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A Thousand Thank Yous from Ann Heler

Can you ever begin a story with the words THANK YOU A 1000 TIMES?

(A Ferndale View by Ann Heler, Board President of FernCare)

FernCare Free Clinic was hosting a fund raising dinner at Elegance By Design on Valentine’s Day for 60 guests.   The event was to begin at 6 pm with dinner at 7 pm.  At 6:30pm, it became apparent that there was a glitch with the chef.

In less than the time it is taking me to write this out, Dan Behnke, owner of Elegance By Design, 231 W. Nine Mile had requested help from Bob Zagar, chef and co-owner of  Josephine’s Creperie & Bistro, 241 W. Nine Mile and  Buddy Orlando, a chef at Maria’s Front Room, 215 W. Nine Mile to prepare the promised 3 course dinner.  DONE!  Ann St. Peter, across the street at Pinwheel Bakery, 220 W.Nine Mile provided the heavenly wonderful cookies and the dearest cupcakes for dessert! DONE!  This happened at 6:25 and our guests were into their first course at 7:18!  Coffee provided by Tim Horton’s 22230 Woodward.  DONE!

These wonderful people saw a problem, rolled up their sleeves and solved the problem.  Where else but in Ferndale?  Where else would you see such support?  This is so Ferndale….I am humbled, thankful and absolutely awed.

The dinners by the way…….were no slap dash affairs.  From Maria’s for our guests who are vegetarian  were served the famous,  mouth watering Spinach Tortollini and for our other guests, Bob from Josephine’s CREATED, on the spot,  a shrimp and scallop with risotto dish AND built wonderful fresh vegetable and greens salads.

In addition… many MORE people to thank…….Bob Babut, FernCare treasurer who jumped in and turned into the bartender, Jackie Cutright, store manager for Elegance who kept the appetizers and transition from one plan into another seamless, Monica Mills, Andrea Troutman, the two interior design interns who became waiters and assisters in a matter of seconds, the incomparable wait staff from Josephine’s who know food delivery like nobody’s business,  Joann Willcock who had door duty as the courses moved from Josephine’s to Elegance, David Brown, owner of Maria’s and Josh Martelli and his 3 piece very accomplished jazz band who kept the evening mellow.  And of course, our guests who were so gracious.

The fairy tale end to the story is that the dinner and evening were just what we wanted it to be – a dinner in a very unique setting (a design studio!) with great music among friends.

The postscript is………please support the businesses that helped create this memorable evening….that’s the best thank you they could ever receive.

Ann Heler

FernCare Board President

NOTE:  To read previous Ferndale 115 News stories about FernCare, please see

To learn more about FernCare’s free health clinic, see their website

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