January 7, 2019 
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Defining Livonia in 2018. Two projects made a difference. A big difference.

2018 was a good year for our hometown. The growth and development of the business community combined with the growth and development of a caring, network of a dynamic infrastructure of volunteerism made 2018 a positive year for Livonia.

 The volunteerism that built our hometown has left a legacy for our future. This year was one in which we saw new and innovative ideas come to the forefront.

Yes, year two of the Christmas Parade stood out. As did the year two of the Good Old Fashioned Neighborhood Corn Roast. The large turnout at the polls, not necessarily because of the people who won but rather for the energy that retail politics can generate. People reaching out and extending the hand of community defined a positive upward movement for a town we call home.

Two projects stand out as noteworthy for 2018. Projects we should acknowledge and use as templates for the coming year, each  defining in their own way why Livonia is a progressive community that when encouraging connectedness is second to none.

Project One Year 2018. Rotary Spaghetti Dinner:

Middle of the week. End of October. Weather cooling off. It just could be the perfect time for a community gathering. Dave Stechholz President of the Livonia Rotary Noon Club and Bill Friske, President of the Livonia Rotary AM Club--that's right we have two clubs--put their heads together and decided to join Rotary Clubsaround  the world in hosting an event for World Polio Day.
And before you know it a community wide  spaghetti  Dinner was in the planning stages with Barb Lewis and Tammy Bonifield serving as co-chairs for the event.

And the community turned out. Hundreds. It was an evening shared in the words of Stechholz who acknowledged "one personal and very gratifying comment  by one of the members of the noon Club who said, 'T his is why Rotary is so important to Livonia.

Cole, Newton, Duran CPA's had a table of fun loving folks, employees and spouses. You can see the smiles as their waves embodied the good feelings that permeated the room at Christ our Savior Lutheran Church.

Susan Nash , busy with preparation for the 2018 election in which the absentee ballot count was higher than in a Presidential election, took time to come and share conversation with the community. Mayor Dennis Wright,   had spaghetti with the Blake and Liz Jarvis  family and Kathy Bilger  before heading to the front of the room to dish up spaghetti to the new arrivals.

There was Colleen Burton and Tammy Bonifield  diligently  hard at work in the kitchen. Steve King, an inductee of the Livonia Hall of Fame, made it a point to enjoy one or two or was it three plates of spaghetti. 

Stechholz adds to the thought of many that "This was just another example of Rotary service at its finest.  Members of both Clubs pulled together so well in making this a huge success.  Even those who could not attend or were out of town sent emails of encouragement, gave a financial gift, or gave other expressions of support.  And for those of you who were present -- phenomenal!"  

The Livonia Civic Chorus with 14 members on hand to enjoy the evening. At the end of the evening they spontaneously broke into "God Bless America."

Not only Rotarians were on hand but members of the church and student Rotary Interact Club members.    So much interacting with the community, including many of our civic leaders, was huge. It was just the type of community gathering that one could only hope for. 

Three polio survivors were on hand adding to the significance of the evening. Dave Cash, Art Cole, and Richard McDowell, past President of Schoolcraft College  joined in with the clean up crew as the night wore on. 

Conrad Schwartz  brought his granddaughter for an evening out. Janet Haas, who takes over as President of the Rotary Noon Club was busy meeting and greeting and taking lots of pictures to document the evening. Matt Collins, newly inducted into the Livonia Hall of Fame was on hand.

My mom, herself a polio survivor, would have been proud to see a community outpouring like this. Not for a person but rather for a cause. She would be busy today writing thank you notes to everyone involved. On behalf of my mom let me simply say for her "thank you."

How do you define an evening like this? It gives meaning and purpose to the concept of hometown. No agenda other than having a good time for a good cause with good people in a good community. It is as simple as that.

Project two Year 2018. The faith driven Blessing Bag Project: Another outpouring of hometown collaboration was special as it added to the success of defining Livonia.

FridayMusings is proud of our hometown and The Blessing Bag Project!  A team collaboration made up of Mayor Dennis Wright, our Livonia Police & Fire Departments, our Livonia Business community and the leadership of Rosedale Gardens Presbyterian Church.

On Christmas Eve, a team comprised of police, fire and church members made their way to St. Mary Mercy Hospital from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to host a pizza luncheon for all! This was the 2nd annual event.

2018 Blessing Bags - Livonia, MI
2018 Blessing Bags - Livonia, MI
Primo's Pizza made and donated 80 extra large pizzas for the celebration!

Lunch? Not all that was involved.

450 Blessing Bags were given to employees working all three shifts on Christmas Eve at the hospital!   Local Livonia businesses contributed anonymously to the cost of the items in the bags.

Gift bags to employees was not all that was involved.

250 construction paper cards were given to patients staying in the hospital over Christmas. The cards were made by Special Education students in Livonia headed up by Franklin High School.

What an incredible example of city collaboration!

In the words of one Musings reader Nancy Stempien  " Such a wonderful project! Thanks to all that were involved."

How do you define an evening like this? It gives meaning and purpose to the concept of hometown. No agenda other than having a good time for a good cause with good people in a good community. It is as simple as that.

Thank you Livonia. 2018 was a wonderful year thanks to the  collaboration  of neighbors and friends reaching out with a hand of neighborliness. 

9 days missing. 9 days learning. 9 days appreciated.

Wake up on Friday, December 28, and go to the Blue Plate for breakfast as I usually meet up with Friday friends Gary and Alan. On the way out sluggishness in the legs. It will pass I thought.

Arrive home and to my consternation wind up in bed. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Monday. Unable to stand or walk.

Finally decide to go to the hospital on Monday afternoon. Now how to get out of the house in a tri-level. The bodyguard makes the decision. Call EMS who can and did carry me up the stairs and on to a stretcher in the living room and out the door to the ambulance.  

That was the start of a week that left a lot to be desired.  Well, with the exception of lessons learned. Lessons not about the typewriter but about people, change in culture and acceptance of what is good in our hometown.

Two firemen taking time to talk with me, listen to me, express concern about me. Giving me options and then picking me up, scared to death while carrying me up the stairs to the awaiting stretcher. Safe hands never felt so safe.

From the moment I arrived at St. Mary Hospital I was greeted with people who took time to talk with me, listen to me, express concern about me. Giving me options and moving me appropriately from room to test to room. All the while with a pleasantness that relaxed and calmed me. In pain, unable to come to grips with reasons why my legs were in pain and moving so little.

For five days the typewriter for a week without a typewriter took time out of what was to be an end of 2018 with chores, movies, books and year end reconciliation of what went right/wrong in 2018 and what was going to go right in 2019, like the birth of grandson Richard Joyner IV to Paul and Raquel in Denver.

Dr's met, Dr's. visited. Nurses hovered taking time to talk, listen, express concern, giving options. All the time
letting me know that they were there for me.

Oh, I am sure that people have all types of experiences in a hospital. I still have memories of my mother and dad passing at St. Mary's and what was then a traumatic experience. But today I was living in the present. 

Gwendolyn McBride, nurse manager, stopping by to help with questions. As did Laura Kehler, assistant unit manager, Sarah Gilbert,  vice president of Operations, Dan Modes, RN who worked on the next wing over.

Dr. Arunalatha Vommi who coordinated my tests and communicated them on a timely and punctual basis. And who took time when I inquired to explain some of her Indian Culture. This was truly a learning experience. Add to that Marla the last housekeeper I talked with before leaving who made a point to stop by my bed with a big smile while visiting and wishing me well. And Dr. Spohia Arunselvan a specialist for my ailments. And Dr. Tejpaul Pannu who spent time talking with my brother Dr. Bob of San Antonio fame.

Met an army reservist working at night as an aide. Sharing stories about her 4 year service in the army. An MP no less.

Kerry the nurse who when asked told me about her children and their new jobs in Royal Oak while telling me about the cruise she and her husband were going on to celebrate their pending empty nest at home. Oh yes and about her love of the Detroit Bagel Factory in Livonia, "the only real bagel in Livonia."

While learning about me, back surgery, leg pain and so much about the interaction of medicines I was also learning about the people who on a daily basis to take care of folks in the hospital. 

Livonia is fortunate to have a hospital of the quality of St. Mary Hospital. Where the people make the difference. As I continue through my 70th year, I count it as starting at 69, I am still learning and it all starts with human personality. Now to take those lessons and move ahead in 2019. A little shuffling. A little discomfort with lots of smiles given to me by others.

What more can I say. Just lots of thanks for the notes, thoughts and well wishes. Livonia is the best.

United States Congress 
Haley Stevens
Northwestern Wayne, including all of Livonia and southwestern Oakland counties. 

Haley's office on Capitol Hill will be in 227 Cannon House Office Building.

Michigan State Senator 
Dayna Polehanki
Livonia, Northville (City and Township), Wayne, Canton,  Plymouth (City and Township)

Michigan State Representative 
Laurie Pohutsky

office phone number: 517-373-3920 
email address: lauriepohutsky@house.mi.gov.
N-698 House Office Building

Wayne County Commissioner 
Terry Marecki
Livonia, Northville (City and Township)
Terry Godfroid Marecki 

Wayne County Commissioner 
Diane Webb
Livonia (Partial), Redford, Dearborn Heights

Send your calendar notices to
January in Livonia
January 8 at 6:30 PM
Livonia Garden Club
Civic Park Senior Center
Meet and Greet 6:30 PM
Meeting 7:00 PM
Program: Protect, Preserve, Restore 
and Enhance Belle Isle

January 12, 2019 at 10 AM - 11 AM
Laurie Pohutsky Coffee Hour
Schoolcraft Road Panera Bread

January 12 @ 6:00 - 10:00

January 14, 15, 16 @ 5:00 - 8:00
Clue the Musical Auditions
Livonia Community Theatre
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

January 14 @ 11:00 - 2:00
Burton Manor
Celebration of the life of 
Nick Strumbus
After the holidays, the family will return to Michigan for a Celebration of Life Reception to be held for his AlphaUSA family and friends from Livonia.
Memorial tributes can be made to
Livonia Kids and Families 
33375 Glendale Ave.
       Livonia, MI 48152

Hernia Education and Screening
St. Mary Hospital
Registration and ?'s 734-655-8486

St. Mary

February in Livonia
February 1 - 3
Bennett Civic Center Library

February 23 @ 4:00
Sponsor: Livonia Town Hall
Livonia Symphony Orchestra
Louis Schmidt Auditorium - Clarenceville

February 27 @ 5:00 - 7:30
Laurel Manor Banquet &
Conference Center

March in Livonia
March 29 - 30
Clue the Musical 
Livonia Community Theatre
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

April in Livonia
April 6 - 7
Clue the Musical 
Livonia Community Theatre
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

May in Livonia
May 19
Livonia Civic Chorus
Spring Concert

June in Livonia
June 1, 2019 @  7 AM - 10 AM
Livonia City Hall Campus
Livonia Save Our Youth Run

Livonia. Leadership in recreational open space. 
65 parks. Wayne County should leave Hines alone.

Wayne County is selling our park land. Our County Executive, Warren Evans has put three more areas in Hines Park; Wilcox, Phoenix and Newburgh Mills up for sale. While we support leasing these mill buildings to allow creative re-use of them, we do not support selling these properties along with acres of surrounding park land. Once this land is sold to private developers, it is lost forever, and we have NO say over what is built there in the future. 

Save Hines Park is opposed to any sale of Wayne County park land and we are encouraging concerned citizens to contact Warren Evans and their Wayne County Commissioner to voice your opposition and to attend the upcoming town hall meeting. 

Save Hines Park Town Hall Meeting
Wed. Jan. 9, 2019 6-8 pm
Livonia Civic Center Library
32777 Five Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48154 

Please RSVP so they know how many will be attending the Town Hall Meeting:     https://goo.gl/forms/sIdVl18omUccCgJY2

Take a winter break for the 5th Annual Livonia PTA DADS Chili Cook-off

The 5th Annual Chili Cook off is right around the corner. 

If you are a dad of an LPS student you can sign up to compete. The winning dad will receive a prize basket and the school he represents will win $500, courtesy of the Livonia Kiwanis Club. 

Complete rules and sign up instructions can be found at:


St. Mary Mercy Livonia to host Hernia Night January 22

St. Mary Mercy Livonia will host a free educational seminar and hernia screenings at Hernia Night in Livonia. The event will be held on Tuesday, January 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the hospital's South Auditorium. Guests should enter from the South Entrance, 14555 Levan Road, Livonia.

General Surgeon Jacob Roberts, DO, will answer questions, discuss hernia-related symptoms and provide education about the latest hernia treatments, including minimally invasive surgery. Hernia screenings will be performed following the presentation. Individuals will also have an opportunity to participate in a hands-on demonstration with the da-Vinci surgical system.

Attendees will be entered to win Red Wings' tickets and refreshments will be provided.

If you are considering hernia treatment, attend this free seminar to learn how you can take control of your life and return to the activities you love quickly.

For more information or to register, call 734-655-8486.

Livonia Community Theatre is calling out to you
PERFORMANCE DATES: March 29-30, 2019; April 6-7, 2019 are set for Clue, the Musical directed by Pat Hutchison. Equally important is that open audition set for January 14, 15, 16, anytime between 5:00 and 8:00.

Auditions and performances will be held at 27475 Five Mile, St. Paul's Presbyterian Church. Simply bring a song of your choice to sing. Additional songs and cuts from the show will be available.

Rehearsals begin late January, approximately three evenings per week 
For more information, call/text Pat at 248-252-1940.

The internationally popular game is now a fun-filled musical that brings the world's best-know suspects to life and invites the audience to help solve the mystery: who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room, and with what weapon. The audience receives forms to help them deduce the solution from clues given throughout the fun-filled evening. Three audience members choose from cards representing the potential murderers, weapons, and rooms; there are 216 possible solutions! Only one hard-nosed female detective is qualified to unravel the merry mayhem. Comic antics, witty lyrics, and a beguiling score carry the investigation from room to room. Even after the culprit confesses, a surprise twist delights the audience. 


MR. BODDY - charismatic, handsome, playful host; 30s; soaring baritone/tenor
MRS. PEACOCK - acerbic, manipulative, sexy socialite; plays 40s; mezzo with belt
PROFESSOR PLUM - astute intellectual with a wry sense of humor; plays 30s-40s; baritone
MISS SCARLET - shrewd, very attractive vixen; 20s; wide vocal range with belt
COLONEL MUSTARD - pompous, randy military man; plays 40s-50s; baritone
MRS. WHITE - fun-loving cockney maid, portrayed by a man; plays 40s-50s; wide vocal range
MR. GREEN - slick, handsome wheeler-dealer; baritone/tenor

You put it on Livonia. Not let's think about managing that weight in the new year.
FridayMusings noted with interest that St. Mary Mercy Livonia is hosting a weight management program on January 23. Priorities are in order: Thanksgiving turkey and pecan pie, Christmas ham and cookies. And cookies. And cookies. You get the picture.

On Wednesday, January 23 from 6 to 7 p.m., St. Mary Mercy Livonia will host a weight management program titled "Weigh Your Options." Registered diet itians will provide attendees with information to help individuals begin a weight loss program. 

Attendees will learn about successful weight management programs, where to find reliable resources and healthy activities in the community, and what is needed to create and sustain a healthy lifestyle. 

Participants will learn how to read food labels, write SMART goals and how to determine their healthiest weight. The class will take place in St. Mary Mercy's Classroom 1, located at 36475 Five Mile Road in Livonia, accessed from the hospital's South Entrance.

There is a $5 fee for this class and registration is required by January 21. Participants can register online at stmarymercy.org by clicking on Classes and Events.

Making donations to our teachers from the community for their classroom.
The Supply Closet for Livonia Public Schools is a Closed Group for Teachers, School Staff, Parents and Community Members of the LPS District. 

This Group is not officially associated with the District, but rather a private, parent-led volunteer group. The mission of this group is to support LPS Teachers and their classroom. 

The purpose is to provide a platform for Parents and Community Members to donate items to Teachers, fulfill needs they may not be aware of, or make possible a project that needs supplies. 

This is a great opportunity to re-purpose items that would otherwise go unused.  

While the main intention is donations from the community to Teachers, exchanges between Teachers is also encouraged.