to a free program from 11 a.m. to noon June 7 during which Premier World Discovery will preview two upcoming trips: one to Boston and Cape Cod from July 15 to 22, and one to Montreal and Quebec for the Christmas Markets Dec. 7 to 11. For reservations or more information, call The Helm at (313) 882-9600 or visit


Young writer chosen for anthology
University Liggett School senior Penelope Griffioen will have her creative writing published in DePaul University’s inaugural “Blue Book: Best American High School Writing 2022.” Her piece, “Only Hens,” was selected for publication in this anthology, while another work by Griffioen, “Highway,” was a finalist for publication.