Rainbow Connection & D-MAN Foundation receive Casual Day donations

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson distributed $34,000 among 17 southeast Michigan organizations including St. Josaphat Church in Detroit, whose steeple was damaged by wind in November, during a ceremony in the lobby of the Executive Office Building today. The funds were raised by county employees over the course of 2013 from Casual Day donations.

121113 Recipients

“Our county employees are generous and love to support deserving organizations,” Patterson said. “Casual Day is one of many ways our employees give back throughout the year.”

Casual Day recipients for 2013 are:

  • American Diabetes Association – Bingham Farms
  • Baldwin Center – Pontiac
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Council (CARE House) – Pontiac
  • D-MAN Foundation – Rochester Hills
  • 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 – Clarkston
  • Kids Kicking Cancer – Detroit
  • McLaren Children’s Clinic – Pontiac
  • Oakland County Pioneer & Historical Society – Pontiac
  • Oakland Parks Foundation – Waterford
  • Oxford/Orion FISH – Orion Township
  • Rainbow Connection – Rochester
  • St. Josaphat Church – Detroit
  • Walk the Line to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery – Southfield

In addition, more than $5,000 was given to five other organizations or individuals during the course of the year.

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 21 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.

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.

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.

Give-a-Christmas Year Around: This Royal Oak-based non-profit, Give-a-Christmas Year Around, 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.

HAVEN: HAVEN is a nationally-recognized nonprofit leader in Oakland County that promotes a world of safe, equal and accountable communities where sexual assault and domestic violence do not exist. Its mission is to eliminate sexual assault and domestic violence and to empower survivors through advocacy and social change in and around Oakland County.

Helping Hearts Helping Hands: Erica Cale is the founder of Helping Hearts Helping Hands. 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 Clinic: Opened in 1995 and the only one of its kind in the county, McLaren Oakland Children’s Health Services provides free health care services to more than 2,500 patients each year. Children from birth through 18 years of age receive acute and preventative health care services, including wellness exams, immunizations and specialty care. The clinic has able to reduce the number of emergency room visits and significantly raise the rate of immunized children in our community.

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.

Oakland Parks Foundation: In 1982, the Oakland Parks Foundation was created as a private, not-for-profit organization for the purpose of raising money to support the continued development and programming of the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission. Through the generous support of donors and the efforts of volunteers, local businesses, and community leaders, the Foundation was successful in funding a number of annual recreation programs, special events, and unique development projects. Notable successes include the construction of the Cohn Amphitheater and the Rubach Sensory Garden at the Lewis Wint Nature Center and the restoration of the historic, Victorian style Buhl Milk-House at the Addison Oaks Buhl Estate. The Foundation was also instrumental in funding and guiding the 1989 Fundraising Planning Study for Orion Oaks, the first feasibility study on the use of capital campaigns to fund major development of recreational amenities in Oakland County.

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.

St. Josaphat: The iconic St. Josaphat Roman Catholic Church was founded on June 1, 1889. It has graced Detroit’s skyline since 1901. This late Victorian Romanesque style church was completed by Joseph G. Kastler and William B. N. Hunter. Local carpenters, Harcus and Lang and the Jermolowicz Brothers, were the builders. The church also features some gothic and Baroque details. The main steeple is 200 feet tall while the side steeples are each 100 feet tall. The steeple was damaged in a November 15, 2013 wind storm. The parish estimates it will take hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.

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.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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