(C. Proxmire, May 4, 2013)
Members of the community were honored with an awards ceremony on May 1 recognizing them as Good Neighbors. The awards program is hosted by Citizens for Fair Ferndale, a group dedicated to promoting kindness, fairness and civility in the community.
The award winners were:
Katrina and Tim Collins ~ Katrina and Tim both do an amazing amount of community service. Katrina served as a member of the School Board for five years, is Treasurer and a Board Captain of the Woodland Park Association, a tutor for elementary school students, and the creator of a scholarship fund. Tim is the Police Chief of Ferndale and is also very active in school sports, both in coaching and in fundraising. He is also a geometry tutor. Together they have hosted numerous dinners for youth and helped young people go on college tours.
Judy Donlin ~ Judy began volunteering with the Fine Arts students when her children were in school, but her love of helping the youth has kept her there long after her two children have moved on. She helps with costuming and uniforms for the marching band, orchestra, choir and many of the dramatic performances that take place at the school. She also helps spread the love of reading through her work as a librarian.
Pastor Paul Gateman ~ Pastor Paul of Zion Lutheran helps promote the values of love and acceptance in the Ferndale community. For 36 years he has served as Pastor and has continuously provided a welcoming place of worship for anyone, regardless of their background.
Ginny Beauty Supply ~ The women of Ginny Beauty Supply go out of their way to make sure that customers feel special when they come into their store. They know their customers and in the ten years they have been there they have seen their customers grow. The person who nominated them was particularly touched by their kindness and patience as she, a white lady, had questions about how to care for her newly adopted son’s black hair.
Justin Hewitt ~ Justin is the quintessential “good neighbor.” He was nominated because of the way he helps other families on his block with whatever they need – be it mowing a lawn, fixing a car, or even restoring a grill for a neighbor who mentioned they had wanted one. In particular he’s helped elderly neighbors with chores, including the arduous task of helping them deal with State agencies to get aid.
Mozella McIntyre ~ Mozella is an active resident of Royal Oak Township, who works hard to promote the schools and support students. She is part of the community garden and is the President of Royal Oak Township United Concerned Citizens. She works on voter registration efforts, does foster parenting and supports political candidates who share her values.
Scott Moloney of Treat Dreams ~ Scott is known through the community for giving back. He opened Treat Dreams just three years ago, and uses the power of ice cream to inspire and change lives. He often does charity ice cream creations to support important works. He’s also been an advocate for the growing food truck industry, which is made up of many budding entrepreneurs.
Paul Saville Jr ~ Paul is a Ferndale High School graduate who is known for reaching beyond himself and helping other students. Though he has developmental challenges, he puts himself out there as a positive example to others.
Carrie Watkins ~ Carrie is a regular volunteer who often works behind the limelight. Her involvement in events like the Ferndale Blues Festival, Ferndale Pride, and Ferndale Pub Crawl help make those events a success. Last year she organized Light the Night, an event that brought people out for a tour of Downtown Ferndale that included stops to learn about diverse groups of people who make up the Ferndale community. She is also a good neighbor to those who have no family to share holidays with, cooking dinner for some of the community’s stragglers whom she calls the Gang of Misfit Toys.
Debra Wilson ~ Debra leaves a trail of metaphorical glitter everywhere she goes. With a sparkly smile and positive attitude, Debra helps children in the community come out of their shells through performing arts. Because of Debra shy children are able to face crowds of hundreds of people, and learn to use their voices without fear.
Dennis Hoeppner ~ Dennis was given the newly created Legacy Award after his recent passing. Dennis was an active volunteer and a staunch supporter of local politics and encouraging others to get out and vote.
Fern Care Clinic Team ~ The Fern Care Clinic Team was recognized as a Community Partner because of all the work they do taking care of people through the Free Clinic. Fern Care just had their five year anniversary, and has been providing care for uninsured residents for over two years at their physical location. Before that they had a temporary clinic that they set up and took down each time they saw patients. Fern Care began as a subcommittee for Citizens for Fair Ferndale, and thus has a special tie to CFF.
To learn more about Citizens for Fair Ferndale, check out their website at www.fairferndale.org.