Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Meadow Brook Hall Fundraiser Offers ‘Walk on Wild Side’
Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester is inviting the public to take a walk on the wild side for its biggest fundraiser of the year, its Wild Game Dinner and Auction Sept. 23.
The event will feature a strolling dinner, unique auction items, and live music all set against the backdrop of the National Historic Landmark, located on the campus of Oakland University.
“Meadow Brook’s Wild Game Dinner is an evening you won’t soon forget,” says Shannon O’Berski, external relations director at Meadow Brook Hall. “Not only is the experience itself a unique night out, but every ticket has a big impact on Meadow Brook itself.
“As a self-supporting museum and cultural institution, we rely on touring, special events, and community support keep our doors open — particularly as we continue to feel the impact of the pandemic. At Meadow Brook, every ticket counts and every dollar makes a difference.”
New this year will be a live performance from the local Americana band Athens Creek. Meadow Brook’s in-house chef has curated a strolling dinner menu featuring inventive takes on wild game cuisine, such as braised bison brisket chili and elk short rib ravioli with fortified tomato broth and shaved Romano.
The evening will feature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a unique selection of silent auction items along the loggia terrace as the sun sets over the great estate. Choose from jewelry, travel experiences, exclusive packages, outdoor gear, hunting rifles, and much more.
Guests also can try their luck in the winner’s choice raffle to win a trip for two — for wine tasting in Napa Valley, golf in Monterey, or to see “Hamilton” on Broadway. Raffle tickets are $100 each and only 100 tickets will be sold.
Reservations are required. Visit here for more information or to make a reservation.
Michigan Unemployment Rate Declines Slightly in July
Michigan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate declined by 2/10th of a percentage point to 4.8 percent in July, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Statewide total employment inched up by 4,000, while the number of unemployed decreased by 8,000, resulting in a minimal workforce reduction of 4,000 since June.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell by half a percentage point between June and July to 5.4 percent. Michigan’s July unemployment rate was 0.6 percentage points below the national rate. Over the year, the U.S. rate receded by 4.8 percentage points, while the statewide rate decreased by 4.2 percentage points.
“Michigan’s labor market continued to recover during July,” says Wayne Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “The unemployment rate moved to the lowest level since March 2020, and the state recorded the largest monthly payroll job gain since February 2021.”
Although Michigan’s employment level increased for the fifth consecutive month, its July 2021 jobless rate remains above pre-pandemic levels.
The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a 10th of a percentage point to 4.3 percent during July. Employment inched up by 3,000, while unemployment moved down by 3,000. The Detroit MSA workforce level was essentially unchanged in July.
The Detroit region jobless rate dropped by 6.8 percentage points since July 2020, as workers were recalled to jobs from pandemic-related layoffs. Employment advanced by 70,000, and the number of regional unemployed dropped sharply by 148,000. The Detroit MSA labor force remained 80,000 below year-ago levels.
The monthly survey of employers indicated that total nonfarm jobs in Michigan rose in July by 31,000, or 0.8 percent, the largest monthly job gain since February. Payroll employment levels in Michigan were 4,166,000 during July.
Most major statewide industries exhibited job additions during July. The largest job advance occurred in the leisure and hospitality industry, with employment up by 12,000 in July. The only industry with a noticeable job cut in July was the auto sector, which was down by 6,000 jobs due to layoffs related to the nationwide shortage of semiconductors.
Olga’s Kitchen Launches Olga’s Express in Detroit
Olga’s Kitchen, the Livonia-based brand owned and operated by Livonia-based Team Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR), is launching Olga’s Express in Detroit to service orders placed through third-party delivery service providers.
Featuring a menu with core fan-favorite items, Olga’s Express will prepare Olga’s Snackers, a variety of Olga’s, and The Olga Salad. This Olga’s Express will not have a storefront or guest pick-up available. It is to prepare food orders made through services such as Uber Eats and Doordash.
“At TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants, we’re always looking for new, innovative ways to serve our guests and expand access to Olga’s Kitchen for guests who love our food,” says Mark Schostak, executive chairman at TSFR. “Delivery service has been on the rise and has only increased over the past year. We’re thrilled to launch Olga’s Express in Detroit to cater to guests’ order method preference with the menu items they’ve come to know and love.”
Kirk Gibson Golf Classic Slated for Aug. 23
The Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s is hosting its fifth annual Kirk Gibson Golf Classic at 10 a.m. on Aug. 23 at Wyndgate Country Club in Rochester Hills.
Over the last four years, the event has raised more than $700,000 to fund programs to benefit Parkinson’s patients and to provide research grants to find help a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
Gibson, a former Detroit Tigers star outfielder and current television color commentator and team special assistant, will be golfing along with current and former athletes including Allan Trammell, David Wells, and Tom Izzo and others.
The event is sold out, but the public is encouraged to make a donation to the foundation here.
The Suburban Collection to ‘Drive Away Hunger’ with Gleaners
To help households in Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, Monroe, and Macomb counties feed their families, The Suburban Collection announced its second annual Drive Away Hunger fundraising campaign in partnership with Gleaners Community Food Bank.
The goal is to engage staff and the community to raise funds for 375,000 meals for Gleaners by Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30.
“Through times of uncertainty, Gleaners has always stepped in to make sure local families know where their next meals are coming from,” says David Fischer Jr., group vice president of The Suburban Collection. “Across The Suburban Collection, our team members are enthusiastic and determined to support Gleaners’ efforts throughout our community — with a bit of friendly competition added.”
The Suburban Collection’s leadership and 2,500 team members across its southeast Michigan locations are working together to reach the 375,000-meal goal.
Each dealership appointed a Team Champion to lead location-specific fundraising initiatives ranging from casual Friday events to golf outings. Customers and community members are encouraged to donate funds in-store or participate in The Suburban Collection’s virtual food drive competition page through Gleaners here.
Online, donors can view all of Suburban’s 24 fundraising teams and support the team of their choice with a financial contribution or by “checking out” food items during a virtual shopping cart experience. Every dollar donated provides three meals.
“Life has changed for everyone in the past year and a half, and so many of our neighbors in need continue to worry how they will make ends meet,” says Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners. “One thing we can do together is to make sure food is not one of their worries. Support to The Suburban Collection’s ‘Drive Away Hunger’ campaign will help provide nourishing food to households deeply affected by the pandemic. When we come together to fight hunger, everyone wins.”
As part of the campaign, The Suburban Collection will allocate funds raised by its Ann Arbor locations to Food Gatherers, the primary food bank serving Washtenaw County communities. The Suburban Collection will additionally provide a matching gift for the same amount to Gleaners.
Fresh Thyme Hosting Hiring Event This Weekend
Fresh Thyme Market is hosting a hiring fair at all 70 of its locations in the Midwest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Friday and Saturday.
During the company hiring event, on-the-spot interviews will take place. Depending upon the position the candidate (anyone 16 years of age or older) is applying for, there are typically one to two interviews.
The job opportunities provided by Fresh Thyme offer competitive pay and benefits that include team member discounts, flexible work schedules, full and part time positions, leadership positions and much more.
Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids Earns Grant to Train Postdoctoral Fellows
The National Cancer Institute has awarded Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids a five-year, $1.7-million grant to establish a training program for postdoctoral fellows in cancer epigenetics, a growing field with the potential to impact human health.
The new Cancer Epigenetics Training Program combines extensive professional development with comprehensive, interdisciplinary research training by VAI’s internationally recognized cadre of experts. Postdoctoral trainees also will have access to the institute’s shared scientific resources and technologies, as well as opportunities to participate in established translational research programs and partnerships led by VAI investigators.
Epigenetic abnormalities are universally found across cancers and serve as major drivers for malignancy, making them targets for the development of novel cancer therapies. As such, the field — and its capacity for producing breakthroughs — is rapidly expanding.
“In the past few years, VAI has become a global destination for groundbreaking, collaborative cancer epigenetics research,” says Peter A. Jones, chief scientific officer at VAI. “Postdoctoral trainees will emerge from our Cancer Epigenetics Training Program with extensive, rigorous training and a solid foundation from which to launch their independent research careers.”
Forgotten Harvest to ‘Chop Down Hunger’ with Chef Amanda Freitag Oct. 14
Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park and Chef Amanda Freitag of the Food Network are partnering to Chop Down Hunger during a virtual cooking competition fundraising event that will take place Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.
Proceeds from the Chop Down Hunger event will benefit Forgotten Harvest Farms, the fully operational, 95-acre farm that grows fresh produce that is donated to metro Detroiters in need.
In celebration of women in the culinary industry, the event will feature chef contestants Genevieve Vang of Bangkok 96, Manal Hussein of For the Love of Sugar, Shanel DeWalt of the Kellogg Co. and Allie Lyttle of LaLa’s Ann Arbor. “Chopped” champion Crystal Smith and Detroit Free Press food and dining reporter Sue Selasky will join on the judge’s panel. Contestants will compete to become the first-ever Chop Down Hunger champion.
“Our partnership with Chef Amanda Freitag has allowed us to create an event completely different from those in the past,” says Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “Chop Down Hunger will be an exciting and competitive event that allows us the opportunity to provide more nutritious food options for those in need.”
An online auction will be conducted Oct. 11-17 in conjunction with the event. To donate an auction item, please contact Hank Wolfe-Rodriguez, Community Engagement Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Tickets for the virtual cooking competition fundraiser, which are on sale now, are $50 per device (unique access codes will be emailed to ticket purchasers 1-2 weeks before the event) and can be purchased here. For more information, visit here.
Middle School Students Learn About STEAM at WCC on Saturdays
Science, technology, engineering, art, and math converge for middle school students at this year’s Super STEAM Saturdays starting this week at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.
Hosted throughout the school year by the WCC faculty who will lead the free monthly Super STEAM Saturdays designed to engage middle school students in fun and interactive learning activities. Older and younger students and families also are invited to register.
This week’s first session will be hosted virtually Saturday, Aug. 21, from 1-2 p.m. The “Not So Random” Math Probability workshop led by Megan Richendollar will involve music, games, and teams playing a “Jeopardy”-style game board to help strengthen probability math skills. No prior math knowledge of probability is required and a calculator is optional.
To register and review the entire schedule of Saturday activities, visit here.