Monday, July 1st 2013

Community Champions
Single mom puts heart on the line for adoptive daughters Print
Written by Olha Dunbar
Thursday, November 10 2011

Sally HOffman accepts the 2008...

November is National Adoption Month and a fitting time to recognize The Holly Express’ newest Community Champion, Dr. Sally Hoffman.

A widow and retired educator, Hoffman, 60 is the stay-at-home mother to two lucky girls – Nicky, 15 and Noely, 8. Both girls are now thriving thanks to the love and support given to them by Hoffman and her extended network of family and friends.

Hoffman first adopted Nicky in 2004 after reading a feature written about her in a Detroit newspaper. Labeled a “difficult child,” Nicky had spent four years in foster care.

"She wasn't difficult – she just wouldn't tolerate the abuse she suffered in eight different foster homes – she wanted out, and she wanted love,” Hoffman said. "It didn't make any difference to us that we were of different races - we decided to ignore those who had a problem with race."

Lessons learned from a generation of giving Print
Written by Olha Dunbar
Tuesday, September 27 2011

Olha Dunbar

Born on Feb. 14, 1931, Don Ellis grew up learning that the only way to get ahead was by helping your neighbor. Ellis, a longtime Holly resident, is instrumental in the assistance he offers to those renting plots at Holly’s Heritage Farmstead Community Garden on N. Holly Road. Eighty years young, Ellis is still going strong.

One of the many interesting things about Ellis’ help at the Community Garden is the fact that he himself doesn’t have a plot – he is just there helping others tend to their plants, offering wisdom and advice as to the best way to manage it.

That knowledge didn’t come to him by casual means, but by learning lifesaving techniques from his parents that saved the family from starvation.

Some of Ellis’ fondest memories revolve around how his father taught him at a very young age the art of tending a garden.

Local volunteer uses gift to bring out the best in kids Print
Written by Olha Dunbar
Tuesday, September 13 2011

Olha Dunbar

“We came into the world like brother and brother; and now let's go hand in hand, not one before another.” Act V, Scene I from “The Comedy of Errors”, written in 1594 by William Shakespeare.

These are the final words and the final play directed by the founder and creative director of the Michigan Youth Theatre, Dr. Lisa Hodge Kander, of Holly. Kander has a passion and an innate talent to integrate children into the entire play production experience. It was her dream to begin a drama club for young people when her own children showed an interest in theatre. And what began as a 4H Club activity flourished to become the now thriving Michigan Youth Theatre (MYT), a 100 percent volunteer organization.

Since 2000, this non-profit group has been on a mission to help young people feel accepted, loved and respected. As a result of Kander’s work, students can come together in this nurturing atmosphere and develop many talents - some of which they were aware of, and others not. But Kander always has a knack for bringing out the best in her kids.

During the rehearsal for, “The Comedy of Errors” at the Wildwood Amphitheatre in Lake Orion this summer, young people and parents alike spoke of Kander in glowing terms.

‘Golden girl’ with a heart for community service Print
Written by Olha Dunbar
Tuesday, August 23 2011

Olha Dunbar

Community leader, avid and passionate service worker, positive influence, role model, organized, efficient, and energetic. These are only a few of the words that describe this week’s volunteer, and if you don’t know who she is yet, hang tight, because Katy Golden Hughes is the consummate Community Champion, and supporter of all things Holly.

Hughes, 33, a lifelong resident of the Holly area, says she learned early on from her parents the meaning of giving back to one’s community. Along with her husband, Holly Councilman Jason Hughes, the couple is equally passionate and dedicated to delivering good works and focused leadership to this community. Together they are working to instill those qualities in their 5-year old daughter Olivia.

A call to action for parents, guardians and mentors Print
Written by Olha Dunbar
Wednesday, August 10 2011

Olha Dunbar

Community Champions can be found everywhere – even right here in Holly where they continue to volunteer their time, meeting the needs of others. One such place you’re sure to find a Community Champion or two is in the hallways of our schools.

Like many other school districts, Holly Area Schools are supported by a huge network of parents, guardians and other ancillary members of the community, providing a steadfast volunteer force that supports its students, teachers, administrators and other staff members.

Providing their time year after year, volunteers like Patty Lipischak step in to provide support to Holly Area School students and staff, fulfilling a variety of roles including tutor, mentor, chaperone, and coach to name just a few.

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