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December 2022


The 2022 Holiday Season is upon us, and the New Year is quickly approaching. During this sacred time of giving, we reflect on the extraordinary events of prior years, and how blessed and fortunate The Community House is to have had loyal and caring supporters like you. Our ability to remain open, and our ability to impact others – was and remains – only possible by the kindness, dedication, and generosity of others like you.

Holiday Season 2022 also signifies the grandest of milestones for the historic Community House – the end of our first century of service. Incredible, Amazing, Unbelievable!.100 years – doing business and delivering services to all who enter our doors, in the same location, on the same corner (Townsend and Bates Street) for a century.

To reach 100 years in existence, The Community House has certainly mastered resilience. It has overcome a World War, the Great Depression, 9/11 and more. The Community House has seen times of boom and bust, sometimes as part of the greater economy and sometimes specific to its own market. It has witnessed new competitors entering the scene and older competitors seeking an edge. In the last year, it has survived a global pandemic and navigated through historic economic challenges. However, throughout it all, The Community House has remained resilient. We continue to serve, we remain optimistic, full of hope, and look to an even brighter, more impactful future.

In January 2023, The Community House will have turned the page on its first century of service and begins an exciting new chapter. Befitting of the “Grande Dame” of Birmingham, The Community House will play host to a variety of celebrations and functions to recognize its humble beginnings, commemorate this once in a lifetime milestone and look forward towards a new and exciting future. Blessed are we, blessed are you – fortunate enough to witness the turning of a page on one century, and witnessing the opening of the page on our second century.

As our “community” heads into the sacred season of counting our blessings and giving back to others, so too are all of us at The Community House: our leadership, staff and TCH beneficiaries – counting our blessings. For it is without all our cherished supporters; our donors, corporate sponsors, class takers, child-care families, event guests, community partners and our dedicated corps of volunteers – that our work would not be possible. Saying “thank you” never seems to be enough, but it is a place to start.

As a nearly 100-year-old non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, The Community House relies solely on the kindness and generosity of others, especially our annual fund appeal – to deliver on our mission – and to provide the community critical programs and services, education and experiences which benefit and enrich the lives of others in our great community – many, without the ability to pay.

It is during this sacred time of giving that The Community House asks for your vital support while we also pause to humbly acknowledge and remember the many kindnesses already shared, and the extraordinary generosity from those that have been entrusted with little or much...and to offer all of you, from all of us – a big “Thank You.” Be safe, stay well! Happy Holidays!


The end of the year century is almost here and the last chance to support our critical 2022 Annual Fund Drive is upon us. Given COVID and the faltering economy, it is hard to overestimate how important this year’s end of the year century Annual Fund Appeal is to the historic Community House. For the last three years (and counting) we have found ourselves, like so many, continuing to navigate through a perfect storm – COVID, supply chain issues, inflation, wage pressures, the economy, and ongoing repairs to an aging building.

By making an end of the year tax-deductible gift to The Community House, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization now, your gift will ensure that we continue to navigate through these challenges so that we remain the important educational, philanthropic and community resource that thousands of individuals have relied upon for nearly a century. To make an end of the year gift now, you can send your donation in by mail at: TCH 380 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, Michigan 48009, give online at or by calling The Community House Foundation at 248.594.6417. Perhaps some of you might consider placing TCH in their estate plans. It is simple, and painless. For more information, please contact Christopher Smude, SVP, CMO, TCH Foundation at


Saturday, December 10. Delight in the magic of the season at Storytime with Santa 2022. Enjoy holiday cheer while listening to a story read by Santa, crafting a holiday memory, and exploring the extravagant hot chocolate stations. Sit with Santa to share your wish list and snap a picture to help make these memories last a lifetime. Already have your list written? Santa will have his mailbox ready to bring your letter back to the North Pole. Three sessions: Session 1: 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.; Session 2: 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. and Session 3: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.. Special thanks to our first-time Presenting Sponsor, the award-winning California Closets – Wixom. For reservations or for more information about Storytime with Santa, please go to or call 248.644.5832.


Holiday Concert Series, December 8, 14 and 21. Bask in the beautiful sound of the symphony this season. Experience a rare opportunity to sit up close and personal with internationally renowned musicians performing seasonal selections for you and your friends in the historic Community House Wallace Ballroom. Enjoy outstanding desserts and cash bar throughout the evening. After the performance, musicians will join the audience for the remainder of the evening. Please bring a toy to donate to the Toys for Tots toy drive as you enter this extraordinary experience. Reservations required – seating is limited, and tickets are first come, first serve.

Series of three sessions:

• Session 1: December 8 from 6 – 9 p.m. featuring The Christa Grix Jazz Harp Trio

• Session 2: December 14 from 6 – 9 p.m. featuring The Baldwin Ensemble

• Session 3: December 21 from 6 – 9 p.m. featuring The Joshua Chorale

$40 per concert session; $100 for entire series – includes admission to musical performance, coffee and tea stations, homemade holiday cookies, desserts, and access to cash bar. For reservations or for more information about the Holiday Concert Series 2022, please go to or call 248.644.5832.


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 The Bates Street Society Dinner, an extraordinary evening hosted by The Community House Association and Foundation Board of Directors. In 2023, the Bates Street Society and the Bates Street Society Dinner will be moved to Saturday, February 11, 2023. To help lead this extraordinary gathering, Lila Lazarus will assume the role of Master of Ceremonies. The Bates Street Society Dinner will also recognize TCH/TCHF’s annual Pillars of Vibrancy in Business, Education, Culture, Wellness and Philanthropy.

2023 Pillars of Vibrancy Honorees include:

• Jim Berline — Business & Philanthropy

• Dr. Linda Gillum — Health & Wellness and Education

• Nancy Susick, RN — Health & Wellness and Business

• Priscilla & Huel Perkins — Culture & Philanthropy

• Matthew Rizik — Business & Philanthropy

• Greg Schwartz — Business

• Nada & Sam Simon — Business & Philanthropy

• Gary Van Elslander — Business & Philanthropy

Save-the-Date: Saturday, February 11, 2023. Seating is limited. Tickets (reservations) on sale now.

Our gratitude and special thanks to founding sponsor, PNC Wealth Management, Beaumont Health, Cranbrook, Oakland University, Metalbuilt and The Agency Hall & Hunter Realtors for their lead sponsorships of the 2023 Bates Street Society Dinner as well. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, contact Christopher Smude, Senior Vice President, CMO, The Community House Foundation at

For reservations, sponsorships or more information about booking gathering and meeting space for the holidays 2022 and beyond, please go to 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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