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Detroit Music Weekend Gala
The inaugural Detroit Music Weekend began Friday night at the Detroit Opera House where 200 music lovers gathered for the Gala ($750 & $1,000 tickets). They savored cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres in the lobby, pausing for brief welcoming remarks delivered from the top of the grand staircase by founding director, Music Hall’s Vince Paul. A soaring operatic selection sung by soprano Nicole James signaled it was time for dinner, which was served at dramatically decorated tables set on the stage. There were interruptions to thank sponsors, board members and event coordinator Laura Raisch, and to salute Michigan Opera Theatre founder David DiChiera. His pancreatic cancer diagnosis has dictated his retirement but has not affected his good humor nor his bearing.
oakland confidential HORSE RACES: Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness ...more»
11/23/2010 - When Dr. Nancy Fishman founded Forgotten Harvest, a non-profit organization aimed at fighting hunger, she did so with a firsthand understanding of the problem.
"I was committed to hunger relief because I had a personal experience with it," Fishman said. "There was a time in my life that I had a difficult time purchasing food. I swore if I ever got out of it, I would help others facing the same challenge."
Forgotten Harvest, formed in 1990, began with one vehicle and one woman rescuing perishable and prepared food items from grocery suppliers and distributing the goods to emergency food providers. When an elderly couple caught wind of Fishman's mission, they donated a refrigerated van to her cause, and a group of like-minded individuals gathered to launch Forgotten Harvest.
"I wanted to supply 1,000 meals a month," Fishman said. "After six months, we reached the goal. We did some fundraising and made enough to pay a driver. We got a second, and then a third truck. The rest is history."
After two decades of feeding the hungry, Fishman said that Forgotten Harvest is providing 19.4 million meals to Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties each year.
"We now have 27 trucks in our fleet," she said. "Food producers must sell their product by a certain date and if they don't, they must throw it out."
Through Forgotten Harvest, food items that would otherwise be discarded are delivered to families in need within 48 hours.
"We are now supplying 158 food providers, soup kitchens and shelters," Fishman said. "We pick up from places like Kroger and Costco. We get it for free and we give it for free."
Initially, Fishman's hunger relief efforts were for a national organization, but as she traveled around metro Detroit, she realized the need was close to home and opted to do something about it.
"What really did it for me was when I pulled up behind a soup kitchen and saw someone eating out of the dumpster. I knew I had to do something here," Fishman said. "The problem is right in front of us. Shelters are filled with families and if we can help them in some way, my God, why not?"
While Fishman remains on the advisory board for Forgotten Harvest, she also has a psychology practice in downtown Birmingham, and is releasing a series of four books on divorce. She's been a Birmingham resident for over ten years and likes the ability to work and live in the city. Regardless of her many professional successes, Forgotten Harvest remains dear to her heart.
"One of the lessons Forgotten Harvest has taught me is that there are those who, out of fear, say your ideas are too lofty, too risky or impossible," Fishman said. "I say there are those in need: the children, the elderly and the vulnerable who need us to do the right thing. Give them hope and let them know they're not forgotten."
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