News & Updates from S.A.Y. Detroit Play
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.
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!
S.A.Y. Detroit is thrilled to receive a $2,000 grant from Motown Soup in support of our meal service at the S.A.Y. Play Center
at Lipke Park.
Based in Utica, Motown Soup produces dry soup mixes and other goods, then markets them, giving away all of the profits.
The nonprofit has been sharing proceeds for the past 13 years with fellow charities who operate homeless shelters, soup kitchens and free clinics. This year’s distribution brings the total to over $900,000.
S.A.Y. Play feeds its members one hot meal a day, plus snacks, for free.
Motown Soup is no stranger to S.A.Y. Detroit. Our volunteer program, A Time to Help
, worked alongside Motown Soup volunteers at a project packaging soups this past January.
DETROIT, March 27, 2018 — Representatives from 22 area charities accepted checks totaling nearly $1.25 million on Tuesday from donations raised at Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon last December.
The ceremony at the Fisher Building, which included six first-time recipients, has become S.A.Y. Detroit’s favorite day of the year, said Albom, who distributed the funds to the benefitting charities with Dr. Chad Audi and representatives from major sponsor organizations, and supporters. Audi is president of the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, which is S.A.Y. Detroit’s operating partner.
“It’s really the generosity of the people who gave to our Radiothon — some even $5 or $10 contributions, all the way up to large corporate gifts — that we are sharing with worthy charities around Detroit,” said Albom, who founded the S.A.Y. Detroit nonprofit in 2006. “It’s our honor and pleasure to do so each year.”
Funds were distributed to the following charities:
- S.A.Y Detroit Play Center, $565,000
- S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic, $300,000;
- Working Homes Working Families, $100,000;
- S.A.Y. Detroit Tomorrow Fund (endowment), $100,000;
- College for Creative Studies/Detroit Dream Scholars, $30,000;
- Cass Community Social Services, $25,000;
- Bing Youth Institute, $10,000;
- Humble Design, $10,000;
- Westside Cultural & Athletic Club, $10,000;
- COTS/Bright Beginnings, $10,000;
- SASHA Center, $10,000;
- Michigan Veterans Foundation, $10,000;
- LA SED INC., $10,000;
- *Notes for Notes, $7,500;
- Real Life My Music, $7,500;
- *D2N/EVO Detroit, $7,500;
- United Sisters of Charity/Mother Batie’s Kitchen, $6,000;
- Hole in the Roof Foundation/*Grace Episcopal, $5,000;
- Veterans Matter, $5,000;
- *Art Road, $5,000;
- *Friendship Circle/Farber Soul Center, $5,000;
- JVS, $5,000;
- *Buckets of Rain, $3,000.
(* Denotes 1st-time recipient).
Albom also announced the expansion of S.A.Y. Detroit’s Board of Directors. The 11 members are: Dennis Archer, Cynthia Ford, Carmen Harlan, Judge Damon Keith, Rob Orley, Al Papa, David Provost, Charles Rothstein, Arn Tellem, Albom and Audi. A new advisory board will be announced soon.
“We’re so pleased to form the expanded board of S.A.Y. Detroit, which reflects a wide range of backgrounds, expertise and history,” Albom said. “I’m proud to be working with them and have great confidence that they will help steer S.A.Y. Detroit into the future and even greater level of effectiveness to help the needy in our city.’’
The 2018 Radiothon is Dec. 6 at the Somerset Collection in Troy.
Charity in, charity out.
Proving its commitment is stronger than ever, members of the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation presented S.A.Y. Detroit its second installment check of $500,000 on Wednesday (Nov. 8).
Led by Michigan Masons Grand Master Josh Woodwyk, a team of Masons representatives — including past Grand Master Bill Finkel, and Walt Wheeler, executive director of the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation — spent part of the afternoon visiting the S.A.Y. Play Center at Lipke Park, one of S.A.Y. Detroit’s major programs.
The group met many members of the center, including a trio of young women who debuted a song that they helped write called “Let’s Love’’ accompanied by Notes for Notes program director Dustin Slater on the keyboard.
S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom and S.A.Y. Play executive director Mike Tenbusch guided the Michigan Masons — who are in the second-year of a long-term partnership with the nonprofit — on a tour of the facility, and updated the group on S.A.Y. Detroit’s progress during the past year. The group was also presented with an autographed Matthew Stafford football.
“It was terrific hearing the students tell their personal stories about what the center means to them,” Woodwyk said.
Woodwyk and Wheeler later joined Mitch Albom’s radio show as guests, broadcasted live on Wednesday night from the S.A.Y. Play Center.
Thank you Michigan Masons!
S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center‘s “Summer of Success” was an application-only summer camp devoted to promoting campers’ social and emotional learning and physical health. The morning health and wellness programming addressed the building of five core competencies —
- social awareness
- relationship building
around S.A.Y. Play’s 4 core values: LOVING, HARD WORK, EXCELLENCE, RELATIONSHIPS. Each day we worked the soul and worked the body, and events included a family team olympics, mini robotics camp, writing workshops, large and small discussion groups, and field trips to community pools, activity centers, museums, and the Detroit Zoo.
Counselors were employed by Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT), a citywide summer jobs program that employs young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 across the city. Programming for our GDYT counselors and older Summer of Success campers included college prep sessions, visits to startup hubs in the heart of Detroit, and college tours in the state and a weekend trip to Washington, D.C. to visit Howard and Georgetown universities.
Check out the highlights at sayplay.org: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | DC Tour