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Oakland County Parks and Recreation Annual Report

The 2017 Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission Annual Report: Great Parks for Great People  showcases the key initiatives of the 13-park system. These include: the Five-Year Recreation Master Plan, results of the Community Needs Assessment Survey and the 2017 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for the Oakland University’s Center for Autism’s staff training and day camp. To read more, click here.

The Guild of Artists & Artisans announces the 2018 calendar of art fairs and events

The Guild of Artists & Artisans is a non-profit, membership organization of professional artists that produces six art events throughout the year, including the award-winning Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. Each event is a juried event, representing a diverse array of fine art mediums, with ceramics, painting, photography, glass, jewelry, sculpture, mixed media, drawing, printmaking and more. Entertainment and great food options at each of these fairs make them extra enjoyable and exciting events.

The 2018 calendar includes:Additional details on each event:

Royal Oak Market: Spring Art Fair (April 5-6) will feature 75 juried artists and kicks off the fair season.  This indoor event will include delicious food trucks, entertainment, beer and wine and is open until 10pm each evening, making this a perfect date night experience. 

Art Birmingham (May 12-13) is located in downtown Birmingham’s beautiful Shain Park, features 150 juried artists, free admission, art activities and a food court creating a great event to enjoy for Mother’s Day weekend. This fine art fair is produced in association with the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center (BBAC) and benefits the “Art for All” vision of the BBAC.

Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair (July 19-22) is one of four official partner fairs that comprise the award-winning and highly-respected Ann Arbor Art Fair. The 49th Annual Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair is a juried, fine art event featuring the members of the Guild of Artists & Artisans.  It is located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor and has 375 exhibiting artist booths, art demonstrations and features entertainment and delicious food.

The Levis Commons Fine Art Fair (August 18-19) features more than 135 artists and artisans including jewelry, ceramics, painting, glass, photography, fiber, and more. The perfect setting for an exceptional art fair, the Town Center at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, Ohio, is a unique open-air experience with sophisticated shopping, superb dining and entertainment.

Common Ground’s Birmingham Street Art Fair (September 15-16) is located in and around the streets surrounding downtown Birmingham’s beautiful Shain Park, features 150 artists, entertainment and food trucks.  Additionally, the fair includes a silent auction tent filled with beautiful artwork to bid on which directly benefits Common Ground, an important regional resource helping youths, adults and families in crisis.

Royal Oak Market: Art Fair Edition (November 15-16) features 75 artists and is conveniently located inside the Royal Oak Farmers Market. This fair stays open late and includes entertainment, food trucks, craft beer, and free parking and admission which makes it a fun and festive place to purchase a gift of fine art for someone for the holidays or a great date night experience.
We look forward to remaining a resource not only in covering these events but to access the hundreds of artists that are a part of it. So mark your calendars and see you at the events. 

Oakland County battles human trafficking with new website

On January 11th, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the Oakland County Health Division and Sheriff’s Office, held a press conference to address the issue of human trafficking. Also joining the commissioners were members of the public, community partners, law enforcement, and elected officials who are committed to promoting education and awareness about trafficking in Oakland County. Board Vice Chairman Michael Spiszopened the press conference with the announcement of the launch of a new website, a collaborative effort on behalf of the Oakland County Human Trafficking Task Force and its partners. The website, www.oakgov.com/humantrafficking, is intended to be a primary source of information about human trafficking for the region. It provides information and support for victims, parents, advocates, professionals, and anyone interested in learning more about the issue and how to help.

Oakland County Health and Human Services Director Kathy Forzley explained that human trafficking is a diverse and complex issue that affects 26 million victims worldwide, including men, women, and children. Forzley shared that the website, while attempting to be comprehensive with fact pages, a federal strategic action plan, and national hotline numbers, is still in its infancy. It’s intended to grow rapidly and expand to become a one stop shop for information and resources to assist victims, individuals, parents, or professionals in a coordinated community-wide and multi-disciplined response to human trafficking.

Commissioner Janet Jackson shared that she has been personally involved with addressing this serious problem since 2013. Jackson has coordinated annual countywide hotel outreach and awareness activities, partnering with SOAP (Saving our Adolescents from Prostitution) Metro Detroit. SOAP Metro Detroit is an anti-human trafficking and outreach hotel program that was created in response to FBI human trafficking sweeps in 2013.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard addressed the audience and emphasized that attacking this kind of insidious crime takes teamwork. While law enforcement plays an important role, the public also needs to be educated to recognize the signs and symptoms and to be aware that this can happen in any community. Bouchard shared, “Michigan is #8 for human trafficking in the country by most reports and that’s not a top ten list we want to be on.”
Sheriff Bouchard gave tips on what to watch out for regarding potential victims:
  • Being forced to work under harsh conditions
  • Working without pay
  • Fearful of leaving
  • Showing signs of injury
  • No freedom of movement
  • Not knowing their address
  • Limited social interaction
  • Mistrust of authorities
  • Worried about immigration status
  • No personal documentation
Southfield Chief of Police Eric Hawkins shared the impact that human trafficking has had on local police departments and their operations from the ground level stating, “When human tracking occurs in our local municipalities, there will be a corresponding increase in major crimes, social disorder, and quality of life complaints.” Hawkins added that it also forces officers to redirect valuable and scarce resources. When a human trafficking crime is suspected or reported, officers must alter their focus to investigate that crime, and, as a result, are taken away from important community policing and youth outreach programs.

Commissioner Eileen Kowall shared that she is honored to serve on the Oakland County Human Trafficking Task Force, and pointed out that it creates an important link to the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission, which has two goals:
  1. Assess the threat human trafficking poses to Michigan residents
  2. Develop policy recommendations to promote its exposure and prevention
Commissioner Kowall introduced Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and noted that, from the time the Attorney General took office, he took on a leadership role in the National Association of Attorneys General Pillars of Hope Initiative, formed the first human trafficking prosecution unit within the department of the Michigan Attorney General, and collaborated with legislators to form the first Michigan Human Trafficking Commission that focused on working with a victim-centered, trauma-informed approach.

Attorney General Schuette thanked the previous speakers, the public, judges, law enforcement, and elected officials for being there and for their partnership. He explained that when he first had the privilege of serving as Attorney General, he formed a bipartisan commission to focus on public awareness, training, data, and tougher penalties. He emphasized the importance of understanding that, men, women, and children who are trafficked are victims, not criminals.

Commissioner Spisz ended the press conference by thanking individuals and organizations for their support and their continued efforts to fight human trafficking, with special thanks directed toward the Oakland County Executive Office, elected officials, representatives from the FBIHomeland SecurityMichigan State Police, local law enforcement, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, and the Oakland County Human Trafficking Task Force. He encouraged the audience members to visit the new website and spread awareness by sharing Oakland County’s social media posts. He also reminded attendees to continue to wear the blue ribbons that were given out in support of Human Trafficking Awareness Month throughout the month of January.

Visit the Oakland County Board of Commissioners for current initiatives and upcoming events online. For more information about their Human Trafficking Task Force, visit their webpage.
Follow along with us on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInPinterest, and YouTube using #OaklandCounty for county news and events, or visit our website.
 

Age-friendly in the future: Engineering contest has students thinking about seniors' needs

Excerpt: 

In Valdada, in the year 2065, senior citizens get help from Herbie, a robotic personal assistant that can cook, clean, have conversations and even use Braille to communicate with the visually impaired.

"It looks like us, but it's animatronic," said Joseph Waller, an eighth-grader from New Era Christian School, who explained Valdada — and Herbies — to visitors at Novi's Suburban Collection Showplace. "It's made by Apple, so you know it's good."

Read more
 

When school's out, outdoor recreation keeps families happy, active

Whether students are out of class for winter break or have an unexpected day off due to weather conditions, embrace the snow and frosty temperatures at Oakland County Parks and Recreation. The 13-park system is a winter wonderland this time of the year with opportunities for nature viewing, outdoor recreation and learning enrichment.

 

Bundle up to enjoy a favorite activity or discover a new interest. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Addison Oaks County Park grooms the 2.5-mile Buhl Lake Trail for skiing. In addition to groomed ski trails, Independence Oaks County Park provides snowshoe and cross-country ski equipment rentals on Saturdays and Sundays. Ungroomed trails are available at Highland Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Rose Oaks county parks.
  • Set out on a winter hike. Take a walk on more than 70 miles of trails after a fresh snow for a breathtaking view. All parks, with the exception of Groveland Oaks County Park and Lyon Oaks Golf Course, are open for short walks and long treks.
  • Take the family ice skating on Crooked Lake in Independence Oaks County Park when conditions permit.
  • Try out fat tire biking at Addison Oaks County Park. Similar to mountain biking, fat tire bikes are built on a frame specifically designed to support wide, knobby tires. These over-sized tires provide a smooth ride, so they fare very well on groomed, snow-covered trail surfaces all season long.
  • Grab your favorite sled, tube or toboggan and head to the family sledding hill in Waterford Oaks County Park.
  • Check out platform tennis, the only racquet sport played outdoors in cold weather. After sow is removed, the courts’ special floor heating units provide a dry playing surface at Waterford Oaks County Park. Membership is required to play; trial memberships are available for new players.
  • Play disc golf year-round at Addison Oaks County Park’s 24-hole course. Disc Golf, also known as Frisbee golf, is played like ball golf, using a flying disc.
  • Let your furry friend run around in the dog parks at Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Red Oaks. Dog parks are typically ope one half-hour before sunrise until half-hour after sunset, or as posted.

Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or click here for a list of winter activities and amenities by park.

 

If you prefer the warmth indoors, participate in interpretative programs at Wint Nature Center and Red Oaks Nature Center or attend the popular cooking demonstrations at the Oakland County Farmers Market. Check out these upcoming events planned for January:

Jan. 13

  • Brownies: Home Scientist is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. Jan. 13 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. Ja. 13. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Animal Investigators is 2-4 p.m. Jan. 13 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Become a nature detective and examine tracks, scat and other animal clues to tell that animal’s story. Make an investigator guide to take home for future animal mysteries then don snowshoes and head outdoors for a wintry walk to discover which animals have been active this season. Snowshoes are provided. Participants must wear boots. A winter walk will be substituted if there is not sufficient snow. This program is appropriate for ages 5 and older. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. Ja. 13 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.

Jan. 14

  • A Platform Tennis Open House is 1:30-3:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Waterford Oaks County Park, 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford. Platform Tennis is the only racquet sport played outdoors in cold weather. After snow is removed, the courts’ special floor heating units provide a dry playing surface. No previous experience needed and no pre-registration is necessary to attend the open house. Instruction will be provided by the Waterford Oaks Paddle Club. Dress for the weather. Tennis shoes required. Extra equipment will be available for first-time players or those who do not have their own paddles or paddle balls. Details: 248-858-0916 weekdays or OakladCountyParks.com.

Jan. 20

  • Bears: Super Science is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. Jan. 20 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. Ja. 20 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • A new educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market begins from 10-11 a.m. Jan. 20 Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Farms, this month’s topic will be “Rise and Shine: A Day in the Life of a Modern Farmer.” Discover the career of the modern farmer and learn what it takes to start a backyard farming adventure. The educational series will be held the third Saturday of the month through April. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • NatureFit: Snowshoe Try It! is 2-4 p.m. Jan. 20 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the history of snowshoes and then head outdoors for a guided snowshoe hike, campfire and snack. This program is appropriate for those ages 5 and older and snowshoes are provided. Participants must wear boots. A winter hike will be substituted if conditions do not permit snowshoeing. Cost is $5/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

Jan. 27

  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. Ja. 27 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. Ja. 27. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Bronwies: Potter is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. Jan. 27 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @OCParksAndRec.


Oakland University bringing Plum Market to campus Fall 2018

Plum Market will become Oakland University’s newest dining partner and will be located in the newly renovated Oakland Center on the university’s Rochester campus.

Plum Market is a privately-owned Michigan-based company operating five full-service grocery stores, a location at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and more than 10 food service operations across Southeast Michigan and Chicago.
 
Plum Market was selected for its variety of healthier and innovative food choices and desire to help build a sense of community around dining. The company specializes in using only the freshest ingredients with an emphasis on organic produce and All Natural meats, and locally-sourced products. Oakland University serves a volume of 23,000 meals a week and just over 350,000 meals each semester.
 
Chris Reed, Director of the Oakland Center, said, “Along with our campus-wide food service vendor Chartwells Higher Education, OU is proud to partner with Plum Market as the flagship dining location in the Oakland Center, which is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion. The Plum Market location will include a CoffeeBar featuring freshly brewed Zingerman’s Coffee, so this opportunity to bring two well-known Michigan-based companies into this highly anticipated facility expansion provides something new and exciting for the OU community.” Plum Market will be the centerpiece on the main level of the new expansion.
 
Students will now have access to Plum Market’s variety of chef crafted options that are made from scratch. Typical menu options will include:
  • A Showcase featuring seasonally fresh composed salads and globally infused recipes
  • All Natural meat and seafood entrées available at our Carving Station
  • Grab & Go artisan sandwiches and Organic snacks
  • All Natural soups with vegetarian choices and meat-based options
  • A CoffeeBar featuring Zingerman’s brewed coffee and freshly baked goods offered daily 
The mission is to recreate how people think about eating.  With the growing attention to food quality and eating healthy, Oakland University and Plum Market’s partnership will focus on quality food, service, and a level of engagement with students and faculty will go beyond to meet the expectations. Plum Market customizes each menu to best fit the specific wants and needs of students and faculty, including accommodating food allergies.

“This is an exciting time for Oakland University, and the relationship with Plum Market will truly enhance the student experience on campus," said Glenn McIntosh, VP for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at OU. "Not only will this help attract new students, but it will also be a destination for the local community to visit campus and become a part of Oakland University.”
 
This program’s goals align directly with Oakland University’s vision to bring healthy, high- quality meals to college dining options.  “We could not be more excited to open this Plum Market location,” said Plum Market CEO and Co-Founder Matt Jonna. “It’s an honor to have our brand complement Oakland University’s newly renovated dining facility. We believe our concept brings fresh and healthy offerings many of the students and staff will appreciate.”
 
About Plum Market: Plum Market is your source for Natural, Organic, and Local food and beverage essentials. The Michigan-based company is privately-owned by Matt and Marc Jonna, and operates five full-service grocery stores across Bloomfield Township, Michigan; West Bloomfield, Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois; and has a location in the McNamara Terminal of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Plum Market’s Food Service division operates more than 10 locations across Southeastern Michigan.  For more information, visit www.plummarket.com, join us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/PlumMarket and follow us @PlumMarket on Twitter and Instagram. 
 
About Oakland University: Oakland University is a doctoral, research university located on 1,443 acres of scenic land in the cities of Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills in Oakland County, Michigan. The University has 140 bachelor's degree programs and 137 graduate degree and certificate programs. Oakland is a nationally recognized public university with nearly 20,000 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, School of Medicine and School of Nursing.

Farmington YMCA gets fitness center makeover

Excerpt

Hard hats and safety vests are not typical attire at the Farmington YMCA, but during the month of December they were standard issue for some Y staff, as well as construction workers who executed a complete makeover of the fitness areas at the Y.

“We are calling this update the Farmington Fitness Experience Makeover,” said Kyle Anderson, Executive Director of the Farmington Family YMCA.  “There are really three areas that will have a complete update,” continued Anderson

Read more

Food drive adds new twist to Milford's MLK Day event

Excerpt

Organizers of the annual Huron Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration will collect soup ingredients the first 14 days of January. 

They’re asking shoppers at Kroger and Matti’s Fresh Market to add seven ingredients to their shopping lists and to donate that food after buying it.

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'Soundings Series' speakers use music to unite, engage community

For nearly a year, the founders of the Soul Food concert series — Mark Stone, associate professor of music at Oakland University, and Dwayne Anthony, community relations specialist and arts commissioner for the city of Pontiac — have been bringing their message of peace and unity through music to the Oakland County community.
 
On Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, they’ll share how they did it — and how others can do it too — during the next installment of Oakland University’s popular Soundings Series, which features examples of faculty successfully taking their research out of the classroom and using it to make a positive difference in the world.
 
The next Soundings Series event — Soul Food: Music as a Ladder and a Bridge — will take place from 3-4:30 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Oakland Room at the Oakland Center.
 
“The overt mission of the Soundings Series is to help faculty on the OU campus learn how to become publicly engaged academics or intellectuals, wherever that may be on the spectrum of public engagement,” said Dave Stone, Ph.D., chief research officer for Oakland University. “The more covert mission is to get people of different disciplines in a room together.”
 
According to Anthony, bringing people together is what Soul Food is all about.
 
“We’re trying to grab all types of musicians, bring them in one room, and share their positivity and music with the community,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re one human race, so let’s promote love and togetherness. That’s what Soul Food is about, and that’s why we think it’s such important work to continue to do that.”
 
Presented by the Pontiac Arts Commission and sponsored by the OU/Pontiac Initiative, Soul Food was inspired by Professor Emeritus Marvin “Doc” Holladay, who established Oakland University’s World Music Program in 1975. It features different groups, representing a diverse range of cultural and spiritual traditions, sharing their message of peace and unity.
 
“One of the jobs of the Pontiac Arts Commission is to be a connector,” said Professor Stone, who also serves on the commission. “I often do find myself acting as a translator between cultural communities. That’s what Soul Food is about; this idea of common humanity that centers around the oneness in humanity. We have all different languages and music, and there are different religions and cultural traditions, but if we dig deep enough to what we’re really about, that’s where we start making the connections.”
 
A leading expert in global percussion performance and education, Stone has performed with the foremost musicians in Uganda, Ghana, Trinidad, South Africa, India and the United States.
 
“A lot of my research can be divided into two areas,” Professor Stone said. “One is researching music traditions, like those from Ghana, and understanding them. The other side is contemporary composition. I’m a composer, so when I go to India, I’m studying the music but at the same time I’m also doing performances with some of the top musicians in India. These are collaborative efforts, and that’s something I think other researchers can relate to because it poses a huge problem to be solved in terms of how you bring these two different traditions together and create something that really connects with an audience.”
 
The Soundings Series event will help faculty learn how to bridge that gap, as well.
 
“If you think about it, when people are singing, they’re singing together,” Anthony said. “They all have the same goal — to make the melody sound right. They’re not thinking ‘I’m black, you’re white’ — they’re just trying to sound good together. Everything else is thrown away in that moment when the music is really good and everyone is singing together. That’s what music does. It unifies. It takes you out of who you are.”
 
The next Soul Food concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 in Varner Recital Hall at Oakland University. Admission is free and the event will be followed by a post-concert reception and discussion led by OU Religious Studies faculty.
 
For more information about the Soundings Series, visit oakland.edu/research/soundings-series. To attend an event, RSVP to Leanne DeVreugd, program assistant for Women in Science, Engineering and Research (WISER) at Oakland University, at ldevreug@oakland.edu.

No. 100: Beaumont's Kidney Transplant Program reaches milestone

Kathryn Harvard, 60, of Ortonville, became the 100th patient to receive a kidney transplant at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak on Wednesday, Dec. 13. This marks the first time Beaumont Health’s Multi-Organ Transplant team has performed 100 kidney transplants in one year, doubling the number from a decade ago. Less than a quarter of the 244 kidney transplant programs in the U.S. perform 100 or more kidney transplants in a calendar year.

Alan Koffron, M.D., transplant surgeon and chief of Beaumont Health’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program, said, “This is monumental for several reasons, but mainly indicative of the enormous amount of effort and drive the team has put forth becoming a large kidney transplant program nationally, while maintaining superior results during this growth.”

Medical Director of the Beaumont Multi-Organ Transplant Center, Dilip Samarapungavan, M.D., attributes this growth to the pioneering efforts of the Kidney Transplant Program. He explained, “It is the combination of an innovative use of scarce donor organs, along with major efforts at finding the appropriate live donor so they might save a life, but also with donor safety a priority. We also have an incredible team that works relentlessly to ensure a successful outcome for every patient.”

The Beaumont Transplant Program offers advanced protocols tailored to the individual patient, balancing risk and benefit to provide the best possible results for each person. Based on Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data, Beaumont has the shortest average wait time of 2.9 years for adult kidney transplants in Southeast Michigan – about two years shorter on average.

Since the inception of Beaumont’s kidney transplant program in 1972, more than 2,500 transplants have been performed.
Year to date, the Beaumont Multi-Organ Transplant Center has performed 100 kidney transplants and 26 liver transplants.

Beaumont’s Multi-Organ Transplantation Program
Beaumont Health’s Multi-Organ Transplantation program offers the latest technology and minimally invasive surgical techniques for kidney and liver procedures with a team comprised of highly trained surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians, kidney specialists, liver specialists, social workers, dietitians and financial consultants. The transplant team has pioneered innovations such as minimally invasive liver-directed therapy (liver tumors) and laparoscopic liver donation. Find out more at www.beaumont.org/transplant.

Allegiant increases summer flights to 126 nonstop flights in 2018, up from 52 in 2017

Allegiant is adding flights to Flint for the third time since they started serving the airport in April of 2016. Starting in May, the “sun and fun” airline will increase their ultra-low cost flights to Florida. Their summer flying from Flint will more than double year-over-year, from 52 in 2017 to 126 in 2018. Most flights will be flown on beautiful A320 aircraft.

On a weekly basis, the schedule will be:

                 Destination                            Flights per Week

  • Orlando/Sanford                                 5
  • Tampa Bay/St. Pete                            4
  • Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda                       2


“Allegiant has really become a part of the fiber of our airport,” stated Airport Director, Craig Williams.  “We couldn’t be more delighted to be able to offer the passengers of Southeast Michigan additional ultra-low cost, nonstop jet service to Florida.  Bishop Airport has a long history of providing the region with amazing access to top leisure destinations. We couldn’t be happier to continue growing that tradition with Allegiant."

Tickets are on sale now.  Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found only at Allegiant.com. Allegiant offers a unique option to travelers with low base fares and savings on rental cars and hotels. Travelers can book their entire vacation with Allegiant for less.


PROSPER 2018 Magazine tells the Oakland County story

PROSPER 2018, the official county magazine spotlighting Oakland County as a business and quality of life destination, is now available in various locations throughout the county and the state.

In its 12th year, the free full-color magazine tells Oakland County’s story through the people who make the county a preferred location to live, work, play and prosper. It features communities, education and businesses in its 100 pages. It includes a 16-page photo essay – “Pictures Tell the Story” – with custom images taken from various locations in the county throughout the year including Somerset Collection in Troy, the M1 Concourse in Pontiac and the Adventure Park at West Bloomfield, the largest forest climbing park in Michigan.

Ferndale’s eclectic gathering spot Otus Supply is featured on the cover.

“PROSPER provides a snapshot of the exciting people and businesses in Oakland County,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “It profiles many of our technology businesses, talented young leaders and quality of life elements that make our county such a wonderful place to live and work.”

The magazine includes sections on talented entrepreneurs, downtowns, technology, urban living and why international companies covet an Oakland County business address.

The magazine is funded by support from Oakland County communities, businesses and organizations. It is available in Oakland County public libraries, selected communities, schools, upscale hotels, Michigan Department of Transportation welcome centers throughout the state and Cobo Center in Detroit. PROSPER was produced by Hour Custom Publishing, a division of Hour Media.

A digital version is available at www.AdvantageOakland.com and www.OaklandCountyProsper.com.
 

Radon test kits Are half price during National Radon Action Month

January is National Radon Action Month, and Oakland County Health Division encourages residents to purchase radon test kits for only $5 this month to test their homes for the potentially harmful gas. OCHD recommends testing homes for radon during the cooler months as windows and doors remain closed.

“Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall, but it is preventable,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, Oakland County health officer. “We are offering radon test kits at half price to help Oakland County families protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Radon test kits for homes are available for purchase at Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield:
  • North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph, Building 34E, Pontiac
  • South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
Office hours are Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. To purchase more than 15 radon kits, please call 248-858-1312 to preorder. Please note that Health Division offices will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 15.

“You cannot see or smell radon,” said Stafford. “Testing your home is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk of radon exposure.”

Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible, odorless gas that is usually harmless outdoors. When the gas is trapped in a building or home, however, it can be a health hazard. The Environmental Protection Agency says there is moderate potential for elevated radon levels in Oakland County homes.

If high levels of radon are found, contact OCHD’s Environmental Health Services at 248-858-1312 in Pontiac or 248-424-7191 in Southfield. Visit www.oakgov.com/health or www.epa.gov/radon for more information.

For up-to-date public health information, visit www.oakgov.com/health, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter, or call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533.
 

County employees set record for Casual Day donations

Oakland County employees donated a record amount of nearly $60,000 to support local charities this year through the county’s Casual Day program, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said during a special ceremony today in downtown Birmingham. On Casual Day, employees in participating departments and divisions may donate $1 to wear jeans or dress casually.

Patterson presented 21 organizations with checks totaling $30,500 during the event. Receiving Casual Day funds for the first time was Clarkston Community Schools Media Center, Humble Design in Pontiac, Neighbor for Neighbor in Springfield Twp., and Scarlet’s Smile in Commerce Twp. County employees also donated $19,484 during a special Casual Week from Thursday, Aug. 31 – Friday, Sept. 8 to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Employees gave an additional $9,700 during four Special Casual Days this year. A Special Casual Day is one that has a designated recipient.

“Oakland County employees are among the most generous individuals I know,” Patterson said. “They are eager to help not only our Oakland County neighbors but also our neighbors 1,000 miles away. Casual Day is just one of the many ways our employees give back to the community.”

This year’s 21 Casual Day recipients were:
  • American Diabetes Association, Southfield
  • Canine Advocacy Program, Novi
  • CARE House, Pontiac
  • Children’s Village Foundation, Pontiac
  • Clarkston Community Schools Media Center, Clarkston
  • D-MAN Foundation, Rochester Hills
  • Donate Life Coalition of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Grace Centers of Hope, Pontiac
  • Helping Hearts Helping Hands, Clarkston
  • Humble Design, Pontiac
  • Kids Kicking Cancer, Southfield
  • Neighbor for Neighbor, Springfield
  • Oakland County Pioneer & Historical Society, Pontiac
  • Operation Injured Soldiers, South Lyon
  • Oxford/Orion FISH, Lake Orion
  • Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Rochester
  • Pink Ribbon Trail Blazers, Lake Orion
  • Scarlet’s Smile, Commerce
  • The Rainbow Connection, Rochester
  • Toys for Tots, Waterford
  • Walk the Line to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery, Southfield
Since its inception in 1993, Oakland County employees have donated over $850,000, touching the lives of thousands of people. No taxpayer funds are used in the Casual Day program.
 

Holiday shopping means cash and prizes for winners in Small Business Saturday to Saturday promotion

Holiday buying turned lucrative for three area residents as they shared $7,500 in cash and prizes, just for making a purchase in Oakland County during the “Small Business Saturday to Saturday” promotion.

Waterford resident Pam McCoy was the grand prize winner of $5,000, courtesy of North American Bancard, for making a purchase at the Pigeon in the Parlour in Holly. She was given her check today by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson during a news conference at The Bird & The Bread in Birmingham.

“It’s nice to provide extra holiday cheer to this year’s contest winners and help small businesses in Oakland County attract more shoppers,” Patterson said. “Thanks to everyone who helped make ‘Small Business Saturday to Saturday’ a success. The holiday shopping season is critical to so many of the independent stores, restaurants and other businesses in our communities.”

Royal Oak resident Marion Reich won the second place prize of $2,000 from Bank of Ann Arbor for making a purchase at Atomic Coffee in Royal Oak. Richard Aginian of Bloomfield Hills won the third place prize of a $500 Southwest Airlines ticket voucher, courtesy of Flint Bishop International Airport. He made a purchase at the Tennis and Golf Company in Royal Oak. MaryAnn Brostek and Elyse Vermilye, the salespeople at the Pigeon in the Parlour in Holly who helped McCoy with her shopping split $500, courtesy of the Bank of Ann Arbor.

“Small Business Saturday to Saturday” encouraged holiday shoppers to make purchases at small, independently-owned, brick and mortar businesses. It attracted a record 1,156 entries from across Oakland County. Shoppers entered the contest by uploading copies of their sales receipts to a special website. Promotion receipts totaled more than $67,000 in sales. Winners were picked in a random drawing.

Shoppers could buy goods and services at any qualified small business in Oakland County but 250 businesses registered for the promotion and had a chance to win $1,000, courtesy of CEED Lending. The winner was Kimberly Alverson, owner of Goldfish Tea in Royal Oak.

The Birmingham Shopping District asked the county to conduct a random drawing of 16 names from all the entries that submitted receipts from Birmingham small businesses. The top winner, Amy Baum of Birmingham, received a necklace valued at $670 from Astrein's Creative Jewelers. Christina Wincek of Birmingham, the second place winner, received two airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States from Departure Travel Management.

“We hope more communities and chambers will partner with us next year to increase the positive economic impact of the contest,” Patterson said.
 
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