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Jan 24, 2017

$4 Million Indoor Multi Sport Complex Approved for Detroit

Innovative Public-Non-Profit Partnership at Tolan Playfield will provide free youth and senior programming, aims to build future Olympic athletes

The Detroit Fitness Foundation (DFF) today announced plans to develop a new indoor multi-sport complex featuring a world-class cycling velodrome as part of the city of Detroit’s planned improvements to Tolan Playfield, located at I-75 and Mack Avenue.  Councilwoman Mary Sheffield and City of Detroit Planning Director Maurice Cox joined DFF leaders at a groundbreaking ceremony today to champion the park improvements and complex project, which will break ground in the spring, weather permitting, and open in late summer 2017.

“Last year, we unveiled the city’s plan for investing in our parks and neighborhoods and this project is a perfect complement to our efforts,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Having safe and healthy spaces within our neighborhoods for families to live and play is essential to our city’s continued growth. The Detroit Fitness Foundation initiative will be a great asset to our community and its residents.”

The complex, funded by the Foundation, will be an air dome structure designed and built under the leadership of world-class velodrome developer Dale Hughes, DFF executive director. Hughes, a lifetime resident of Metro Detroit, has designed and built more than 20 velodromes worldwide, including the 1996 Olympic Velodrome in Atlanta and the 2015 Pan Am Games Velodrome in Toronto. Detroit will house the second permanent indoor cycling velodrome in the United States. Like Hughes’ own Olympic connections, Tolan Playfield has an Olympic heritage. The park was renamed in 1968 to honor Thomas Edward Tolan, Cass Tech graduate and the first African American man deemed the “World’s Fastest Human” and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. His accomplishments were extraordinary at the time and remain so today.

“Our goal is to provide kids with opportunities to turn the Olympic dream into a reality,” said Hughes. “I’ve had the honor of working on projects around the world but I am thrilled to bring this state-of-the-art indoor complex to my backyard in the city of Detroit.”

The complex will feature three main components or “fields of play,” a world-class velodrome cycling track, running, walking and in-line skating lanes and a multi-purpose infield and coffee shop/cafe. Once open, the complex will provide free access and programs including coaching and equipment for youth and seniors in the community. All other participation fees will align with the Northwest Activity Center.

In addition to the indoor complex, DFF is donating $125,000 for additional outdoor improvements to the park and the city has committed $250,000 for new outdoor features including playground equipment, a picnic shelter and tables, fitness station, skateboard ramp and horseshoe pits.

Councilwoman Mary Sheffield concluded: “This project is a perfect illustration of how you reignite a city neighborhood and its public space by leveraging our city resources to attract investment, jobs and a community resource such as this complex to better serve our community. The youth of Detroit deserve world-class facilities such as this, and I’m proud to be part of a City and City Council that is making it a reality.”

DFF, a Michigan non-profit, is seeking a naming rights sponsor as well as additional sponsorship opportunities for the complex and is working with other foundations to underwrite youth and community programs. Interested parties may contact Susan Tait, Director of Sponsorships, Grants & Administration at +1313-820-9955. 

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

SEA LIFE Michigan Welcomes Carr The Green Sea Turtle

Thank you to SEA LIFE Michigan and Identity for the invitation to attend the press event this morning so I could share this great news with my fans.

We had the opportunity to witness Carr being released from an isolation tank into the giant tank at SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium this morning.  There was a excitement building countdown, the removal of the wall and then Carr just sat there.... ;)  With a bit of guidance he swam to the larger tank and made himself at home.  What was really cool was that Benson (the smaller turtle who is 57 pounds lighter than Carr) was following Carr around the whole time we were there.  

Carr was severely injured in a boat collision that caused damage to his carapace and he has persistent flotation issues that prevent him from being released back into the wild.  SEA LIFE Michigan hopes that visitors will learn more about the protection and conservation of endangered animals, like Carr, and they will become inspired to take an active role in eliminating human threats.

Did you know?  Sea Turtles are an endangered species.  According to the Sea Turtle conservancy only 1000 to 10,000 of the turtle hatchlings born each year will survive to adulthood.  Sea turtles face natural threats from predators, but are affected by human caused threats too such as commercial fishing pollution, beach erosion and illegal hunting.

You can visit Carr and Benson at SEA LIFE Michigan at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Curious George: Let's Get Curious at Impression 5 in Lansing Through 5/7/17

Metro Detroit Mommy was invited to experience Impression 5 and the Curious George exhibit free of charge so that we could share our experience with you.

"The insatiable curiosity of Curious George – the little monkey who has captured the imagination and hearts of millions of children and adults for 65 years – comes to life January 21 at Impression 5 Science Center. The new traveling exhibit, Curious George: Let’s Get Curious!, will introduce young children to Curious George’s world and lead visitors on a fun, meaningful interactive math, science and engineering-based adventure." ~ Impression 5  

In addition to all the great things to do at Impression 5 Science Center, they will host the Curious George: Let’s Get Curious! special exhibit until May 7th, 2017.  Young and older fans alike will recognize George's apartment, the farm and many other fun places we have seen him visit over the years.  Each space provides the children the opportunity for hands on learning through play.

Impression 5 is located right off the expressway in downtown Lansing, just blocks away from the Capital Building and is just over an hour away from the Detroit Zoo via I696/96.

There is so much to do, that one could easily spend a couple hours exploring and learning in this part of the museum.  Guests can make wind socks, explore how wind works, pretend to be on the farm and care for animals, go shopping for fruits and veggies, build with blocks, experiment with color, wind, motion and so much more.

We visited the exhibits with three children ages 7, 4 and 18 months.  All three girls were fully immersed in the experience for the full ninety minutes and didn't want to leave when it was over.

Rosaleigh, age 7, was able to explore and learn with very little guidance.  She spent a lot of time reading, making crafts and doing the experiments.  Below she is experimenting with wind power.

Carlyn, age 4, had a ton of fun in the grocery area.  We talked about healthy food and used the scale to weigh the fruits and veggies.  She sorted the fruit and veggies into different compartments and counted how many of each there were and how many there were in all.  This was a great math experience for her.

Naomi, age 18 months, concentrated more on color identification and talking about the names of the food items in the store.  She also liked to drop the food into the barrel and put it back into the bins.

Rosa and Carlyn both enjoyed creating blue prints for a few different buildings.

The conveyor belt was a huge hit with all of the kids.

Naomi really enjoyed spending time at this mini exhibit with stuffed animals.  She really liked the bunny and placing it in the hutch.  There was also a pig/pig pen and chicken that went in the chicken coop.

And who doesn't love George.  There is an infant play area in this circle with lots for mobile infants to explore.

Overall we had a great time and plan of visiting again soon as this is a fantastic learning experience for all three of our children.

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Jan 23, 2017

Counselor's Corner: Resolving to Be the Change

It is a new year. The planners are out. The Christmas trees and celebratory decorations are down. How are you feeling? Really. How are you feeling? Are you connecting with your own needs and those of your children? As you may recall our goal this year is to bring focus to the issues that sometimes may be uncomfortable or swept under the rug. So we are at it again...

As we have been talking about our own community climate when it comes to social justice, empathy and general diversity have these conversations impacted you?  Have they impacted your children? 

Personally in our household we are doing our best to allow our son to understand the need to care about others. I shared this in my last article here about teaching by example but if you want to take it a step further here are a few ideas:

Little ones are never too young to learn. My son at 9 months.
1.) Ask your child(ren) to write note cards each month for people who mean a lot to them. Ask them to note what those people have taught them. If your child is 3...write three cards with your kid and let them draw pictures on the envelope. If your child is ten...they can independently write ten cards. You can choose teachers, neighbors, family members, publications, local politicians, national politicians,etc., They don't have to limit who these cards go to. 

2.) Choose a charity to give back to monthly. This could be as small as opening allowance dollars on a canned good (because canned goods are still needed even when it is not Thanksgiving time). This could be as big as donating time to a food bank or after-school program. 

3.) Make family wish lists on social changes you would like to see in the world and talk about how your personal household can help. This could be a small effort to smile more, opening the door for the person behind you, or a large gesture like creating a kids club devoted to kindness. 

Those are just 3 different ways that your new year can bring about change that helps you and your family but please feel free to think of your own way to change the community round you for the better. Share with us if you want! That is another way to spread kinds by the spreading the word. If this article was helpful-feel free to share it with a friend or two.     

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Pinkalicious The Musical is coming to the City Theatre: April 28 - 30, 2017 Discount Info and Giveaway {ends 2/22/17}

Metro Detroit Mommy and one lucky fan will receive tickets to this event in exchange for this promotional post.

Pinkalicious The Musical

“In Pinkalicious The Musical, Pinkalicious can't stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor's office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe - a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.
The one-hour musical, with book and lyrics by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann and music, lyrics and orchestrations by John Gregor, is based on the popular children's book Pinkalicious by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann. The musical adaptation is directed by Teresa K. Pond with musical direction by Jad Bernardo and original direction by Suzu McConnell-Wood.”

Show Info

Based on the popular children’s book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann, Pinkalicious The Musical will perform six shows at the City Theatre on Friday, April 28th through Sunday, April 30th.

Friday, April 28, 2017-6:30pm 
Saturday, April 29, 2017- 11:00am, 2:00pm, & 5:00pm
Sunday, April, 30 2017- 11:00am & 2:00pm 

Ticket Info

Metro Detroit Mommy fans will receive tickets normally priced at $29.50 for just $20.  

Order tickets online at PROMO CODE: mommy **

**Link does not work with Internet Explorer. Please use Safari, Firefox, or Chrome when ordering tickets online.

Order tickets by phone contact Ashley Dolin at 313.471.3095 or email at

The Giveaway

Use the form below for a change to win four tickets to the Friday, April 28 at 6:30pm performance. 

Pinkalicious The Musical is coming to the City Theatre: April 28 - 30, 2017

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Jan 21, 2017

What All Mommies NEED to Know About Estate Planning

A Quick Guide to Estate Planning in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

“Estate Planning is for old people.” – Everyone who hasn’t read this blog post.

“I need an Estate Plan.” – You when you finish reading this blog post.

Estate Planning should be the most popular area of law in the country. I should be driving a Mercedes instead of a Ford. Why? Because literally every single person in the state of Michigan needs some form of an Estate Plan. Unfortunately, for me, most of my potential clients are blissfully unaware of that fact. Most people assume that only the very wealthy and the near-dead need an Estate Plan. For the average Michigander in their thirties or forties, Estate Planning is the last thing on their minds. Most probably have more debt than assets at this point. They have student loans, a brand-new mortgage, and two or three beautiful (and extremely expensive) kids. Who needs an Estate Plan if they have no money? Also, people in their thirties and forties don’t die. Who needs an Estate Plan now when they are going to live another fifty years? The answer to both questions is: you do. You need an Estate Plan now to protect yourself, your spouse, and your kids.

How does an Estate Plan protect you now?

Although we all feel invincible at this age, nobody is. Accidents happen. Your Estate Plan will include documents called Powers of Attorney that protect you in the event of incapacity. If you are incapacitated and unable to give informed consent, somebody else will have to make your medical decisions for you. To help demonstrate the importance of a Medical Power of Attorney, let’s create two hypothetical Mommies. Best friends Emily and Lisa are both 35 years old. Emily read this article and has an Estate Plan. Lisa did not read this article and does not have an Estate Plan. Emily and Lisa get in a car accident on the way to a much-needed Mom’s night out. Both are incapacitated and unable to make their own medical decisions. Emily has a Patient Advocate Designation appointing her husband, John, to make medical decisions for her and has made clear her wishes not to be artificially kept alive on life-support. The doctors tell Emily’s husband that she has permanent brain damage and is in a coma. Emily’s husband is able to honor her wishes and withdraw life support, lessening Emily’s suffering and his own. Lisa’s husband, Scott, is given the same terrible news by the doctors. He knows that Lisa would not want to be on life-support but her parents are praying for a miracle. Because Lisa has no Patient Advocate Designation, her husband and parents end up in a lengthy Probate Court battle. We all remember Terry Schiavo. You need a Patient Advocate Designation now. 

How does your Estate Plan protect your kids?

First of all, having Powers of Attorney in place to protect yourself is an important step toward protecting your kids. This is akin to putting your own oxygen mask on first on the airplane. Court battles that pit family members against one another are never good for the kids. If you make your wishes clear, everyone stays out of court.

Second, the Estate Plan of any person with minor children should include nominations of Guardians for those minor children in the event both parents are incapacitated or die. The decision of who you would choose to raise your children in your absence is an incredibly difficult one to consider but also one of the most important. Let’s go back to our case study. If Emily and John do not survive, their Estate Plan clearly states that they wish for Emily’s parents to become the Guardians of their three kids. Her parents live right down the street, so the kids can continue to attend the same school. If Lisa and Scott do not survive, their families will be headed to court. Their parents will spend thousands on legal fees fighting over their grandchildren. Their two kids are left with grandparents who hate each other. In fact, Lisa and Scott would have preferred Scott’s sister, but she didn’t know that. Ceremoniously selecting a family member as a ‘Godparent’ has no legal significance. You need to appoint legal Guardians for your minor children now.

Third, having a (well-drafted) Estate Plan ensures that your assets will be used for your children’s benefit in your absence. I know, I know, you have no assets. Do you have life insurance? Probably. If not, you should think about buying a term policy. Let’s assume that John had a $500,000.00 life insurance policy. John has a Trust that appoints his parents to act as Trustees if Emily is also deceased. John’s parents are able to hold the proceeds of the life insurance policy in trust for the benefit of their minor grandchildren. The funds are eventually used to pay for their college educations. Lisa also has a $500,000.00 policy but no Trust. Under Michigan law, when a person’s spouse is also deceased, children are next in line to receive an inheritance. However, minor children cannot receive inheritances. Lisa’s parents end up in court petitioning to become Conservator for their grandchildren in order to manage the inheritance on their behalf. Those poor people are spending way too much time in court. When Lisa’s son Max turns 18, he is legally entitled to distribution of his inheritance. He is given a check for $200,000.00, which he promptly spends on a fancy car, a few trips to Cancun, and jewelry for his girlfriend. Oops, so much for college. You need a Trust to protect your kids now.

Why do you need an Attorney to get an Estate Plan?

Like you, I am a member of the self-help or “Google it” generations. We are the ones most likely to use TurboTax instead of hiring a CPA and LegalZoom instead of hiring an Attorney. “Googling” is, however, ill-advised when it comes to Estate Planning. Estate Planning is highly personal. Form documents provide cookie-cutter provisions that do not address your unique circumstances or concerns. You cannot have a meaningful conversation with your computer screen. Similarly, your family cannot turn to LegalZoom to counsel them in the event that something happens to you. It is invaluable for your family members to have the option of calling up a live human being who you have met personally and to whom you have expressed your wishes and concerns.

Sarah Pangburn
Mall, Malisow & Cooney, P.C.
30445 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 310
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Office: (248) 538-1800
C/P: (734) 707-3165

Call, text (c/p) or email to set up a FREE consultation with a fellow young Mommy (who also happens to be an Attorney) to discuss your family’s needs. Be sure to mention that you are a reader of Metro Detroit Mommy!

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Jan 20, 2017

My health and fitness journey: Three months and 20 pounds gone!

Countless workouts. Two big setbacks. Twenty pounds lost. Two new pairs of jeans.
That is the result of my three months at Starting Line Health and Fitness. They agreed to give me three months of classes in exchange for sharing my experience with Metro Detroit Mommy’s readers.
At the start of this, I really didn’t believe I could finish. I was full of doubts and excuses. I was certain I would fail, as I had failed so many times before to get fit and lose weight.
This time though, I had the incentive of crappy health and not just a desire to not carry around 50 extra pounds.

But with the support of Chip, Meghan and all the other wonderful coaches and athletes, I lost 20 pounds and I feel like I have my life back. I feel like the person I was seven years ago, before I stopped working out and gained so much weight.

It’s been a gift – one that I gave myself. I earned this through a lot of hard work and I’m proud of that. I went to the gym on days I didn’t want to and kept up workouts at home even when it was hard. I asked for support from family and friends, even when it was inconvenient and meant they had to accommodate me.

I made it through the loss of my beloved father-in-law, who died suddenly in November. I made it through two major holidays without gaining or quitting. I also made it through the return of my migraines, which set me back three weeks and nearly caused me to throw in the towel.

I’ve learned that that there is no finish line. There is no “done.” That even if I meet my weight loss goal (only 30 more pounds to go!) I can set new goals – fitness goals. Health goals. There is a reason the gym is named Starting Line and not Finish Line. There is no end; you work out because it improves your life and every day, you line up at the start and put in the work.

I have zero desire to stop now and I am setting new goals for the New Year, like being able to do at least ONE atomic pushup. I’m working on it but I have a way to go.

I love the way I feel and more importantly, I love how I don’t feel like I have to make excuses anymore for my weight. When I see the pictures of me when I started and now, I want to cry. It is such a difference.

Most importantly though, I feel confident in my ability to handle the curve balls life throws at me and not sit in a corner and eat my feelings. I can’t see myself doing that anymore. I think I would be more likely to do a few sets of squats or take a moment for some yoga instead.
If you are thinking about starting your own health and fitness journey – or if you resolved to make 2017 your year --- I am proud of you! You can do it. If you put in the work, you will see results. I know. I’m proof.

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger: