Week of 6.26.17

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 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.

Suite Dreams Project Hats Off Luncheon

From the first sip of pink bubbly (in a split with a pink straw) to the Hat Crawl guests’ exit with huge, hot pink balloons, the 16th annual Hats Off Luncheon was a dreamy, Sweet/Suite Sixteen production. During the reception the sold-out crowd (400 @ $150, $200-patron) oohed and aahed each others’ hats and bought all of the 1,000 chance auction raffle tickets. The luncheon program emceed by Rhonda Walker had highlights. Ali MacManus, a songwriter/singer who was born prematurely with multiple birth defects and has survived 11 major surgeries, got a standing ovation when she sang her composition “Breaking Free.”
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

July 2017

GET WELL SOON: We know others will join us in wishing Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson a speedy recovery after back surgery on June 1 in the green mountain state of North Carolina. Word is he had a pretty aggressive surgery to help him get out of the wheelchair he was finding himself bound to more and more, and one Republican said that he is already feeling better. Patterson was seriously ...more»
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Sami "Mei" Lofman

Photo: Laurie Tennent
(click for larger version)
09/03/2013 - Sami "Mei" Lofman, in many ways, is like most 11-year-old girls: she likes ice cream, listening to Taylor Swift, and thinks sunflowers are pretty. Then, she opens her mouth and begins singing.

Watching some of the videos she's posted to her YouTube account, "SamiMei21," you might wonder how the voice you hear connects to the little girl singing to the camera. Dancing on the roof, rocking on a swing, or standing on the stage, Sami is relaxed when she is singing or playing guitar, allowing the little girl behind the big voice to show through in her songs and her lyrics.

"I don't really have stage freight," Sami said. "I get nervous before I get on stage, but then it all goes away."

Sami has already had considerable stage experience. Starting at about age seven at theatre camp at The Roeper School in Birmingham, she has performed songs of her own and others at many places, including Birmingham's Farmers Market and Shain Park and the Majestic Theater in Detroit. And don't worry too much about Sami falling off the roof in her YouTube video – she's a competitive rock climber.

"She loves performing, she loves making people excited through her music," said Sami's mom, Elana Lofman.

Lofman said Sami started taking piano lessons when she was about seven years old. When she was eight, she wrote a book, "Some Bugs Are," which was published online at mypublisher.com. She later started writing her own songs; her first, called "Pieces of the Puzzle, she did with the help of her piano instructor. In 2012, Sami started taking lessons at Axis Music Academy in Birmingham. Lofman said she makes sure Sami gets the classes she wants and encourages her passion for music, but she's careful not to push her daughter.

"I'm a big believer that you have to follow your heart, no matter what you do," Lofman said. "If you aren't following your dreams, then nothing is going to feel accomplished. I don't help her with songs and music. I get the lessons she needs and get her to the places she needs to go, but she kind of figures it out on her own, and she keeps her own schedule."

Last year, Sami learned how to play the guitar, something she uses when making up her own songs.

"It's always hard at first when you are learning a new instrument," Sami said. "But if you enjoy it, it doesn't matter how you are because it's fun and that's the point."

While the summer is coming to a close and Sami will head back to classes at Hillel Day School, in Farmington Hills, looks forward to performing at the Farmers Market again. Another favorite show, she said, was the special performance she did with Axis Music Academy for Kids Kicking Cancer.

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