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Front Desk News in Wyandotte 2009


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Wyandotte DDA Announces the Tour the City Downtown Property Showcase
Release Date: November 19, 2009

WYANDOTTE – Brandon Wescott, Director of the City of Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority (DDA) announced today that anyone interested in exploring available Downtown Wyandotte properties is welcome to the Tour the City Downtown property showcase on December 1st, 2009 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm. Check in will be at City Hall as an information packet on all twenty properties will be available along with a map to identify their locations. Property owners/landlords should have representatives at the locations to greet and answer any questions folks may have when they are considering renting or purchasing property. Please note that the public is responsible for their own transportation to the participating properties.

Wescott notes: “This is the first time we are attempting an event like this in Wyandotte, and the response from the business community has been outstanding. There will be twenty available properties to check out with representatives from the private sector to answer any questions you may have. If someone has been considering moving or starting their business here in Wyandotte this would be a great opportunity to see firsthand what is available and to interface with folks in a very casual and easy going manner.”

Members of the public wishing to check out the Tour the City Downtown Wyandotte property showcase are asked to come to City Hall between 2:00 – 7:00 pm on Tuesday December 1st, 2009 and pick up an information packet on all participating properties and a location map. Folks participating will be asked to complete a survey and either drop it back off to City Hall or mail back in a self addressed stamped envelope in order to provide feedback on how to make future similar events more successful. If you have any questions please contact Brandon Wescott of the Wyandotte DDA at 734-324-4506 or

Purple Heart Memorial Garden Fundraising Update
Release Date: September 15, 2009

The Purple Heart Memorial Garden fundraising effort has received an enormous boost due to the generosity of the City of Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority. A stipend of $32,500 from the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be donated to help complete this important historic project. Originally dedicated by Michigan Governor Harry Kelly in 1943 during the Second World War, the statue was designed and sculpted by Isadore DeBiasi of River Rouge. Featuring the poignant image of a US soldier caring for his wounded brother in arms, the monument was cast in limestone to stand as a testament to the sacrifice of Michigan servicemen and women. Wyandotte has the distinguished honor of being the first city in the country to which the National Military Order of the Purple Heart commissioned and donated a monument of this type. The Purple Heart Memorial Garden is located in the heart of the DDA district, and will become an important element in the streetscape of the downtown area.

Fundraising for the Purple Heart Memorial Garden has been ongoing, and in recent months the committee has been working diligently to raise funds, despite tough economic times. This generous donation from the Downtown Development Authority, in conjunction with other corporate sponsorships, and personal donations have brought the fundraising total to $210,900.00 of the working budget of $220,000.00. The committee is still soliciting and receiving donations and selling engraved pavers to raise the additional funds needed.

The statue itself has been completely reworked, sans the patina finish. The statue is currently being stored by Venus Bronzeworks, and will remain in storage until the remainder of the work at the site is complete. The dedication ceremony for the Purple Heart Memorial Garden is scheduled to occur on Memorial Day, May 31st of 2010. Donations toward the construction of the garden, or for ongoing garden maintenance, will be accepted at any time. However, in order to ensure that you receive an engraved paver in the garden, your order must be postmarked by December 1st of 2009.

Donation forms and more information about this project may be found on the City’s website or by calling 734-324-7284.

For more information, please contact the office of the Natalie Rankine, Special Projects Coordinator at or 734-324-7298 or the Office of the Mayor, Joseph Peterson at or 734-324-4540.

Wyandotte DDA Announces Michigan Main Street Orientation Webinar August 20th, 2009 Open to the Public
Release Date:  August 5, 2009

WYANDOTTE – Brandon Wescott, Director of the City of Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority announced today that anyone interested in becoming involved in the Main Street Program for the City of Wyandotte is welcome to attend the training sponsored by the Michigan Main Street Center on August 20th, 2009 at 10 AM in the City Council Chambers. The format of the training will be a Webinar, and thus the information will be transmitted via web connection projected and conference call.

Wyandotte DDA Chairman Tony Trupiano noted: “This webinar begins an opportunity to further realize how special Wyandotte is and how personal investment of time is essential to making our Main Street involvement effective and profound. It would be my hope that people from all age groups will attend to get a real grasp of how significant this opportunity is to our exceptional community.”

Wescott noted: “This will be a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in helping improve the downtown to gain the same information the staff and city officials will have to build awareness of the program and learn of the tremendous upside it delivers - this program is creating opportunities for new development and economic growth in downtowns across the State of Michigan and I would encourage folks to check out”

Members of the public wishing to request information regarding the Michigan Main Street Associate Level Webinar are asked to contact Brandon Wescott of the Wyandotte DDA at (734) 324-4506.

Mission Statement - The Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority shall initiate and coordinate downtown development through design, business recruitment, promotion and the effective use of private and public space for an attractive, festive downtown atmosphere. Adopted – January 9th, 2006.

MSHDA Announces Michigan Main Street Associate Level Communities
Release Date: July 2, 2009

LANSING – Keith Molin, executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) announced today that seven Michigan communities have been selected by MSHDA to take part in the Michigan Main Street Associate Level program. The seven selected communities will receive training over the next one to two years in the basics of the Main Street four point approach, including organization, promotion, economic restructuring and design. This training will be provided by staff from the Michigan Main Street Center @ MSHDA.

“Michigan’s economy cannot thrive without vibrant downtowns.” Molin said. “This program is creating opportunities for new development and economic growth in downtowns across our state.”

Upon learning of the Main Street Associate level designation City of Wyandotte Mayor Joseph R. Peterson noted that “The Main Street program will be the mechanism for bringing together diverse people to accomplish the task of revitalizing our downtown. The professional and technical resources we now have available to us are phenomenal.”

Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority Director Brandon Wescott also added “By utilizing the Main Street 4-point approach to tackle the complex issues of revitalization, capitalizing on a downtown’s history, and identifying the unique assets of the community we have given ourselves an opportunity to systematically improve our community in a manner that is sustainable and responsive to the market.”

The Michigan Main Street Associate program is part of Governor Granholm’s initiative to create vibrant communities in Michigan. These efforts are based on numerous recent studies showing that investing in our downtowns creates vibrant centers, making our state economically stronger. The seven communities to receive the Michigan Main Street Associate Level designation are:

• Buchanan
• Hamtramck
• Hart
• Lansing’s Westside
• Pentwater
• Wayland
• Wyandotte

Communities wishing to become a Michigan Main Street Community or request information regarding the Michigan Main Street Associate Level program are asked to contact Joe Borgstrom at MSHDA at (517) 241-4237.

MSHDA’s vision in the 21st century is to improve the quality of life for all Michigan residents and create vibrant communities by focusing on providing safe, affordable housing through homeownership and rental programs; ending homelessness; and revitalizing neighborhoods and downtowns. MSHDA’s loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds and notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. For information on this and other MSHDA programs, visit the Web site at

Sculpture Honoring Frostic Will Be Unveiled in Wyandotte Park
Release Date:  April 21, 2009/h3>

A sculpture created at Western Michigan University to honor Michigan artist, poet and naturalist Gwen Frostic will be unveiled Sunday, April 26, in Wyandotte, Mich., at the city park that bears her family name. The unveiling of the piece, which will be permanently installed at the site, is set for 2:00 p.m. at Frostic Field the day after what would have been Frostic's 103rd birthday. Frostic Field, located just north of the Copeland Center near the intersection of Mulberry
and Fourth streets in Wyandotte, was dedicated in 2006 to celebrate the achievements of the Frostic family in the community.

Gwen Frostic was a celebrated Michigan artist, whose lifelong love affair with her alma mater culminated in her bequest of a gift of $13 million to WMU, the largest single gift in the school's history. The 1927 WMU alumna died in 2001, the day before her 95th birthday. Widely known for her block print art, she lived at the time of her death in Benzonia, Mich., where she operated Presscraft Papers, Gwen Frostic Prints of Benzonia, a Michigan landmark. In 1986 she was
inducted into the Michigan Woman's Hall of Fame.

Frostic's life story began in Sandusky, Mich., in 1906. She moved to Wyandotte with her family in 1918, when her father became superintendent of Wyandotte Public Schools. In the early 1940s she set up her printing business in her home in Wyandotte and remained there until 1955 when she moved to Benzie County, starting with 40 acres and gradually creating a 285-acre wildlife sanctuary 35 miles southwest of Traverse City. Each summer, her home, studio, and print shop still draw thousands of visitors who come to shop and see her signature designs produced on her famed Heidelberg presses. Frostic was left with slight paralysis and slurred speech by a childhood illness, but she never let it limit her. She became an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur at a time when very few women worked outside the home, much less owned and operated businesses.

With the Gwen Frostic legacy for inspiration, four students from the WMU's Frostic School of Art, which was named for Frostic in 2007, worked together with faculty-sculptor John Running-Johnson to create a memorial that could be permanently located in Wyandotte. The initiative was facilitated by the late Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, former president of WMU and a longtime friend to Frostic.

The 12-foot high, 1,200 pound sculpture was completed last fall. Running-Johnson and students Andrea dePollo and Eric Froh, who have since graduated, worked with current students Rob Bartholomew of Kalamazoo and Greg Woody of Auburn, Mich. The team took its artistic cues from the flora and fauna found in Frostic's work. The artists created their own designs, which they cut into steel plates. The plates were folded to resemble Frostic’s famous greeting cards and then welded together. The dedication ceremony will include remarks by Wyandotte Mayor James DeSana, Director of Wyandotte Museums Jody Chansuolme, sculptor John Running-Johnson and Shirley Prygoski, chairperson of the dedication committee. Musical performance choral students from Roosevelt High School also will be part of the event.

For more information, contact the office of the Wyandotte Museums at 734-324-7297.

Article by Cheryl Roland, Kalamazoo, 269-387-8412

City Monument Refurbished; Ceremony Set For Next Year

The refurbishment of one of the city's best-known monuments is nearing completion. For more than six decades, the Purple Heart statue on Superior Boulevard near Biddle Avenue has served as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the heroes of World War II.

For more of this story, click here.

Sculpture In Honor of City's Most Famous Artist To Be Unveiled

A chance meeting three years ago has led to a gift memorializing the city's most famous artist.

A sculpture designed and created by a team of artists from Gwen Frostic's alma mater, Western Michigan University, will be unveiled at 2:00 pm Sunday, April 26, 2009 at Frostic Field, at Mulberry and Fourth streets.

For more of this story, click here.

Masonic Temple Being Eyed For An Arts Center

The idea of transforming the old Masonic Temple building into an arts center is picking up steam.

On Feb. 23, 2009, the City Council directed a committee to schedule a meeting this month to discuss a proposal from the Downriver Council for the Arts for development of a regional arts and culture center. The committee also was directed to consider any other proposals for the building.

For more of this story, click here.

High School Marching Band Plays Part in Inaugural Parade

It was cold and they didn't get much sleep. On top of that, security was tight and they had to scramble to find a place to sleep on their last night in the Washington, D.C., area.

But all that didn't matter for members of the Roosevelt High School marching band as they made their way past President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, on inauguration day.

For more of this story, click here.

Solar Celebration

The sun was shining brightly on the day the city and school district kicked off their first-ever solar energy project.

For more of this story, click here.

City To Showcase Its 'Green' Efforts

The green movement has become very popular, but few people know that it's nothing new to the city of Wyandotte.

For more of this story, click here.

Rotary Club Honors Policeman, Fireman and Educator

Like most community service organizations, the Rotary Club of Wyandotte recognizes its members for outstanding accomplishments.

But one of the most anticipated awards ceremonies the club is known for is its recognition of excellence at the Police Department, Fire Department and Wyandotte Public Schools.

For more of this story, click here.



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