About Us

The Family Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that relies solely on the support of community contributions.

About Us

The Family Center is a compass to help guide you to resources, professionals and information. Our community is rich in resources to assist parents but they can be difficult to find. The Family Center believes that by educating, connecting and supporting our families, we can share with caregivers the tools to succeed in this vital task of raising healthy children and building strong families.

Family Center Programs

Presentations and Talks: Leading practitioners present a variety of educational topics: childhood growth and development, behavioral issues, school transitions, youth trends, parenting strategies, family dynamics, current health concerns, caring for aging parents and more. Q&A sessions provide opportunities to dialogue with professionals and one another. See our Calendar for more.

Articles: A weekly “Ask the Experts” column in the Grosse Pointe News answers questions on current family, parenting and health concerns. Articles are written by physicians, educators and counselors. All “Ask the Experts” articles are archived and searchable on our Web site.

Videos: Many of our presentations are archived in video format at our Web site and on our YouTube Channel.

Association of Professionals: An online directory that helps parents and others to quickly and confidentially connect with local mental health and health practitioners, legal experts and specialized services providers that strive to be the best in their field.

Play Central: A weekly drop-in play program from October through May that allows children to be active and caregivers to socialize. See our Play Central page for more.

Family Central Newsletter: A publication that reaches over 5,000 individuals with information on enrichment programs, resources and events. All newsletters are archived on our website.

Join The Family Center

Support our mission to serve our community through programs and resources vital to today’s families.

Together, we can realize our vision to enrich our community through stronger families.

Concerned parents and community leaders founded The Family Center in 2000 as a community-based organization whose goals are geared to benefit our local community. Support our mission to serve our community with a gift to our Enrichment Campaign. Find out how online at enrichment.familycenterweb.org. Together, we can realize our vision to enrich our community through stronger families.

Keep The Family Center strong as we continue serving local families facing the challenges of raising young children, guiding students through academic milestones, and helping adult children of aging parents make informed choices.

The Family Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that relies solely on the support of community contributions. Donate today >>

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Ambassadors Circle

Kay Agney & Bob Lucas

Lynne Aldrich & Christina Pitts

Jeff Jay & Debra Jay

Elyse F. Jones

George R. McMullen, Jr.

Beline & Tony Obeid

Deborah Holley Palms

Katherine Palms

Lynn & Jack Schneider

Diane & Ron Strickler

Sheila Young Tomkowiak

Frank Wilberding

Mark Wollenweber

Board of Directors


Board of Directors (listed alphabetically)

Ghada Abdallah, RPh

Suzanne Antonelli, CFP®

Gabriela Boddy

Sean Cleland

Pamela Flom

Rev. Peter J.M. Henry, PhD

Cathy Leverenz

Mary Petersen, LMSW, ACSW

Milissa Pierce, MA, LPC

Rania Routsis

Beth Walsh-Sahutske


Advisory Council

Tommy W. Adams
The Grosse Pointe Academy

Jennifer Palms Boettcher
Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce

Bart Bronk
University Liggett School

Charles Burke
GP War Memorial Association

Joan DeRonne
Assumption Cultural Center

J. Theodore Everingham
Everingham & Associates

Mary Beth Garvey, LMSW
Clinical Therapist

Peggy Hayes
The Helm at the Boll Life Center

Robert E. Hoban
St. John Hospital & Medical Center

Sean Hogan-Downey, LMSW
Clinical Therapist

John Minnis
Grosse Pointe News

Lori Mouton
DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan

Gary C. Niehaus, EdD
Grosse Pointe Public School System

David E. Rabbideau, EdS
Harper Woods School District

Robert G. Riney
Henry Ford Health System

Sean Southers, NHA
ShorePointe Nursing Center

Rev. Andrew Van Culin
Christ Church of Grosse Pointe


Diane Strickler

Paige Domzalski, Communications & Program Support Coordinator
Amy Kish, Operations Assistant

Play Central Staff
Sally Wittwer, Coordinator
Kristen Young
Elizabeth Wagner

Annual Appeal

The award-winning Family Center will soon be celebrated 20 years of service in 2020. Ask the Experts Talks, Articles and Videos reached a wide audience; familycenterweb.org provided one million page views in the past 12 months; and nearly 100 Association of Professionals members formed a valuable referral network.

Whether caring for newborns, young children, teens, loved ones, elderly parents or yourself, The Family Center serves as a compass to guide you to the resources needed when navigating life’s challenges.

Read more: Annual Appeal

The Family Center is a Constant Compass

The families that we meet all see changes in the path of their lives. Some are caring for newborns, preparing for kindergarten, transitioning to the middle school years or starting the college selection process. Others are managing relationships, health issues, stress and grief, including coping with the challenges of caring for aging family members.

In all its 13 years of service, The Family Center has been a constant compass – guiding people with questions toward those who can help.

Some of the families that first came into contact with our presentations for newborns continue to attend our presentations for students in upper grades. Some now are part of a “sandwich generation,” caring for children while caring for elderly parents or relatives.

We’ve responded with resources designed to encompass this range of need and help families find a way ahead.

Read more: The Family Center is a Constant Compass

Our Community Says Thank You

From the Director

“Thank you for for providing me with information to help assess my toddler’s needs…”

“Thank you for connecting me a professional to help us guide our adolescent…”

“Thank you for helping us locate services for my aging parent who has become challenged with his daily living routine…”

“Thank you for offering programs that help me be prepared for future issues that may arise in my family…”

“Thank you for being there…”

On the daily basis I have the privilege of being to be able to lead an organization that serves as a compass that guides by helping to point the right direction, helping to find a successful path, helping to navigate the challenges ahead. Read more: Our Community Says Thank You