Life is about to get just a little sweeter for a Farmington woman who generously gives of her time to help others.
Delores Branch is one of 15 people in metro Detroit who won the the annual Edible Arrangements "random acts of happiness" contest.
The national chain held a contest to award 15 unsung heros with an Edible Arrangements Cupcake collection bouqet. The winners were nominated by friends and family for making a difference in other people's lives.
Christopher Cooper, Sr. nominated Branch:
Delores Branch is the hardest working lady on the West Side of Detroit! She cooks the meals every Tuesday & Wednesday at the Christland Community Outreach Center. Everyone that asks shall eat!
Other winners include:
- Kathy Verduce of Ann Arbor (nominated by Becky Rader). Rader wrote: "I would like to honor Kathy Verduce, the secretary at Jefferson Elementary School. She has gotten the school year off to a great start by welcoming the new families and reconnecting with the families of the year's past. It is Kathy's first September at our school and we appreciate how smoothly everything has fallen into place. She looks like a pro, and has spent many extra hours organizing and getting everything ready for the children. She deserves the award!"
- Lisa Zimmerman of Berkley. Nominator Michele Callaghan wrote: "Lisa is involved in many community services such as running the Berkley Hoops basketball program (even though her kids have graduated several years ago). She also continues to coach a team. Lisa volunteers for the Berkley Days every year and she also volunteers at her church. She is always willing to babysit other peoples’ children at all times throughout the day."
- Scott Rolando of Brighton. Nominator Lori Leo Sokoll wrote: "Scott teaches leadership, science and is also the activities director at Lakeland. This is a man who truly leads by example. Scott treats every student with kindness, respect, and personally values every single student. In turn, even the most troubled child can discover his own worth and see the positives in his life. As the leadership teacher he has exposed kids to the wonderful world of volunteering, of doing for others and finding personal reward in that. Scott is the kind of man every parent wants in our schools. I have said many, many times, 'If every kid had a Scott Rolando in their life, the world would be a better place.' Please consider Scott Rolando, he truly deserves the honor. Thank You ;-)"
- Terra Muscat of Wyandotte. Nominator Patti Christie wrote: "I would like to nominate Terra Muscat for all of her intense dedication to helping the homeless animals in the surrounding cities. Terra's tireless, endless acts of volunteering, fostering, and lending a helping hand have saved countless animals in the Metro Detroit area. Terra was heavily involved in opening the PAWS Clinic, a low-cost spat-neuter clinic in Taylor, where over 5,000 strays and pets have been spayed or neutered in less than a year. Terra is a volunteer with PAWS of Michigan and would do anything to save or help an animal. She is truly a one-of-a-kind with a heart of gold!
- Lisa Fan of Detroit. Nominator April Wooff wrote: "I would like to nominate Aaron's Atfredzone Lisa Fan. This woman is my best friend. She raises six children fulltime and is a fulltime blogger trying to help others near and far. Although she is in Michigan and I live in Texas she never fails to go out of her way to help me in anything anytime. I’ve never met a more giving caring woman in my life. She goes out of her way to help people she has never laid eyes on. She’s always putting herself on the back burner to not only raise her children but other’s children. She blogs strictly to help others. I don’t think the woman ever sleeps and this award would bring her tears of joy which she so much deserves. :)"
- Larry and Marilyn Johnson of Grosse Pointe Woods. Nominator, Cris Atucker wrote: "While they could have lived a comfortable life in Grosse Pointe, they moved to Detroit to start a non-profit organization called Life Builders Detroit (www.lifebuildersdetroit.com) and are helping many young adults, youth and children rebuild their lives while teaching them life skills, good work ethic, and tutoring, while giving them hope for the future."
- Belle Tire of Lake Orion. Nominated by William Hardy.
- Jennifer Nielson of New Baltimore. Nominator Michael J Southworth wrote: "I would like to nominate a good friend of mine she is a volunteer with the zoo and does various other volunteer things like Arts Beats and Eats. It is physically draining on her as she has epilepsy, but she puts a smile on her face every day and goes into the world and makes others smile and lightens up their lives. You would never be able to tell by looking at her that she struggles, but she is an amazing wonderful woman. Jennifer Nielson I nominate you for being such a wonderful caring and giving person. I have seen you touch so many people's lives and make people smile. Keep being wonderful."
- Heather Hajduk of Plymouth. Nominator Sarah Sinkus wrote: "Heather Hajduk is a special education teacher in Livonia."
- Kimberly Bryant of Sterling Heights. Nominator Eileen Smith wrote: "While battling breast cancer and other health woes, Kim has been so helpful to others in need, including a friend with cancer. She is always cheerful, no matter what she’s had to handle these past two years. She has encouraged my husband and I to take a second honeymoon and is caring for our two children for us at her home. We love her positive attitude and loving heart."
- Urmil Shukla of West Bloomfield. Nominator Meghna Shukla wrote: "She (Urmil Shukla) is a strong person, goes through a lot each day and is never the worse for it. She’s awesome!"
- Eula Grooms of Wyandotte. Nominator Susie Czarnecki wrote: "I would like to nominate Eula Grooms of Wyandotte. She helps the community in so many areas that it is tough to be brief & succinct. Eula has been a high school & community college teacher for years and she is on the board of the Historical Society, owning her own historical home on Vinewood St. She is also heavily involved with animal rescue, not only saving & fostering for years, but gave of her time freely by sponsoring the WAG Animal Rescue Annual Yard Sale for 9 years. In short, to those 2-legged and 4-legged, she is a PEACH."
- Chris Olivero. Nominator: Karen Meszaros Schoonover: After losing 30 pounds herself, Chris donates her time to promote eating healthy and the benefits of exercise around various Troy locations. She teaches FREE classes at the Troy Community Center, Woodside Church, Bridgland Community Church and out of her home. She has taught me and those who know her about eating organic and the proper way to exercise. I consider myself fortunate to know her.
To read about the other winners, check out Edible Arrangements Facebook page.
Edible Arrangements in Farmington is located in the Village Commons shopping center on Grand River.
Correction: The hometown of Terra Muscat was incorrectly reported in the original version of this post, because incorrect information was provided to Patch.