Commerce Township will be hosting its 27th annual Community Breakfast on Tuesday, May 17 at the Edgewood Country Club.
The event originated with the township’s sesquicentennial celebration. According to Pat Dohany, the event’s coordinator and the former township and Oakland County treasurer, the community breakfast was one of the special events held at that time, and township officials decided to continue it on through the years.
“The goal of the Community Breakfast is to recognize ordinary people who have done extraordinary things in our community,” Dohany said.
Those chosen to be honored are first nominated throughout the winter in five different categories: Outstanding Citizen; Outstanding Contribution; Outstanding Business Person; Historic Preservation; and Parks and Recreation. According to Dohany, anybody can nominate a person in any category. The nominations then go to the Breakfast Committee, which makes the final determinations on the annual awards.
Patricia Hillebrand has been selected as this year’s Outstanding Citizen for her work with the Friends of the Commerce Township Community Library, for which she now serves as president. Hillebrand organizes volunteers, holds board meetings, networks with other libraries, and finds places to take unsold books, as well as works 12 to 15 hours a week at the library.
The Outstanding Contribution Award this year goes to Sandra Abrams Kress, who has been active in Commerce for the past 34 years. She has served the township in various capacities since 1988 — most recently as clerk, during which time she was the president of the Oakland County Clerks’ Association, President of Municipal Clerks’ Association, and named the Clerk of the Year by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks in 2003. She also volunteers with Lakes Area Youth Assistance and was co-chair of the annual Taste of the Lakes event.
Matheson Heating and Air Conditioning will receive the Outstanding Business Person award this year, and has been in the township since the early 1950s. The business has donated numerous times to the lakes area community, providing help to many organizations such as the Commerce Township Historical Society, Milford Historical Society, The Byers Homestead, Walled Lake Schools athletics and music departments, Boy Scouts of America, local sports teams, and individual families in need. In 2010 and 2011, the business received the Carrier President’s Award for meeting the highest expectation of its dealers.
The Historic Preservation Award goes to the Long Family Barn this year, to recognize the preservation and renovation of the barn structure that serves local families with history and provides a family-friendly place. The Longs have made several improvements to the structure which include painting, a new roof, windows, gutters, and a remodeled kitchen. The structure was recently awarded the Michigan Barn of the Year Award in the commercial use category from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.
The Michigan Mountain Biking Association, a charitable non-profit corporation, has been honored with the Parks and Recreation Outstanding Service Award. Over the years, the group has developed and maintained 6.5 miles of trails throughout Hickory Glen Park. They are also currently active in the Proud Lake Recreation Area with the Friends of Proud Lake Organization on Dual Equestrian and Mountain Bike Trails.
The award winners will be honored May 17 at Edgewood Country Club. Doors will open at 7 a.m. with breakfast being served at 7:30 a.m. Those interested in attending must purchase tickets in advance at the township Treasurer’s Office. Tickets are $15 each, and must be purchased by Friday, May 13.
“This is a nice event we’ve had going on for 27 years, and all are welcome,” Dohany said.