Mom with a Mission
By Susan Peck
Photography by Daniel Lippett
Every mom’s mission is to love, guide and protect her children — and don’t mess with her while she’s on it.
That describes the fervor that friends say Danialle Karmanos has for raising her four boys — all under age 8.
Detroit Country Day elementary teacher Patrice Weaver has had all four of the Karmanos boys in her classroom over the years and calls Danialle “a role model for great parenting.”
“The big emphasis is on character building in my classes, and her boys all show the highest character in everyday situations. That’s a testament to Danialle and Peter and something we don’t see enough of these days,” Weaver said.
Danialle takes her enthusiasm for parenting into the community as well.
She’s a relentless advocate and philanthropist for children’s causes like her Work It Out, a partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, founded in 2005. “The 10-week program has worked with 8,000 children to promote optimum health in mind, body and spirit through a nutritional and yoga-based approach,” Danialle said.
To help support girl power, Danialle is on the Board Development Committee of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan. “I’m so excited about the new STEM program — an initiative to help get young girls interested in the ever-growing number of opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.”
Peter and Danialle both believe strongly that our future lies in the hands of today’s youth so they give generously to support and nurture rising talents. They’ve recently funded the Danialle Karmanos Public Issues Journalism Project for young journalists at her alma mater, Wayne State University, and they support promising young designers at the College for Creative Studies.
But it’s not just the high-profile projects that Danialle supports with passion. Longtime friend WDIV reporter Hank Winchester called on her when the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Detroit needed help to repair peeling paint, cracked walls and broken chairs that were making the school unsafe.
“She came in as fast as she could to clean everything up and help make the school safe again for the children — that shows the true heart of Danialle,” Winchester said. “She truly wants to be there to help every child that needs her.”
And every mom. Perhaps one of her greatest passions has been providing expectant mothers with a unique birthing experience at the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth, which is celebrating its second anniversary at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital.