• By Bill Seklar

January 2020

“We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light, we all have something to give.”

– President George H. W. Bush As we begin 2020, full of hope and optimism, all of us at The Community House have taken pause to reflect on all of the people, individuals, corporations, foundations – kindnesses large and small, which have made a true and lasting difference at The Community House over these last 97 years. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, it is our duty and our obligation to remain ever mindful that good stewardship is an essential part of the fundraising cycle. It covers the entire relationship between donor and organization. Likewise, we must continually celebrate and honor the importance of selfless service and volunteerism. For without either, the work and missions of noble organizations such as The Community House would not be possible. Several years ago, The Community House created the Pillars of Vibrancy: Education, Wellness, Culture, Philanthropy and Business. The purpose was to publicly recognize extraordinary individuals who have demonstrated selfless service and philanthropy toward others while helping to “Create More Vibrant Lives” in the community – selfless service offered and provided out of a genuine and deep desire to help and be of service to others. Over the last few years, 61 pillars in our community have been recognized and inducted into The Community House’s Pillars of Vibrancy. This year is no exception. Recently, The Community House announced its 2020 Pillars of Vibrancy – what an extraordinary and selfless group. They include: Pillar of Business, Mary Kramer, Crain Communications; Pillar of Culture & Philanthropy, Linda Solomon, Pictures of Hope / Linda Solomon Photography; Pillar of Wellness & Philanthropy, Brian Berman, M.D., Beaumont Health System / Beaumont Children’s Hospital; Hannan Lis, The WW Group Inc.; Keith Pomeroy, Pomeroy Living LLC / Pomeroy Family Holdings; Pillar of Education, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., Oakland University; Pillars of Philanthropy, Margaret Cooney Casey, Beaumont Foundation at Beaumont Hospitals; Christine Provost, Philanthropist; David T. Provost, TCF Bank. In an effort to also recognize individuals, corporations and foundations that have given extraordinary treasure, $25,000 or more cumulatively, or donors who make an irrevocable legacy gift of $25,000 or more to The Community House, TCH leadership decided to gather and recognize all of these key stakeholders, Pillars of Vibrancy and major donors, together, under the new Community House Foundation and under one philanthropic umbrella; Bates Street Society. Bates Street Society was established in 2015, to publicly recognize and induct members who have made significant charitable contributions to support the work and mission of The Community House in Birmingham. Members will be acknowledged annually at its Bates Street Society Dinner, a semi-formal event hosted by The Community House together with The Community House Foundation’s Officers and Board of Directors. The fifth annual Bates Street Society Dinner, a three-course sit-down dinner is scheduled for 6:30p.m., Saturday, February 8, 2020 in the Wallace Ballroom of The Community House. In 2020, the Bates Street Society and the Bates Street Society Dinner will also celebrate its fifth anniversary. To help celebrate this special milestone, Mr. Huel Perkins, iconic broadcast journalist and news anchor, will assume the role of master of ceremonies, Rose and Brian Bolyard will be presented with the President’s Community Leadership Award, and live entertainment will feature vocalist & musician Ben Sharkey. Special thanks to our founding presenting sponsor PNC Wealth Management. Our thanks as well to TCF Bank as the presenting sponsor of the Pillar VIP Champagne Reception, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Beaumont, Oakland University, Mills Pharmacy + Apothecary, Metalbuilt, BlueWater Equity Partners, The Skillman Foundation, DeRoy & Devereaux, Barbara & Tim Hertzler, Crain Communications, Bolyard Lumber, Jewish Renaissance Media and Neighborhood SEEN. Members of the community are not only welcome but encouraged to attend. This important dinner will offer guests a wonderful opportunity to publicly show enthusiastic support for the 2020 TCH Pillars of Vibrancy inductees, and to the scores of individuals, foundations and corporations whose contributions and kindness make The Community House’s work and mission possible. Reservations are $250/person for General Admission and $350/person for Patron Admission and are on sale now. Seating is limited. For reservations, tickets or more information about these and other happenings at TCH, please go to communityhouse.org or call 248.644.5832. William D. Seklar is President & CEO of The Community House and The Community House Foundation in Birmingham.

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