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2nd annual Brooksie Way / Fire & Ice Festival "Chill at the Mills" 5k race registration open online

Online registration is now open for the second annual Brooksie Way Chill at the Mills 5k race, set for Jan. 25 in downtown Rochester.

Runners and walkers can register online at www.TheBrooksieWay.com or download a race application and mail it in. Those who register by Jan. 15, 2015 will receive a long sleeve cotton T-shirt. Race finishers will also receive a winter wear item with the Brooksie Way logo. About 500 people signed up for the inaugural race.

“We had a wonderful turnout for our first Chill at the Mills and I expect even more people for our second race,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy what winter has to offer.”

New this year, Chill at the Mills registrants will receive a discount code worth $10 to be used towards entry fees any HealthPlus Brooksie Way Race in 2015 or the 2015 Brooksie Way Training Program. The coupon code will be emailed after the Chill at the Mills takes place.

Runners and walkers begin and end their journey behind the Rochester Mills Beer Co.; 400 Water St. Finishers may select an official Chill at the Mills winter wear item. Registration is $26 and increases to $31 on Jan. 6. Race day registration is $36. Registration forms are also available at Runnin’ Gear stores in Rochester, Waterford and Brighton in January.

Russ Shelton Buick GMC is the presenting sponsor for the race.

A pancake breakfast is being held race morning from 9 a.m. to noon at the Rochester Fire Department benefiting Rochester Youth Assistance.

Chill at the Mills is held in conjunction with the Fire & Ice Festival in Rochester, sponsored by Oakland County, Rochester, Downtown Rochester and Oakland County Parks. Fire & Ice is set for Jan. 23-25, 2015. 

Patterson distributes Casual Day funds to 15 charities

A disabled Vietnam veteran and an organization whose founder just returned from mission work in Honduras are among the recipients of Oakland County Casual Day funds this holiday season. A total of 15 charitable organizations and the veteran shared $29,000 donated by county employees on casual days throughout the year. County Executive L. Brooks Patterson distributed the checks during a news conference today.

In addition, another $8,000 was given to other organizations or individuals during the course of 2014.

“That’s $37,000 worth of generosity from Oakland County employees who have donated money this year to help out those in need through our Casual Day program,” Patterson said. “For more than two decades, Oakland County employees have impacted thousands of people through their donations.”

County staff will privately deliver a $1,000 check to a disabled Vietnam veteran who reached out to Mr. Patterson to help him find funds to repair a failing septic system that potentially would have driven the veteran and his family from their home. After the county’s Community & Home Improvement and Veterans’ Services divisions succeeded in finding grants to aid with the $25,000 septic repair, Patterson donated $1,000 in Casual Day funds to the veteran, who wishes to remain anonymous, for Christmas.

This year’s recipients include:
  • The American Diabetes Association - Bingham Farms
  • The Baldwin Center – Pontiac
  • The Child Abuse and Neglect Council (CARE House) – Pontiac
  • The D-MAN Foundation - Rochester Hills
  • The Donate Life Coalition of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • Give-A-Christmas Year Around – Royal Oak
  • Grace Centers of Hope – Pontiac
  • HAVEN – Bingham Farms
  • Helping Hearts Helping Hands, whose founder Erica Cale returned just this week from mission work in Honduras – Clarkston
  • Kids Kicking Cancer – Detroit
  • McLaren Children’s Clinic – Pontiac
  • Oxford/Orion FISH - Orion Township
  • The Rainbow Connection – Rochester
  • Rebuilding Together Oakland County – Farmington Hills
  • Walk the Line to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery – Southfield
Oakland County’s Casual Day program allows employees in participating departments and divisions to wear jeans or dress casually on Thursdays or Fridays for a minimum donation of $1. Since its inception 22 years ago, Oakland County employees have donated well over $700,000 dollars, touching the lives of thousands of people. No taxpayer funds are used in the Casual Day program.

Celebrate the holidays at the Jingle Bell Ball

EVENT NAME:          Jingle Bell Ball         
WHAT:                       Individuals 18 years and older with developmental disabilities are invited to celebrate the holidays at the Jingle Bell Ball. Sponsored by Oakland County Parks and Recreation and Wright and Filippis/Filippis Foundation, the evening will feature dinner, music, dancing and a visit from Santa. Dinner will be served until 7:30 p.m.
WHEN:                       6:30-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday Dec. 10
WHERE:                     Waterford Recreation Center (formerly CAI), 5640 Williams Lake Rd, Waterford
COST:                        $8/person prior to Dec. 5; $10/person beginning Dec. 6. Participants must be pre-registered and pre-paid. No refunds. Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.
Contact 248.424.7081 or adaptive@oakgov.com.
For more information, visit DestinationOakland.com. Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @DestinationOak.

Auburn Hills Chamber wins Michigan Outstanding Chamber of the Year

The Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals (MACP) recognized the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce with a 2014 Outstanding Chamber of Commerce Award at the MACP Leadership Conference & Annual Meeting held in Muskegon on October 2, 2014.

“The Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce received this award based on its accomplishments in leadership and governance, financial stewardship, business advocacy and member programming,” said Bob Thomas, Director for the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals. “Among the chamber’s noted achievements were the demonstration of financial stewardship required to grow from a small chamber to a mid-size chamber, its innovation in programming for women, its collaboration with other non-profits in the area, and the commitment to excellence in its governance structures.”

The Outstanding Chamber of Commerce award is presented to chambers of commerce that achieve high scores on a comprehensive application judged by chamber of commerce professionals from other state associations around the country. Applicants must demonstrate quality, innovation, and effectiveness of programming in the areas of leadership and governance, finance, business advocacy and programming/membership development. The award is modeled after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Accreditation process for recognizing best industry practices.

The Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals is the industry association for over 270 chambers in Michigan. Its mission is to build excellence in chambers of commerce through organizational and board-level resource support, professional development for chamber staff and to promote the importance of chambers of commerce across the state.

Genisys Credit Union encourages children to "Don't Be a Monster"

The Halloween season is full of fun, but it’s not funny to be singled out, picked on or bullied by your peers.
Genisys Credit Union, which provides services to anyone who lives or works in the Lower Peninsula, is helping to spread that message to local students by partnering with Erebus Haunted Attraction and Olympia Entertainment’s local stage favorite Evil Dead: The Musical at the City Theatre to bring the national program Don’t Be a Monster to local middle schools in southeast Michigan. Don’t Be a Monster is an anti-bullying program that seeks to educate youth about bullying, diversity and inclusiveness while empowering them to stand up for their peers and make positive choices for themselves.
“Studies show that 28 percent of students in grades 6-12 experience bullying and that 70.6 percent of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools,” said Jackie Buchanan, President and CEO at Genisys Credit Union. “We care about the youth in our community and want to help them understand how name calling, teasing, spreading rumors, leaving people out and other actions can hurt people. We are pleased to support the efforts of Don’t Be a Monster.”
Don’t Be a Monster began in 2012 and is a joint effort between haunted houses and non-profit organizations around the country. Erebus, a four-story haunted attraction in Pontiac, is a proud participant in the program.
Anti-bullying efforts are close to the heart of Ed Terebus, co-owner of Erebus. He said he had a speech impediment, due to an accident at the age of three, up until the sixth grade and as a result was picked on, mocked and teased in school. He wants to help other students avoid the emotional turmoil he went through.
He does this by bringing the anti-bullying message of Don’t Be a Monster to local junior high and middle schools. During a 45-minute presentation, students see video clips of Frankenstein, or “Frank,” getting picked on by a 13-year-old classmate. She singles him out because he looks different. To many students, Frank initially appears to be the monster, but in the end, they see that Frank isn’t a monster – he shows them that the bullies are the real “monsters.”
“Monsters come in all shapes and forms,” said Terebus. “We want to tell kids Don’t Be a Monster.”
The presentations, held in October during National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, also include games, discussion and an appearance by Frank. Students receive a Don’t Be a Monster wristband as well.
Terebus said in this age of social media, it is even more important to squash bullying. He said when he was a student there was some relief when he got home because the teasing stayed at school. Now that’s no longer the case and many children can’t escape the pain even at home.

“People come to Erebus to be scared,” he said. “When you go to school, no one wants to be scared.”

Olympia Entertainment and Evil Dead: The Musical have joined Genisys Credit Union in support of the Don’t Be a Monster campaign. Guests have the opportunity to donate $5 to Don’t Be a Monster by purchasing tickets online through www.OlympiaEntertainment.com/EvilDead_DontBeAMonster using promo code GENISYS or by showing their Erebus ticket stub at the Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices; limit 8 tickets per purchase. The promotion lasts through Oct. 15.
Evil Dead: The Musical will be playing at the City Theatre from Oct. 1-25. Based on Sam Raimi’s 80’s cult classic films, Evil Dead: The Musical brings to life the familiar story of a boy and his friends who go on a weekend getaway to an abandoned cabin and then things go terribly awry.
Genisys Credit Union members who use the promo code GCU at www.hauntedpontiac.com for advance weekday tickets to Erebus will receive $3 off their ticket and $5 will go to the anti-bullying program as well.
To donate to Don’t Be a Monster directly, visit www.hauntedpontiac.com and click on the tickets link or call Erebus at (248) 332-7884. For more information on the Don’t Be a Monster campaign, visit http://dontbeamonster.org/
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 144,000 members and 23 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.

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland wins "Generative Space Award"

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO), a member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, was awarded the 2014 Generative Space Award, which recognizes national health care organizations whose architectural designs and organizational cultures combine to produce breakthrough, sustainable improvements in health and health care.

"We didn't just construct a new building, we created a living, breathing hospital that plays an integral part in our patient's healing process," said Jack Weiner, president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital.  "From the integrated technology, to lights, to art, to the size and shape of patient windows, the design of the new South Patient Tower utilizes proven methods and techniques to further promote positive outcomes for our patients."

Only one other organization received the 2014 Generative Space Award this year, and since the awards began in 2010 only eight organizations have been named as recipients.  SJMO is the only acute-care hospital in the country to have ever earned the award.

The Generative Space Award is presented by the CARITAS Project, a nonprofit global network committed to the creation of transformational environments that enhance human health.

In its physical design, the new patient tower at SJMO incorporates the most current knowledge about healing environments, including the integration of eight leading-edge technological elements to improve caregiving, decrease risk, and reduce stress on patients and caregivers. The organization’s culture has been carefully developed to be responsive to all the requirements of modern medicine: patient-centered, adaptable, collaborative, and professional in all respects.

Physically, the patient tower includes, among many other things, large single-patient rooms, incorporation of natural light throughout the facility, and beautiful settings for prayer, meditation, and restoration throughout the building and grounds.  A lobby fireplace and water features, extensive use of curated art in patient rooms and public areas, and special touches such as swan-shaped towels and large flat-screen televisions, create a five-star hospitality experience in a de-institutionalized setting.

The organization’s culture is centered on its “Six I’s”—intentional, individuality, interaction, interpretation, inspirational, and institute—and on its understanding that all stakeholders are engaged in a journey that is both personal and connected to others.  The Six I’s have been used as the basis for a three-day training program for all associates, called the “Journey Intensive.” More than 2700 SJMO associates have attended this training.

About The CARITAS Project
The CARITAS Project is a global enterprise committed to the creation of transformational environments that enhance human health.  The organization advances the belief that social and physical environments are shaped by cultural values and works to develop the tools — sustainable methods, techniques, and systems — necessary to create intentional, human-centered cultures that have respect for human dignity at their very core.
About St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is a 443-bed comprehensive, community, teaching hospital and a long-time leader in health care in Oakland County.  Founded in 1927 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has won numerous local and national awards for patient safety, quality and performance, and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide.  A member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is a technologically leading hospital that combines advanced medicine and personal care to assist patients on their path to wellness. With dedicated physicians, nurses and hospital staff committed to providing quality care throughout the patient stay, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has truly personalized the patient care experience.

For more information about health services offered at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, please visit stjoesoakland.org
About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving six counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 164-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, and 113-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.  Combined, the six hospitals are licensed for 1,697 beds, have six outpatient health centers, five urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 3,200 physicians.   SJMHS has annual operating revenues of about $1.9 billion and returns $127 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs.
SJMHS is a member of CHE Trinity Health, the second largest Catholic health care system in the country. Based in Livonia, Mich., CHE Trinity Health operates in 20 states, employs nearly 87,000 people, has annual operating revenues of about $13.3 billion and assets of about $19.3 billion. Additionally, the new organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs.
For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit www.stjoeshealth.org.

Disabled veterans invited to Oakland County Parks

Disabled veterans are invited to Autumn Fest, the annual Oakland County Parks and Recreation picnic complete with an afternoon of activities at Independence Oaks County Park in Clarkston Saturday, Oct. 4 from 1-4 p.m.

The free event for veterans with disabilities, sponsored by Barrick Enterprises in cooperation with the BP Fueling Communities Grant, includes a picnic lunch with lawn games, pontoon rides, fishing, pedal boats, bikes and hand cycles, music and shuttle rides to Wint Nature Center.

The picnic will be held at the Twin Chimneys area at the park. Independence Oaks County Park is located at 9501 Sashabaw Rd. in Clarkston. 

To reserve a spot, contact 248.424.7081 or adaptive@oakgov.com.

For more information, visit DestinationOakland.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @DestinationOak.

Community Choice Credit Union gives big to Southeast Michigan

For the past six years, more than 200 Community Choice Credit Union members and employees, as well as families and friends, have ventured into the community to volunteer with blood drives, food pantries and other charitable causes as part of an annual campaign to give their time and talents to community causes. Fittingly called Give Big Weekend, this year’s event wrapped up over the weekend, with more than 1,100 volunteer hours donated to help build up the community.
Implemented in 2009, Community Choice Credit Union’s Give Big Weekend encourages people to give what they can to causes that need assistance. Volunteer events kicked off on Thursday, August 21 and lasted through Sunday, August 24. Although Give Big Weekend happens one weekend a year, Community Choice Credit Union aims to inspire people and businesses to continue extending helping hands all year long.
“Our Give Big Weekend is always an exciting time for members and team members to roll up our sleeves and hit the streets to help our neighbors,” said Abbey Bierlein, Foundation Coordinator at Community Choice Credit Union. “The weekend of events really captures the essence of who we are as an organization. We’re living our mission to give back to the community.”
Some activities that occurred over Give Big Weekend include:
American Red Cross Blood Drives
In response to the critical need for blood donations throughout Southeast Michigan, Give Big Weekend volunteers teamed with the American Red Cross by holding blood drives at their member centers in Farmington Hills, Livonia and South Lyon. Up to 156 lives could be extended thanks to the 52 units of blood donated at the Community Choice blood drives.
Earthworks Urban Farm and Capuchin Soup Kitchen
Volunteers planted, weeded, and harvested in the garden of Earthworks Urban Farm, which is a program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit. Additionally, participants worked the lunch shift at Capuchin Soup Kitchen, which strives to feed hungry Detroiters and address the lack of basic human needs.
Little Grace Village
At this transitional housing development for rehab graduates who are taking steps to lead better lives, volunteers assisted in building, painting and landscaping the Little Grace Village neighborhood in Pontiac.
YMCA Milford
Following a children’s summer camp, volunteers helped put away canoes, organize supplies, and clean up games.
Northville Food Truck Rally to support Gift of Life Michigan
At the Northville Chamber of Commerce’s food truck rally, Community Choice Credit Union volunteers set up a table, where they promoted organ donor registry with Gift of Life Michigan.
Forgotten Harvest
Volunteers helped prepare nonperishable food packages at the warehouse of Forgotten Harvest, an organization that works to relieve hunger throughout Metro Detroit. Community Choice volunteers repackaged 2,000 pounds of food that will help feed those in need around Southeast Michigan.
Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan
Community Choice team members and their families participated in a 5K walk to benefit the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan at the Detroit Zoo. Community Choice team members raised nearly $1,200 during the annual Walkin’ on the Wild Side for Hemophilia at the Detroit Zoo. The funds will support the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan.
To learn more, visit GiveBigWeekend.com.
About Community Choice Credit Union: Established in 1935, Community Choice Credit Union offers a wide variety of financial products and services for both consumers and businesses. Any individual who lives, works, or worships in the following counties is eligible to become a member of Community Choice Credit Union: Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw or Wayne County, Michigan. Since 2008, Community Choice has invested more than $751,285 and 10,961 volunteer hours into its charitable Give Big efforts throughout Michigan. If you’re looking for an experience that’s different from your current banking relationship, let’s get together. For more information, visit CommunityChoiceCU.com.

Groundbreaking for new Habitat home


Work is underway on Shannon Chatman's new family home in Springfield Township, with the help of My Habitat Clarkston.

She joined in with family, friends, and volunteers with the Habitat group, Aug. 4, to kick off the project, building a house from the ground up.

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Birmingham Bike Festival to be held August 24

The 4th Annual Birmingham Bike Festival hits the streets of Downtown Birmingham on Sunday, August 24th, 2014. With a full day of races geared from kids to professionals, to bike demos and local vendors in Shain Park, and a children’s fair, the festival is sure to be a fun-filled day for all.

The Festival will host the 2014 Michigan State Criterium Championship, a one-day race that crowns a champion for the state for a period of one year. Consisting of 6 races, any male rider who is a resident of Michigan and meets the requirements for the race category can compete. Other races for women, juniors, semi-pros, and experienced riders are also hosted at the event.

“There is a place for racers of every age, gender, and experience level,” said Jeff Surnow, Race Founder & Director of the Birmingham Bike Festival. “If you’ve never seen an urban bike race you should come; it’s really unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed.”

Thanks to the support of Volkswagen, the Surnow Company, and other sponsors, the event supports The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan, Detroit2Nepal Foundation, Beaumont Children’s Hospital, and Tour De Cure for the American Diabetes Association.

Wolverine Sports Club is also lending a hand by coordinating the various bike races along with volunteers for the event.

Proudly returning this year is the Miles4Alex event, a 20-minute bike parade put on by Detroit2Nepal Foundation for children of all abilities and honors the memory of Alex Graham. Alex was a pediatric cancer victim who lost her battle in 1999. To celebrate her bravery participants are encouraged to wear superhero costumes. Following the parade families should attend the Rock Companies/Beaumont Children’s Fair from 1-4 p.m. for activities, entertainment, and concessions.

Vendors of the Birmingham area will have booths in Shain Park offering bike apparel, community information, food, bikes demos, and more to attendees. Spectators can also purchase raffle tickets to win a specialty cruiser bike courtesy of New Belgium Brewing.

To register for a race, learn about official sponsorship and vendor opportunities, or volunteer, visit www.birminghambikefestival.org

Re-do of Riley Park improves downtown Farmington gathering spot

Riley Park in downtown Farmington is in the final stages of a redesign that will make it more useful and better equipped to handle the crowds and traffic it pulls for downtown events.

The redesign brings in more sidewalks, paved pathways and a decorative and practical paved compass rose and will also save money on the replacement of grass after busy spring and summer events such as concerts, artists markets and storytimes.

The improvements to Riley Park, which was designed about 10 years ago as more of a passive park than an active one, were brought on by the addition of an ice skating rink last winter. The redesign will allow for an easy transfer from winter use to summer use.

"We had to provide some improvements so the park could accept the ice rink every year," says Annette Knowles, executive director of the Farmington Downtown Development Authority. "We always looked at it as an opportunity to re-examine our uses for the park throughout the year."

"Ten years ago, since the park was designed, the uses have changed and are much more intense than what the park was designed for."

Source: Annette Knowles, executive director, Farmington DDA
Writer: Kim North Shine


Women in construction unite in support of Habitat for Humanity


Barton Malow Co., a long time supporter of Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, is now gathering women across the construction industry to help out for Habitat’s Women Build 2014 initiative. Women Build Oakland County is set to take place August 11th in Madison Heights. 

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Scouts add comfort stops at War Dog Memorial cemetery


Seven solid wood benches dot the cemetery grounds at the War Dog Memorial in Lyon Township, thanks to the dedication of a girl scout troop who wanted to make a difference.

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Southfield Community Foundation merges with Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan


Directors of the Southfield Community Foundation elected to become part of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and transfer its assets to the larger foundation.

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10 Main Street Oakland County communities honored with national recognition

WHO: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and various city officials from around Oakland County as well as representatives from the honored communities.

WHAT: Patterson will unveil Main Street Oakland County’s new program that will affect the 32 distinct downtowns in Oakland County including those not currently members of Main Street Oakland County as well as reveal the 10 Oakland County communities which have received national accreditation from the National Main Street Center.

WHERE: Sundquist Pavilion /Riley Park, 33113 Grand River Avenue, Farmington (east of Farmington Road and Grand River intersection, by Starbucks). In case of bad weather, the news conference will be held at the Civic Theatre, 33332 Grand River Avenue in Farmington.

WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 5. Continental breakfast and registration at 9 a.m. A jazz trio will perform before and after the announcement. Program begins at 9:30 a.m. and should last about 30 minutes.

WHY: Oakland County is the only full-service county-level Main Street program in the United States. To be accredited, a community is evaluated on 10 criteria and must receive a perfect score. Nineteen Oakland County communities participate in Main Street Oakland County. Main Street is a trademarked program of the National Main Street Center in Chicago. Clawson, Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac and Rochester are select level MSOC communities. Birmingham, Clarkston, Lathrup Village, Leonard, Oak Park, Walled Lake, Waterford and Wixom are communities in the associate level program. 
291 Community Building Articles | Page: | Show All
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