Tickets on sale now for OneMacomb’s first-ever Celebration of Black Excellence

This February, the country will recognize Black History Month, four weeks to honor and celebrate the long history and contributions of black Americans. OneMacomb, an organization dedicated to promoting multiculturalism and inclusion here in Macomb County, recently announced that it will recognize this period with a first-annual Celebration of Black Excellence, presented by Consumers Energy. The event will be held on Saturday, February 23 at the Macomb County Family Resource Center (196 N Rose St, Mt Clemens) and will feature a vendor and resource expo during the day and a ticketed awards gala in the evening.

“Hosting this first-ever event will not only pay tribute to the contributions of lifelong residents in Macomb County’s black communities, it will also connect newer residents and youth to the rich history many of us recall with pride,” said Rhonda Powell, director of Macomb County Health and Community Services and executive committee member of OneMacomb. “It is especially important to do this during the national celebration of Black History Month, a time when the country pays tribute to the generations of African Americans who have faced tremendous obstacles yet continue to overcome adversity and achieve great things.”

mcbe_webThe Celebration of Black Excellence will begin on the morning of February 23 with the vendor and resource expo starting at 10 a.m. and running until 2 p.m. A variety of small businesses and organizations will have a presence during this portion of the event, which is free and open to the public. Those on site will sell items ranging from food to clothing. Others will provide services like health screenings and financial assistance. All told, more than 20 vendors are expected, including several young entrepreneurs (17-years-old and under) within the children’s business section. Those interested in participating and setting up a booth can find more information on costs and set up in the vendor information packet here. They may also contact Veronica at 586-823-2135 or Antoinette at 586-722-8645 with questions.

The celebration will continue in the evening with an awards gala at 6 p.m. During the gala, five yet-to-be-announced individuals will receive honors for community involvement, athletics, business, education and the arts. Dinner and live entertainment will follow the awards ceremony. Tickets for this portion of the event are on sale now. They cost $35 per person and can be purchased here.

Sponsorships for the Celebration of Black Excellence are also available. Businesses and individuals interested can contact Pam Lavers at 586-493-4877 or at lavers@macombgov.org with the subject line “Black Excellence Sponsor.”

“Our OneMacomb sub-committee has done an awesome job planning this event and we are proud of the level of support and interest we’ve received from the business community, but there’s still time to get involved,” said Macomb County Deputy Executive and Chair of OneMacomb Pam Lavers.

More information on the Celebration of Black Excellence event can be found here or at WeAreOneMacomb.com.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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12 months of free art programming announced by the Anton Art Center

Art lovers rejoice! The Anton Art Center has announced new programming for 2019 – SatARTdays! The events, which are presented by First State Bank as part of the center’s 50th anniversary, are free and feature a variety of art activities and performances for the community.

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“As a reflection of our longtime commitment to enrich and inspire people of all ages through the arts, we are excited to unveil this new program during our 50th anniversary year,” said Anton Art Center Executive Director Phil Gilchrist. “The interactive nature of many of these programs will provide many unique opportunities to experience the arts firsthand, and thanks to the generosity of First State Bank, our community will be able to participate for free.”

antonActivities will take place on the second Saturday of each month in 2019 at the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens. The first three events include:

Saturday, January 12, 2019, 5-9pm: Body Marbling Activation with BL Visuals
From the Black Light Visuals website (www.blacklightvisuals.com): Black Light Visuals was created by College for Creative Studies alumnus Brad Lawrence. Diagnosed with chronic tendonitis in his wrists at the age of 23, Brad could no longer draw or sculpt. Motivated by friend and Purple Heart Marine Michael Zach, Brad revisited abstract painting as art therapy. The duo debuted Body Marbling at Electric Forest Festival in 2013; traveling and painting became their road to rehabilitation.
*Please note: This is a drop-in event. Attendees can participate in an activity during their time at the center.

Saturday, February 9, 2019, 7:30-9pm: Michigan Opera Theatre
From the Michigan Opera Theatre website (www.michiganopera.org): Michigan Opera Theatre is the premier multi-disciplined producer and presenter for opera, musical theatre, and dance in the Great Lakes Region. Based in the city of Detroit, the organization engages artists of national and international stature for stellar main stage and outreach performances, and provides compelling cultural enrichment programs for the diverse audiences and communities that it serves, making it one of Detroit’s pillars of arts and culture.

Saturday, March 9, 2019, 6-8pm: Detroit Children’s Choir
From the Detroit Children’s Choir website (www.detroitchildrenschoir.org): The Detroit Children’s Choir is made up of more than 300 students in grades 3-12, who have a passion and love for singing. Choir members come from a variety of cities in Southeast Michigan, representing a range of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Children receive music literacy, sight reading skills and vocal technique along with the opportunity to perform on stages in the Detroit metro area. The Detroit Children’s Choir is committed to developing young leaders who will bring about positive change across our city and region.
*Please note: This event will feature a 45 minute performance by the choir. Exact timing of the performance is TBD.

For more information on SatARTdays, visit http://theartcenter.org.

The Anton Art Center is located at 125 Macomb Pl., Mount Clemens, Michigan, 48043. It is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and admission is free. To learn more, check out the center on Facebook (AntonArtCenter), Twitter (@AntonArtCenter) and Instagram (AntonArtCenter).

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Posted in arts, community, culture, Mount Clemens | Leave a comment

Places to go….when we eventually get snow?!

Many of us here in Metro Detroit are dreaming of a white Christmas. But according to the latest news reports, snow before the holiday is unlikely. Which unfortunately means we have to wait for the snowball fights, snow angels and snowmen. And while that isn’t exactly what we wanted to hear, it means we have some time to plan activities for when we eventually accumulate some fresh powder.

So – here’s some ideas of what to do and where to go when the weather is frosty and we eventually get snow:

  • Try out cross country skiing: This form of skiing requires skiers to use their own power to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance. Here in Macomb County, there are several places to practice pexels-photo-1271133this sport – including Freedom Hill County Park, Lake St. Clair Metropark and Wolcott Mills.
  • Go ice skating: Most anyone can ice skate – all you have to do is try! So whether you’re a seasoned skating pro or a first-timer, we recommend checking out the Warren Community Center Park, Romeo Community Center or Mae Stecker Park (in Shelby Township).
  • Enjoy a day of sledding: This classic winter activity only requires something for you to sit on as you glide down a hill or slippery surface. So bring your toboggans, tubes or saucers to one of Macomb County’s many parks, like Beaver Creek Park (Sterling Heights), Spindler Park (Eastpointe) or Beebe Street Park (Richmond). A day spent enjoying this winter activity will surely be fun for the entire family!

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You can find additional places to ski, skate, sled, ice fish, play ice hockey and snowboard in Macomb County through our interactive map. This resource allows you to easily search for locations and activities ahead of your next winter outing. OR, if you’d rather stay warm and toasty indoors this season, we also have listings that feature local bowling alleys, roller rinks, amusements centers, bounce houses and trampoline centers. So no matter your extracurricular preference, MMYH has you covered.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Posted in family friendly, Fun, outdoor, winter | Leave a comment

Ring in the New Year in downtown Mount Clemens

‘Tis the season to start making your New Year’s Eve plans! And the MMYH blog has you covered.

nyeLooking for something fun and festive that the whole family can enjoy? We suggest the New Year’s Eve Gala in downtown Mount Clemens. The event is free and features elements for everyone. For instance, organizers are hosting New Year’s Eve in Never Never Land for children and families from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Planned activities for the evening include:

4 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Characters in Restaurants
Spiderman at Gus’ Coney Island – 55 North Main Street
Sky at O’Halloran’s – 112 Macomb Place
Chase at Orleans – 100 Macomb Place

4 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Fantasy Face Painting*
Gus’ Coney Island
*Small fee applies

4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Warming Activity Center
70 Macomb Place
Pirates, crafts, carless drive-in movie, snack bar

4 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Pony Rides* and Petting Zoo
On North Walnut Street
*Small fee applies

4 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Coloring Craft
Subway – 75 North Main Street

4:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. – Train Rides
On North Walnut Street

5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. – Magic Show
Masonic Temple – 65 North Walnut Street, 2nd Floor

8:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. – Story time with Fairy Godmother*
ABC Magic Shop – 69 North Walnut
**Limited seating; tickets can be purchased in advance at ABC Magic Shop

9 p.m. – Children’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks
Main Stage on Main Street at the Clock Tower

Once the Never Never Land fireworks are over, Metro Detroit’s best New Year’s Eve party starts! At 9:30 p.m., the Mount Clemens Has Talent Karaoke event will take over Main Street. Then, at 11:55 p.m., there will be a New Year’s Eve 50/50 raffle drawing. The event will conclude with a fantastic fireworks display at midnight. What better way to ring in 2019?!

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Posted in events, family friendly, Fun, Mount Clemens | Leave a comment

Macomb County progress and initiatives celebrated at 8th annual State of the County address

Wow! The 8th annual State of the County address certainly was incredible. Did you get a chance to tune in and watch the livestream? If you did, you heard about the many  positive developments that occurred over the last year. But if you didn’t, you’re likely wondering what happened. No worries — the MMYH blog has you covered. Here’s our recap of the event:

SOC-0063Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel delivered the 8th annual State of the County address at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts last night, touting several metrics as evidence of the county’s progress. Those metrics include population, educational attainment, median incomes, employment, housing and financial stability. Positive statistics within each of those categories demonstrate Macomb County’s growth:

  • Population: Nearly 4,000 new residents made Macomb their home last year. And with 11 percent of the county’s residents born outside of the United States, its cultural diversity continues to grow as well.
  • Educational attainment: Since 2010, Macomb County’s educational profile has added more than 35,000 associate, bachelor and graduate degrees.
  • Income: In 2017, Macomb’s annual median household income increased to more than $60,000. Several years ago, that amount had fallen below the state average; it is now nine percent higher.
  • Employment: Macomb County’s workforce grew to more than 445,000 individuals and unemployment dropped to four percent. Two specific examples that highlight why employment is strong:
    • Over 4,700 contracts worth more than $2 billion were awarded by the Department of Defense to Macomb County companies in 2017.
    • Major automotive investments are creating expansion opportunities for the county’s world-class supplier network of more than 1,600 manufacturing firms.
  • Housing: In 2018, the county added more than 1,500 new housing units and the median home value increased by more than $8,000.
  • Financial stability: For the 8th consecutive year, the county has adopted a balanced budget and continues to maintain a AA+ bond rating.

SOC-0040“Clearly, all of these positive metrics provide convincing reasons why people want to make Macomb their home,” Executive Hackel said. “In fact, that phrase – “Make Macomb Your Home” – has been able to capture the true spirit of what we are building here; a thriving place that people are proud to call home.”

In addition to addressing these data points, Hackel also discussed how Macomb County is a leader in information technology and cybersecurity.

“More than 400 companies make up Macomb County’s information technology network, and they employ more than 9,000 highly trained workers,” he said. “The national average for employment growth in these professions over the past five years is 9.5 percent. Here in Macomb County, it has been 132 percent.”

This growth has accelerated the need for different resources and training that will ready the workforce for new opportunities. During the State of the County, Hackel announced two new initiatives that will address these needs:

  • A first-of-its-kind Robotics Collaboration and Innovation Center planned for Macomb County. The center will aim to increase awareness and opportunity within the robotics and IT ecosystem by offering tools, programs and expert assistance in an open environment for creative people.
  • A recently launched “Fueling the Talent Pipeline” effort. This service platform will allow employers and educators to connect, share resources and help students become aware of future career opportunities. More information on this initiative is available at http://business.macombgov.org/business-FuelingTalent.

SOC-0071The event concluded with Executive Hackel inviting Nevaeh McIntosh, a visually impaired 9th grade student from Glenn Peters School, on to the stage for an inspirational vocal performance. Singing Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” Nevaeh received a standing ovation from the more than 1,000 attendees.

To watch the entire State of the County address, visit http://executive.macombgov.org/Executive-SOTC-2018.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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How you can watch the 8th annual State of the County address tomorrow

As we close out 2018, it is important to reflect on the work being done in our Macomb County communities that improves quality of life and provides opportunities and resources. Whether this be large-scale public projects like fixing Mound Road or smaller initiatives that connect people in need with health and human services; it’s this work that makes Macomb a great place to call home. We should be proud of this and celebrate our successes. Our State of the County address gives us the opportunity to do just that.

The State of the County is an annual event that features remarks delivered by County Executive Mark A. Hackel. His address, which normally lasts just under an hour, will feature news and numbers related to various Macomb County departments, including Planning and Economic Development, Veterans Services and Community Mental Health. It also features updates on initiatives like OneMacomb and the efforts to prepare talent for our workforce. All told, it will be educational and impressive.

Interested in watching? The address will be delivered December 5 (tomorrow) at 6 p.m. Here’s how you can tune in:

  • The State of the County will be broadcast live on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/user/makemacombyourhome/live
  • You can also access links to watch the address by visiting Macombgov.org.
  • WDET-FM 101.9 will broadcast the address tape delayed at 8pm.
  • Highlights of the speech will be tweeted as they happen on Macomb County’s news Twitter account @MacombNewsNow.

Hoping to engage with the county and others watching? Use #MacombSOC to join the conversation on social media. We look forward to seeing all of the feedback!

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Posted in community, events, macomb county, Make Macomb Your Home | Leave a comment

Shop Local Macomb: Two Romeo Girls offers one-of-a-kind gifts and unparalleled service

There’s something special about shopping at a small business. And that starts with the inventory. Local retailers always have a unique item on sale; something you just have to have. Perhaps it’s handmade or crafted by a local artisan. Maybe it’s vintage. Either way, that item is one-of-a-kind and you likely can’t get it anywhere else.

romstoreBut the inventory isn’t the only feature that makes shopping small special; it’s also the owners and staff. Right when you walk in the door of a local retailer, these individuals greet you with a smile; offer their help and guidance with a purchase. They are kind and friendly. They treat you like family. You just don’t get that level of service at the big-box retailers. And only when you begin shopping local do you start to see the difference. So today, I am asking you to shop small at Two Romeo Girls – where you’ll find locally-made gifts and unparalleled service from its friendly owner, Debbie Wingert.

Debbie opened the store in Romeo six years ago in a temporary space. After moving around a bit, she now calls a beautiful building on Main Street home. The 1,700-square-foot space is filled with hand-painted furniture and wares from local artisans. If you stop in, you’ll surely find a gift for anyone on your list. For instance, there’s home décor, handmade gloves, jewelry, hand-poured soy candles, soaps, hand-painted art, books from local authors and fun, vintage finds.

Prices start at $5, so there’s something for everyone’s budget. And when you shop here, you can feel good knowing that the store supports two important causes:

  • The Healing Nest: A Washington Township-based resource that offers cancer patients the opportunity to receive meaningful relaxation, massages, facials and other spa services at no cost in a warm and nurturing environment.
  • Chasing Butterflies: Local artisan Denise Kappa creates beautiful glass sculptures and garden art and sells them at Two Romeo Girls. The art is made in memory of her late son and proceeds from its sale go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Outside of the unique product offering and support for local causes, Debbie prides herself on that fact that she can befriend every customer that walks in the front door. She talks with each visitor, getting to know their story and helping them find exactly what they need. It’s that level of service that makes Two Romeo Girls a must-shop destination in Macomb County.

Two Romeo Girls is located in downtown Romeo at 227 North Main Street. Its hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Noon to 4 p.m. This coming Saturday, Dec. 1, the store will remain open until 7 p.m. during the Romeo Christmas Walk. For more information and updates, visit the Two Romeo Girls Facebook page here. And to find other independently owned and operated stores and retailers in Macomb County, visit our searchable map.

 

When you shop local this holiday season, you can enter for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards (donated by First State Bank)! To be considered, snap a photo of your shopping, submit it and share using #ShopLocalMacomb between Nov. 23 and Dec. 2. Five lucky winners will be randomly selected during a live Facebook drawing at noon on Monday, Dec. 3. For details visit makemacombyourhome.com/shoplocal

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Posted in #ShopLocalMacomb, romeo, Shop Local, Shop Local Macomb, small business | Leave a comment