Northville Community Center Gets $100,000 Posthumous 'Thank You' Donation
Vageehe Steele of Northville left the donation for the facility in gratitude for how welcome she felt there.
Before Vageehe Steele passed away early this year, she recounted to family how she had appreciated the kindness she received and welcoming she felt at the Northville Community Center.
On Friday evening, her family left a $100,000 donation with the center on her behalf. The main banquet room at the facility will now be named in her honor.
"She would have loved to have done it herself," said her niece, Northville Township resident Hedye Cassar. "She would come here and talk to people and have coffee. She liked to socialize."
Cassar was close to her aunt, who was born in Iran and lived in Rochester Hills for a time. Steele was new to Northville when she first started going to the community senior.
"She was a very unique woman," Cassar said.
Her aunt penned two books about her life, coming from Iran to the United States. Steele was also a nurse anesthetist.
"She was a penny pincher, but gave it all away," Cassar said.
Steele also donated to the Arthritis Foundation and other charities.
Cassar said she hopes the donations will help in "creating programs that will bring the elderly together."
She added: "A lot of time, they're in their rooms alone. I hope it brings a lot of laughter."
Community Center director Suzie Johnson said such large donations to the center are rare and she hopes to put the money to a use that Steele would have supported.
A committee will evaluate how to best use the funds, Johnson said.