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Media Contact: Heidi Press, Public Relations Specialist St. Joseph Mercy Oakland 44405 Woodward Avenue Pontiac, MI 48341 248-858-6662
Annual Premier Fund Raiser October 6
Start Date


‘Fall Spectacular' to Feature MSU's Tom Izzo and ESPN's Mike Tirico; Walter Czarnecki of Penske Corp. to Be Honoree

Pontiac, Mich.-St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) will have its annual premier fundraiser, the Fall Spectacular, Thursday, Oct. 6, at The Townsend Hotel, 100 Townsend St., Birmingham. Dinner will be served at 7, with an afterglow at 8:30 p.m. Proceeds from the Fall Spectacular will benefit the Pediatric Unit in the new SJMO South Patient Tower.

Walter P. Czarnecki, Executive Vice President, Executive Committee Member and a Director of the Penske Corp. will receive the hospital's Mercy Legacy Award. Recipients of the Mercy Legacy Award exemplify the mission, vision and values of SJMO and have demonstrated a meaningful relationship and history of support and service to the hospital. In addition, recipients of the award are people or organizations admired and respected in the community.

Czarnecki has had a long relationship with the auto industry, first with an auto accessory firm and then with American Motors Corp. He became associated with the Penske Corp. in 1970 for which he built and operated a Chevrolet dealership and served as General Manager until he purchased the company. Czarnecki also was President of Michigan International Speedway and later President of Penske Speedways. When Penske Speedways became a publicly traded company, he was named Vice Chairman.

After selling his dealership, he rejoined Penske Corp. and managed the company's Detroit Diesel and Allison subsidiaries. He was instrumental in the establishment and growth of the corporation's retail automotive and motorsports subsidiaries and still holds senior management positions in both. He is Vice Chairman of Penske Motor Group and Penske Performance, Inc.

Czarnecki has served as a Director of Detroit Diesel Corp., International Speedway Corp. and Dura Automotive. He currently is on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers. The Detroit native is on the board of Cornerstone Charter Schools and the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He is active in numerous local and national charitable organizations.

Celebrity speaker will be Tom Izzo, Men's Head Basketball Coach at Michigan State University. Beginning his 16th year directing the Spartan program, Izzo is the longest serving, active, Big 10 men's basketball head coach. He also is a leader among his peers, serving as President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches from 2010 to 2011, while also serving on the John R. Wooden Award Board of Governors and the USA Basketball Collegiate Committee.

During his tenure at MSU, he has been named National Coach of the Year four times, won one NCAA national championship, six regular season Big 10 Championships and two Big 10 Tournament titles, and led the team to six Final Four and 14 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He was associate head coach under Jud Heathcote, and was named head coach upon Heathcote's retirement.

Prior to coming to MSU, Izzo was an assistant coach at Northern Michigan University (NMU), where as a student he earned Division II All-America honors in basketball. Izzo was inducted in the NMU Hall of Fame and the Upper Peninsula Hall of Fame. He received honorary degrees from both NMU and MSU, delivering the commencement address at both graduation ceremonies.

Izzo is an active volunteer, especially in cancer support organizations. In 2009, Izzo was presented with the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award. Izzo is passionate about community service and will share his thoughts on the importance of giving back.

Mike Tirico, ESPN's Emmy Award-winning Senior Broadcaster, returns for his second year as the Fall Spectacular Celebrity Chair. One of the most versatile and recognized personalities in sports broadcasting, Tirico holds one of the top positions in sports television as the play-by-play voice for ESPN's Monday Night Football. His other major roles include NBA and golf play-by-play, studio host for major events and ESPN Radio host. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he also has hosted many high-profile sporting events, including U.S. Open tennis tournaments, SportsCenter segments from the FIFA World Cup from South Africa, FedEx Orange Bowl, Daytona 500, NCAA Final Four, Super Bowl XL and the NBA Finals, among others. Tirico is a friend of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and a champion on behalf of healing institutions and compassionate care.

WDIV Local 4 news anchor Guy Gordon will be the celebrity emcee. Honorary chairs are Julius and Suzanne Giarmarco and Dr. Bashar and Hoda Succar. Benefit Chairs are Susie Mansoor, Malti Patel, Lynne Portnoy and Nancy Smith.

Sponsoring the Fall Spectacular are Barton Malow, presenting sponsor; Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C., gold sponsor; Advanced Wealth Advisers and Elite Fire Safety, bronze sponsors; DGE, Inc., VIP and patron cocktail receptions; Greenfield Health Systems, valet; Crothall Services Group, afterglow; and Sodexo, gift and activity sponsor.

Business attire is requested. Reservation deadline is Sept. 6. For ticket information, call Adora Misson, 248-858-3161.


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St. Joseph Mercy Oakland | 44405 Woodward Avenue, Pontiac, Michigan 48341 | 248-858-3000