Week of 9.28.15

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you are not receiving the print edition by mail, you can purchase a subscription in the upper right index at the top of this page (subscriptions). If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Ladies of Charity 50th Anniversary

The name of this group is the name of my beat – Charity. So reporting the 50th anniversary of this totally volunteer group is a unique pleasure. That’s 50 years for the Oakland County chapter, but the parent organization was founded by St. Vincent de Paul in 17th century France and that French heritage inspired event chair Mia Materka to call the party Joi de la Nuit. She also chose the black, white and gold favored by French designer Coco Chanel for the party décor and commissioned Lynn Martin to construct a mini-Eiffel tower to hold tower-shaped pledge notes that guests could take. The black tie gala attracted more than 160 guests to Pine Lake Country Club. The Mercy High School Mercy-aires spiced up the cocktail hour, which also included a video show of 50 years of photos running as background in the bar. Raffles and silent auction bidding also vied for attention.
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Lark & Co. general store

09/30/2013 - Michael Collins and David Zawicki will be offering a unique addition to downtown Birmingham in October when they open Lark & Co., 138 N. Maple, Birmingham, which will operate as a modern day general store with a vintage twist. Collins said Lark & Co. is modeled on the general store of the 1940's and 1950's that offered everything from food and clothing to housewares and furniture. "It will offer pretty much everything we can fit in our 1,100 square foot space," Collins said. Collins said Zawicki will run the day-to-day operations of the store and be the face of the shop.

The general store will replace Oliver's Trendz, which Collins and Zawicki operated in the space for the last eight years. Collins said the decision to change from a women's accessory shop to a general store will keep the business nimble and fits into the uniqueness of Birmingham's main street character, rather than an outdoor mall. "I think we need to have a balanced approach. Part of what makes Birmingham so unique is that we have these stores that you don't see in a mall," Collins said. "I'm very much in favor or preserving the brick and mortar stores and the preservation of Main Street America. I believe, and there are studies that show, that every dollar spent in a store like mine ends up going back into the community, but every dollar spent in a national goes to corporate."

Business Matters for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area are reported by Kevin Elliott. Send items for consideration to KevinElliott@downtownpublications.com. Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.

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