|Livonia couple takes foster parenting to amazing heights
Sharon and Jerry Marsh to receive First Citizen Award
Sharon and Jerry Marsh played a role in raising 71 children.
What was designed to make life a little more interesting for the Marshes turned into a lifelong passion. They provided stability for many babies born from stressful situations as they fostered 69 children. This amazing journey led this couple to being named the 2020 recipient of the Livonia First Citizen Award.
They will be honored at the Livonia Chamber of Commerce's Leadership and Awards Celebration on Thursday, Feb. 20, at Laurel Manor.
The couple met as teenagers at the Castle Gardens Swim Club, both graduated from Bentley High School, were married in 1966, and had a son, Jim, and daughter, Tammi. They bought a bungalow in Livonia in 1975 where they lived ever since.
After they moved into that home, Sharon admits she was getting a little bored.
"Jerry's cousin had a foster child, and since we both loved kids, we thought we would try," she said.
From the late-1970s to the late-1990s, the couple welcomed these babies and toddlers into their home. They had a variety of cultural backgrounds and abilities. Many of these infants came from drug-addicted mothers and the Marshes nurtured them through detoxification.
"These babies would cry all the time because they were going through withdrawals," Sharon said. "Then many of them would have emotional problems."
With the biological and foster children, they often had eight children living in their home for years. This forced the couple to expand their three-bedroom home of less than 1,000 square feet without a basement. They nearly doubled the living space with larger family rooms and two extra bedrooms.
They adopted six of the foster children: Amanda, Reggie, Autumn, Andrew, Alisha, and Adrianna. They are grown and range from age 21-35. Four of them still live in the Marsh home. Two of them need transportation and support for their jobs and activities. The couple also has nine grandchildren.
Adrianna - the youngest child - graduated from Stevenson High School in 2016 and works as a quality inspector for electric products. She was born prematurely at less than two pounds and needed oxygen to have a chance at her first birthday.
"It was great growing up here because I always had someone to play with," Adrianna said. "But it did get crazy at times."
Juggling schedules and transporting kids to their school and social activities and helping these children through some tough times would be crazy to many people, but Jerry had a different perspective.
"You don't think about it as being busy, it is just what you do," he said. "It is gratifying to know we helped all these kids get a start."
With Autumn, she is blind and loves playing keyboard for children at the Jackson Early Childhood Center. The family is involved with the Seedlings Braille Books for
Children, where Sharon is a board member.
"I have never seen such an amazing, yet humble, couple," said Seedlings Director Deb Bonde. "Yet they don't think they have done anything special. In Sharon's words,they only adopted 10 percent of the children they fostered."
The Livonia First Citizen Award has been presented by the
and/or Livonia Chamber of Commerce for five decades.
Seats are still available for the Leadership and Awards Celebration, a dinner program that runs from 5-7:30 p.m. Admission is $30 each. For details, call the Livonia Chamber at 734.427.2122, or e-mail
Slightly used instruments needed, being collected by Livonia Symphony Orchestra
The Livonia Symphony is looking for slightly used music instruments - strings, woodwinds and brass.
Through a grant from MASCO, the LSO has these instruments refurbished and then donates them to six local schools in Livonia. As part of the Symphony's "Youth Outreach Program", these instruments go to students unable to participant in orchestra or band classes because they cannot afford an instrument.
At present, the LSO provides the instruments to four upper elementary and two middle schools in the Clarenceville and Livonia School Districts. Over the last four years, the LSO has refurbished and donated over 25 instruments.
The Symphony is asking folks to check their basements and closets for instruments they no longer need. if they have an instrument to donate they can contact Carol at 734 522-1687 and she'll make arrangements to have the instrument(s) picked-up and refurbished. You also will be provided with a "tax-deductible" donation letter for next year's tax season.
Thank you on behalf of the LSO and the students who receive these instruments.
|Local Film Making getting better and better
This article is yet another reason why Michigan made a mistake by eliminating the film tax credit, an incentive program that helped attract major Hollywood stars and top directors to Michigan to make movies such as "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," "Red Dawn" and the "Transformers" franchise.
The same week in 2015 that Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation that ended Michigan's film incentive program Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced that nearly 250 film and TV projects have generated more than $6 billion in economic impact during the past 12 months.
Now comes along one example of the impact that the film credit, if it was still in place, could have on Michigan. Two brothers Devin and Bryce Cameron, both working for Cory Jacobson at the Phoenix Theatre group are producing their second feature film, following in the footsteps of critically acclaimed Kid Brother.
Kid Brother tells the story of Aaron's lonesome life which is thrown into adulthood when his little brother Jared surprises him with a post-graduation visit. Hoping to reconnect with their absentee father, Jared enlists Aaron's assistance discovering his current whereabouts. Throw in a dropped phone number and some awkward matchmaking with an actual, responsible grown up named Amanda, the definition of love and what it means to be family slowly come into focus.
On March 1st and continuing for 21 days the actual production of their newest film, Pinbox, will take place in and around southeast Michigan financed the old fashioned way, asking investors to take a chance on these two young filmmakers.
Meet the Cameron Brothers
Devin Cameron is just a guy who has always loved movies. Born in Dearborn, Michigan he went off at some point and got two degrees in filmmaking. He holds a BA in Film Production from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids and an MA in Screenwriting from the Institute of Art & Design in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
Devin's short films and subsequent features screened at festivals and each has won a handful of awards. They have been showcased theatrically as well as on television in Chicago, New York, and Toronto. Beginning his life in production, for years Devin made his living as a grip, electrician, production coordinator and post-production supervisor for independent & Hollywood films.
Finally, after wandering all over the world attempting to be a jack of all trades he decided he should probably just try to be really good at one thing instead of being pretty good at a lot of things. His true love being directing, Devin set up shop back in Detroit and partnered with his brother Bryce to write and direct films.
Bryce Cameron originally thought he would utilize his love of storytelling as an English teacher, eventually earning a BA in Secondary Education English from Western Michigan University. His first love was writing, and his passion for film grew directly out of that love. As he crafted curricula and rubrics, the idea to create film-centric or film related lessons for his
students allowed him to continually indulge his cinematic cravings.
Life took him from the classroom back to the movie theater business in which he worked since he was 16. He has spent the past 10 years managing movie theaters and, later, analyzing and reporting on the industry as a whole.
But he never lost his love for storytelling. So in his spare time, Bryce continued to ply his pen, writing stories and sharing them with his brother Devin. Together, they obsessed over imagined movies, movies they both loved, and the overall transformative magic of film. And together, they realized they could tell pretty worthwhile stories. So they decided to try bringing those stories to life.
What next for Pinbox?
Three weeks in March employing, or in some cases utilizing interns from Madonna and Schoolcraft, for a total of 50-60 on site personnel. 3 weeks production. 12 weeks post-production. The festival circuit is the final step. Well, maybe not final as in the Fall their is expectation that the film will hit the local and maybe national screens.
Yes, Michigan you are missing out on what the studies didn't generally measure, the less tangible effects that the incentives provided, such as making Michigan a more desirable place for young people to put down roots. Just multiply the Cameron brothers by dozens or hundreds and you have a creative force that spurs on spin-off businesses generating millions of dollars in tax revenue, hundreds of new companies being established, and an economic impact that would cover the entire state.
Thank you Devon and Bryce Cameron for putting your creative force to work. And in work right here in Michigan. Can't wait for the production, the post-production, the festivals and the public screening. This typewriter is one of many in your corner.
Click on this image for all movie times at the Phoenix
Musings follows the 2020 elections
Joe Biden D
Michael Bloomberg D
Cory Booker D
Pete Buttigieg D
Julian Castro D
John Delaney D
Tulsi Gabbard D
Amy Klobuchar D endorsed by FridayMusings
Bernie Sanders D
Joe Sestak D
Tom Steyer D
Elizabeth Warren D
Marianne Williamson D
Andrew Yang D
United States Senate
Gary Peters (D-I)
John James (R)
United States House of Representatives
Haley Stevens (D-I)
Whitney Williams (R)
Eric Esshaki (R)
Michigan House of Representatives
Laurie Pohutsky (D-I)
Martha Ptashnik (R)
Wayne County Commissioner
Terry Marecki (R-I)
Schoolcraft College Trustee
Brian Broderick (I)
Joan Gebhardt (I)
Terry Gilligan (I)
Livonia Board of Education
Clarenceville Board of Education
|Musings follows Livonia Happenings
February in Livonia
Nonviolence: The Way to Peace/ Colleen Mills
Livonia Citizens for Peace
Livonia Senior Center
February 12 @ 12:00 - 1:00
Noon Concert @ VisTaTech
Jazz pianist and composer Ellen Rowe will be joined by Sean Dobbins on drums and Paul Keller on bass to perform and discuss some of the most beloved jazz standards written for movies.
Livonia GOP Lincoln Day Dinner
February 16 @ 3:00
Livonia Community Theatre
St. Paul's Persbyterian Church
February 16 @ 1:00
Cardboard Boat Races
Jack Kirksey Recreation Center
Registration begins on Monday, Jan. 6
February 18 @ 3:00 - 7:00
Livonia Youth Career Fair
Michigan Works! Livonia Service Center
30246 Plymouth Road
February 22 @ 4:00
PASSPORT TO SCANDINAVIA
Livonia Symphony Orchestra
Clarenceville's Historic Louis Schmidt Auditorium
February 23 @ 2:00
Friends of the Livonia Library
"A Meeting Between Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth" performed by Madelyn Porter, Story Teller. Livonia Bennett Civic Center Library auditorium
February 23 @ 4:30 - 8:30
The Ian Clemens 4th Annual Trivia Night
Hosted by The Ian Clemens Foundation
St. Mary's Cultural Center
$250 a couple or $350 including picture
with tickets available at:
The Arc of Northwest Wayne County
Ball for All Leap Year Fundraiser
March in Livonia
March 3 @ 6:30
Livonia Garden Club
Civic Park Senior Center
Four seasons of garden interest
March 8 @ 1:30 - 4:00
March 26 @ 7:00 - 9:30
Happily Ever After--The Joy of Weddings
March 10 @ 7:00 am -- 8:00 pm
33rd Annual Bowling for Braille Books
Novi Bowl Family Fun Center
March 15 @ 2:00
Friends of the Livonia Library
"Through Her Eyes Women Artists in the Detroit Institute of Arts."
Livonia Bennett Civic Center Library auditorium.
March 16 @ 2:00
Livonia Historical Society presents Joe Oldenberg discussing "The First Native Tribes of Michigan." Alexander Blue House, Greenmead Historical Park
Mom to Mom Sale
Kirksey Recreation Center
@ 9:00 - 3:00
April in Livonia
April 7 @ 6:30
Livonia Garden Club
Civic Park Senior Center
Sustainable Food System
Today's Africa Through American Eyes
Dr. Peggi J. Tabor, PhD
Livonia Citizens for Peace
Livonia Senior Center
April 25 @ 10:00 - 3:00
May in Livonia
May 5 @ 6:30
Livonia Garden Club
Civic Park Senior Center
Plant Legends and Stories
May 16 @ 9:00 - 10:00
Livonia Garden Club Plant Sharing Event
Greenmead Historical Park
Rain or Shine
Everyone is encouraged to come and take plants whether or not they have plants to share
May 17 @ 3:00
Red Wing Alumni v Livonia All Stars
Eddie Edgar Arena
June in Livonia
June 7 @ 3:00
Livonia Civic Chorus Spring Concert
Churchill High School Performing Arts Center
Musings follows our City Council
|Livonia City Council Study Meeting -
January 27, 2020
|Livonia City Council Regular Meeting - January 27, 2020
Mallory Crowe joins Cole, Newton & Duran CPAs
as a seasonal taxpreparer
Cole, Newton & Duran CPAs is proud to welcome Mallory Crowe, seasonal tax preparer, to its team. Mallory holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting.
"We are excited to welcome Mallory to Cole, Newton & Duran," said Cole, Newton & Duran's individual tax practice leader Christopher Boloven. "Mallory's prior experience working at Big Four and large regional accounting firms will be a great addition to our growing tax practice. We will utilize her experience providing tax preparation, planning, and consulting services. Our clients will benefit greatly from her depth and breadth of experience."
Mallory has more than 10 years of experience specializing in providing accounting and tax services for both businesses and individuals. Prior to joining the firm, Mallory worked at Big Four and large regional accounting firms specializing in preparing 1120Cs, 1120Ss, 1065s, 5500s, and 990 tax returns.
|Can you say you have been bowling with a Supreme Court Justice?
Well, now is your chance to bowl and help Seedlings.
Bowl with Michigan Supreme Court
Justice Richard Bernstein
on March 14 at Novi Bowl in Novi, MI, and help raise $60,000 for 6,000 braille books for children with vision loss!
Justice Bernstein, the first blind justice elected to the state's highest court, will be the celebrity bowler at Seedlings' 33rd Annual Bowling for Braille Books, a fund-raiser for Seedlings Braille Books for Children.
~Photo is of Justice Richard Bernstein sitting at his desk with his Supreme Court black robe attire, smiling for the camera.~
|Mayor Brosnan on a tour, checking it out, learning more each day.
From Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan's
February launches my city department tour and the chance to meet many of the 700 employees working for Livonia residents.
Wednesday I met with amazing teams in the Assessor's Office and Finance, Planning and Information Services Departments.
During my tour of two of our libraries I stopped to admire the pictures some of Livonia's littlest readers drew welcoming me to the Sandburg Library.
There is always something happening at our Livonia Family Y
There is always something going on at our Livonia Family Y. Just last week it was a day to wear red:
In recognition of National Wear Red Day these amazing people
wore red and worked out to bring awareness around cardiovascular disease.
Become a part of a healthy community that invests in, and preserves lives.
Kiwanis joins the community that packs a wallop.
20,000 meals for Kids Coalition Against Hunger.
With the help of Kiwanis members, Key Club students, Churchill National Honor Society, and community members, we packed 20,000 meals and had a great time. HUGE THANK YOU TO
Eagles for Children
Western Golf & Country Club
for donating to our club to allow us to put on this great project!
Proud sponsor of the Detroit Red Wings v Livonia All-stars coming to town May 17, 3:00.
|Disabilities Awareness Month in March
|Ambassadors to new folks, caring neighbors to those in need, corn in celebration to wrap it up.
What do you think? Take the survey.
|In a discussion last week with Brian Wolverton at the YMCA the concept of a service weekend culminating in the September Good Old Fashioned
Neighborhood Corn Roast started to percolate.
Picture this. Between now and the third week of September we collect names of seniors, home bound, people in need. On the Saturday before the corn roast teams of people spread out around our hometown raking leaves, putting summer furniture away, doing chores, any number of quality of life issues that might brighten the day for dozens of people around Livonia.
What do you think? Would you like to see a Service Weekend in September starting on a Saturday with the Annual Good Old Fashioned Neighborhood Corn Roast on Sunday;
Give us your opinion, yes, no, maybe and next week the polling results will be shared with the readers of Musings. Click here to vote.
A service weekend. The people we help are invited to the Corn Roast. Oh, and part of the service Saturday is knocking on the doors of people who have moved into town in the previous 6 months.
|St. Mary Mercy set to host weight loss seminars
once a month from February to July
Michigan Bariatric Institute, a program of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, will host free monthly
weight-loss seminars for the public in 2020, led by one of its bariatric surgeons.
All classes will be hosted from 6 to 7 p.m. in suite 202 inside
St. Mary Mercy Livonia, located at
36622 Five Mile Rd. in Livonia.
Dates: March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, July 9
Please call to confirm the schedule prior to attending all seminars. Registration is required. Please call
|Greenmead has it all.
In this case check out the previously used jewelry sale.
Greenmead's annual jewelry sale has a wide variety of rings, bracelets, necklaces and more for you to add to your collection!
Come shop our large selection on Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Alexander Blue House, 20501 Newburgh Road.
Please be prepared to pay with cash or check. All proceeds benefit the restoration and preservation of Greenmead.
Do you have previously enjoyed jewelry you wish to donate? Donations can be made at Greenmead, 20501 Newburgh, and the Civic Park Senior Center, 15218 Farmington Road.
For additional information, please call Mary at (248) 427-0226 or Barb at (734) 464-0450.
Livonia Symphony Orchestra to warm up the season on February 22
Livonia Symphony Orchestra February 22nd
"PASSPORT TO SCANDINAVIA" Louis Schmidt Auditorium - Clarenceville High School @ 4:00 featuring:
Japanese born pianists, Yuki and Tomoko Mack have dazzled audiences on three continents. From Bach to Piazzolla, their diverse repertoire includes a broad range of four-hands piano music and orchestral works. After winning strong recognition as soloists, Yuki and Tomoko partnered to form the award-winning piano duo. "The Mack Sisters". Together they've won top prizes in several
international competitions, including the "Dranoff International Two-Piano Competition" in Florida, and the "Ellis Two-Piano National Competition" in South Carolina. They've also received both the first and "Kodama" prizes at the "International Piano Duo Competition" in Tokyo. Most notably, in 2006, they were selected as Steinway Artists - joining an impressive roster of world renown pianists.
Additionally, the Mack Sisters have been featured in the "GilmoreInternational Keyboard Festival in Michigan, the "Symposium for Two Pianos" in Florida and the keyboard festival at the "Quebec International Two-Piano Festival". Beyond the main-stage, they've performed live on radio in Sweden, Italy, Poland and the U. S. In Chicago, Yuki and Tomoko performed on multiple WFMT radio programs. They also were featured as guest artists on PBS in Michigan and in Florida. Motivated by their passionate belief of music's ability to empower the human spirit, they have developed Master Classes and Community Outreach Programs that are very popular with students and audiences.
Currently, Yuki and Tomoko reside in Michigan. With their deep roots in the musical community they've established themselves as highly sought-after educators and performing artists. When not teaching or performing, they're recording. Their collection of CDs include "Rhapsody", "American Mosaic", "Fantasy", and "Danse Montage" - all of which exhibit their unique sense of interpretation and flawless technique.
This summer they will once again join the faculty of the "International Summer Music Festival" in Naleczow, Poland.
And Don't forget to get your raffle tickets for this one of a kind guitar. Tickets will be sold at the Livonia Symphony Concert February 22nd.
No one else does the arts better than our hometown Livonia.
|Thank you Civic Chorus. Livonia appreciates your 55 years.
Here is to the next 55.
Dr. Peggy Gaskill, Livonia City Hall of Fame Class of 2017, has led the Livonia Civic Chorus, Livonia City Hall of Fame Class of
Gaskill being inducted into the
Hall of Fame with Laura Cox,
Glenn Anderson and Bill Joyner
2014, for much of the past decade. Working closely with the Board of Directors her leadership has expanded the reach of this 70 member community chorus far beyond a Christmas and Spring concert which was the mainstay for nearly 50 years since the founding of the chorus in 1965 by Livonia Parks and Recreation on the recommendation of Parks Superintendent John Dufour, Livonia City Hall of Fame Class of 2005.
Our Livonia Civic Chorus now performs 20 times a year at nursing homes, Angela Hospice, Greenmead, and city hall at the Christmas tree lighting, among others. Their two main concerts each year, at Christmas and Spring, find an audience that for years filled the historic Louis Schmidt Auditorium at Clarenceville High School and now the new Community Performing Arts Center at Churchill, home to the nationally recognized CAPA program.
On June 7th, they will be performing their 55th Spring Concert aptly called Staying Alive at 55. There also is another milestone being eclipsed June 7th. It will be the final concert for Peggy Gaskill as President of the Livonia Civic Chorus. Kathleen Chichester will assume the presidency when the new season starts in September.
President Gaskill is leaving the chorus in capable hands, with a strong community recognition, and with a mission firmly etched in the chorus' culture setting up a transition that will hold it in good shape for years to come.
And that is where the readers of Musings, community leaders and supporters of the arts comes in.
FridayMusings is asking you to join with friends of the arts, your neighbors, your friends in raising $5,500 to start a legacy fund. Monies that will be set aside for future use; to cover emergencies, to set up an investment for the future. Other efforts will also be undertaken but for now this typewriter is asking you to send your check, for $5, $10, $20 or whatever amount you want to, made payable to the Livonia Civic Chorus and send to the Livonia Civic Chorus, 37637 Five Mile Rd, Livonia, MI 48154.
At the same time drop an email to the typewriter at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can tally amounts donated and share the total in the thermometer chart below.