Sunday September 22nd was a day in which the City of Bloomfield Hills hosted a mini world’s fair and threw open its doors to welcome all from anywhere.
Seven attractions vied for attention. They included St. Hugo’s of the Hill, The Public Safety Department at City Hall, The Village Club, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Cranbrook Art Museum, Cranbrook House and Gardens , and Christ Church Cranbrook.
That is two churches, a fire department, a police department, a landmark community club that was once a barn, two museums and two historic homes and gardens.
Not bad for a day’s work and impossible to accomplish in a 1pm and 5 pm half day.
To whom do we owe this unique and wonderful experience?
To many and few. The many would be the extra efforts of the seven attractions whose staff provided an outstanding experience with the enthusiasm that would be the envy of a Disney attractions.
The few are the City’s greatest asset, its residents. There are those who play on the world stage and there are those who just have a good idea that clicks.
Every year for the last five years residents have come forward with initiatives or ideas that have benefited the city in one way or other.
In 2009 residents Margaret Brophy and Robert Toohey working independently, on separate issues started mailing letters to residents about what irked them about the City. The letters written at their own expense were sometimes funded by friends and neighbors who also signed on. This direct mail campaign is thought to have an effect in 2010 city election.
In 2010 resident Larry Neal came up with what he believed would be a solution to the City’s lack of a library. The proposal he put on the ballot lost at the polls . The Library issue however, thanks to his efforts was revitalized and in 2011 the City signed a three year contract with the Baldwin Library.
That same year Mark Kapel with the assistance of the Oakland Press Blog Workshop started the City of Bloomfield Hills Blog which you are now reading.
In 2012 Michael McCready a veteran of nothing more than our City Commission decided to run for State Representative. No one nominated him or asked him do so. He was on his own and at his own expense. In fact many of the political pros thought he was entering a crowded field late and gave him little chance. They were wrong and today Michael McCready is our State Representative.
In 2013 City Resident Mary Juras came to City Commission with the idea of expanding the 2012 Public Safety Open House into multi attraction event.
She chaired a committee which included the Mayor, resident Nancy Olin and some of the principals who hosted events. Juras told this publication that her Committee worked wonderfully and she gave them most of the credit.
Those are five years of the few, whose individual efforts have benefited many.
When the Celebrate event was first announced in January, meeting minutes and the word provided to the press said the event would be held at no expense to the City.
If that is true then all concerned benefited from a whole lot of donating.
The City of Bloomfield Hills has many friends. Nevertheless money is money and the negotiation efforts of Chairperson Juras, committee member Mayor McClure, committee member and City resident Nancy Olin, and Public Safety Director Hendrickson are not to be discounted. Donations included....
The Village Club provided an afternoon long no charge Ice Cream Social.
Christ Church Cranbrook provided the free services of docents by the dozens (or so it seemed) who picked up new arrivals quicker than a sales person working a used car lot. Virtually one on one unforgettable tours of one of the City’s most fascinating landmarks, was then provided.
The Beaumont helicopter as part of the event landed across street from City Hall and what seemed to be hundreds of kids ran across traffic controlled and blocked off Long Lake Rd. for a closer look. One observer from a half mile away said it looked like the greatest mad dash since the Red sea parted for Moses.