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April 2022


Spring 2022 has arrived. Every year, the cold of winter melts away and spring brings with it – new beginnings. The season is an eternal metaphor for optimism, for hope and light and possibility, and even if the past few years have taught us to moderate our anticipation of seasonal renewal, this year’s equinox feels notable. We’re coming out of a long winter. Fingers crossed, eyes open, hopeful for sunnier days ahead.

At the historic Community House, Spring 2022 is also our season to rebuild our beloved nonprofit, charitable organization safely, fiscally, and responsibly, post-COVID. With Mother’s Day, Thursdays on the Terrace, weddings, graduations, showers and so many other celebrations/milestones in the air – we have proudly welcomed back new and old friends like The Agency Hall & Hunter, PNC, Huntington Bank, Beaumont Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chief Financial Credit Union, Optimist Club of Birmingham, Birmingham Shopping District, Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, Birmingham Bloomfield Young Professionals, and Project2. We have also reached out to pre-COVID partners like the Senior Men’s Club of Birmingham, the Women’s Club, Legatus, and the Junior League of Birmingham – just to name a few – to rediscover synergy, old friendships, and mutual respect and affection for one another.

While the road ahead remains unpredictable, we are optimistic that we can rediscover sunnier days ahead – new ways to reinvent ourselves, better ways to serve the community, new ways of meeting our stewardship responsibilities and new ways to hand-off the baton of leadership to the next generation.

Update: As we prepare for our 100th Year Centennial Celebration at The Community House in 2023 – TCH has proudly invited representatives of the Senior Men’s Club of Birmingham and the Rotary Club of Birmingham back in – to explore possible pathways for each group to return to the historic Community House – under a “new” normal post-COVID – that mutually and fairly benefits all parties involved! It truly takes a village.


The Bates Street Society was created to help recognize donors who make significant charitable contributions to support the work and mission of The Community House. New members are acknowledged annually at our signature event, the Bates Street Society Dinner, an inspirational evening hosted by The Community House Association and Foundation Board of Directors. To safely gather in-person and out of an abundance of safety and caution, the Bates Street Society Dinner was moved to Saturday, April 30. Once again, to help lead this extraordinary gathering, Huel Perkins, iconic broadcast journalist and American news anchor, will assume the role of master of ceremonies. Culinary creations by award winning TCH Executive Chef Ryan Friedrich and TCH Sous Chef, Adam dos Santos. Entertainment by renown jazz saxophonist Jeff Ponders II. The Bates Street Society Dinner will also recognize TCH/TCHF’s annual Pillars of Vibrancy in Business, Education, Culture, Wellness and Philanthropy.

2022 Pillars of Vibrancy Honorees include: Honorable Dave Bing — Business & Culture; Dominic DiMarco — Education; Dr. Barry Franklin, Ph.D. — Wellness; Lila Lazarus — Wellness & Education; Dr. Duane Mezwa, M.D. — Education & Wellness; Rabbi Daniel B. Syme — Culture; Linda Schlesinger-Wagner — Business & Philanthropy; S. Evan Weiner — Business & Philanthropy; and Jessie Beld Elliott — Business & Philanthropy

Our gratitude and special thanks to founding sponsors PNC Wealth Management, Beaumont Health, and Huntington Bank and to Cranbrook Educational Community, Edw. C. Levy Co., DeRoy & Devereaux, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oakland University, Chief Financial Credit Union, Emerson-Prew, Michael Willoughby & Associates, Metalbuilt, SlipNOT, Helping Hand Nursing Center and The Agency Hall & Hunter for their lead sponsorships of the 2022 Bates Street Society Dinner. Please remember these fine organizations when searching for products and services.

To purchase tickets (reservations) to the BSSD or for more information about sponsorships or ad buys please contact Christopher Smude, VP, The Community House Foundation at

William D. Seklar is President & CEO of The Community House and The Community House Foundation in Birmingham.


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