Wayne County Council for Arts, History & Humanities hon-orees Doug Scott (left) of Grosse Ile; Wyandotte Mayor Jo-seph R. Peterson; and Patti and Leif Lorenz, artistic directors of the Taylor Ballet Americana, are shown at a reception in the Padziewski Art Gallery following WCCAHH’s 12th annual awards ceremony. They were among 11 individuals and or-ganizations receiving recognition.
Wayne County council honors award winners
Four Downriver residents, a Dearborn resident and a former Dearborn educator were among 11 individuals accepting awards Sept. 10 at the Wayne Council for Arts, History & Humanities’ 12th Annual Recognition Awards program.
The program, held at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, was followed by the opening of the Artists ARE Among Us Exhibition at the Padziewski Art Gal-lery, a juried exhibit featuring Wayne County artists, and a dessert afterglow honoring the award recipients.
The honorees included Leif and Patti Lorenz, artistic di-rectors of the Taylor Ballet Americana, who received the Art-ist/Performer Award. The couple returned Downriver from New York, after performing professionally for 11 years, to teach in the Taylor Ballet Program, founded by Patti Lorenz’ mother, Joy Squire.
Accepting the County Executive Award on behalf of the city of Wyandotte was Mayor Joseph R. Peterson. The city was honored for its commitment to the importance of arts and culture in a community and for its project to preserve and transform the historic former Masonic Temple into an art center.
Doug Scott of Grosse Ile was the recipient of the Volun-teer Award for his service to numerous organizations, includ-ing the Southern Great Lakes Symphony Orchestra. A pian-ist and composer, he often donates his performance time and is known for his fund-raising efforts. Scott is a Downriver Council for the Arts board member.
Additional honorees included Ernest Rodgers, who re-ceived the Arts Educator Award, and EmmaJean Woodyard, the Wayne County Council for Arts, History & Humanities Award.
Rodgers, an adjunct professor at Wayne State Univer-sity who teaches big band jazz, is one of the organizers of the Detroit International Jazz Festival. He formerly taught at Henry Ford Community College and took his entire jazz band to the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Rodgers has appeared with many national and international acts.
Woodyard, who was unable to attend the awards cere-mony, is well known as an arts advocate. She has been a WCCAHH board member for 15 years and has been execu-tive director of the Dearborn Community Arts Council, cul-tural arts co-coordinator for the city of Dearborn and execu-tive director of the Downriver Council for the Arts.
Other award winners were Karla Hall of the DTE En-ergy Foundation, Patron Award; Kenseye Fort, Young Artist Award; Gillian Eaton, Humanities Award; Laurie A. Gomulka/Detroit Polish American History Award; Diane Eissinger, International Award; and Dr. David DiChi-era/Michigan Opera Theater Wayne County Commissioner’s Award.
Little dresses benefit slated
Proceeds from a dinner dance and live auction slated for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Italian American Hall in Wyan-dotte will provide dresses for little girls in Africa through a non-profit organization founded in 2008 by Rachel O’Neill of Brownstown.
The organization, Little Dresses for Africa, seeks donations of pillowcases and such sewing supplies as elastic and trimmings. Directions for making the dresses are available to individuals and groups who wish to sew them, O’Neill said.
The idea for creating the dresses came to O’Neill while she and a girlfriend were visiting the village of Ntcheu, Ma-lawi, with a missionary group delivering food and medical supplies. O’Neill said she thought it would be wonderful to replace the girls’ tattered clothes with new dresses.
“We want the girls to feel that they are not forgotten,” she said. “We are not just sending dresses; we are sending hope.”
The organization, which has spread to chapters throughout Michigan and other states, has sent approxi-mately 23,000 dresses to Africa since its founding. Proceeds from the event will pay for shipping costs.
Tickets, $35 per person, include dinner and dancing. A cash bar will be available. The hall is at 646 Biddle. For tick-ets or sponsorship opportunities, call O’Neill at (734) 637-9064.
Coming up . . .
Sept. 30 — Benefit for the homeless, Mitch Albom and Friends, “Have a Little Faith”; 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre; joining the author will be Dave Barry, Joe Dumars and the Rev. Henry Covington, a character in Albom’s book “Have a Little Faith.”