By Evelyn Cairns
Early stagecoach stop
will be Salute setting
The Downriver Council for the Arts will offer an opportunity to step back in time when it honors four individuals Sept. 21 at its annual Salute to Excellence. The setting will be the historic Trenton Hotel Grill, which was a stagecoach stop in the late 1890s.
A dinner featuring menu items of the era (including Cornish hen, with a wild rice medley, squash, peas and cornbread), will begin the evening at 6:30. An awards ceremony will follow at the nearby Trenton Village Theatre. Wine will be served at a reception and with the meal.
The honorees will be Sharlet and Pietro Di Giorgio of Wyandotte; Greg Mahar, deputy supervisor of Brownstown Township; and Joseph Scott of Taylor. In addition, the city of Wyandotte will receive a special recognition award.
Sharlet Di Giorgio, a visual artist and costume designer, studied for four years at the Society of Arts and Crafts, now the Center for Creative Studies, before earning a degree in art education at Wayne State University.
Well known as a costumer for various organizations and for her canvasses, sculptures and fiber art, she also specialized in wardrobe design for the hard to fit and people with disabilities.
Her husband, Pietro, is a poet, writer, actor and director. A retired teacher, he received a master’s degree at Wayne State University in speech with a concentration in radio and television.
He appeared in numerous metro area community theater productions and had a supporting role in the movie “Suite Harry.” In addition, Di Giorgio wrote and read commercials for K-Mart and directed a radio drama for WDET. He is completing his first novel, “Stages of Innocence.”
Mahar, who has a long career in government and business, is a dedicated volunteer. A former Council for the Arts board member, he chaired some of the organization’s most successful fund-raisers.
He also is a past board member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and founded the Hungarian Ethnic Festival in Wyandotte, raising more than $175,000 over a period of 15 years.
Mahar studied speech, political science and journalism at the Detroit Institute of Technology, earning a bachelor of arts degree.
Prior to becoming district field representative for U.S. Rep. John Dingell, he was a feature writer and reporter for Detroit’s Southwest Journal and a business consultant. He has received myriad awards for his volunteerism.
Scott, a Pittsburgh native, is an artist known for what he calls his “modern” paintings, sometimes incorporating nuts, bolts, pebbles and pieces of string, wood, broken glass and mirrors into his vividly colored works.
He often depicts mythical creatures, demons, serpents and gargoyles in a whimsical way. Scott, who began painting at the age of 12, received his formal art education at the Pittsburgh Art Institute before moving to Michigan.
At the theater, Jack Frucci and his My Three Friends barbershop quartet and Doug and Carol Scott will perform while guests have dessert and coffee. Performing during the program will be Lara Semetko; Ballet Americana’s Samantha Blackburn, Courtney Ehren, Abby Phillips and Kelly Starich; and a Great Lakes Symphony ensemble.
Debbie and Dr. Noel Jackson are honorary chairs. Tickets, $100, are available by calling 734-720-0671 or visiting www.downriverarts.org.
will be subject
The Sept. 21 class in the Ritz-Carlton “Cooking With Style” series is especially timely, owing to the current interest in French cooking generated by the movie “Julia (Child) and Julie.”
Executive James Woodward will focus on the preparation of duck confit turnovers during the session, which will begin at 5:30 in the hotel kitchen.
Students also will learn to make fresh Pacific halibut en papillote (baked in parchment paper), an apple cider reduction, herb vinaigrette and an apple galette.
The cost of $120 per person includes dinner with wine after the class (guests can attend the dinner for $75). For reservations, call Leslie Jacobs at 248-646-4517 or Colin Berens at 313-253-4357, or visit [email protected] or [email protected]
Save the date . . .
Sept. 17 —Final performance in the Ritz-Carlton “Motown in The Courtyard” concert, The Kimmie Horn Show; 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.; free admission and parking; refreshments will be for sale.