This year’s gala featured prominent community members who give back.

By Allison Jacobs

Photography by Derrick Martinez


The fourth annual Bates Street Society Dinner at the Community House in Birmingham was a night to remember, featuring a three-course dinner, musical entertainment and distinguished local personalities.

The purpose of the dinner is to not only recognize individuals who help support the Community House, but also to honor seven Metro Detroiters who go above and beyond to service the community.

Dr. Jeffrey S. Fischgrund


The seven individuals participate in the Community House’s Pillars of Vibrancy ceremony, which distinguishes their accomplishments in the categories of culture, education, wellness and philanthropy.

Three distinguished guests who were honored as Pillars of Vibrancy just so happen to be Jewish.

Arthur Horwitz, publisher and executive editor of the Detroit Jewish News, president of Renaissance Media and founding president of the Detroit Jewish News Foundation, was honored first as a Pillar of Culture.

Arthur Horwitz

Beaumont’s very own, Dr. Jeffrey S. Fischgrund, was selected as a Pillar of Education and Wellness. He is the Chairman of the Orthopaedic Department at Beaumont Health and conducts spinal research.

A highly-anticipated inductee was best-selling author, journalist and radio and TV broadcaster, Mitch Albom.  While Albom is well-known for his literary works, he is also the founder of multiple charities including Detroit Dream Scholars and S.A.Y. Detroit.

Additional Pillar honorees included Richard DeVore, Amy and Dan Loepp and Bill Roberts of the Roberts Restaurant Group.

After a brief intermission, philanthropist Cynthia Ford stepped up to the podium as the keynote speaker. Her main message was a call-to-action for making connections with people in need.

“We learn quickly to put assumptions aside and to realize, for example, the homeless are worthy of our love and support and that so often, human conditions and situations arise for no other reason than for one’s lack of proximity of resources,” Ford says.

Mitch Albom