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February 2022



As positive cases and hospitalizations continued to rise in Michigan, and as exposures continue to surge, the historic Community House and its Foundation, made the difficult, but prudent decision to postpone its signature friend and fundraising celebration – The Bates Street Society Dinner and Awards Ceremony – until April 30, 2022.

Started in 2015, 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.

This year’s event will induct nine new members into the Bates Street Society. Members of The Bates Street Society include individuals, corporations, and foundations that have given extraordinary treasure, $25,000 or more cumulatively, and donors who make an irrevocable legacy gift of $25,000 or more to The Community House. Each year we gather to recognize, honor, and induct these extraordinary donors and volunteers in a public way at the Bates Street Society Dinner.

The Bates Street Society Dinner also recognizes TCH/TCHF’s annual Pillars of Vibrancy in Business, Education, Culture, Wellness and Philanthropy.

Our 2022 Pillars of Vibrancy Honorees include:​

• Honorable Dave Bing — Business & Culture

• Dominic DiMarco — Education

• Barry Franklin, Ph.D. — Wellness

• Lila Lazarus — Wellness & Education

• Duane Mezwa, M.D. — Wellness & Education

• Rabbi Daniel B. Syme — Culture

• Linda Schlesinger-Wagner — Business & Philanthropy

• S. Evan Weiner — Business & Philanthropy

• Jessie Beld Elliott — Business & Philanthropy

Impacted by COVID-19 and Omicron, out of an abundance of safety and caution, the Bates Street Society Dinner was moved to Saturday April 30, 2022. It will mark The Community House’s first large in-house gathering since the start of COVID in 2020. To help lead this extraordinary gathering, Mr. Huel Perkins, iconic broadcast journalist, has once again agreed to assume the role of master of ceremonies, with live entertainment by renowned jazz saxophonist Jeff Ponders II.

Our gratitude and special thanks to founding sponsor, PNC Wealth Management and to Beaumont Health, Huntington, Oakland University, Metalbuilt, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Edw. C. Levy Co., Chief Financial Credit Union, Cranbrook Educational Community, Deroy & Devereaux, Michael Willoughby & Associates, SlipNOT, Emerson-Prew, Helping Hand Nursing Service, Inc. and Hall & Hunter Realtors for their sponsorship of the 2021 (now 2022) Bates Street Society Dinner as well.

The best way for our friends and supporters to show their gratitude to our loyal sponsors would be to remember them when you might be in need of their kinds of products or services. It truly does take a village.

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities will remain available for our 2022 Bates Street Society Dinner until February 28.


Welcome Back! The Community House is pleased to welcome back:

• The Birmingham Shopping District monthly meetings

• The Birmingham Optimist Club monthly meetings

• The Birmingham Teen Council

• The President’s Advisory Council

• The OUR TOWN Advisory and Planning Committees

• The NEW Classical Brunch Series Steering Committee

Congratulations! The Community House is delighted to announce that it has successfully completed all requirements and expectations for consideration as:

• The Knot – Best of Weddings 2022

• Wedding Wire Couple Choice Awards for 2022

Welcome! The Community House is pleased to welcome Chef Ryan Friedrich as Executive Chef and leader of its award winning culinary program. Chef Friedrich brings with him the vast culinary knowledge and expertise he acquired as executive chef at beloved Birmingham staples Market North End and Streetside Seafood, as well as his experience as a personal chef to LeBron James.

Business Announcements:

• The Community House announces that its Early Childhood, Infant and Toddler Centers have fully and successfully met the requirements and expectations of the State of Michigan/Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (License for the Care of Children). The centers were granted license renewal through August 2023. Issued in accordance with Act 116, Public Acts of 1973, as amended being the Child Care Organizations Act.

• The Community House has also been informed by the State of Michigan - Department of Education that its Early Childhood Center has been awarded a 2021-2022 relief grant from the state of Michigan’s Child Care Relief Fund for Child Care Sustainability, Development and Care.

For more information about the 2022 Bates Street Society Dinner or any other TCH happenings contact Christopher Smude, vice president, 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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