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Ortonville: Random Acts of Kindness/Purple Love Week

March 06, 2013 - Ortonville- Toni Mariucci-Shipley and the Downtown Development Authority hope you will join them in painting the town purple and participating in random acts of kindness during Purple Love Week March 17-23.

Mariucci-Shipley was inspired to do a community service project after taking a leadership and self-expression course and also by noticing a positive difference in the demeanor of an elderly gentleman walking at the mall after she simply smiled at him and told him, "Great job."

She approached DDA Executive Director Molly LaLone and Relay for Life of Brandon/Ortonville Chairperson Julie Graveldinger with her idea.

Together, the three formulated a week that will celebrate showing kindness to the general population, as well as love and honor to cancer survivors.

"We're really just encouraging people to go through the neighborhood and smile," said Mariucci-Shipley. "Kindness doesn't have to cost anything. We can all get involved and be a positive influence and show support for cancer survivors and each other."

Mariucci-Shipley, LaLone and Graveldinger are encouraging residents and merchants to decorate the windows and doors of their homes and businesses with purple. The DDA has hosted craft events and during Purple Love Week, they hope to see purple all over the village as well as along M-15. There will be a Love Bug Scavenger Hunt, merchant specials, and on Saturday, March 23, a community service project day.

LaLone invites citizens to join her at 10 a.m. at the Old Town Hall that day. Participants will then go out into the community performing random acts of kindness in various ways.

"We will be giving gifts in unexpected ways, and will have a few service projects, but mostly it's fun, unexpected things," she said. "I can't tell what because it's a surprise."

LaLone notes that many merchants will donate a portion of proceeds from sales to Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society's biggest fundraiser, planned for June. Bullfrogs will also donate a portion of their proceeds from the week to Devoted Friends Animal Rescue. To get a full listing of participating merchants, see the Purple Love ad in the March 16 edition of The Citizen.

We don't realize the impact we have on others and our environment," said Mariucci-Shipley. "We can make a difference in someone's day, week or life just by a kind word or encouragement… Everyone could use a little more kindness in their lives."

If you are interested in decorating supplies, or for more information on Purple Love Week, call LaLone at 248-627-8070. Volunteers are also needed to distribute purple supplies to area merchants March 12-14.

LaLone also encourages residents to wear purple during Purple Love Week.

"Go out with your purpleness and remember you are honoring cancer survivors," she said. "Have fun with the purple and raise awareness."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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