From the Director – Fall, 2008


This fall marks a special CELEBRATE 8!! birthday celebration for The Family Center. Yes, we have turned EIGHT!!

The Family Center was founded in October 2000. Next year at this time, we’ll be turning NINE and quickly approaching TEN: a full decade of providing enrichment programs & resources to our community!

Since our first year, we have worked hard to bring you accessible, quality, community- based programming. We have only been able to do this because of the strong partnership support received from individual donors, family foundations, organizations, businesses and you, “our friends of The Family Center.” By strong request, we continue to offer the following programs and resources:

  • Play Central: a place for parents and all caregivers to play with their children while socializing with others.
  • Special Community Enrichment Seminars that cover topics relevant to child development from infancy through adolescence, such as:
    • Kindergarten: Get Ready!!
    • College: Planned Choices for a Successful High School to College Transition
    • Partners In Parenting series featuring pediatric professionals
    • Annual Symposium for Parents & Professionals
  • Family Central Quarterly Newsletter Download the Latest Edition
  • Ask the Experts weekly columns in the Grosse Pointe News

New initiatives in the coming year will include:

  • New 2009 edition of Navigating the Adolescent Years: A Road Map. The Family Center’s exclusive resource guide for parents and professionals is currently available.
  • Improvements at Our Web site will have a new look very shortly and will allow The Family Center to better serve as the true hub of information, resources and referral we are! It will provide new access to our weekly Ask the Experts collection of articles in the Grosse Pointe News; it will feature a new Professional Academy; it will allow us to accept donations and registrations online; access to fliers, the Road Map and more!
  • Circle of Friends: a newly formed group is busy creating a new benefit for The Family Center – stay tuned!
  • The 2009 “Partners In Parenting” series has doubled from four to eight sessions with participation from both Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe and St. John Hospital and Medical Center pediatricians. It includes topics for parents and professionals related to childrearing from infancy through late adolescence.
  • Special February presentation: Eric Hipple’s “Hopeful Goal.” Since losing his teenage son to suicide seven years ago, the former Detroit Lions quarterback has led a crusade to recognize and treat the signs of depression, especially in young people.

Many thanks to Tom Quinn for his endless support as past president; and to The Family Center’s founder, Diane Strickler, who remains an active, passionate volunteer. Welcome to Helen Landuyt who now serves as our new Board President and to our new Advisory Council members. Our goal for CELEBRATE 8!! is to raise $80,000 over the next year! Please consider becoming a CELEBRATE 8!! partner this year to help continue and enhance the work of The Family Center. With challenging times for all of us, our services will be depended upon more than ever. On behalf of the Board, Advisory Council, all of our volunteers who give of their time to make the programs happen, I ask you to support this year’s annual appeal, CELEBRATE 8!! Names of all celebration partners who make a contribution will be listed in our upcoming newsletters over the next year. We have created several celebration gift levels, which are listed on the remittance envelope enclosed. Teaching values through philanthropic efforts is a great way to have your entire family involved in CELEBRATE 8!!

I look forward to meeting many of you at our 6th annual HOLLY FEST signature holiday benefit on December 4. Wishing all of you a warm, wonderful autumn season!

Deborah A. Liedel
Executive Director

Enriched Communities Through Stronger Families
The Family Center serves as the community’s hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members.

All gifts are tax-deductible.
To volunteer or contribute, visit, call (313) 447-1374.
Email: or write to: The Family Center
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236