By MARGARET BLOHM
For the Times-Herald
DEARBORN – The public is invited to join the Rotary Club of Dearborn to celebrate its 100 years of “Service Above Self” with a musical extravaganza on March 18 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn.
The evening will begin with a strolling dinner in the Lincoln Ballroom at 5:30 p.m. with music provided by the Henry Ford College Big Band and vocalists, directed by Kevin Dewey.
The dinner will be followed by a concert in the Michael A. Guido Theater, featuring the international headliner Dennis Edwards’ Temptations Review with opening performance by Thornetta Davis, Detroit’s Queen of the Blues.
“We expect to fill this beautiful 1,200-seat theater – another of Rick’s goals,” said Shannon Peterson, who serves as club co-president with Colleen Nieman during the 2022-23 Rotary year.
Tickets are $200 to $275 for the gala and concert, and $ 75 to $200 for concert only. Tickets and sponsorships are available at www.DearbornRotary.org. Ticket purchases for the concert are also available through the box office of the Michael A. Guido Theater – online or in person during box office hours.
“Our club has worked on this centennial event for the past year,” Peterson said.
Plans were well underway for an anniversary celebration and community fundraiser under the leadership of Dearborn Rotarian Rick Goward when he died unexpectedly in January 2022, Peterson said.
Peterson said, “Among Rick’s many gifts and talents as the music director of Henry Ford College and Henry Ford College Big Band before he retired,” Peterson said. “He was a visionary with far reaching goals for our club. With the community’s support, we will honor his goals.”
Funds raised from the event will be used in collaboration with the city of Dearborn to renovate the Henry Ford Centennial Library auditorium, meeting current ADA standards for accessible design and seating and to upgrade technology.
Peterson credits the many sponsors and donors who have stepped up to help the Rotary Club of Dearborn host this historic fundraising event. They include presenting sponsors Don and Mary Kosch Family Foundation and the physicians’ group/healthcare partnership, Beaumont Accountable Care Organization.
Sponsors also include Michael Phillips Group of Keller Williams-Legacy, LaFontaine Automotive Group, Henry Ford Community College Federation of Teachers, Rose Pest Solutions, Henry Ford College, DTE, Howe-Peterson Funeral Home, Vivid Maintenance and more that continue to be received.
Founded in 1923, the Rotary Club of Dearborn is the city’s oldest service organization and is a proud member of Rotary International bringing more than 1.4 million members in over 46,000 individual clubs together to live the motto of “Service Above Self.”