Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson distributed $35,500 among 18 southeast Michigan organizations during a ceremony in the lobby of the Executive Office Building. The funds were raised by county employees over the course of 2012 from Casual Day donations.
“The generosity of our county employees is exceeded only by their professionalism and commitment to serve the residents of Oakland County,” Patterson said. “Casual Day is one of many ways our employees give back throughout the year.”
Casual Day recipients for 2012 are:
- American Diabetes Association – Bingham Farms
- Baldwin Center – Pontiac
- Child Abuse and Neglect Council (CARE House) – Pontiac
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Metropolitan Detroit Chapter – Troy
- D-MAN Foundation – Rochester Hills
- Donate Life Coalition of Michigan – Ann Arbor
- FernCare – Ferndale
- Give-A-Christmas Year Round – Royal Oak
- Grace Centers of Hope – Pontiac
- Helping Hearts Helping Hands – Clarkston
- Kids Kicking Cancer – Detroit
- McLaren Children’s Health Services – Pontiac
- Oakland County Pioneer & Historical Society – Pontiac
- Oxford/Orion FISH – Orion Township
- Rainbow Connection – Rochester
- Rebuilding Together Oakland County – Farmington Hills
- Toys for Tots – Waterford
- Walk the Line to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery – Southfield
In addition, another $16,200 was given to 14 other organizations or people during the course of the year, including the families of West Bloomfield Officer Patrick O’Rourke, who was killed in the line of duty Sept. 9, and James Cram, Patterson’s security officer who was injured along with the county executive in an Aug. 10 automobile crash. That’s a total of nearly $52,000 donated by county employees this year to help those in need.
The 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 20 years ago, Oakland County employees have donated well over a half million dollars, touching the lives of thousands of people. No taxpayer funds are used in the casual day program.
List of Recipients of the 2012 Casual Day Funds:
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.
Baldwin Center: The Baldwin Center’s mission is to feed, clothe, educate and empower the men, women and children of the Pontiac community. The Center has been serving Pontiac residents since 1981 and currently offers more than 25 support programs that meet basic needs, assistance in a crisis, provides education and enrichment opportunities for adults and children, and serves as a safety net. It envisions people of all ages and cultures sharing the belief that they can create and shape how they live and grow within the community.
Child Abuse and Neglect Council (CARE House): The Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County, or 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.
D-MAN Foundation: Danny’s Miracle Angel Network or D-MAN Foundation was founded by Ziad S. Kassab in memory of his younger brother, Danny, who was hit by a car at the age of 7 on July 22, 1993. This accident resulted in Danny being a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic for 16 years. He passed away on Aug. 30, 2009. Despite his many health complications, Danny lived his life to the fullest and inspired everyone he met. Ziad, moved by his younger brother’s life and faith in God, started the foundation as a way to give others with severe injuries like Danny’s a chance to live life fully with a can-do attitude. D-MAN is dedicated to enriching the lives of families and individuals living with physical and mental disabilities. Through education, specialty programs, and fundraising efforts, the D-MAN Foundation strives to ensure that quadriplegics and others with various disabilities have the opportunities to achieve the highest quality of life possible.
Donate Life Coalition of Michigan: The Donate Life Coalition of Michigan was formed in 1999 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: 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 patients in six to 10 days. The clinic also 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 Royal Oak-based non-profit, Give-a-Christmas Year Round, looks to raise funds all year to distribute to other charitable organizations that serve families in need. They work with the directors of area charities that have specific requests for assistance.
Grace Centers of Hope: Grace Centers of Hope was established in 1942. It has since grown and evolved into the largest and oldest faith-based outreach to homeless and disadvantaged individuals and families. Grace Centers of Hope provides a full recovery and rehabilitation campus for homeless men, women and children who have been abused or addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.
Helping Hearts Helping Hands: Erica Cale is the founder of Helping Hearts Helping Hands. Plus, she is one of this year’s recipients of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s Quality People/Quality County or Q2 Award. At the extraordinary age of 15, she realized her calling to be a missionary – to live her life helping others. On April 10, 2007, she established Helping Hearts Helping Hands, a family-based non-profit organization, in Honduras. Helping Hearts Helping Hands’ goal is to change the lives of poverty-stricken Honduran children and families. It provides immediate assistance by delivering food, fresh water, clothing, shoes, vitamins and other needed items to Honduran villages. It provides personal care items and instruction on self-care, dental care, health, and nutrition. It helps Honduran families establish businesses that will provide a source of income to become self-sufficient. In addition, Helping Hearts Helping Hands operates a foster care home in a neighborhood where crime and gang related activity occur daily.
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.
McLaren Children’s Health Services: Over the past 15 or so years, the McLaren Riley Foundation 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 McLaren Riley Foundation Clinic continues to provide 2,500 free patient visits annually. These services include school physicals, immunizations, acute care and wellness exams.
Oakland County Pioneer & Historical Society: The Oakland County Pioneer & Historical Society is open to members who are interested in preserving the history of Oakland County. It is the oldest active historical society in Michigan. Headquartered at Pine Grove, the former estate of Governor Moses Wisner in Pontiac, the Society works closely with Oakland County’s Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, including recently on the commemorative “Oakland County in the Civil War” map. Charged with the preservation of Pine Grove, the Society oversees 4-1/2 acres of land, the Wisner mansion and several out-buildings, including a summer kitchen, outhouse, smokehouse and root cellar. In addition to the outbuildings, there is the Drayton Plains One Room School House and the Carriage House, which is home to the Research Library, office and the Pioneer Museum.
Oxford/Orion FISH: 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.
Rainbow Connection: The Rainbow Connection is a charity that grants wishes to Michigan children who are suffering from life threatening or terminal illness. Patterson 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.
Rebuilding Together Oakland County: Rebuilding Together Oakland County brings volunteers and communities together to provide free housing repair and neighborhood revitalization for low-income homeowners in Oakland County. It provides free Home rehab to homeowners who are elderly, disabled, veterans, and families with children to ensure they live in warmth, safety, and independence.
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.
Walk the Line: Walk the Line to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery exists for one purpose: to promote and achieve recovery from spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. Walk the Line says, “When a team of individuals all believe and work towards a goal, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!” Walk The Line challenges the rules of traditional rehab by including its clients in goal setting, creating unique program designs, encouraging interaction and socialization among clients, caregivers, family members and staff. It provides an environment that promotes respect for each other and one where everyone is family.