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Xemplar Club Wine and Beer Event Benefits Community Living Centers, Youth Programs

Tickets are just $25 for the May 30, after-work Michigan beer and wine tasting at the Longacre House in Farmington Hills.

(CLC) director Lisa Murrell has only been at her post for a little over a year, but she speaks about the agency's work with real passion. 

And she said she's excited to share CLC's work with adults who have developmental disabilities during "Celebrating Michigan Beer & Wine," held 5 p.m.-8 p.m. May 30 at in Farmington Hills. The tasting features appetizers, entertainment and, of course, a variety of Michigan spirits. 

Organized by the Xemplar Club, the event benefits CLC and youth served through the City of Farmington Hills programs. 

"The purpose is to have a lovely get together, so people can learn more about CLC and Youth and Family Services," Murrell said. 

The agency operates 10 group homes and supports more than two dozen people who live independently in Farmington and Farmington Hills. The goal is to build skills to that people can live as independently as possible, she said.

Residents seem to live with CLC for as long as they can, too. While doing research for an anniversary celebration, Murrell discovered the agency had served 217 people in its 47 years. While that might not seem like a big number, she said, "They've all lived with us for an average of 20 years."

Murrell said CLC just rented a home to accommodate the needs of three people who together have been served by the agency for more than 90 years. But they've also taken on seven new "consumers" this year, who are in their late teens and early 20s. 

She said residents "do lots of community-based stuff". They work at local churches and businesses, enjoy summer concerts and other events in downtown Farmington. Murrell said the staff at in downtown Farmington know residents by name, and will open on holidays for one resident who has lived in the community for years. 

"We want the consumer to be able to be integrated in the community, and we want the community to be comfortable with the folks," Murrell said. 

Along with raising awareness, the May 30 event will be among a number of annual fundraisers that benefit CLC. There's a cookie walk in December, the signature Celebrity Chef's Dinner was held in March, and on June 15, if you mention CLC at , the restaurant will donate 20 percent of your tab to the agency. 

Sponsors of Celebrating Michigan Beer and Wine are , Tri-County Beverages, Gourmet Express and the Longacre House.

To make a reservation for the May 30 event, call 248-473-1841 or 248-478-0870. Cost is $25 per person. 

Correction: CLC Director Lisa Murrell's name was misspelled in the original version of this story.

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