Brave a Shave for Kids with Cancer comes to Macomb County in March

When Jenn Case, owner of Chaos Studio Salon in Mount Clemens, was approached about her business participating in the upcoming Brave a Shave for Kids with Cancer event put on by St. Baldrick’s Foundation, she immediately said “yes.”

“When my guest told me about it, I immediately knew it was something we had to be a part of,” said Case. “This charity is super close to our hearts because of what we do every day. We are the ones who shave our guests’ heads when they begin chemotherapy, and we see the battle they endure from the beginning. We have had several guests pass away – as well as their family members – from various cancers and feel like it’s our duty to be more involved in helping to find a cure for this terrible disease. When cancer affects children, as moms ourselves, we can’t help but want to help even more in any way we can. No child should ever have to feel alone in their fight against cancer.”

baldricksAccording to Michael Fiscus (pictured above), volunteer event organizer for Brave a Shave for Kids with Cancer, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

On March 11, St. Baldrick’s is again coming to the Village of Romeo. Main Street will be shut down, and a massive tent will be put up to house the main stage. There will be live music, kids’ activities, fun for the whole family and, of course, plenty of shaving.


Currently, St. Baldrick’s is looking for 100 new volunteers to brave the shave in 2017.

Case and seven of her staff will be there.

chaos1“I got Team Chaos on board, and we decided to take a Saturday off and volunteer in any way we could,” she said. “As stylists, Saturdays are our biggest day, but we couldn’t help but feel like this was something that would make a difference for children with cancer worldwide.”

Case is right.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any other organization. Since the foundation’s first grants as an independent charity in 2005, St. Baldrick’s has funded more than $154 million to support the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world. In the course of the last nine years, St. Baldrick’s has raised a cumulative total of more than $2 million, with every penny of every donation going directly to the foundation.

In Romeo last year, St. Baldrick’s raised over $305,432, shaving more than 300 heroes, ranking as the largest fundraiser for childhood cancer research in Michigan. More than 5,000 people came out for the event.

“Anyone can register as a volunteer or a shavee to help the cause,” said Case. “Our team goal is to raise $1,000, and whoever we can get as shavees will be above and beyond our goal amount! Several of our husbands will be getting their heads shaved that day as well!”

To sign up to volunteer, visit Chaos Studio Salon, 116 Macomb Place in downtown Mount Clemens, will also have a charity box where people can donate to the cause.

Sarah (Cormier) Davis works for the Macomb County Executive Office as a communications specialist.

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Make sure this mid-winter break is, well, a break

It’s the middle of February; I know I’m not the only one going stir crazy. I can’t wait until things warm up (although this winter has been quite mild) so my 19 month old and I can play outside for longer periods of time.

And with many Macomb County school districts going on mid-winter break next week, spring fever is going to be at an all-time high, as parents try to come up with unique ways to keep their children occupied while home from school. I’ve compiled a list to try to keep us all sane until the end of winter:

Parks and recreation enthusiasts
Check with your local Parks and Recreation department to see what seasonal offerings are scheduled. The Warren Community Center boasts an indoor waterpark comprised of a lap pool, pool basketball, waterslide, lazy river and play structure complete with a water cannon and waterfall. Other nice amenities for adults include a sauna, steam room and fitness room. Play miniature golf any day of the week at Jawor’s on Gratiot in Roseville. It has an 18-hole course for kids of all ages and is open year-round.

ice-fishingGet hands-on and join your kid for a skate around the rink. The St. Clair Shores Ice Arena and Mount Clemens Ice Arena both have public skating hours and learn-to-skate programs.

Pack on the layers and head out to one of Macomb County’s Metroparks. Weather permitting, Lake St. Clair Metropark offers ice fishing, cross-country skiing and outdoor ice skating. Snowshoe or cross-country ski across marked trails at Stony Creek Metropark, or head over to the winter sports area with hills to snowboard, sled or toboggan.

Indoor rompers
If running around outside in the winter just isn’t your thing, trust me, I get it. Macomb County has plenty of indoor entertainment facilities geared toward getting off some steam. Try Chuck E. Cheese in Roseville or Sterling Heights. Jungle Java in Clinton Township is an indoor play center with a sports court and laser maze. It includes a separate cjstoddler play area and a full menu.

Let the kids burn off energy at the Bounce House in New Baltimore, St. Clair Shores or Sterling Heights. It consists of giant inflatable slides, moon walks and an obstacle course along with arcade games that might even entertain mom and dad. Try Airtime in Sterling Heights or Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Shelby Township for open jumping on wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits, dodgeball and basketball. Although normally closed during the week in winter, CJ Barrymore’s is holding special hours over mid-winter break.

Library lovers
libraryI remember during all school breaks, especially summer, my mom still made me study! She believed that too long of time away from school made it that much more difficult to get back into the swing of learning when you did go back. Often overlooked, local libraries offer an abundance of programs for little ones and, for teenagers, an opportunity to still expand knowledge when on break. For example, at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, the Clinton-Macomb Public Library is offering the Crazy 8’s Math Club, for kids in kindergarten through eighth-grade to learn more about math. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, the Mount Clemens Public Library has Drop-In Family Storytime.

Arts and culture supporters
antonMacomb County offers an abundance of art and culture experiences for youth. Check out some of the performances and classes that may be available for youth during this time of year.
Macomb Center for the Performing Arts (Clinton Township)
Clintondale Community Theatre (Clinton Township)
Anton Art Center (Mount Clemens)
Plaster Playhouse (Shelby Township)

Cinema seekers
movieIf all else fails, a good movie and some delicious popcorn should keep the family entertained for a few hours!
Emagine Macomb (Macomb Township)
AMC Star Gratiot 21 (Clinton Township)
MJR Partridge Creek Digital Cinema 14 (Clinton Township)

Mall madness
kids-clubMacomb County is home to a few great malls: Partridge Creek, Macomb and Lakeside.

On Feb. 20, Kids Club is presenting Mad Science Spin, Pop, Boom!, a free event for kids ages 10 and under from 11 a.m. to noon in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Court at Macomb Mall. Children will be entertained as they are able to interact with Kids Club’s mad scientists.

Most of all, no matter what you decide to do this break, know Macomb County has you covered!

Sarah Cormier works for the Macomb County Executive Office as a communications specialist.

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Nostalgic candy and more at Roger’s Bulk Candy Shop

For many of us, Valentine’s Day is a time to indulge our sweet side. We go out of our way to be kind to our friends, families, neighbors, coworkers and significant others, and this usually includes plying them with sugary candy. If you’re looking for some really unique sweets this Valentine’s Day, shop at Roger’s Bulk Candy Shop on 9 Mile Road in Eastpointe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith a modest exterior, Roger’s takes on a Wonka-like atmosphere when you walk through the door. The walls are lined with glass jars, bins and barrels overflowing with bright pieces of candy. They carry every kind of confectionary you can think of, but what is especially impressive is their selection of nostalgic candy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome of the memorable brands Roger’s carries date back more than 100 years, like Taffy Town. Other candies like Squirrels, Bit-O-Honey and Black Jacks were developed in the 1920s. And there are plenty more candies that have stood the test of time such as Mary Janes, Candy Buttons, Turkish Taffy, Slo Pokes, Astro Pops and ZotZ.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoger’s also carries all of today’s kids’ favorite treats like gummy bears, lollipops, Swedish Fish, Runts, Jolly Ranchers, Skittles and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. With malt balls, chocolate-covered almonds, pecan turtles and classic name-brand candy bars, there is plenty of chocolate to choose from as well.

I spoke with owner Roger Berro who said he opened the business eight years ago because there was a need in the area for a specialty candy shop. Generations of his family have been in the retail business, and he said business is their passion. As he showed me around the shop, Berro was like a candy librarian, pointing out different popular candies and giving me a little history about each of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe shop originally only sold candy and later expanded to ice cream. Now they also carry Mediterranean food like grape leaves, tabouli and spinach and meat pies. Additionally, they offer habanero pistachios, Jordan almonds, jumbo salted cashews and other specialty nuts. Their freshly made smoothies and 52 flavors of Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream are extremely popular in the summer.

While I was there, a woman was buying candy for her daughter’s shower. Berro said they are a popular destination for people putting together candy tables for graduation parties, showers and weddings. Customers can purchase anything from one piece of candy up to 20 pounds!

“People come in happy, and we make sure they leave happy,” said Berro.

Looking for Macomb County candy makers and bakers? Check out our blogs about Champagne Chocolates, The Twisted Pretzel and Ethel’s Edibles.

Roger’s Bulk Candy Shop
15020 E. 9 Mile Rd., Eastpointe, MI 48021
(586) 772-1076

Limited parking in front, additional parking in rear of building

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas works for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, often providing content for the Make Macomb Your Home website.

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Walk for Warmth helps locals with heat-related emergencies

Imagine not knowing if you would be able to pay the bills to ensure that your house is heated through the winter months – how upsetting and scary that would be.

walk-for-warmthThis was the case of a northern Macomb County widower, who, after paying for the funeral of his beloved wife, was unable to maintain the extremely high utility bills for his home and was in danger of having his services shut off. His income was just over the guidelines set for the emergency utility assistance funding offered by Macomb County’s Macomb Community Action, a Community Action Agency that works to diminish residents’ poverty and promote independence.

Due to his personal circumstances, the agency was able to assist him through Walk for Warmth, a walk/run event sponsored by Macomb Community Action to raise funds for low-income residents with heat-related emergencies.

Not only was Macomb Community Action able to help him catch up on his utility bills, but they also helped him complete an application for the agency’s home weatherization program, which he was approved for and is due to have the updates done to his home within the next few weeks.

This is just one of the many stories that reflects the need and powerful impact the funds generated from Walk for Warmth have on Macomb County.  walk-for-warmth-1

There’s still time to sign up to participate! The 27th Annual Walk for Warmth 5K Walk/Run event will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Macomb Mall in Roseville. Supporters are invited to register as individuals or by forming teams. Registrants can choose to participate in a 5K competitive run (outdoors) or in the family fun walk (indoors) at Macomb Mall. Registration for either event is $25 and will begin at 8 a.m. To register online or make a donation, visit or call (586) 469-5905.

Roneeka Pleasant-Brown is public relations manager for Macomb Community Action.

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Macomb County winter festivals a great way to chill out

Macomb County provides endless summertime fun, everything from outdoor concerts to ethnic festivals to firework displays. But what many don’t realize is what Macomb County provides in the winter months as well. Starting this week and going well into the month of February, there are many winter-themed events to participate in. So if you’re starting to get a touch of cabin fever, check out these events that are sure to kick the winter blues.

New Baltimore Winterfest – Jan. 27, 28 & 29

polar-plunge-nbThe city of New Baltimore is hosting their annual Winterfest beginning on Friday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 29. The expanded event consists of both new activities and traditional favorites. Friday’s events include a corn hole tournament, live music from the Meldrum Brother’s Band and the Iron Arm Mug Holding Competition, which offers a $100 cash prize to the person who holds a heavy glass mug filled with water straight out in front of them the longest without spilling the water or bending their arm. Saturday events include the famous Chili Cook-off at 6 p.m. and the start of the ice fishing tournament. On Sunday, the tournament concludes, and many brave individuals can participate in the Polar Plunge at 2 p.m. There will also be live music throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit

chilliBlake’s Chili Cook-off – Saturday, Jan. 28

Come out for a day of homemade, award-winning chili, plus drinks, music and a good time at Blake’s Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Jan. 28! Ticket sales are limited and cost $14 pre-purchased and $16 at the door. Blake’s is offering designated driver tickets as well. Your purchase includes: two drink tickets to redeem two 12-oz. glasses of Blake’s hard cider or Blake’s beer and 10 tickets to redeem for 10 4-oz. cups of chili – that’s two drinks and 40 oz. of chili for $14! Your ticket also includes the opportunity to enjoy live music, play games like corn hole and the ability to jam and chill by the bonfire! Chili will be served promptly from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The judging and winners will be announced from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and there will be live music in the tasting room from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Mount Clemens Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off and Ice Carving Show – Thursday, Feb. 2 to Sunday, Feb. 5 

Downtown Mount Clemens will have a fiery start to the annual ice carving weekend with the 12th Annual Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off Fundraiser. The fundraiser kicks off the fun at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2. All proceeds of this event benefit the Anton Art Center and the Mount Clemens Goodfellows. For a $15 donation per person or $25 for two people, participants receive a “taster” chili at each location, souvenir chili pepper beads and score card. Participating establishments include:  Abibbo, Bath City Bistro, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chantel’s Jailhouse Deli, Madison’s Pub, O’Halloran’s Public House, Orleans Sports Cafe, Rec Bowl, Seeburger’s Cheeseburgers, Three Blind Mice Irish Pub and Your Mothers. Tickets for the Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off Fundraiser are available at any participating fire-ice-cook-off-main-600xestablishment.

Don’t miss the 12th Annual Downtown Mount Clemens Ice Carving Show. This is a great opportunity for the entire family to spend time outdoors during the Michigan winter while enjoying this unique show with carving demonstrations throughout the event. The show opens on Friday, Feb. 3 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 5.

Live ice carving demonstrations will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 and from noon until 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. Public ice carving will take place on the Fountain Stage located on Macomb Place between Walnut and Pine streets. In addition to live carving, dozens of sculptures will be featured on the sidewalks of downtown Mount Clemens along Macomb Place and Cherry Street Mall. Take a break and warm up at the Indoor Kids Wonderland Warming Center which will feature Elsa and friends, a life-sized Candyland game, hobby horse races, face painting, carnival games, popcorn, penny candy and hot chocolate. For more information, visit

Richmond Winter Festival – Friday, Feb. 3 – Sunday, Feb. 5

The Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce is once again hosting their annual Winter Festival. The festival begins on Friday, Feb. 3 with a spaghetti dinner sponsored by Richmond Community Schools. Following the dinner, fireworks will be displayed on the football field. Saturday and Sunday activities include a chili cook-off, horse-drawn wagon rides, ice sculptures and much more! For more information, please visit

Utica Ice Festival – Friday, Feb. 10 – Sunday, Feb. 12

12743494_753746204755417_7008029112777401504_nAn event you don’t want to miss, the downtown Utica ice carving and fireworks spectacular includes live music, horse carriage rides, live ice carving displays and, of course, fireworks! All events will be held in historic downtown Utica. Please visit for more information.

St. Clair Shores AquaFreeze – Saturday, Feb. 18 & Sunday, Feb. 19

Another great way to get rid of the wintertime blues is to attend the 4th Annual St. Clair Shores AquaFreeze Festival, especially since this year’s theme is Mardi Gras! There will be a variety of family-friendly events held throughout the entire weekend. There will be ice skating and ice carving, a sledding hill and a snowman-building contest! On both Saturday and Sunday, there will also be food vendors and a beer and wine tent filled with live music. For a complete schedule of events, visit

Walk for Warmth – Saturday, Feb. 18

Walk for Warmth raises funds to assist low-income residents with heat-related emergencies like paying utility bills or replacing a broken furnace. All of the event proceeds benefit Macomb County residents.

Supporters are invited to register as individuals or by forming teams. Registrants can choose to participate in a 5K competitive run (outdoors) or in the family fun walk (indoors) at Macomb Mall. Everyone that registers by Feb.3 will receive an event T-shirt and finisher medal. After Feb. 3, T-shirts are subject to availability. To donate to or register for this event, visit

Amanda Minaudo is a senior planner in the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. She often contributes to the Make Macomb Your Home Blog, writing about the many fun and exciting things to see and do around Macomb County. 

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Time is running out! Donate now to the MacArthur Park crowdfunding campaign!

There is less than one week left to donate to the MacArthur Park crowdfunding campaign! The Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) has only until 11 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 to raise the $12,900 left needed to meet their goal. If the goal is met, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority will match their funds with an additional $50,000 donation. Here is some additional information about why you should donate, and what your donation will help to accomplish!

macarthur-park-site-plan-ao-update-3-01-1The purpose of this crowdfunding campaign is to raise funds to install a universally-accessible kayak and canoe launch at MacArthur Park located in downtown Mount Clemens. If the funding goal is reached, it will be the first universally-accessible launch to be fully funded and installed. The park project will help create a link between the riverfront and downtown Mount Clemens, while enhancing MacArthur Park with improved facilities that will highlight a key recreational asset in the community and in the region. Additionally, the park will feature universally-accessible restrooms, picnic tables and kayak storage lockers, among many other amenities.

Inclusive universal design allows increased accessibility for people of all ages, abilities and skills, while allowing for independent use whether you are an amateur or expert, young or old. Paddlers need to be able to launch and land smoothly without fear of their safety or damaging their watercraft. Inclusive accessibility ensures firm surfaces are in place to support movement while putting in or taking out watercrafts. Simply put, universal design is the design of products and environments to be made usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. 

MacArthur Park was one of 12 kayak and canoe launch locations identified as a great place for the project by the CRWC through a grant provided by the Coastal Zone Management under CRWC’s Water Towns program, which focuses on community-based placemaking initiatives to help towns and cities in the watershed leverage the assets of the Clinton River, its tributaries and Lake St. Clair for water-oriented community development.

dsc_0547People are moving to places which are better connected for non-motorized movement. They want to live in a community that links their home to parks, waterfronts, cultural facilities, jobs and downtown districts. Downtown Mount Clemens has a number of key assets drawing residents and visitors and is generally a walkable community. However, there are several key linkages missing and a number of opportunities to improve the non-motorized environment, including a universally-accessible kayak launch. This is an opportunity to grow the community’s health and wellness while connecting people to their local natural resources.

Recreational enthusiasts, residents and businesses alike can help CRWC and the city reach their fundraising goal by making an online donation at or by contacting CRWC at (248) 601-0606. The deadline to make a donation is 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Amanda Minaudo is a senior planner in the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. She often contributes to the Make Macomb Your Home Blog, writing about the many fun and exciting things to see and do around Macomb County. 

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Auto show’s Charity Preview brings big giving to annual event

For over a century, in one form or another, Detroit has hosted an auto show. In 1987, the show took on a more worldly view instead of focusing only on regional collaboration, and the event became what it is known as today: the North American International Auto Show.

Obviously, the point of the show is to focus on automotive business. For over two weeks, the public is invited to marvel at the old and the new ideas that have come about from an industry that has brought in $7.37 billion in investment to Macomb County alone. Experts provide their opinions as to which automobiles are the prettiest, fastest, and safest – the award list goes on.

What many might not know though is the North American International Auto Show also raises millions of dollars for charity every year. In fact, it is the largest single-night fundraiser in the United States!


Just from the event last year, $5.2 million was donated to several children’s charities such as The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Boys Hope Girls Hope of Detroit, The Children’s Center, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, Judson Center, Detroit PAL, March of Dimes, and the DADA Charitable Foundation Fund – a fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

Presenting sponsor of the Charity Preview for the second year in a row is Axalta Coating Systems, one of the country’s leading suppliers of liquid and powder coatings, based in Mount Clemens. In 2014 and 2015, Axalta received General Motors’ Supplier of the Year award for going above and beyond GM’s requirements, providing customers with the most innovative technologies and the industry’s best quality. The company enjoys the auto show and wants to make sure they play a role in giving back.

“Axalta’s first-year sponsorship of the 2016 Charity Preview was a great way to support our community,” said Steven Markevich, Axalta’s executive vice president and president of Transportation Coatings and Greater China. “This time, we expect to make our presence even brighter as we partner with the NAIAS to benefit the children in our community.”

chp1This year’s North American International Auto Show Charity Preview will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight. To purchase tickets, visit

Sarah Cormier works for the Macomb County Executive Office as a communications specialist.

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