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    Posted December 28, 2012

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Detroit Liaison Committee
Adopt-A-Child At Christmas

3,000 children received an early Christmas Friday December 7, 2012, and a small part of that was due to the generosity of the Detroit Liaison Committee. The annual Adopt-A-Child at Christmas party was held at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. Adopt-A-Child at Christmas is one of Detroit's longest running goodwill holiday traditions. Begun in 1967 by Dolores Bennett in her Eastside Detroit home, she and her late husband decided to provide Christmas gifts to 74 needy families in the neighborhood. The event now provides for families in need from all over the Detroit metropolitan area. Even though the program has grown significantly over the past 48 years, the concept remains the same: Adoptive parents get to meet their children and present gifts at an annual party.

The Detroit Liaison Committee members have been participating as adoptive parents for at least 10 years. Detroit Liaison Committee Member, Milfordean Luster, encouraged the Detroit Liaison Committee to participate in the program. The Detroit Liaison Committee Chair, Dana Gamarra, recently stated "Everyone takes care of each other (in Detroit);" by participating in events such as Adopt-A-Child, the committee's focus "is right where it needs to be." The enthusiasm by Milfordean, Dana, and the entire Detroit Liaison Committee has garnered participation by the Chicago Actors' Equity staff and even inspired Wayne State University students to adopt a family with four children this year.

It has become a yearly tradition for the Detroit Liaison Committee to raise funds and then go on a whirlwind shopping trip to purchase the clothes and gifts for the children. This year the committee sponsored two children, siblings, age eleven and six years old. The gala event at the Cobo Center has food, entertainment, and arts & crafts activities for the children. Detroit Liaison Committee members BJ Love, Milfordean Luster, Trudy Mason, Detroit Liaison Chair Dana Gamarra, and Central Regional Board member Peggy Thorp attended the gala and presented the children with their gifts. Milfordean shared her favorite moment of the evening "Our beautiful 11 year old girl...very shy, very quiet, no smiles, little eye contact. I tried to engage her by asking her which outfit she liked better, the red and black outfit or the purple outfit. She turned to me with those big, dark eyes and a very shy smile and said," Both of them!" Great moment!" Detroit Liaison Chair, Dana Gamarra, summed up the experience perfectly, saying everything went "Absolutely, fabulously well!"

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