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Leadership Oakland's 'Day of Service' to benefit local nonprofits

Every year fifty of the most influential community and business leaders within Oakland County team up for a day of service. On Saturday, May 16, they will transform five houses into homes in the city of Pontiac.
 
Leadership Oakland has partnered with the nonprofit organization Humble Design to bring this project to fruition. Humble Design uses donated home furnishings to decorate the homes of families emerging from local homeless and abuse shelters. The five transformations associated with this project will bring the total number of families whose lives have been changed by Humble Design to an astounding 500! 
 
The five homes belong to Grace Centers of Hope, and are a part of an affordable housing community called Little Grace Village. What was once a blighted neighborhood in downtown Pontiac, destroyed by drugs and prostitution, is now a growing community that helps transition once homeless individuals back into society, allowing them to stay in a nurturing and accountable community.
 
The fifty volunteers have a mighty task ahead of them. In addition to furnishing the five homes, with home decor from Humble Design, they will fully clean each home. The group will also add some ‘curb appeal’ with flowers and shrubs courtesy of Bordine’s Nursery.
 
Following a day of hard work, a small celebration will take place in Grace Park, which is on the same street as the homes. Applebee’s will provide food and drinks for the families and volunteers alike. “This will be a great way for the volunteers to interact with the families, who are turning the page on a new beginning,” says Humble Design Director Julie Nagle.  
  
Humble Design is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to helping homeless families in need. Humble Design turns four bare walls into a clean, dignified and welcoming home by repurposing gently used household goods. Humble Design partners with local area homeless and abuse shelters to identify families who are emerging out of shelters. Many of theses families are victims of abuse and have left behind all personal items upon escaping and entering an emergency shelter. When these families move into their new residence, Humble Design comes in and makes their house a home! Giving them back their dignity and hope for the future!
 
Grace Centers of Hope — Giving hope to the helpless since 1942, Grace Centers of Hope is Oakland County’s oldest and largest service provider for the homeless. Today, Grace Centers of Hope is considered one of the leading faith-based organizations in Southeastern Michigan, daily confronting issues of homelessness, addiction, poverty, abuse and spiritual emptiness. On any given night, Grace Centers of Hope provides transitional and emergency shelter to 150-200 men, women and children, in addition to serving over 150,000 meals each year. Grace’s $5.7 million yearly budget is maintained solely through corporate and private donors, exclusive of any government assistance. To learn more about Grace Centers of Hope or to make a donation, please visit www.gracecentersofhope.org

Kenny's Lakes Area Auto Experts deliver 500+ suitcases to charity for foster children

Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts (Lakes Area Auto Experts) collected and delivered more than 500 suitcases to Foster Closet of Michigan’s Oakland county branch, Sunday, April 12. Foster Closet of Michigan, which provides clothing and other necessities to children in the state foster care system, will donate the suitcases to children in need.
 
Kenny Walters, owner and technician of Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts, said he learned that in many cases, children in foster care transport their belongings from home to home in garbage bags. “It is stressful enough for these children as they transition into a new home without the added burden of having to move around without proper luggage,” said Walters. “Anything we can do to make it easier for them is important to us.”
 
Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Expert began the collection drive March 16 and extended the original donation deadline from March 31 to April 10. Donors could drop off their gently used suitcases during business hours.
 
“The response was so great we extended it,” added Walters. “We had people dropping off suitcases and duffel bags all the way from Rochester Hills and Flint.”
 
The mountain of luggage was transported to Foster Closet’s Farmington Hills location during their open house. Foster families were able to shop (free of charge) for clothing, toys, luggage and other items. The Sunday afternoon event served 20 foster children and the remaining suitcases from the drive will benefit kids in Oakland and surrounding counties.
 
Michele Austin, Foster Closet of Michigan president, said the charity was formed to ease the burden on foster parents trying to provide for their foster children. “Instead of using the small stipend from the state for things like toys and suitcases, this allows parents to use more of it on educational and other needs,” said Austin. “We applaud Kenny’s Lake’s Auto Experts efforts that went above and beyond expectations. Our metro Detroit neighbors were extremely generous.”
 
Foster Closet of Michigan has locations in 13 counties and encourages youth to choose items themselves so they can express their personality and tastes.
 
Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts, which was established in 2000 by Kenny Walters, is a family-friendly repair shop servicing all makes and models of vehicles. The auto repair facility is fully certified to service both foreign and domestic vehicles and is completely qualified to perform any vehicle service or maintenance while keeping factory warranties intact. It is the only AAA Approved Repair Facility in Walled Lake.
 
For 15 years, Kenny’s Lakes Area Automotive (formerly Mufflers & More) has been providing professional inspections, repairs, and preventative maintenance services to all makes and models of vehicles, including foreign vehicles. The full service auto repair shop is located at 490 North Pontiac Trail, Walled Lake, Mich, (248) 668-1200. Visit online at LakesAreaAuto.com, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lakesareaauto or on Twitter @LakesAreaAuto.

MI Earth Day Fest moves to Rochester Municipal Park April 24-26

If you’re thinking green this spring, the 10th annual MI Earth Day Fest is the place to be. Taking place April 24-26 in downtown Rochester, the event promises a full weekend of education and entertainment to mark the 45th anniversary of Earth Day.
 
Kicking off at 4 p.m. Friday, April 24 and continuing through 4 p.m. Sunday, April 26, MI Earth Day Fest moves this year from the downtown streets to the beautiful, natural and spacious setting of Rochester Municipal Park/City Center, near the Paint Creek and Trail.
 
Nonstop entertainment, expanded educational programming, more than 150 exhibits and presentations, more kids’ activities, a 5K run, drive ‘n drop recycling and Earth Day evening festivities can be found at this year’s event. SMART shuttle buses will run from multiple parking sites all weekend.
 
“MI Earth Day Fest is one of the largest Earth Day celebrations on the planet,” says event manager John Batdorf of MI Green Team. “We’re expecting as many as 50,000 people to come out, enjoy the event and take home some great tips and tools for living a little lighter on the earth.”
 
Earth Day, April 22, marks its 45th anniversary this year and is widely considered the birth of the modern environmental movement.  MI Earth Day Fest, which first took place in 2005 on the campus of Oakland University, aims to highlight environmental and wellness issues and solutions through education, innovative product and service offerings and community building.
 
Highlights of the free event follow; find all the details under the categories of Shop, Learn, Celebrate!, Play and Recycle at www.miEDF.com.
 
Shop
All-natural dog treats, recycled plastic wearables, fallen tree-limb furniture and organic edibles are just a few of the intriguing booths to shop at the MI Earth Day Fest. More than 100 exhibitors in areas such as Auto Alley, Green Home, Local Lot and Wellness Way offer products and services that promote green and healthy living, many offering free samples, show specials and door prizes. 
 
Learn
The weekend-long slate of presentations, activities and community networking offers something for everyone, including:
-  Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash on climate change, fracking and local implications (noon Sat.)
-  “America’s Holistic Heart Doc” Joel Kahn M.D. on living longer with a green lifestyle (3 p.m. Sat.)
-  Raising Rochester, a “community garden without borders” (6 p.m. Fri.)
-  Edible landscape design and permaculture (5 p.m. Sat.)
-  The global Transition Town movement to use less fossil fuel, protect our environment, build stronger communities and live richer lives (1 p.m. Sunday)
-  The Lawrence Tech University Pioneer Material Renewal project, which deconstructs a blighted home in Detroit and constructs a new building from the salvaged material (3 pm Sun.)
-  …and many more thought-provoking presentations; plus health screenings, community-building and non-commercial displays in the Connect Café.
 
Celebrate!
Local efforts to promote green and healthy living are not only worth sharing, but also worth celebrating! Continuous music, food and fun includes the MI Green Hall of Fame awards ceremony (7 p.m. Fri.); an exciting entertainment lineup featuring 2014 Super Singer winner Kenny Nelson (6 p.m. Fri.), the School of Rock (3-6 p.m. Sat.), Jennifer Kincer & Friends (noon Sat. & 2 p.m. Sun.) and other acts; the Rochester Area Recreation Authority (RARA) Earth Day 5K Fun Run (8 a.m. Sat.) and more.  Just added:  Come celebrate Earth Day, Weds., April 22, at the Earth Day Evening Party starting at 5 p.m. at the new Rochester Tap Room, 6870 N. Rochester Rd. in Rochester.
 
Play
The fun for kids kicks off Friday night with the USGBC My Green School Kids’ Art Contest and Raising Rochester School Garden awards and continues all weekend with a recycled-costume parade  (11 a.m. Sat.), straw bale and Majic Tower climbing (Sat. & Sun.), and fun with mud and other arts and crafts in the Whole Kids Korner.
 
Recycle
Throughout the weekend, drive ‘n drop recycling will be offered at no charge. Rochester PTA Green Schools will recycle/repurpose a wide variety of electronic, household, handheld, office, A/V, computer and personal items. World Medical Relief will collect used durable medical equipment. Check the event’s “Recycle” webpage for details.  
 
The 10th Annual MI Earth Day Fest is organized by MI Green Team L3C. Event sponsors and partners include Majic Window, The Palace Sports & Entertainment, Whole Foods Market, Irene’s Myomassology Institute, SMART Bus, Earth Day Network, Fox 2 Detroit, The Oakland Press, 100.3 WNIC, WWJ Newsradio 950 and CMNtv.
 
Be sure to Like MI Earth Day Fest on Facebook. For details, directions, to register for special events and to exhibit or sponsor, visit www.miEDF.com
 

Downtown Pontiac grows a park and a community

The community of Pontiac and the Pontiac Downtown Business Association (PDBA) have engaged in a 45 day campaign to raise funds through a crowdfund for Downtown Pontiac’s first urban green space on Saginaw Street.  Thanks to the support of over 90 patron’s the park will launch this summer.

In an effort to engage the community to embrace the project, the PDBA opted to show the State of Michigan, through the Pure Michigan campaign, that they wanted the park, vs the alternative of asking a major donor to sponsor the park.  Patronicity, a Detroit based crowdfunding site, managed the project in partnership with Pure Michigan to receive a matching fund when the campaign reached it’s goal of $12,500.

Green spaces do more than soften the concrete urban landscape, but also provide places to congregate, commune, and grow.  Downtown Pontiac’s first urban green space promises to support the community's growing resident and business population.

The project supports a green space and place-making initiative of the Pontiac Downtown Business Association to convert what is now 4,800 square feet of fertile earth in a vacant lot to become a pocket-park nestled between two incredible historic buildings Downtown.  “Not only will it be something the community can enjoy while living or visiting downtown, but it also helps attract additional investment” says Pontiac Downtown Business Association CEO and President, Glen Konopaskie.

Deirdre Waterman, Mayor of the City of Pontiac, shared how proud she was of the community for coming out to support the project and help Pontiac Move Forward.  The average donation per patron of the project was $150; the value given to have a namesake brick in honor of the patron installed in the park.  

As Konopaskie works with Pontiac Mayor Waterman and Oakland County Executives through the Main Street Program, Downtown Pontiac is well underway of an economic turn-around.  The partnerships, team work and synergies running through this City, County, and State are powerful collaborations.

For further updates please visit PontiacDBA.com to watch the park continue to grow, and the City of Pontiac Move Forward.  
The Pontiac Downtown Business Association (PDBA) is a non-profit, volunteer organization.   Operating under the Nationally Accredited Main Street management program’s four point approach of promotion of downtown events, economic development, organizational operations, and downtown design, the association manages historic Downtown Pontiac.  
 

Genisys continues their dedication to warming hearts & homes in Oakland County

Genisys Credit Union, which provides services to anyone who lives or works in the Lower Peninsula, was recently the premier sponsor for Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency’s (OLHSA) Walk for Warmth event, which was held at Great Lakes Crossing Outlet Mall in Auburn Hills.  Additionally, Genisys Credit Union members and employees raised over $32,000 to assure local neighbors stay warm during the winter months. 
 
“It is remarkable to see the amount of dedication our members and Genisys staff has towards Walk for Warmth,” said Jackie Buchanan, President and CEO. “Each year, our staff comes up with generous and innovative ways to raise money, which helps local families to stay warm.”
 
In addition to the $32,000+ Genisys Credit Union raised for Walk for Warmth, nearly 100 of their employees and family members were present at the event. Manager of Public Relations and Community Involvement, Linda Zabik, sat on the Walk for Warmth planning board and the Genisys Band was also present to provide entertainment to those walking at the event. This year, the Oakland walk as a whole had a record number of participants with 1,300 people participating either as walkers, sponsors, or volunteers.
 
“OLHSA is grateful for its partnership with Genisys Credit Union and the continuous success that partnership brings to Walk for Warmth. Together we are able to heat the homes of our neighbors,” said Ronald B. Borngesser, OLHSA CEO.
 
The purpose of OLHSA’s Walk for Warmth is to bring the community together to raise funds and awareness for emergency utility assistance. It is a family-friendly walk-a-thon event where 100% of the funds raised are used to warm hearts and heat homes for those in need in Oakland County. Through the Walk for Warmth walks in both Oakland and Livingston County, OLHSA has currently raised a total of $167,000 to assist families in need.  In total, the nonprofit hopes to raise a combined $180,000 between the two events. $13,000 remains to accomplish that goal.
 
Walk for Warmth is Oakland County’s premier Walk-a-Thon event, giving back 100% of proceeds to the Emergency Utility Assistance Program at OLHSA, a Community Action Agency. In 2014, Walk for Warmth funds kept 331 Oakland County families warm (749 individuals), of which 35 percent were children. In 2014, Walk for Warmth funds kept 135 Livingston County families warm (356 individuals), of which 39 percent were children. It is not too late to help OLHSA reach its goal of raising $180,000 for Emergency Utility Assistance. To give to OLHSA’s Walk for Warmth, go to www.olhsa.org/walk4warmth and click ‘sign up to walk or help.’
 
About Genisys Credit Union:
Genisys Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution that has been committed to helping its members financially since 1936. Based out of Auburn Hills, MI, Genisys is one of the largest credit unions in Michigan, with over 149,000 members and 24 branch locations. They also provide business loans and a range of services for small to mid-sized businesses.  Genisys Credit Union is proud to be making a difference in their communities, and truly believes that Genisys is “where you come first”. Connect with Genisys on Facebook and Twitter by following “GenisysCU”. For convenient access to your account, download the Genisys iPhone App in the iTunes Store and Android App in the Google Play Store. For more information or a calendar of events, visit Genisys online at www.genisyscu.org.
 

Oakland County Parks Great Marshmallow Drop

Oakland County Parks Great Marshmallow Drop
Friday, April 3, 10 a.m.
Catalpa Oaks County Park | 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield

Watch 15,000 marshmallows fall from a helicopter for children to collect and exchange for a prize.
 
Children will participate by age groups: ages 4 & younger and individuals with disabilities; ages 5 – 7, and ages 8 and older. The helicopter will fly over three times, once for each age group. The event is not a competition, just a fun time.  There is no charge to participate.
 
Visit DestinationOakland.com for more information. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @DestinationOak.

The Brooksie Way Minigrant Program seeking applications for winter funding cycle

The Brooksie Way is seeking applications from local communities and non-profits interested in funding assistance for programming that supports healthy and active lifestyles for Oakland County residents.

The Brooksie Way Minigrant program uses proceeds from the HealthPlus Brooksie Way Half Marathon to support various programs that support healthy and active lifestyles. The minigrant program has allocated more than $135,000 since it began in 2010. The maximum award is $2,000.

“We have touched the community in more ways than I ever would have imagined,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. “Whether it was a karate program for kids with cancer, a yoga program for disabled children or a plan to keep seniors physically active and fit, the minigrants continue to pay dividends. My son would have been very pleased.”

The Brooksie Way is named after Brooks Stuart Patterson, the son of the county executive, who died after an accident in 2007.
Complete guidelines and instructions on how to apply for a Brooksie Way Minigrant can be found at www.theBrooksieWay.com. The deadline for applications is March 15. They will be awarded at the kick-off for the HealthPlus Brooksie Way on April 25 at the Oakland University Recreation Center on the campus of Oakland University.

The HealthPlus Brooksie Way Half Marathon is set for Sept. 27 and begins and ends at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the OU campus. It includes a 10k and 5k race. All races can be run or walked. Participants can register for the races at www.theBrooksieWay.com. Those who register before April 1 can save $5 on their race fees. 
 

Local teens to open nonprofit clothing store in Pontiac

Excerpt:

Two high school students will open a clothing store March 5 to provide new and gently used attire for students in low-income communities through the International Technology Academy, a school that focuses on project-based learning for students grades six through 12 in Pontiac.

Read more.
 

OLHSA seeks to improve wellness of residents in local communities through program offerings

As 2015 progresses, many individuals and families will struggle with keeping their New Year’s resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle because of financial issues. OLHSA, A Community Action Agency, has many programs available to low-income residents of Oakland and Livingston Counties that can help them keep their resolutions and improve their overall well-being throughout the year.  Programs include The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Early Head Start (EHS), Head Start (HS), Mothers, Infants, Children (MIC) in Livingston County and the Summer Food Service Program in Oakland County.  

Adults looking for the best possible nutrition starting at home have various options. TEFAP provides various supplemental food staples to low-income households on a quarterly basis. WIC is a free health and nutrition program available to help pregnant women and mothers with infants and children under age five eat well and stay healthy. In Livingston County, women who are pregnant, postpartum, breast-feeding or have children up to 6 years old and are not receiving benefits through the WIC program can receive supplemental nutrition assistance through MIC.

Outside of the home, parents can see that their children receive proper nutrition and exercise by enrolling them in OLHSA’s EHS/HS programs. These programs give children a strong foundation with well-balanced school meals and opportunities for physical activity during and outside of school hours. When school isn’t in session, OLHSA provides a nutritious breakfast and/or lunch to youth in churches, parks, schools and recreation centers in and around Pontiac through the Summer Food Service Program.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Census Bureau between 19.5 and 30.8 percent of Michigan’s residents are obese and 16 percent of the population is living below poverty level,” said Ronald B. Borngesser, OLHSA’s CEO. “We believe that everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, should have access to resources that help them to lead healthier lives. Our representatives work diligently with clients to connect them to services that meet their specific needs.”

For more information on OLHSA’s complete services, visit www.olhsa.org/complete-services.

OLHSA is a Community Action Agency improving the quality of life for people facing crisis while strengthening families, communities, seniors and youth since 1964. Over 187,000 services were provided in 2013 in the pursuit of helping people and changing lives. www.olhsa.org

Neiman Marcus backs Humble Design with yearly fundraiser

Humble Design, a Metro-Detroit based non-profit organization dedicated to helping homeless families in need, is being backed by Neiman Marcus for the third year in a row. To date, Humble Design has furnished the homes of 465 Detroit-area families who emerged from homeless and abuse shelters.
 
The event, ‘The Beauty Within’ will be held on March 4, 2015 from 6-9 pm on the first floor of Neiman Marcus inside Somerset Collection. This elegant evening of pampering, shopping and socializing will benefit deserving families in need.
 
Chuck Bennett, of The Social D, will be the Master of Ceremonies as strolling hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served for all to enjoy. Guests can also sample beauty services such as a hand massage, mini facials, and a skin care analysis. The trusted cosmetic vendors of Neiman Marcus will be providing these services. DJ Jared Sykes will keep the mood light and the crowd entertained.
 
“We greatly value our partnership with Neiman Marcus,” said Julie Nagle, Director of Humble Design. “They continue to support us and help raise awareness for our mission. Without corporate partners like them, we would not be able to continue our mission and help those who really need it.”
 
Tickets are $100 and are available for purchase via the Humble Design website at www.humbledesign.org under the event tab. Raffle tickets will also be sold upon entry. Items include a private brewery tour, various restaurant gift cards, tickets to upcoming event in metro-Detroit, spa packages, a tour of the Detroit Public Library, jewelry and more. A percentage of all sales made during the evening will be graciously donated back to the organization.
 
Humble Design will be making a large announcement regarding their first inaugural annual event. This annual concert will take place on September 19 at the well-known Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. They expect that the featured artist will draw a crowd upwards of 900 people. More details to follow.
 
Humble Design is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to helping homeless families in need.  Humble Design turns four bare walls into a clean, dignified and welcoming home by repurposing gently used household goods.  Humble Design partners with local area homeless and abuse shelters to identify families who are emerging out of shelters. Many of theses families are victims of abuse and have left behind all personal items upon escaping and entering an emergency shelter.  When these families move into their new residence, Humble Design comes in and makes their house a home!  Giving them back their dignity and hope for the future!

Free community ice rink invites families downtown

Excerpt: 

Lee Collick doesn't necessarily have a passion for building ice rinks or even skating for that matter.

But the Royal Oak resident and Department of Public Services employee has a passion for making the city better, especially considering it is the place he has called home his entire life.

Read more.
 

Registration open for 2015 HealthPlus Brooksie Way races

Runners and walkers can save themselves up to $30 on entry fees by registering now online for the eighth annual HealthPlus Brooksie Way.
 
Online registration at www.TheBrooksieWay.com saves half marathon runners and walkers off the $75 entry fee charged to those who register on the eve of the Sept. 27 race. Entrants for the 10K and 5K will also realize significant savings by registering early. Participants can also register online for the popular Team Challenge – which sold out last year – and celebrate after the race in the exclusive Team Challenge tent.
 
“This is one of the premier road races in Michigan,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “The community has embraced the Brooksie and the proceeds are given back to the community through programming that supports and promotes healthy and active lifestyles through Brooksie Way Minigrants.”

The Brooksie Way Minigrant program has returned more than $125,000 to support local health and fitness activities. The grants are awarded three times a year.

The HealthPlus Brooksie Way, now in its eighth year, is named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and the son of the county executive, who died in 2007. It has become one of the most popular regional fall half marathons. The 2014 race attracted 5,800 runners and walkers. The course begins and ends at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University and includes parts of the Clinton River and Paint Creek trails, Rochester Hills and downtown Rochester.

The popular Kid’s Race – sponsored by Fifth Third bank – is set for Sept. 26. Kroger, the official half marathon sponsor, will soon offer race applications in all Michigan stores.

The Brooksie Way conducted the second annual “Chill at the Mills’ race on Sunday in conjunction with Rochester’s Fire & Ice Festival. There were more than 600 registrants for the 5k, an increase of 100 participants from the inaugural year. The race was sponsored by Shelton Buick GMC. 
 

Lawrence Tech honored for institutional focus on community engagement

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has named Lawrence Technological University among the 361 U.S. colleges and universities to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification, which recognizes institutional focus on community engagement.
 
The institutions that have qualified for this classification represent less than 8 percent of the total number of colleges and universities in the country.
 
“These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions,” said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, which administered the selection process.
 
Lawrence Tech’s was first added to the list in 2008. The current designation was based on a comprehensive 65-page application that demonstrated the nature and extent of its engagement in the community. “We are seeing renewed institutional commitment, advanced curricular and assessment practices, and deeper community partnerships,” said Amy Driscoll, consulting scholar for the Community Engagement Classification.
 
Lawrence Tech has distinguished itself as one of the first universities in the country providing leadership education for all of its undergraduates. Lawrence Tech’s Leadership Program covers all four years and includes a commitment to community service and volunteering. 
 
“We work to ensure all students develop their leadership skills and community service experience with an emphasis on character, integrity, and professionalism,” said LTU Assistant Provost Jim Jolly.
 
This spring Lawrence Tech will open its Detroit Design + Technology Center on Woodward Avenue. LTU’s College of Architecture and Design will consolidate four programs that it already has in Detroit and introduce additional outreach programs.
 
Lawrence Tech continues to maintain strong academic programming in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as the STEM subjects. The university has developed and supported a number of programs designed to encourage middle school and high school students to pursue these subjects in college, and last year organized and hosted the first national championships for the World Robot Olympiad.
 
“LTU is a private university serving a public purpose, and our students, faculty and staff live that credo every day,” said Lawrence Tech President Virinder Moudgil.
 
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. 

A listing of the institutions that hold the Community Engagement Classification can be found at nerche.org, the website of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education.
 
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

 

SOGI conference 2015 to promote safe schools for LGBT students

With a goal to create more supportive and inclusive educational environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex (GLBTQQI) individuals, the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Initiative of Oakland University's School of Education and Human Services will host the fourth annual Michigan SOGI Education Conference on Friday, Feb. 6.

The event, which takes place at the Auburn Hills Marriott at Centerpoint in Pontiac, will feature expert presentations, roundtable discussions, best practices for integrating SOGI issues into school and work, and ongoing networking opportunities – all focused on meeting the needs of GLBTQQI students, staff, faculty and administrators.

"This may be our best lineup of presenters yet," said Dr. Timothy Larrabee, associate professor and director of the SOGI Initiative Taskforce. "We have drawn presenters from across the country. Our keynote speaker hails from Washington. A nationally recognized expert in 'trans' rights, Jenn Burleton, is flying in from Oregon, and we have several presenters joining us from Illinois."

He added, "At the same time, we have not lost our local focus. The Southeast Michigan chapter of GLSEN is back to discuss starting and maintaining gay-straight alliances. We will hear from students in Novi. Experts from University of Michigan-Dearborn, Wayne State University and Michigan State University will be here. We will also discuss the intersections of SOGI issues with race, religion, health and education."

Kris Hermanns, executive director of Pride Foundation, will present the keynote address "The New Frontier: Ensuring Safe Schools for all LGBT Students." Hermanns has more than 20 years of experience as a strategist, fundraiser and nonprofit executive. Before joining Pride Foundation, she was the deputy director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Prior to that, she served as a program officer with The Rhode Island Foundation. In addition, Hermanns also worked as associate director for Brown University's Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service. She has served on the board of directors of Funders for LGBTQ Issues and is a Green Bay Packers shareholder.

This year's emcee is Steve Spreitzer, president and CEO of the Michigan Roundtable. Spreitzer has held various leadership positions in the organization, having served as director of programs, and managed the Roundtable's Interfaith efforts and Walk2gether Michigan. He has also worked in community mental health, criminal justice ministry and legislative advocacy. His work has gained recognition from the World Sabbath for Religious Reconciliation, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, the Catholic Youth Organization and the Hindu American Foundation.

The Auburn Hills Marriott at Centerpoint is located at 3600 Centerpoint Parkway in Pontiac. To view a map, along with other hotel information, visit the website.

Registration for the event, which includes a breakfast and lunch, is $100 for the general public and $25 for full-time students. Organizations wishing to host an information table can do so for $50. Sponsorships and donations can be arranged through the online registration site at oakland.edu/SOGI/register. Online registration closes Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.

On-site registration on the day of the event is payable by credit card or electronic check (ACH) only. For additional information, visit the conference website at oakland.edu/SOGI, or contact the SOGI Initiative Office at (248) 370-4614 or sogi@oakland.edu. Follow conference developments on Twitter at @OUSOGI, #SOGICON.

About Oakland University

Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located on 1,443 acres of scenic land in the cities of Rochester and Auburn Hills in Oakland County, Michigan. The University has 135 bachelor's degree programs and 135 graduate degree and certificate programs. Oakland is a nationally recognized public university with more than 20,500 students. Academics include programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Education and Human Services, School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing.

 

Kroger and UDIM will donate 51,468 gallons of milk to six Michigan food banks

More undernourished children and adults will have nutritious milk to drink during the coming year thanks, in part, to Kroger customers and associates who donated to the second annual “Pour It Forward” campaign. Kroger and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM), on behalf of Michigan dairy farm families, will contribute a record 51,468 gallons of Kroger brand milk to six Michigan food banks as a result of Kroger customer and associate monetary donations.
 
Michigan food banks benefitting include Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Food Bank of South Central Michigan, Food Gatherers, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and Greater Lansing Food Bank. “Pour It Forward” launched November 5 and continued through December 16, with customers purchasing paper gallon slips at Kroger registers, which Kroger and UDIM then converted into gallons of milk.
 
“Our goal was to raise enough money to supply 50,000 gallons of milk to meet the growing demand for nutritious foods among Michigan families in need,” said Jayne Homco, President, The Kroger Co. of Michigan. “We are so grateful to our customers and associates for generously contributing funds this holiday season to help surpass this goal – especially as milk is the item most requested by local food banks.”
 
“Pour It Forward” originated in 2013, when Kroger and UDIM donated 32,900 gallons of milk to Forgotten Harvest and Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Based on the program’s success, Kroger and UDIM decided to extend the campaign to benefit other food banks working to meet the nutritional needs of Michigan’s less fortunate.
 
“Michigan dairy farm families thank Kroger customers for helping food banks increase access to protein-rich milk,” said UDIM Chief Executive Officer Sharon Toth.  “For nearly a century, dairy farmers have worked to address hunger and to ensure every American has access to nutrient-rich foods, such as milk and dairy products.  UDIM is able to continue this dairy farmer legacy through our partnership with Kroger on the ‘Pour It Forward’ campaign.” 
 
Kroger will continue to help feed Michigan families with its “Bringing Hope to the Table” campaign, which includes 91 Kroger stores collecting food in Wayne, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Livingston counties on weekends, January 10 through February 1. For more information, visit www.WOMC.com.
 
About The Kroger Co. of Michigan
Incorporated in Michigan in 1909 and headquartered in Novi, The Kroger Co. of Michigan includes 17,000 associates, 124 Kroger stores, 62 fuel centers, 102 pharmacies and the Michigan Dairy.
 
Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs more than 375,000 associates who serve customers in 2,640 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.  The company also operates 786 convenience stores, 320 fine jewelry stores, 1,240 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club.
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