NBC’s Anne Thompson is slated to be speaker, again

Photo courtesy of Anne Thompson

Photo courtesy of Anne Thompson

Anne Thompson will speak at the Downriver Town Hall meeting Nov. 11 at Crystal Gardens in Southgate. Her talk was rescheduled after a severe snowstorm forced the cancellation of her appearance in February.

By Evelyn Cairns
A severe snowstorm is unlikely to prevent Anne Thompson of NBC-TV News from addressing a Downriver Town Hall audience at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at Crystal Garden’s in Southgate as it did in February, when her talk had to be cancelled.

Well known to metro Detroit TV viewers as an award-winning reporter for WDIV, the speaker has been NBC News’ chief financial correspondent since 2005 and chief environmental-affairs correspondent since 2007.

In 2006, Thompson received the Gerald Loeb Award and was part of the “Nightly News” team that won the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Journalism Award and an Emmy for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

She also covered stories including the Columbine shooting and the World Trade Center tragedy.

While with WDIV-TV, the speaker won seven Emmy awards for stories including the account of Kirk Kerkorian’s attempted takeover of Chrysler, the near riots that followed the Detroit Pistons’ championship win in 1990, and a se-ries on two serial killers in the Detroit area.

She is seen on the “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and the “Today” Show.

Remaining speakers in the Town Hall lecture series include Klea Blackhurst, with a tribute to Ethel Merman, on Jan 13, and Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, author of “Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine’s Passion to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasures,” Feb. 10.

The final speaker will be Gina Barreca, called a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine, March 10.

For lecture ticket information, call 734-783-9224.

Bipolar benefit raises $200,000
A benefit luncheon for the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund at the University of Michigan Depression Center on Oct. 14 raised $200,000 for the fund, it was announced by Wally Prechter, who founded the fund in memory of her husband, Heinz, a victim of bipolar disorder who committed suicide in 2001.

Approximately 550 fund supporters gathered for the luncheon and a talk by former first lady of Canada Margaret Trudeau at The Henry, formerly The Ritz-Carlton.

Trudeau told the audience that, although she has suffered from bipolar disease most of her life, she was diagnosed with the disorder only a few years ago.

She talked about her privileged and stressful life as the wife of the late prime minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau, and their divorce; about her hospitalizations for depression; her bouts with drug addiction; coping with tragedies in her life; and her often erratic behavior.

Now a dedicated mental-health advocate, Trudeau offered a message of hope for victims of bipolar disorder through a balance of mind, body and spirit.

Proceeds from the benefit are earmarked for genetic research to find a cure for bipolar disorder.

Coming up . . .
Nov. 2 — Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council’s annual Nutcracker luncheon and boutique; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Birmingham Athletic Club, 4033 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Township; tickets are $50; for reservations or more information, call the Volunteer Coun-cil office at (313) 576-5154.

Nov. 4, 5, 6, 7 — Fall Festival of the Arts, sponsored by the Downriver Arts & Crafts Guild, Acanthus Art Society, Art Ambience and the Downriver Council for the Arts; opening reception at 7 p.m. Thursday with refreshments, silent auction and awards ceremony; the festival will con-tinue at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday; for more information, call Maureen Cassidy Keast at (734) 777-6109.

Nov. 6 — Children with Hairloss “Charity Ball 6”; cocktails and live and silent auctions at 6 p.m., strolling supper, 7 p.m.; at Laurel Manor, 39000 Schoolcraft, Livonia; tickets, $75; for reservations or more information, call (734) 379-4400 or (888) 454-3742.

Nov. 12, 13, 19, 20 — Musical theater production of “White Christmas” by the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center; at the Trenton Village Theatre; tickets are $12, adults; $10, seniors and students; for more information, go to www.dypac.com or call (734) 362-8153; a shadow-interpreted performance for the deaf by Terp Theatre will take place at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14.

Nov. 13 — Detroit Institute of Arts fundraiser, “DIA@125, a Gala,” marking the 125th anniversary of the DIA’s founding; 6 p.m. at the Art Institute; ticket levels are $125 to $2,500; for more information, call (313) 833-7967.