Officials, leaders assemble for annual chamber event

Photo by Evelyn Cairns

Steve and Darlene Szatmari, owners of The Rhapsody restaurant, are shown with a small number of the many desserts created by Darlene for the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber’s annual Salute to Government Officials in December at the PNC Bank in Southgate. Approximately 400 public officials and business and community leaders gathered at the event to network and exchange holiday greetings.

By Evelyn Cairns
Approximately 400 government officials and business and community leaders gathered in December at the PNC Bank in Southgate for the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber’s annual Salute to Government Officials.

In addition to networking and exchanging holiday greetings, the guests visited the awesome buffet stations of The Rhapsody, which offered, among a wide variety of choices, shrimp shooters, Salmon Wellington, pates, terrines, hand-carved beef tenderloin, pork schnitzel and the restaurant’s popular beef goulash with dumplings.

Owners Steve and Darlene Szatmari were on hand to accept compliments on the menu items and invite the guests to enjoy Darlene’s delectable desserts, among them Hungarian Napoleons, nut and apricot kifli, mini cheesecakes, tarts, rum balls, strudels, and made-to-order crepes.

The evening included a raffle for prizes ranging from tickets to Crystal Garden’s New Year’s Eve party to restaurant dinners.

Other raffle items were donated by Comfort Suites of Southgate, Dr. Noel Jackson and Dr. Sherri Snider, the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center, EmbroideMe, Harriet Cole of Healthy Habits, Jerry’s Market, Ronnie Jacek of PNC Bank, Jimmy Jacek, Yvette Pugh of AT&T, The Rhapsody, Savannah’s, Super Steamer and Vreeland Market.

Volunteers for the Salute were Rich Lindow, Steve Fortuna, Harriet Cole, Tom Cole, Yvonne Winands, Tillie Balogh, Maggie Knopka, Al Bates, Krishelle Kohler, Jim Beri, Mark Slagle, Tommy Pascarelli and Anne Hatley.

The Farbman Group hosted the event, and Comcast and PNC Bank were sponsors.

Sandy Mull, chamber president, is accepting nominations for awards to be presented at the SWCRC’s annual member tribute and passing of the gavel on Jan. 13. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Downriver Italian-American Hall, 646 Biddle, Wyandotte.

Outgoing chamber chairman Jeff Jones of Apex System will pass the symbol of office to Pugh.

Nominations for awards are being accepted in the following categories: Corporate Citizen, Community Service, Image, and Greening Downriver. For details, call Mull at (734) 284-6000, Ext. 29, or e-mail her at

Tickets for the tribute, $15, include hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Reservations are being accepted at (734) 284-6000.

Rob Bovitz is honored
Congratulations to Rob Bovitz, president of Bovitz CPA of Trenton, who was recently honored at an awards dinner by the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Bovitz received the organization’s Public Service Award, which recognizes contributions to the community and business.

A board member of the Downriver Council for the Arts, he is well known for his support of the arts. Bovitz also is the president and a founding member of the Trillium Academy and serves other organizations, among them the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Arbor Hospice, the Karmanos Center and the United Way Allocation Committee.

Peggy A. Dzierzawski, MACPA president and CEO, said that Bovitz’ “philosophy of giving to the community, without expectation of returned favors, demonstrates what a CPA really is and should be: a public servant.”

A longtime resident of Trenton, Bovitz now lives in Canton, where he also practices his profession.

Coming up . . .
Jan. 7-9 — Southern Great Lakes Symphony Downriver Idol contest preliminaries; the contest is not affiliated with American Idol; for more information and a registration form, call (734) 246-2890 or visit the SGLS Website,

(To contribute an item for Going Places, e-mail or call (734) 692-5966.)