Three recipients of the annual “Big Heart Award” were recently revealed by Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit (FAMD), a Dearborn-based organization.
A retired principal from Neumann/Smith Architecture named Mike Kirk won in the “individual” category, Colleen Robar, president of Robar PR, won in the “Corporate Partner” category, and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-12th District) won a prize in the “Public Service” category.
“My favorite FAMD moment was when we dedicated the MaryAnn Wright Animal Adoption and Education Center in September 2018,” Robar claimed. “I worked with my friends at the Display Group, and we dropped a massive curtain to the ground from the roof to unveil the whole building. So cool! I will not be happy until we get to do it again from Phase Two of the completed building.”
Kirk is pleased to be recognized as well.
“I am humbled to receive this award from FAMD,” he stated. “I always thought the board, staff & volunteers of FAMD have far larger hearts than I. Watching them all labor in the dire facilities we soon hope to replace completely gives substance to my belief. I will gratefully accept the award on behalf of the whole FAMD family.”
Dingell expressed her gratitude for the distinction.
“Animal shelters across the country are struggling with the current increase in animal intakes and higher prices for care, food, and staffing,” she stated. “Friends for Animals is no different. As a supporter of improving the lives of this country’s wildlife and domestic animals, I wholeheartedly support Friends’ work and am honoured to receive this prestigious award.”
According to FAMD, the Big Heart Award is given to honor the compassion and commitment of people, organizations, and community leaders who selflessly donate their time and resources to promote their objective of eradicating stray and neglected animals from society.
The Big Heart Award is presented annually, and the winner is often recognized at FAMD’s Black Tie & Tails dinner in October.
The nominees for this award must fulfil many requirements. They should:
—Showcase Friends’ goals include fostering adoptions and family reunifications, respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals.
—In all situations, show genuine support for treating animals humanely through your words, actions, and thoughts.
—Continually provide your time, help, money, and talents to promote or advance the cause of animal care.
All three of this year’s award winners have a long history with FAMD.
According to MaryAnn Wright, FAMD’s board chair and co-chair of the fundraising committee, “our recipients this year have been essential in helping us move our organization to the next level.” “They are always there for us as we continue to expand and help the animals and people in the neighborhood.”
They have supported animals in the neighborhood by serving on committees, attending events, making donations, offering counsel, and participating in activities.
“Friends for Animals cares for thousands of animals yearly in the Metro Detroit area. We could not do the work we do if it weren’t for the exceptional volunteers and community supporters such as Mike Kirk, Collee Robar, and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell,” stated Kim Cross, FAMD’s president and CEO.
The Big Heart Award has previously gone to people like Alex Cattelan (Polaris — Corporate Award), Dan and Cindy Miller, Jack O’Reilly (Public Service Award), former Dearborn mayor Jack O’Reilly, Sophie Bozek, Cheryl Good, Patricia Ludwig, Julie Walker, Pat D’Ambrosio, Councilman Robert and Ms Mary Ann Abraham, Dr Linda Schrier, Kay and Doug Neff, Scott Shallop, Dr Jeff Dizik, Norma Wallis, Mary.
The 2022 Black Tie & Tails gala will take place on October 28 at The Dearborn Inn, and the winners will receive their prizes there.