NEWS PHOTOS • PAUL WARNER
Eric Noyd drops to one knee as he and sister, Cherrelle, and Richard Brown sing, 'I know the Lord is Real' during the 41st annual Patsy Chandler Birthday Club Tea. Below, Kathy Majors, right, greets the guest of honor, Patsy Chandler.
Patsy Chandler birthday tea
raises funds for local projects
By EMMA JACKSON
NEWS SPECIAL WRITER
For more than half of her life, Patsy Chandler has given her birthday
And once again, friends gathered to celebrate the gift of her generosity.
The 41st annual Patsy Chandler Birthday Club Tea took place Sunday night at the Perry Child Development Center on Ypsilanti’s south side. Approximately 50 people attended the program, which included music, tributes and awards.
Arthur Stunson, master of ceremonies, referred to Chandler as an “inspiration to all of us. Look at her as a blessing that God has put in our midst.”
For 41 years, Chandler has hosted the tea, which now has evolved into a dinner, to raise money for local projects.
The local American Red Cross, the NAACP, missionaries, student scholarships, the Parkridge Community Center, the fountain next to the downtown Ypsilanti District Library, and the Neighborhood Health Clinic are just some of the beneficiaries of Chandler’s tea. The proceeds for this year’s tea will go to the building fund for Shekinah Christian Church in Ann Arbor.
NEWS PHOTO • PAUL WARIER .
David Sheilds sings a solo during the Patsy Chandler Birthday Club Tea.
Chandler said 41 years ago, the Lord gave her a vision to use her birthday to help others. Her daughter, Gloria Braden - who is president of Chandler’s Birthday Club -said the annual event is a fulfillment of that vision.
Dr. Deloisteen Brown, who runs the Neighborhood Health Clinic, was present at Sunday’s tea and knows Chandler as a giver.
“This community draws energy from her. She has such an ability to encourage others. This event is the height of symbolism - giving to those in need,” said Brown.
Ypsilanti City Councilman Ronnie Peterson said he’s been coming to Chandler’s teas since he was a teenager.
“Mrs. Chandler demonstrates what every citizen in this community should demonstrate - love, compassion and commitment to serve others,” said Peterson.
“The most important part of the tea itself is giving glory to the Lord. ... My mother loves people, she loves her community and has a very charitable heart. She loves to give, even though she has nothing, whatever she has she gives away,” said.
Chandler, 81, said she never thought the tea would have longevity.
“I didn’t know it was going to last this long, but I promised God I’d continue to do it if He showed me how. We have plans to do great things in 1997. Who knows, we might even go to the White House,” said Chandler.
After all the awards and accolades, with everyone on their feet, the final musical selection for the night was, appropriately, “Happy Birthday.”
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
What: The 41st annual Patsy Chandler Birthday Club Tea Sunday night at the Perry Child Development Center in Ypsilanti.
Why: The tea is a dinner that helps raise money for local groups.
Who benefits: The local American Red Cross, the NAACP, missionaries, student scholarships, the Parkridge Community Center, the fountain next to the downtown Ypsilanti District Library, and the Neighborhood Health Clinic are just some of the beneficiaries of Chandler’s tea. This year’s beneficiary is the building fund for Shekinah Christian Church in Ann Arbor.
Patsy Chandler Birthday Club Tea
Black American Community
Perry Child Development Center (Ypsilanti)
American Red Cross
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Parkridge Community Center
Neighborhood Health Clinic
Ypsilanti District Library
Shekinah Christian Church
LOH Community Centers
LOH Community Centers - Parkridge
LOH Education - Perry School (Ypsilanti)
Ann Arbor News