News & Updates from Detroit Muscle Crew

Riding with Pride and Muscle

Riding with Pride and Muscle

Detroit — The SAY Detroit Muscle Crew II was at it again.

On the heels of Albaugh Masonry’s gift of labor in replacing the concrete entrance to the SAY Play Center two weeks ago, another marked improvement took place on Wednesday.

Dennis and Tami Caren, owners of D&T Signs in Wyandotte, outfitted three SAY Detroit passenger vehicles used to transport the children with signage that promotes the nonprofit’s slogan: “SAY Detroit. . . And SAY Something Amazing.”

Tami and Dennis Caren have been members of the Muscle Crew since SAY Detroit founder Mitch Albom started a local chapter in 2017; the “original’’ crew helped rebuild an orphanage/school in Port-au-Prince after the 2010 earthquake. The orphanage eventually was renamed the Have Faith Haiti Mission, which is operated by Albom’s A Hole in the Roof Foundation.

The Muscle Crew is a team of skilled tradespeople who volunteer their labor for projects that benefit SAY Detroit.

The Carens said they’re proud Muscle Crew members who love to give of their time.

“We were looking for a way to volunteer and this is a really good organization,” Tami Caren said. “It makes us feel good to help these kids.”

Mike Tenbusch, SAY Play’s executive director, said he’s beyond grateful for the signage.

“We’re trying to be like a family here, and having the Muscle Crew is like having an uncle who can come in and fix anything,” he said. “Like Dennis (who’s also an electrician) is now trying to help us fix a lighting problem that we have.”

As for having new signage on three of the four formally all-white vehicles, Tenbusch said their members can now ride with more pride in the city.

“Our kids have been riding around in anonymity, and now, well, it truly is amazing — it reinforces who we are,’’ he said.

Albaugh Masonry Tackles Large Project at SAY Play Center

Albaugh Masonry Tackles Large Project at SAY Play Center

DETROIT — The job wasn’t easy. But then, they rarely are when the work involves laboring outside each day, with temperatures soaring into the 90s – and with no relief in sight.

But Scott Albaugh and his crew from Albaugh Masonry was fulfilling a commitment that he made last year, when he raised his hand to join the Detroit Muscle Crew II and donate his time when he can for a physical project to benefit SAY Detroit.

This time, the project involved replacing the deteriorating front entrance at the SAY Play Center at Lipke Park, an after-school academic enrichment facility for children age 8 to 18, before summer session begins next week.

Albaugh and his brother Greg and son Sam began the work last weekend when they embraced the arduous task of busting up cement that was eight-inches deep.

The work continued with a five-member team on Monday; today (Tuesday) Albaugh was joined by seven others for the concrete pour. The job is scheduled to be completed Wednesday, when the pavers are put in place and the cement is saw cut. The crew also repaired an area in the parking lot.

All told, the job took two full cement truck loads, Albaugh said.

Albaugh was part of the original Detroit Muscle Crew, a group of skilled tradespeople who volunteered to help rebuild the infrastructure of an orphanage that would become the Have Faith Haiti Mission in Port-au-Prince after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

On Monday, Albaugh received a personal phone call from SAY Detroit founder Mitch Albom thanking him for his service.

Albaugh said he likes helping a charity like SAY Detroit because he can “see” exactly where his donation of labor is going. On Monday, he was given a tour of the SAY Play facility.

“It’s been a hot road,” Albaugh said with a smile. “But worth it.”

Thank you, Albaugh Masonry!


Wyandotte Sign Company Delivers for DWIF

Wyandotte Sign Company Delivers for DWIF

Happy to help.

Those words were music to S.A.Y. Detroit when Detroit Muscle Crew II members Tami and Dennis Caren of Wyandotte offered their services to make two of the signs that will soon be on display at the Franklin Cider Mill — home of the Detroit Water Ice Factory’s seasonal pop-up store, which opens May 18 in Bloomfield Township.

Check-out the photo featuring their 3 1/2-year-old grandson!

Tami and Dennis are owners of D&T Signs (contact them at They’re also thrilled to participate in their first DMCII project since becoming members last year.

“I’m just so happy to help with Mitch’s charities and be part of the rebuilding of Detroit,’’ said Tami, whose company donated one of the signs and produced the other at a reduced cost.

The nonprofit DWIF, which opened its flagship location in downtown Detroit in 2015, is entering its second year offering delicious water ice to patrons at its seasonal location in Oakland County. The store is adding its line of gourmet popcorn to the mix this year. The Franklin Cider Mill is located at the corner of 14 Mile and Franklin Roads.

Pizza Party and 2018 Planning: What’s Coming for DMC II // UPDATE

Pizza Party and 2018 Planning: What’s Coming for DMC II // UPDATE

The second annual Detroit Muscle Crew II Pizza Party and General Meeting was held on Monday night (April 23) at Emagine Entertainment in Royal Oak.  We are grateful to all DMC II attendees for sharing their ideas and offering support as we work towards another successful year of giving to help Detroit’s neediest citizens after our rookie season in 2017.

The Muscle Crew couldn’t exist without your commitment to give of your time and labor. We are grateful for our ENTIRE DMCII roster of folks!

During the event, we debuted a slide presentation, which includes a projected list of scheduled projects to date–more will be added soon. Click here to view the presentation.  Please note that we have fulfilled our request for a masonry company to donate the labor required to replace the crumbling concrete entrance to our S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park. That project will completed this summer by Albaugh Masonry. Thank you DMCII member Scott Albaugh!

On the immediate horizon, we are looking for 12-15 members help set up the outdoor tent, lay outdoor carpeting, and perform a few other handyman-type chores on Wednesday, May 16 [UPDATE: Monday, May 14] at our Detroit Water Ice Factory seasonal location at the Franklin Cider Mill (corner of 14 Mile and Franklin Road). The project will start at 10 am. Lunch will be provided. Please send an email indicating your interest to (Please register with DMC II if you haven’t done so already).

Registered DMC II members will also be receiving an update from Grace Episcopal, the beneficiary of funding from A Hole in the Roof Foundation, for its project.

If you couldn’t make the meeting or haven’t yet officially registered, please do so here now so you can always have the latest information about how to participate.

Muscle Crew II Adds Volunteers, Now More Than 40 Strong

Muscle Crew II Adds Volunteers, Now More Than 40 Strong

What a way to start 2018: Approaching its second year, the Detroit Muscle Crew II is pleased to announce that seven new members have joined our team.

Please welcome the following volunteers to our crew of dedicated skilled trades people and do-gooders: Ken Peterson, Tabitha Mendez, Lonnie Ware, Rich Dixon, Jacklyn Carrico, Kimberly Johnson and Mary Deridder.

Created by S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom in March 2017, the DMCII is a group of volunteers who give their time to support structural and physical maintenance projects for S.A.Y. Detroit’s umbrella of nonprofits.

Last year’s projects included repairing and replacing windows and doors at the Cathedral of St. Anthony’s food and clothing pantry in Detroit; installing trim at the Detroit Water Ice Factory in downtown Detroit (and helping construct its summer pop-up location in Franklin); performing maintenance work on several transportation vehicles used at the S.A.Y. Play Center; landscaping a fence line at the S.A.Y. Play Center, and donating pest control services for Working Homes/Working Families.

This year’s projects will be begin this spring, so please watch your inbox for messages.

Eco-Sound Pest Management Steps Up for DMCII

Eco-Sound Pest Management Steps Up for DMCII

Of the nearly 30 skilled tradespeople who comprise the Detroit Muscle Crew II, Greg Peterson stands out in the crowd.

It’s not just his commitment to volunteerism; each and every member of the DMCII team donates their services.

It’s what Peterson does. His company — Eco-Sound Pest Management  — is the only one among the group that’s devoted to pest-control management.

So when S.A.Y. Detroit reached out last month to see if he could assist our Working Homes/Working families charity, Peterson not only donated his time, but all the materials needed to complete the job. Eco-Sound is based in Birmingham.

Why the generous donation?

Peterson said it was simply because he was happy to get a call for help and be of assistance.

On behalf of Detroit Muscle Crew II founder Mitch Albom — and all of S.A.Y. Detroit — we thank you, Greg, for your services!

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