The gift giving came a little early for a handful of Oakland County charities this year. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson played Santa and passed out checks totaling $24,500 to eleven local charities. Oakland County government employees who contributed to the weekly Casual Day Fund throughout the year made Santa’s early presents possible.
Below is a run down of each charity that took home an early Christmas gift.
Rainbow Connection: The Rainbow Connection is a charity that grants wishes to Michigan children who are suffering from life threatening or terminal illness. Began by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson 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.
POH Children’s Clinic: The Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital has origins back to 1953 when three doctors met with a hospital consultant to see if they could expand their small clinic into a fully functioning hospital. The short version, they could and they did. They expanded their clinic, grew out of it, bought the old seven-story Pontiac Hotel in 1955, and grew again. Now the POH has 300 physicians, more than 1,200 support staff, and eight satellite facilities throughout Oakland County.
Child Abuse and Neglect Council: 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 30 years.
Donate Life Coalition of Michigan: Donate Life Coalition of Michigan came to be in 1994 to promote organ and tissue donation. Through public education, legislative, and professional education endeavors, Donate Life looks to encourage Michigan residents to think of organ and tissue donation as a fundamental human responsibility. The coalition is modeled and mirrored after a national coalition donation program.
Huron Valley Council for the Arts: Based in Highland, the Huron Valley Council of the Arts serves as a catalyst to all things arts and culture in the Huron Valley and SE Michigan areas.
Birmingham-Bloomfield Arts Center: The Birmingham-Bloomfield Arts Center has been celebrating art every day since 1957. That’s over fifty years of arts, folks! 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 from the ages of three to 83. BBAC teacher, Charles McGee, in fact, was just honored with the Kresge Foundation’s first ever Eminent Artist award for his dedication to arts and culture in Metro Detroit.
Paint Creek Center for the Arts: For over 25 years the Paint Creek Center for the Arts has been promoting the arts and artistic excellence in the area through cultural programs and exhibitions, art classes, outreach programs, and community involvement projects.
William Scripps Estate / Guesthouse: 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 ground states intact.
Winning Futures: 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 founded, and leads, an innovative initiative called The Metro Detroit Mentor Collaboration. Their goal is to strengthen the impact of mentoring.
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 ’round.
Friends of Little Oaks: Little Oaks watches over the children of
Oakland County employees while they are at work. The Friends of Little
Oaks are their friends and also the fundraising arm of the program.
During the past twelve months, county employees have also donated $30,771 for Special Casual Days to a variety of individuals and organizations including Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer, the Oakland County Medical Examiners’ Memorial Service, the Arthritis Foundation, the American Heart Association and to several employees or their family members suffering from a wide range of illnesses including cancer and stroke.
“The caring, compassion and generosity shown by our county government employees week in and week out is truly amazing,” Patterson said. “Over the past 16 years they have contributed more than a half a million dollars to improve the quality of life for literally thousands of people.”