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November 2022


Happy Thanksgiving

Over the years, I have written about gratitude as a virtue every man should cultivate. Yet gratitude means nothing if you haven’t mastered the art of expressing it. “A man should use every opportunity to express to those around him how much he appreciates their love, support, and generosity.”

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 of our cherished supporters – our donors, corporate sponsors, class takers, child-care families, event guests, community partners, dancers, seniors 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 99-year-old non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, The Community House relies solely on the kindness and generosity of others – to deliver on our mission – and to provide the community critical programs and services, programs and experiences which benefit and enrich the lives of others in our great community – some without the ability to pay.

It is during this time of thanksgiving and continued uncertainty that The Community House pauses to humbly acknowledge and remember the many kindnesses and extraordinary generosity from those that have been entrusted with 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 is almost here and the last chance to support our critical 2023 Annual Fund Drive is upon us. Given COVID, it is hard to overestimate how important this year’s end of the year Annual Fund appeal is to the historic Community House. For the last 2 1/2 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.

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.



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 one: 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.; session two: 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.; and session three: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.. 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 21st 2022. 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 one: December 8 from 6 – 9 p.m. featuring The Christa Grix Jazz

Harp Trio.

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

• Session three: 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, Ms. 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


Volunteers have been involved in the every-day life of The Community House for over 99 years. They give the “House” a face, a voice, helping hands, and a heart.

Much work continues behind the scenes. The Community House invites you to consider joining our esteemed volunteer team - and by doing so, you can be assured that your precious donation of time and talent will be greatly appreciated and will positively impact the lives of those we serve.

For more information about volunteering at The Community House, please visit our website at to download a Volunteer Application or call Kathie Ninneman at 248.594.6403.

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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