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June 02, 2011 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-06-02

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ml

Jewish Renaissance Iviedia

Ls.a

To each sponsor,

;,,.WISH NEWS

h eJEW S HNEk AIS .com

volunteer and

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69

1942 .2111

Cnnnc■ ting

of Michigan's Team. Alex

Attitude Of Gratitude

Team Alex benefit concert thanks
Make-A-Wish supporters.

0

n Monday, June 13, in the
midst of training for a
300-mile bicycle ride to
benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation
of Michigan, Team Alex members will
apply the handbrakes and offer thanks.
That evening they will honor
their generous supporters at a free
gala musical event at Adat Shalom
Synagogue that will include jazz, rock,
opera, folk and Jewish songs.
The Team Alex Thank-You Concert,
open to the community, will celebrate
the memory and the wish of Alex
Graham, for whom their riding team
is named. The daughter of Susie and
Bill Graham of West Bloomfield, Alex
was a 17 when she lost her battle with
bone cancer in 1999.
The event will feature the talents
of the synagogue's Chazzan Daniel
Gross, and his wife, accomplished
opera singer Lauren Skuce Gross. Adat
Shalom's resident-in-sacred-music,
Martin Liebman, serves as the con-
cert's musical director and pianist.
Other local musicians include Jon
Liebman on bass, Jake Reichbart on
guitar and Dan Maslanka on drums.
"The repertoire was chosen to pay
tribute to the inspiring life of Alex;
some of the selections were her favor-
ites," said Daniel Gross, who added
this will be the first concert showcas-
ing Adat Shalom's new Steinway piano.
"Our primary goal in putting the
event together is to let the entire com-
munity know how grateful Susie, Bill
and the entire team of riders are for
the generosity and support we have
received since we took our maiden
voyage in 1999:' said Davida Robinson

of Franklin, concert chairperson.
The team fundraises for the orga-
nization that fulfilled Alex's wish to
create a public service announcement.
In it, she and nine other kids afflicted
with cancer asked for smiles, not
stares from their peers. Thirteen years
after it first ran, the 60-second TV
spot is once again appearing locally.
"In some ways, both Bill and I feel
so lucky," Susie Graham said. "Every
rider knows why they are riding. And
whether they knew Alex or not, they
are certainly reminded of her legacy.
Each rider's supporters are so much a
part of this effort. Year after year, they
are asked to give; and year after year,
they come through."
Team Alex captain Beth Brandvain
of Farmington Hills said, "We had
no idea we would go from 14 novice
riders to a group of close friends
and cyclists who, with the support of
our friends, families and just about
everyone we've ever met, would raise
enough money to make wishes come
true for over 150 deserving children
and their families."
The free concert is a way to show
the team's supporters how important
they are to the Make-A-Wish cause,
which grants wishes to seriously ill
kids and their families to help them
sustain their spirits.
"We want to give something back','
Susie Graham said. "Adat Shalom,
Rabbi Aaron Bergman, Hazzan Gross
and his wife Lauren and Martin
Liebman and the band, are making
the wish of Team Alex come true —
enabling us to thank riders and sup-
porters in a really big way." I I

The concert is at 7:30 p.m., Monday, June 13, at Adat Shalom
Synagogue, 29901 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills. Doors open at 7. Free.
No solicitation. Seating will be first come, first served. For more about
Team Alex, go to teamalexrides.org .

wilt impact

hundreds of

children with

disabilities and

their families

fracii15„. 13arrirS.

A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES

oetobex re./ 2.art

FOX THEATRE

31ST ANNUAL FUNDRAISER

June 2 2011

5

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