Ypsilanti Citizen Community ]]>

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Auction nearly doubles fundraiser goal

Photo by Dan DuChene

More than 200 people packed into the Michigan Firehouse Museum on West Cross St. for "The Train Stops Here Benefit Auction." The Auction raised more than $45,000 for the Ypsilanti Freighthouse.
Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Event held to benefit Ypsilanti Freighthouse restoration project

By Dan DuChene
Apr. 12, 2010    ·    10:25 a.m.

It was a fun Friday night for those who attended the auction held to benefit the restoration of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, but also successful for organizers.

With approximately 225 well-dressed people in the audience eating and drinking food and drink from local providers, all bidding on items from a private lunch at Beezy's Cafe to an African safari in Zululand, the event raised more than $45,000.

The goal for the event, held at the Michigan Firehouse Museum on Cross Street, was $25,000.

Phase one of the construction began last month and is expected to be completed by the end of May. The work includes repairs to the structure's foundation, stabilizing the walls and constructing a new roof. Work in phase two, expected to run from June through August, will include masonry work, soffit and eave repairs as well as work on the decking, including the construction of a new west decking that was present in the original 1878 structure.

Both phase one and two of construction utilize funding from a $500,000 federal stimulus grant the building received last year and a challenge grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Fund, which would match $25,000 raised by the Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse.

The event Friday night was held to raise this $25,000.

Candace Pinaud, who chaired the auction, said any money raised above the $25,000 goal would be used as seed funding for phase three of construction, which would install bathrooms, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and fire suppressing to bring the building up to code to be allow it to be used for large events, as it had before the building's doors were shuttered for safety concerns five years ago.

The first two phases of construction will stabilize the building and open the cafe on the south end of the structure, but not allow the rest of the building to be used by the community, according to FOYF volunteer Greg Marker.

Many community members from the area were in attendance Friday night, but the region's U.S. congressperson, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., may have been one of the more distinguished guests. Dingell said he was part of the reason the Freighthouse received federal stimulus money last year, which is why he was there with other local and regional politicians to deliver the check.

“I support the Freightouse,” Dingell said Friday.

“I do my best,” he said. “It feels good.”

Dingell, 83, had to leave the event early, but said his wife, Debbie, would be in charge making bids on items during the silent auction.

After refreshments and the silent auction upstairs, people congregated to the main floor to watch and participate in the live auction, ran by auctioneer Steve Gross, of Premier Auction Services. Gross peppered auctioning off 21 different prizes with occasional jokes and stories between rapidly calling out bids and a little badgering to fuel bid wars among members of the audience.

Peggy and Danny Carroll, of Ann Arbor, were the winning bidders on a trip to Florida's Anastasia Island for $1,300 Friday night. This, however, didn't keep the couple from getting into bidding contests over a South African safari trip or a 1975 vintage collectible Ford Ranchero.

While encouraging a bidding contest between Danny Carroll and another member of the audience for the vehicle, Gross was able to coax Peggy into a trip to the restroom. Then prompting a higher bid from Danny Carroll, Gross quickly labeled the experience as “the greatest moment in an auctioneer's life."

The Carrolls not only didn't mind Gross' auctioneer methods, but enjoyed the entertainment and were impressed by his abilities.

“He's very good,” Peggy Carroll said.

“He was the best auctioneer I've ever seen,” she said. “Outstanding.”

Gross proved his auctioneer skills at the end of the night by selling a $50 bill to an audience member for $150.

Kieth Bragg, who owns Aachen Auto, was the person who purchased the $50. He said he had donated some items to both the live and silent auction and had won a leather jacket in the silent auction. He had the $50 bill he purchased signed by those who volunteered at the event, as he was a fan of their a work.

“It's great,” Bragg said of the auction. “One more thing to help Ypsi.”

Related article:
Governor presents 'big' check for Ypsi Freighthouse

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