2022 Mrs. J. Dallas Dort Award
Honored Couple Driven by Teamwork, Community and Building Friendships
If you don’t already know the recipients of the 2022 Mrs. J. Dallas Dort Award, you’re in for a treat.
Rosanne and Steve Heddy are a power duo around the greater Flint area. While they each enjoy personal involvement with many charities and service organizations, they have a special affinity for FIM. That’s why they were chosen for this prestigious award.
The Mrs. J. Dallas Dort Award was established in 1979 to recognize people who have given substantially of their personal time toward the successful development of the Flint Institute of Music. It is named in honor of Marcia Webb Dort, wife of Josiah Dallas Dort. Marcia was known for her tireless volunteer work in the arts community. Rosanne and Steve join a long line of distinguished recipients that includes many FIM Board members, event committee chairpersons and those who have made the Flint Institute of Music the beneficiary of their philanthropic time and efforts.
The Heddys have been involved with FIM for several decades as patrons, sponsors and volunteers. They’ve chaired many special event fundraisers including the annual auction, and volunteered at many others. One of their most recent contributions was co-chairing the September Spectacular, which celebrated the new FIM brand launch. The dedicated team also volunteered at the family kick-off event for the FIM Flint School of Performing Arts Scavenger Hunt during the September Spectacular. In May 2022, they hosted a benefit concert for Ukraine at their house, which featured FSPA musicians, among other contributors.
Continuing their leadership contributions to the arts, Steve has served on the Whiting Governing Council as well as the Flint Cultural Center Corporation Board.
FIM President and CEO Rodney Lontine is thrilled to bestow the annual award upon such a deserving couple.
“Working with Rosanne and Steve is such a pleasure and always fun. They’re two of the most giving people. We are so honored to have them in the FIM family, helping us deliver the power of the performing arts to everyone.”
Steve and Rosanne began their love affair with FIM in a simple way decades ago: by attending events. They quickly realized they wanted to do more.
“We are very proud to have FIM practically in our backyard. It is a true gem. We love the diversity of the events and regularly attend concerts, plays, receptions and other activities,” according to Rosanne.
Steve and Rosanne never miss a Seeing Stars! performance. They are both in awe of the high caliber of local talent. It is a highlight of their year to watch the younger students perform with such pride, and see the joy displayed by their parents and teachers.
They are very familiar with Dort’s legacy and thrilled to receive the honor of her namesake award.
“We are aware of and grateful to the entire Dort family for the work they did to bring music and other arts to Genesee County. We know her former home was donated to FIM. Although most women were in the background during that time. She always promoted the love of music,” Rosanne explains. “Mrs. Dort was also a founder of The Child Welfare Society. I am the current president of that group, which is another way we are aware of her impact on our community.”
The Heddys are no strangers to their neighbors. They give a tremendous amount of their time to numerous initiatives. The couple loves doing things together and usually works as a team. They have been part of events with the Flint Environmental Action Team, Whaley Children’s Center, YWCA, Crim Festival of Races, Buckingham Alley Theater, Shelter of Flint, The Hurley Foundation, Flint Brush-Up and many others. Steve and Rosanne enjoy traveling, entertaining and decorating. Most of all, they love time with family and friends.
Both have lived in the Flint community their entire lives. Their daughter, Christie, graduated from Kearsley High and taught school in Southern California. Allie, Stephanie and Max are their three wonderful grandchildren. They also have a great granddaughter, Maddie, and are awaiting the addition of Maddie’s brother in July.
Honors and accolades seem to find their way to Steve and Rosanne easily.
Steve has received awards from Keep America Beautiful and the Crim Festival of Races. He’s also been honored by his professional trade group, Painter Decorator Contractors of America. He is an exceptionally talented painter and owns Artistic Decorating. Locally he is best known for several historical restoration projects. He donated his company’s labor and supplies to paint the mural on top of the old Flint Farmers’ Market. His team worked tirelessly to restore a mural depicting Flint in the 1920s during a renovation of the Genesee County Courthouse. With love, passion and meticulous attention to detail, Steve also painted the iconic interior of the FIM Flint Capitol Theatre during its renovation in 2017-18. FIM is especially grateful for his vision and passion, which saved some of the most beautiful architectural features of the historic downtown theatre, considered to be “the people’s house.”
The two received a Community Good Samaritan Award from the American Red Cross East Central Bay Chapter, which covers Genesee County. Whaley Children’s Center and The Shelter of Flint have honored the Heddys for their many years of service as well. Rosanne also has a Nina Mills Award from the YWCA and a Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Flint Rotary Club.
In November, Rosanne and Steve received the very prestigious C.S. Mott Award presented by the Flint & Genesee Chamber at the 2022 Art of Achievement Awards. The C.S. Mott Award honors citizens of greater Flint who have made significant contributions to the advancement and well-being of the community and, by their actions, carried on the traditions of Charles Stewart Mott.
Flint & Genesee Chamber CEO Tim Herman wasn’t surprised.
“I have been fortunate to know Steve and Rosanne Heddy for most of my life. As many in the community know, they throw a great party, so much so that they use their annual open house as an opportunity to collect donations to support charities and college funds. Over the past 20 years, their guests have helped them raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for important causes and people in need,” he shared. “This is just one example of their commitment to this community. Whenever there’s an opportunity to make a positive impact, the Heddys are always the very first to lend a helping hand.”
Rosanne and Steve accept these accolades graciously and with humility, continually surprised when honored.
“We’ve learned to help our community any way we can, and we keep coming up with ideas for more events. We love this city to pieces,” expressed Rosanne. “Some of our closest friends have come from volunteering. It’s never done to receive recognition. We do it because we want to give back to the community we love.”
Lontine believes Steve and Rosanne are fulfilling their mission.
“What a legacy these two community champions have forged,” he exclaimed. “FIM is fortunate to be on the receiving end of their generosity.”