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10 December 15 2011
wo Jewish philanthropists,
praised for their outstanding
efforts to enrich the Southeast
Michigan community, were among
the honorees applauded during the
20th Annual National Philanthropy Day
Dinner Nov. 17 at the Marriott Hotel
Renaissance Center in Detroit.
Alfred Taubman, founder of
Bloomfield Hills-based Taubman
Centers Inc., and Phillip Fisher, prin-
cipal of the Southfield-based Fisher
Group and trustee of the Max M. and
Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, both
received awards for their generosity
Taubman and his family were
nominated by Lawrence Technological
University, where he donated $11
million for the school's A. Alfred
Taubman Engineering, Life Sciences
and Architecture Complex. He is also
a longtime donor to Jewish organiza-
tions and the University of Michigan.
Fisher received the George
W. Romney Award for Lifetime
Achievement in Volunteerism. He was
nominated by Inkster-based Starfish
Family Services, where he's served on
the board for the past nine years.
"Phillip is a personal mentor to an
entire generation of emerging leaders:'
said Federation CEO Scott Kaufman.
Also honored was Shirley Brown, 11,
of Westland. She received the Sparky
Anderson Youth in Philanthropy
award. Brown, who is not Jewish, was
nominated by Orchards Children's
Services, an organization formed 50
years ago by the National Council of
Jewish Women. It's now an indepen-
dent child welfare agency providing
foster care, adoption and family pres-
ervation services to more than 4,000
Michigan children in six counties.
"Through her experience of being
in foster care and being adopted by
a loving family, Shirley clearly knows
the importance of giving back',' said
Orchards board president Carol Klein
of Franklin. "On her own, Shirley came
up with this project, collecting clothing
for children and families at Orchards.
She rallied her friends and her school
community. She's had a positive impact
on the lives of others."
Shirley and her brother, Tim, who are
just 11 months apart, grew up in an abu-
sive household. They ended up in foster
care as young children and were quickly
adopted by their foster family. Shirley's
mother, Mia Brown, always saved the
children's clothes and donated them to
Orchards. That inspired Shirley to start
a collection drive of her own involving
more than 600 students. They collected
an entire classroom full of clothing for
the children Orchards serves.
"We needed a trailer; we had boxes and
boxes and boxes:' said Mia Brown."When
a child moves into foster care, a parent
gets $125 to cover their needs. Some
children don't have anything, so they
can go through all of the clothing that's
been donated and take what they need."
Brown went on to say she's proud
of both Shirley and Tim who are suc-
ceeding and thriving in school after
overcoming many obstacles. Shirley
plans to become part of Orchards Youth
Board, a philanthropy and volunteer
group for children.
"The National Council of Jewish
Women celebrates its 125th anniversary
this year and Orchards will mark its
50th anniversary:' Klein added. "My
mother, Doris Lee Goldman, was on the
original committee that helped develop
the program. My father, Irving Goldman,
was on the first board of directors when
Orchards became independent. It's been
in my life since I was a teenager. Fifty
years later, we still have strong support
from the Jewish community and we're
very thankful for that:'
To learn more about Orchards
Children's Services or to pur-
chase tickets for their 50th
anniversary gala May 12 at MGM
Grand Casino in Detroit, go to