Downriver Idol finalists named

Photo by Jim Jacek

Photo by Jim Jacek

Marilyn Larese, the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year (left), is congratu-lated by Jeff Jones (left), the organization’s new chairman of the board, Sandra Mull, acting chamber president, and Sam Sobh, outgoing chairman. Larese and Sobh were among the award recipients at the SWCRC annual Member Tribute.

Twenty aspiring singers were chosen as semifinalists in the second round of the Southern Great Lakes Sym-phony’s Downriver Idol contest during auditions Jan. 8 to 10 in Allen Park and Grosse Ile.

Winners of the preliminary judging, who were selected from among nearly 100 contestants, include Mike Spriet-zer of Taylor, Jessica Colvin and Emily Morss of Allen Park, Erika Bonot and Jennifer Carevic of Brownstown Township, Katie Cassell of Woodhaven, and Doug Henry, Allyson Bozenski and Laura Semetko of Grosse Ile.

Others are Terrance Crandall and Jennifer Pegouski of Dearborn; Laura Mata of Wyandotte; Pam Jackson, Nikki Sarkody and Brook Upholzer of Trenton; Steve Smith of Flat Rock; Alli Blanchard of Romulus; Cree Car-rico of Detroit; and Dana Daniels and Stacey Mason of Farmington Hills.

They will compete in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Flat Rock Community Auditorium., 28100 Aspen Drive, off Gibraltar Road.

The competition is open to the public. Four judges and the audience as a body will select three finalists.

Tickets, $5 per person, will be sold at the door.

The finalists will perform with the SGLS in concert at the Flat Rock Auditorium on Feb. 21, when the Downriver Idol winner will be chosen by the audience.

Ambassadors honored at chamber’s tribute event
The Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber am-bassador of the year, Marilyn Larese, was among the chamber members honored Jan. 14 at the organization’s annual Member Tribute at the Downriver Italian-American Hall in Wyandotte.

Larise, of MJL Performance Solutions, was one of four individuals vying for the title, which is awarded for volunteerism and recruiting and welcoming new members of the organization.

Also recognized at the program were quarterly win-ners of the title Kathy Koze of SendOutCards, Mark Fromm of Business Growth Today and Hariette Cole of Healthy Habits, ambassador chairman.

Members gathered for networking, cocktails and a buffet of Italian specialties prior to the program, which in-cluded the passing of the gavel of board chairmanship by Sam Sobh of TCI Energy to Jeff Jones of Apex Systems.

The Community Service Award was presented to Noel and Debbie Jackson of the Downriver Youth Per-formance Center for their contributions and commitment to the quality of life Downriver.

Other recipients were Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospi-tal, Corporate Citizen Award, and Tim Keyes, Romulus economic chief, Image Award.

In addition, the city of Southgate, Wade Trim and Riv-erside Kayak Connections were recognized with Greening Downriver awards.

The event was hosted by Jeannie’s Catering and the hall.

Save the date . . .
Jan 29-Feb. 15 — Sesame Street Live production of “Elmo’s Green Thumb,” featuring such issues as children’s health and emergency preparedness; tickets, $12 to $32 (discounts for schools, Family Night); Detroit Public TV Benefit performance at 7 p.m. Feb. 5; tickets at all Ticket-Master location; to charge by phone call (800) 745-3000; for more information, call (313) 471-6611.

Feb. 10 — Dinner concert featuring award-winning Hungarian vocalist Anna Peller and a cimbalom duel; 6 p.m. at the Hungarian Rhapsody restaurant, 14315 North-line, Southgate; tickets, $35, include a choice of three en-trees, side dishes, dessert, coffee; for reservations, call (734) 283-9622.

Feb. 10 — Fair Lane Music Guild dessert concert by cellist Erik Asgeirsson; 7:30 p.m. at the Henry Ford Estate – Fair Lane (doors open at 7 p.m.); tickets, $15 ($14, sen-ior citizens; $9, students); for more information, call (313) 593-5330 or go to

Feb 11. – Downriver Hall lecture by Anne Thompson, chief environmental-affairs correspondent and financial and economic-news reporter for NBC News; 11 a.m. at Crystal Gardens, 16703 Fort St., Southgate; a limited number of tickets will be available at the door after 10:30; for more information, call (734) 783-9224.