DBusiness Daily Update: Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade Returns to Corktown March 12, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
The Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade begins at 1 p.m. March 12 in Corktown. // Courtesy of Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade
The Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade begins at 1 p.m. March 12 in Corktown. // Courtesy of Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade Returns to Corktown March 12

Irish pride returns to Corktown on Sunday, March 12, when the United Irish Societies (UIS) hosts the 65th Annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. near Sixth Street and Michigan Avenue and continues west to 14th Street in Corktown. The parade’s presenting sponsor is Kitch Attorneys & Counselors and the emcee is Paul W. Smith from WJR AM-760.

The parade includes marching and pipe and drum bands, color guard units, floats, clowns, novelty groups, and marching units. It moves west on Michigan Avenue, passes the grandstands, disperses at 14th Street, and lasts about two hours. The event typically attracts 80,000-100,000 people, making it one of the largest St. Patrick’s parades in the country.

“On behalf of the United Irish Societies, parade sponsors and participants, we’re thrilled this year’s event will be better than ever with all of the positive momentum in Corktown for everyone who lives, works and visits the area,” says Mike Kelly, president of UIS.

This year’s grand marshal is Kevin Murphy of Livonia. Murphy’s childhood household was filled with the music of Ireland and he traveled to Ireland for the first time when he was 13. After working for Ford Motor Co., he opened Murphy’s Restaurant in Redford, the first of four restaurants he and his wife Shelly owned and operated. He’s deeply involved in the UIS and several Irish fraternal organizations, Irish music, his church, and the Motor City Irish Fest.

“I’m honored to share my love of Irish culture, music and heritage with metro Detroiters as Grand Marshal for this year’s Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade,” Murphy says. “This parade is a perfect time to celebrate Corktown, Detroit, and the exciting history and new energy in the Corktown area.”

The parade also offers a Family Fun Zone, sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey, a reserved, family-friendly area located at the northeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Sixth Street. The Family Fun Zone, which runs from 12:30-3:30 p.m. on parade day, includes live Irish entertainment, coffee, donuts and water and private restrooms and free parking with event ticket. Family Fun Zone tickets are $12/person or $60/six tickets. Details can be found on the parade website.

A Parade Kick-Off Party will take place from 1-7 p.m. on Feb. 26 at AOH Hall (25300 Five Mile Rd.) in Redford.

Painting of the Shamrocks will take place at noon on March 10 at the United Irish Societies Irish Plaza on Sixth Street and Michigan Avenue. The parade queen and her court, parade officials, Kelly and Murphy will be there along with Irish pipe and drum musicians.

Hometown Heroes being honored at the parade for their community service include:

  • Tim McCabe, SJ, executive director, Pope Francis Center in Detroit.
  • Nickolas Zubok, Dearborn Police Department.
  • Satrices Coleman-Betts, executive director, St. Patrick’s Senior Center in Detroit.

For more information, visit here.

HUD Awards $3.16B for Critical Investments in Nation’s Public Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $3.16 billion in funding to nearly 2,770 public housing authorities (PHAs) in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to make capital investments to their public housing stock.

Grants are awarded to communities large and small, urban and rural — from Washington, D.C. to Whatcom County in Washington State, and everywhere in between. This funding is for dedicated housing to public housing residents to make sure they have adequate housing that is secure.  View all local grants announced today.

“As I have traveled the country, I’ve heard time and again from families and seniors in public housing that a decent home in a safe community shouldn’t be too much to ask for,” says Marcia L. Fudge, secretary of HUD. “With this investment today, we are committing to work with our public housing authority partners to guarantee homes in public housing are worthy of the families and individuals who live there.”

The grants announced are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which offers annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, renovate, and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. Housing authorities can use the funding to complete large-scale improvements such as replacing roofs or making energy-efficient upgrades to heating systems and installing water conservation measures.

Couple Donates Cooling Cradle to Corewell Health Trenton Hospital

One year after their newborn son passed away, Arlee and Jonathon Hultgren Sr. of Allen Park thew a special first-birthday themed fundraiser/dinner party for more than 120 family and friends to raise $6,500 to purchase a cooling cradle and more than 100 books for the Family Birth Center at Corewell Health Trenton Hospital.

“We want families to be able to have a normal moment and lasting memory with their baby,” says Arlee Hultgren. “The cooling cradle we were able to use at the hospital where he was born extended the amount of time we spent with our precious boy. We wanted to make sure other families experiencing a similar loss had the same opportunity.”

Jonathon Hultgren added: “Of course we prefer that nobody has to use it. But it feels good to know it’s there for families if they do need it.”

As a long-time labor and delivery nurse, Renee Worrell, clinical manager of the Family Birth Center, knows newborn loss is a difficult but natural part of life. Typically, between four and 12 families each year might be asked if they would like to use the cradle.

“Our purpose is to be there for our patients in whatever way they need us,” Worrell says. “This kind and generous gift from Arlee and Jonathon expands the ways in which we can provide them with support. We are so proud and grateful they chose our hospital to receive this gift.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, approximately 40,000 babies are stillborn or die before they leave the hospital.

Metro Detroit Share, a local nonprofit, facilitated the donation.

Gesher Human Services Offers Job Skills Program for Those with Intellectual Disabilities

Gesher Human Services in Southfield is collaborating with Detroit’s College for Creative Studies (CCS) to offer participants in its vocational Skill Building Program the opportunity to explore varying disciplines of art in a semester-long program.

Gesher’s Skill Building Program provides metro Detroiters with intellectual and developmental challenges vital skills to help them become more integrated into the community through meaningful volunteer and other work.

The new collaboration with CCS brings participants from its program to the college one day a week to explore fields of art. In a separate collaboration with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), participants attend the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center once a week to meet with a certified music therapist along with DSO musicians.

Over the next three months, participants will learn about music as a profession, learn how to play various instruments, choose music that they would like to perform, and plan for a performance where they will be accompanied by DSO musicians in front of an audience. For images click here.

“With the CCS program, our goal is to make our participants aware of the many different careers in art and design and show how these relate to everyday life, whether it’s animation they see on television or the design on a pair of gym shoes,” says Lillie Sorrell, vice president of vocational services at Gesher.

“With the DSO, our participants, who are often artistic and musical, have the chance to explore music in depth and determine what forms of music they enjoy most, and perhaps discover instruments they would like to learn. Everyone attending has the chance to explore career fields in art and music they might not have come across.”

The current format for the CCS program is that the first half of the day is spent with teachers and senior CCS students from various disciplines, where individuals get an understanding of what the art form involves and work on a related project. Types of art being showcased include fine arts, industrial design, interior design, graphic design, entertainment arts and video game design. In the afternoons, participants are enrolled in a photojournalism class, where they learn presentation and other skills by displaying photographic images they have taken that morning.

The CCS program started in mid-January and will run through March. Currently 12 participants are enrolled who come from the Skill Building Program, which has centers in Detroit and Southfield. A similar number of participants are taking part in the DSO program.

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