Entrepreneur teams with music legends, protege to help others
August 25, 2010 - Helping others is a priority for Anna Muzzy of Independence Township.
|Standing, from left, Patty Sunisloe, Mark Levesque of Harmony Network, Josh Ward of MORC, Anna Muzzy, Frank Britt of MORC, Barbara Lingenfelter of MORC, Les Williams, and Darrin Williams, and, in front from left, Annalisa Pavone, Lisa Pavone, M.D., Julian Pavone, and Bernadino Pavone work together for charity. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)|
Hosting a charity golf outing, Aug. 2, she found it's also a priority for Motown legends The Contours.
"They're so nice – they treat you like they've known you for 10 years," said Muzzy, whose Rock Me business sponsored the outing benefiting Athletes with Disabilities Network. "They're awesome. We're very lucky to have them."
"This is really grass roots – more organizations are stepping up and helping out," said Charles Davis, 26-year member of the Contours.
Muzzy and the band also work with Macomb-Oakland Regional Center (MORC), which offers training, education, and support to help those with disabilities and mental illness serve as full members of their communities.
"I like to do things to help other people, and the center helps people," she said.
"This is an amazing, with the Contours," said Patty Sunisloe, director of therapeutic recreation for MORC.
Photographers in the MORC program take pictures for the band, especially its newest member, 6-year-old drummer Julian Pavone.
"Julian is an amazingly talented human being," Sunisloe said. "No one expects to find talent at 6 years old, and no one expects to find talent here either (at MORC). Talent exists where you least expect to find it."
"They take great photographs," said S.K. Young, photography teacher at MORC for the past four years. "They have no pretension. They're honest. I'm honored to know them."
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Davis invited Pavone to join the band at a fund raiser this past January.
"We were raising money for the kids," Davis said. "I heard him play, and asked him if he wanted to perform with us. He played that night. He's amazing."
"Julian fits in very well," said Les Williams, who performed with the Contours when he was 14 years old, as well as the Spinners, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Commodores, Johnny Hooker, Dramatics, and other groups. "He hears music, and he just picks it up."
"He's a great drummer, a phenom," said Darrin Williams, Les Williams' son and manager. "His future is bright."
Pavone lives in Detroit with his parents Bernadino and Dr. Lisa Pavone, and sister Annalisa Pavone.
"I like them (the Contours) – they have a lot of talent," Julian said. "I think they're awesome."
"I'm so proud. He amazes me every day," said Lisa. "I don't know where he gets it. It must be from somewhere in the family. He has so much fun. As long as it is fun, it's good."
Muzzy moved to Clarkston from Virginia in 2008 with her husband, Matthew Muzzy, and their two children.
"I lived in Lake Orion when I was in kindergarten," Anna Muzzy said. "My husband works with the government and could choose where to live. We chose the Detroit area."
They picked Clarkston because of family.
"My dad lives in Clarkston," she said. "It's awesome, with so much for the kids – gymnastics, schools, Deer Lake."
Her business, based in Clarkston, is an infant and toddler clothing line, all American made. She's set to launch in New York City in October, with the help of Clarkston web company Worldwise.net.
Muzzy plans to continue to work with the Contours to help charity organizations.
"Once we get going, we want to work with more than one," she said. "We're always looking for ways to help other people."
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.