When David and Ilene Techner lost their 8-month-old daughter to an illness more than 35 years ago, they wanted to set up a conference in her memory that had to do with parenting.
Today, the Alicia Joy Techner Memorial Parenting Conference has a 31-year history of distinguished guest speakers that include Dr. Benjamin Spock, Microsoft president Steve Ballmer and actor Henry Winkler. Soap opera star Don Diamont joins the list as a speaker at this year's event, held Oct. 29 at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield.
"She would be 36," David Techner said of his daughter. "She only lived eight months, but I have people say to me, 'Are you Alicia's father?'. That does my heart well."
Themes for the event have been varied; speakers have touched on bullying, the Holocaust and other topics. "We've had a really good run of programs," Techner said.
Diamont is expected to talk about raising his nephew following the death of his brother, and how he came to love Judaism through parenting the boy. Diamont also experienced anti-Semitic bullying as a child.
Reservations for the 7:30 p.m. event can be made by contacting Stephanie Brovenick at 248-661-5700 or Stephanie@temple-israel.org.