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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Ben Riggan
Photo: Jean Lannen
(click for larger version)
08/05/2014 - Marriage, a new house and a new business – life has been busy for new Bloomfield Township resident Ben Riggan and his wife, Megan Stowers.

"We just got the keys to the house," Riggan said in July of the couple's new home in Bloomfield Village, near Maple and Lasher.

Riggan, 32, said he's excited to move to the area from his former Lake Orion home. The move will also bring Stowers, a pediatric dentist, closer to her practice in West Bloomfield. Riggan, however, will likely remain on the move during his work day to grow the recently formed "Paw Pods" business.

The business is another of the more unique ideas that Riggan has come up with and brought to reality with the help of several business partners.

"We had two Springer Spaniels," Riggan said, remembering the sad day he brought his sick dogs to the veterinarian. "We had to have them euthanized. The only option for taking them home and burying them at the time was to take them in two plastic cadaver bags. It wasn't the best experience one could have."

Hoping to offer other pet owners a better way of saying goodbye to their beloved pets, the seeds of Paw Pods were planted.

"We decided to come up with something that was more dignified, all around," he said. "There are a lot of pet caskets out there, but they cost anywhere from $600 to $8,000, and not everyone can afford that. We decided to come up with an eco-friendly version, and make it very affordable."

The result is the Paw Pod: an eco-friendly pet burial system. Each pod is made from recycled bamboo and rice husk. Each of the biodegradable pods comes with a sympathy card and a seeded leaf, designed for burial. Upon burial, pet owners can sign the card and plant the seeded leaf, which will in turn sprout perennial wildflowers.

"The wildflowers grow year after year, and it creates a living memorial," Riggan said.

Launched in January 2013, Riggan said he is working now to have the product available in veterinarian offices and major pet stores throughout the country. It's currently available on the company's website, as well as Amazon.com.

In addition to the new business, Riggan is co-owner of Five Lakes Communications, with Birmingham resident Jacob German. Riggan, along with German, is also responsible for "Hired On The Spot," which they launched in 2010. The business, which didn't quite catch on, centered on "wearable resumes," in which customers could have their resume printed onto a T-shirt to wear when they were out and about and in need of a job.

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