Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson distributed $31,750 among 17 southeast Michigan charities during a ceremony in the lobby of the Executive Office Building on December 14. The funds were raised by county employees over the course of 2011 from Casual Day donations.
“Oakland County employees are generous even during tough times,” said Patterson. “Casual Day is one of many ways our employees give back throughout the year.”
Casual Day recipients for 2011 include:
American Diabetes Association:
Their mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. They lead the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fight for those affected by diabetes. They fund research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes, they deliver services to hundreds of communities, they provide objective and credible information, and they give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.
Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center:
The Birmingham-Bloomfield Arts Center has been celebrating art every day since 1957. That’s nearly fifty-five years of arts! The art center, though, isn’t just about the celebration. There are 500 high-quality classes, workshops, camps, and other educational offerings, and they have a registration of more than 4,000 students from the ages of three to 83. In particular, they are partners with Oakland County’s Children’s Village, introducing Children’s Village residents to skills they previously were unaware they had.
Child Abuse and Neglect Council (CARE House):
The Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County, or the CARE House, is a leader in protecting the children of the community. The council was formed out of collaboration in 1977 when Oakland County law enforcement agencies, the prosecutor’s office, the Junior League of Birmingham, Children’s Protective Services, and community stakeholders joined forces. This collaboration and dedication to the kids has continued for more than three decades.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation:
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a nonprofit donor-supported organization, is to assure the development of the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease. The Foundation is the leading organization in the United States devoted to cystic fibrosis. The Foundation played an integral role in the development and FDA approval of four therapies that are now a routine part of treatment regimens for many with CF. The Foundation is actively supporting nearly 30 potential new treatments currently in development — that’s more than in the entire history of the disease. One groundbreaking potential drug that treats the underlying cause of CF will be submitted for FDA review in late 2011.
Donate Life Coalition of Michigan:
The Donate Life Coalition of Michigan was formed in 1993 to promote organ and tissue donation. Their goal is to encourage Michigan residents to accept organ and tissue donation as a fundamental human responsibility. They seek to accomplish this primarily through public education, legislative and professional education endeavors. The Donate Life Coalition of Michigan is modeled after Donate Life America, which among other things, creates and distributes national advertising campaigns and various awareness efforts such as National Organ and Tissue Donation week.
FernCare Free Clinic operates a free medical clinic on Nine Mile Road in Ferndale that treats patients between the ages of 19 through 64 who do not have medical insurance of any kind. Patients are seen by a practitioner (physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant); all lab work is done at the clinic with the results available to the patients in about 6 – 10 days; the clinic dispenses generic medications; a benefits counselor is available to help patients locate services and medications they do not provide; and a social worker is available upon request. FernCare depends on an all-volunteer staff except the clinic manager.
Give-a-Christmas Year Round:
This Troy-based non-profit, Give-a-Christmas Year Round, looks to raise funds all year to distribute to needy families as the holiday season comes around.
Kids Kicking Cancer:
Kids Kicking Cancer is a non-profit organization that provides weekly classes for children, both inpatient and outpatient, in the mind-body techniques found in the martial arts. Their mission is “to ease the pain of very sick children while empowering them to heal physically, spiritually and emotionally.” They emphasize relaxation and mental imagery, and skill each student according to his or her capabilities to engage in breathing, meditation, and active karate exercises.
Oxford/Orion FISH provides emergency aid in the form of food, and agency referrals to individuals who live in Oxford, Lake Orion, Addison/Leonard and parts of Oakland Township. Their daily volunteers will call individuals seeking assistance, assess the problem, identify the need, and work toward a solution. The action may be an appointment for that afternoon at the FISH food pantry to receive emergency groceries to last 5-7 days; and often referrals to other agencies for additional assistance.
Paint Creek Center for the Arts:
For nearly 30 years the Paint Creek Center for the Arts has been dedicated to promoting the arts and artistic excellence through a full range of cultural programs including exhibitions, studio art classes, outreach programs, community involvement projects, and the Art & Apples Festival. PCCA’s mission is to enhance life in the region by promoting, encouraging and creating opportunities to participate in and appreciate the arts.
(The local chapter of the National Kidney Foundation) The PKD Foundation is the only organization, worldwide, dedicated to fighting polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The mission of the PKD Foundation is to: “Promote programs of research, advocacy, education, support and awareness in order to discover treatments and a cure for Polycystic Kidney Disease and improve the lives of all it affects.”
POH Children’s Health Services:
Over the past 15 years, the POH Children’s Clinic has provided free health care services to uninsured children living in Oakland County. As many children go without the necessary health care services they need, the POH Children’s Clinic continues to provide 2,500 free patient visits annually. These services include school physicals, immunizations, acute care and wellness exams.
The Rainbow Connection is a charity that grants wishes to Michigan children who are suffering from life threatening or terminal illness. I began The Rainbow Connection as a memorial Golf Outing to raise scholarship funds in the name of Tim and Jennifer Dobson who died in a plane crash, along with their father, Ron, on the way to a wedding in Canada in Ron’s private plane. Their mother, who survived but was critically injured in the crash, sits on the board of directors for Rainbow Connection. From the humble beginning of a small golf outing that raised $2,300, the Rainbow Connection now has an annual budget nearing $1 million.
Sandcastles Grief Support Program:
They are a part of Henry Ford Hospice, open to the community at large, to help children and their families grieving the death of someone loved. SandCastles offers year round grief support groups at no charge to families. Right now, more than 450 children and adults are participating in the SandCastles program. SandCastles provides a caring place for children, teens and their families who have experienced a death, to share their loss and journey through grief in a safe and supportive environment. SandCastles offers grief support groups, an annual weekend camp and community education and awareness.
Toys for Tots:
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.
William Scripps Estate/ Guest House, Inc.:
William Edmund Scripps was the sole male heir to Detroit News empire builder, and father, James Edmund Scripps. Starting in 1916, William and his wife Nina Downey Scripps began acquiring land for their farm in Orion Township. And in 1927 the construction of their home on the land was completed. It wasn’t until 2007 when the house made it to the National Register of Historic Places. The listing, though important, is strictly honorary and doesn’t provide funding. That’s where the Scripps Estate comes in. Through them and their fundraising, the Scripps’ house and grounds stay intact.
Winning Futures, a school-based mentoring program for kids grade 3 to seniors in high school, won the 2007 Innovative Mentoring Program of the Year for the state of Michigan. This award-winning program also founded, and leads, an innovative initiative called The Metro Detroit Mentor Collaboration. Their goal is to strengthen the impact of mentoring.
In addition, seven additional individuals and organizations such as the American Heart Association and Susan G. Komen’s Passionately Pink for the Cure received funds totaling $10,700.
“Since Casual Day’s inception 19 years ago, Oakland County employees have donated more than a half million dollars, touching the lives of thousands of people,” said Patterson.