Trenton High alumni meet again at awards ceremony

Photo by Evelyn Cairns

Tom Gunderson (second from left), owner of Flowers on the Avenue, is congratulated by his wife, Mona (left), and fellow Trenton High School alumnus Tim Bosman on winning the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber’s Corporate Citizen of the Year Award. The award was presented Jan. 13 at the chamber’s annual Member Tribute at the Italian-American Hall in Wyandotte.

By Evelyn Cairns
Tom Gunderson, recipient of the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber Member Tribute on Jan. 13, had a surprise reunion after the award ceremony with a former Trenton High School alumnus he hadn’t seen since they graduated.

Among those congratulating Gunderson, owner and founder of Flowers on the Avenue, in Allen Park, was Tim Bosman, former fire chief of Riverview, now a staff member of Concord Ambulance. Gunderson graduated in 1974, and Bosman in 1972. They also had played softball together.

The award winner said he began working in flower shops 38 years ago and established the Allen Park floral business 19 years ago.

He was recognized for “a business that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to, and achieved success in, the demanding area of industry and commerce . . .”

Marilyn Larese of MJL Performance Solutions won the chamber’s coveted Ambassador of the Year title, it was announced at the gathering.

Other award recipients were Wilkie & Zanley, Architects, Image Award; Ronnie Jacek of PNC, Community Service Award; and Comfort Suites, Second Step Advertising and the City of Taylor, Greening Downriver awards.

The outgoing chairman of the chamber board, Jeff Jones of Apex Systems, passed the gavel of office to Yvette Pugh of AT&T during the event.

The Downriver Italian-American Club hosted the evening.

Coming up . . .
Feb. 1 — Downriver Arts & Crafts Guild meeting; 6:30 p.m. at the Southgate Memorial Library, 14680 Dix-Toledo; members and prospective members have been asked to create a piece based on the color red for a member-challenge show focusing on the color for display at the Southgate Library through March 1; for additional information, call Maureen Cassidy Keast at (734) 777-6109 or e-mail

Feb. 2 – March — “Late Nite Catechism 3: ’til Death Do Us Part”; at the Gem Theatre, 333 Madison Ave, Detroit; tickets, $29.50 to $34.50, are available by calling (800) 982-2787, at all TicketMaster outlets and online at; for more information, call (313) 983-9800.

Feb. 7 — Class in the Cooking with Style Series; “Buono Appetito Italiana: A Cooking Adventure Through Italy”; 5:30 p.m. at The Henry (formerly The Ritz-Carlton); $120, including dinner with wines and table-décor tips after the class (guests can join the group for dinner only for $75); for more information, call Leslie Jacobs at (248) 646-4517 or Colin Berens at (313) 253-4357.

Feb. 7, 8 — Auditions for 5- though 19-year-olds, as of audition date, for the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center production of “Honk, the Musical”; 6:30 p.m. at the Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson; $65 participation fee and $15 membership in DYPAC required; the play will be staged April 29 and 30 and May 1, 7 and 8 at the theater; for more information, call Debbie Jackson at (734) 671-2202 or e-mail

Feb. 9 — Fair Lane Music Guild dessert concert by Pauline Martin playing Beethoven’s “Sonata, Opus 109” and works by Chopin and Rachmaninoff; 7:30 p.m. at the Henry Ford Estate – Fair Lane; café seating begins at 7 p.m.; tickets, $15 ($14, seniors; $9, students), are available by calling (313) 593-5330 or going to

Feb. 10 — Lecture in the Downriver Town Hall series by Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, author of “Thieves of Baghdad; One Marine’s Passion to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasurers”; 11 a.m. (doors open at 10 a.m.) at Crystal Gardens, 16703 Fort St., Southgate; for information about indi-vidual ticket sales, call (734) 783-9224.

Feb. 13 — Valentine Day Tea with a talk by Greg Tasker, author of “Sander’s Confectionery,” about the history of Sander’s and Detroit’s love affair with the 130-year-old-plus confectionery; 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ikaros Hall, 1677 Fort St., Lincoln Park; tea, scones, tea sandwiches and desserts will be served; tickets, $10; for reservations, call (313) 598-3137.