Miss Michigan Nicole Blaszczyk whips up some pancakes to help bring awareness to the Childrens Miracle Network, which is the Miss American organization's charity.
BY B.J. HAMMERSTEIN
More than $1 million had been raised as of 4 p.m. Friday at Dick Purtan's annual radiothon benefiting the Salvation Army.
The scene at Oakland Mall was emotional, as fans, longtime friends and prominent metro Detroiters rallied around Purtan, who announced two weeks ago that he would retire his "Purtan's People" morning radio show March 26 and end a nearly 45-year Motor City broadcasting career.
The 16-hour fund-raising event, which began at 6 a.m. and was scheduled to end at 10 p.m., puts all of its proceeds into the pockets of the Salvation Army's Bed & Bread program, which feeds and shelters needy people in the metro area.
Purtan, hoping to exceed last year's radiothon total of $2.3 million, got support from celebrities like rocker Bob Seger, who called in early and donated a signed Fender guitar, and actor Tim Allen, who pledged $15,000.
Miss Michigan 2009 Nicole Blaszczyk rocked her tiara in front of the audience and talked to Purtan about her support for various charitable organizations before heading behind the scenes to answer phones.
"Today is really special because it's just a normal winter day in Michigan, where thousands of people are not only thinking about people that are in need, but they are doing what they can to help," said Blaszczyk, who plans to complete her marketing degree at Wayne State when her reign ends in June.
Debra Marshick, 52, of Troy held a special handmade thank-you sign for Purtan and his morning team at WOMC-FM (104.3).
"It's my first time seeing it live, but I have been listening since his days back at CKLW," said Marshick, who signed up for a $240-a-year pledge.
Since its launch in 1988, Purtan's radiothon has raised more than $22 million.
To donate to the cause, call 248-307-1043, go to womc.com or send a check to the Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club, 16130 Northland Drive, Southfield 48075.
By John Gonzalez | The Grand Rapids Press
February 23, 2010, 2:12PM
Because it's IHOP Free Pancake Day 2010, my buddy Gerry Barnaby concocted an eating challenge on his “Barnaby and Friends” radio show on WLHT-FM (95.7).
This morning he pitted me against our producer, a young pup named iSteve. We went to the 28th Street IHOP, where we were met by owner Rabih Jamal, his great staff, special guest Miss Michigan Nicole Blaszczyk, of Novi, and reps from the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. Money raised from Free Pancake Day will go to the hospital. In a recent Pop Top 5 blog, I wrote about IHOP's Free Pancake Day, which continues until 10 tonight. Locally, the restaurants hope to raise $20,000 to $25,000.
I won the challenge this morning by eating nine pancakes in 9 minutes, 57 seconds, while iSteve managed only six. But there was a dispute. Miss Michigan accused me of cheating!
We had such good fun.
Oh, and I apologize right now if you watch the video and you see me talking with my mouth open. Disgusting. I don't do that normally.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) - Dancers from across Michigan came to Southfield Wednesday for a chance to make their Hollywood dreams come true.
Men and women from 21 to 35-years-old were at the Holiday Inn Express to try out for Aretha Franklin's upcoming Spring/Summer concert tour. Many of them were surprised to find out that Ms. Franklin was one of the judges.
For her part, Franklin is looking for just 15 or 16 dancers for the show. She says it a great chance for the dancers to get exposure, but she warns that she's a perfectionist who knows what she wants.
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Visit Pageant Couture during the Miss Lighthouse Coast/Miss Michigan orientation weekend! Call (248) 444-4140 for your appointment today!
Miss Michigan represents Novi, state at international event
By Chris Jackett
Not everyone gets to say they competed in the Miss America pageant during their lifetime, but Novi resident Nicole Blaszczyk can after the blur of a week she recently spent in Las Vegas.
Blaszczyk, who turns 23 Feb. 16, was crowned Miss Michigan last June, making her one of 53 contestants from the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to compete Jan. 26-30 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
Arriving in Vegas Jan. 20, Blaszczyk and the other contestants had several rehearsals and Miss America-sponsored events to attend throughout the next week before three days of preliminary competition Jan. 26-28. Following a day made up a 10-minute interview with the six-person panel of judges, Blaszczyk's preliminaries consisted of a question session Tuesday, gown and bathing suit display Wednesday, and her personal talent performance on Thursday.
“We were getting questions from all across the playing field. Political questions to questions about unemployment here in Michigan, which was my question from Rush Limbaugh,” she said, adding that Tiger Woods, the Super Bowl and marketing were also subjects she was asked about.
Blaszczyk estimated 12,000-14,000 women compete for the 53 spots in the Miss America pageant and, being one of the 12 options for the three spots in the top 15 voted on by the American public, she was thrilled with the experience.
By Maggie Wunderlich
Special guests and surprises are expected at “Maggie's Second Annual Lucky Strike Challenge” Saturday at Canton's Super Bowl.
Nicole Blaszczyk, crowned Ms. Michigan in June 2009, and Joel Nitchman, who plays center on Michigan State's football team, are showing their support by attending the fund-raiser. Last year's event sold out and raised $8,000. All proceeds benefit Kelly's Kidz.
In November 2008, Kelly and Dave Hermann launched Kelly's Kidz and the not-for-profit organization has raised $110,000. Its mission is “to provide financial assistance and resources to physically-impaired children with special needs and to create an opportunity for them to lead the best life they can possibly live.”
The Hermanns run Kelly's Kidz from their Canton home and are committed to providing $35,000 to Oakwood Hospital's Center for Exceptional Families. The Center is an innovative program that provides comprehensive, coordinated, family-centered care for children with a wide range of chronic, complex disorders and disabilities. To date, they've helped six families at the Center.
“There are other people out there that are going through the exact same situation,” Kelly Hermann said. “There's always going to be some kind of support.” Hermann's motto: “Stay positive. There's going to be a light at the end of the tunnel.” Hermann speaks from experience, since Kelly's Kidz was inspired by her daughter, Maggie, who was born with cerebral palsy in December 2002.
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