The Third Annual Kenneth Prygoski Blue and Gold Dinner sponsored by the Wyandotte Scholarship Foundation was held October 10 at VFW 1136 in Wyandotte.
This year’s event honored school employees and community volunteers, citizens, and business owners.
The city of Wyandotte is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Community Awards.
Outstanding Civic Employee: Brian Zalewski The city didn’t have to look far for the next person to lead the Police Department. Zalewski was born and raised in Wyandotte. He has been on the force for 26 years, with a majority of that time on the beat. For many years, he could be seen patrolling the city’s streets on his motorcycle. Zalewski was hired in 1991, along with six other officers. He said he has learned a great deal over those years, serving under the leadership of five police chiefs.
Outstanding Service Member: Marge Ballheim Marjory is passionate about her community and animals dedicating hours volunteering in the community and fostering rescue dogs. Marge has always loved to travel and experience new adventures. She has been recognized for her community service throughout the years receiving awards such as the Salvation Army Lifetime Service Award, Distinguished Kiwanian of the Year, Lifetime Service Award from Roosevelt High School Key Club, and several other awards.
Outstanding Veteran: Cliff Harris Cliff is a dedicated veteran to the community and his country. Cliff graduated from Roosevelt High School on Honor Roll. He courageously joined the U.S. Marine Corp shortly after he graduated in 1967. He served between Vietnam and El Toro Air Base in California in 1969. Cliff joined the VFW Post 1136 in 2011 where over 6 years dedicated his time and effort. Over those years he held several titles such as Jr. Vice Commander, Post Commander, and Senior Vice Commander. Cliff was awarded the All State Commander Award in 2014 and the Honor Post Award in 2015.
Outstanding Veteran: Bob Mayrand Robert Mayrand has been an active member of the American Legion Dept. of Mi for over 44 years. He has consistently and continually promoted the principles and goals of the Legion at all levels. His profound and dynamic leadership and sound advice have been well known and greatly appreciated.
Outstanding Volunteer: Patt Slack Lead Designer, gallerist, art consultant, city advocate are just a few ways to describe Patt Slack. Owner and founder of Rivers Edge Gallery that she and her late Husband, Jim Slack created in 1980. Slack has been a staple of the City of Wyandotte and our beautiful Downtown. She has been a dedicated volunteer on the Wyandotte Street Art Fair Committee, the Downtown Development Authority and the Wyandotte Business Association.
Outstanding Volunteer: Barb Duran Barb Duran is involved with a number of organizations, including Kiwanis Club of Wyandotte, Michigan Association of Planners, Detroit Business Advisory Council, Michigan Professional Women’s Network, Business Network International and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Barbara also is the chairwoman of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. At one time, she won the title of Mrs. Wyandotte and competed in the Mrs. Michigan Pageant.
Outstanding Business Owners: Biddle Bowl and Lounge is an 8-lane bowling center that opened in 1948 on the corner of Biddle Ave. and Labadie St in Wyandotte. Fred Woelkers was the original owner of the business until 1972 then turned the business over to his son, Robert Woelkers Sr. In 2002 Bob Sr. stepped down and turned the family business over to his son Robert Woelkers Jr. and daughter Judy Sadler. Rob and Judy continue the family tradition of getting bigger and better and we can’t thank them enough for their commitment to their business and our community.
Outstanding Veteran: Shoppers Valley The Garmo family, Larry: CEO, Norm: Manager and father Sabri: Chairman. The family started the Shoppers Valley Market in 1979 and have been very involved in the community ever since. They strongly believe in giving back to the communities they serve and firmly believe in returning the support that the citizens have given them.
Sponsoring this year;s dinner were, Daly Merritt Insurance, Trinity Transportation, Norm Walker and Brown’s Village Cleaners, Johnny Mac’s Market and John Jarjosa, Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority, Wyandotte Municipal Services, Bobcat Bonnies, La Vie en Rose, 359 Yoga, Firehouse Pub and Grill, The Purple Rose Theatre Company, Rivers Edge Gallery, Wyandotte Museum, Wyandotte Shores Golf Course, The Wyandotte Street Art Fair, Jiffy, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers, Community Publishing, Wyandotte Massage, Better Made Chips, Disney, Vinewood Bakery, Patrick Sutka and Family, James Wagner, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the VFW 1136 of Wyandotte.