News & Updates from radiothon
Representatives from nearly two dozen area charities received checks today totaling more than $1.25 million from donations raised at the seventh annual SAY Detroit Radiothon, broadcast on WJR-AM last December.
The distribution ceremony at the Fisher Building, an annual event since the Radiothon’s inception, included several first-time recipients, including Avalon Village, FoodLab Detroit, Yad Ezra, A Beautiful Me, and Building Better Men.
Mitch Albom, who founded SAY Detroit in 2006, presented the checks with Dr. Chad Audi, president of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, as well as representatives from several major donor organizations. Members of SAY Detroit’s Board of Directors also participated in celebrating the efforts of various local charitable organizations.
“Today we share the generosity of the wonderful people and companies in Metro Detroit,” Albom said. “Thanks to them, we broke our previous Radiothon record. This enables us to operate our numerous SAY Detroit initiatives. And, as per our tradition, we share a chunk of this generosity with other organizations, large and small, who, like us, are dedicated to helping Detroit’s neediest.”
Since its first broadcast in 2012, the annual Radiothon has raised over $5.7 million to help the poor, the homeless, families without houses, children and mothers without medical care, students hoping to reach the college of their dreams, and veterans who have hit hard times.
The 2019 SAY Detroit Radiothon will be held Dec. 12th at The Somerset Collection mall in Troy.
2018 RADIOTHON CHARITY DISTRIBUTION:
- Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries Women and Children’s Shelter, $50,000
- College for Creative Studies/Detroit Dream Scholars, $30,000
- Cass Community Social Services, $25,000
- SASHA Center, $12,500
- Bing Youth Institute, $10,000
- DRMM Genesis House II, $10,000
- Humble Design, $10,000
- Westside Cultural & Athletic Club, $10,000
- COTS / Bright Beginnings Day Care Program, $10,000
- Michigan Veterans Foundation, $10,000
- LA SED INC, $10,000
- Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries Teen Day Care, $10,000
- Notes for Notes, $7,500
- Mother Batie’s Kitchen/United Sisters of Charity, $7,500
- D2N/EVO Detroit, $5,000
- Buckets of Rain, $5,000
- *St. Luke AME / A Hole in the Roof Foundation, $5,000
- *Avalon Village, $5,000
- *Food Lab, $5,000
- *A Beautiful Me, $5,000
- *Yad Ezra, $5,000
- *Building Better Men, $5,000
SAY DETROIT INITIATIVES:
* Denotes 1st time recipient
For the fourth year in a row, the SAY Detroit Radiothon broke the $1 million dollar mark in funds raised during a marathon 15-hour broadcast. Held Thursday, December 6 in the North Grand Court at the Somerset Collection in Troy, the radiothon was broadcast live on WJR 760AM and streamed across the web at www.mitchalbomradiothon.com, clickondetroit.com, wjr.com, freep.com and on Facebook. In its seventh year, the Radiothon has raised over $4.5 million, including a record $1,261,000 in donations in 2017.
“The thing that strikes me the most is the continued kindness that surrounds this effort from the people who let us use Somerset, to the volunteers who work the phone banks, to all the celebrities, sports figures and entertainers who agree year after year to come on, to all the people who continue to donate,” said Albom, who founded SAY Detroit in 2006. “As a result, we’ve been able to do some amazing things at SAY Detroit. We took a quantum leap this past year, with a deep and experienced new board of directors with a vision towards cementing the efforts that we do in the city right now and securing their future long term.
This year’s list of guests included Hugh Jackman, JK Simmons, Jane Pauley, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Phil, Hank Azaria, Paul Stanley, Lily Tomlin, Will Arnett, John Pizzarelli, Grant Hill, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Bradley Whitford, Sawyer Fredericks, Billy Bob Thornton, Tim Allen, Dave Barry, Adam Schefter, KEM, and Howard Schultz.
Closer to home, Mike Duggan, Tigers Manager Ron Gardenhire, Pistons Coach Dwane Casey, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Gibson, Tom Izzo, Jim Harbaugh, Dave Bing, Blake Griffin, and many local news personalities including Roop Raj, Amy Lange, Brad Galli, Carman Harlan, and Bernie Smilovitz.
Hourly sponsors included The Suburban Collection, General Motors, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Michigan Center for Fertility & Women’s Health, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Cooper Standard, Michigan Masonic, Charitable Foundation, Art Van Furniture, St. Nicholas Troy Ladies Philoptochos, Artichoke Garlic Foundation, Emagine Entertainment, Somerset Collection, Health Partners Inc., and the Singing for Change Foundation. Additonal sponsors include Diamabrush, Toyota, W.K. Kellogg, and Trinity Health.
For those who missed the opportunity to donate, bid on auctions, or buy incentive premiums during the broadcast have the opportunity to make donations and purchases through the weekend at www.mitchalbomradiothon.com.
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.
Broadcast live for fifteen hours from The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI, the annual tradition once again proved—with every call, guest interview, and click of the “donate” button—that giving truly is living.
The funds raised help the poor, the homeless, families without homes, children without medical care, students hoping to reach the college of their dreams and veterans who have hit hard times through a daycare center, a free clinic for homeless children and their mothers, a veterans center, a motivational learning center, scholarships, and a housing program for working families.
As Mitch Albom wrote in his recent column, “It’s easy to get cynical at the holidays. We mock how we can care so much a few weeks each December, and be so callous the rest of the year. I don’t see it that way. I see December as who we really are, and the rest of the year as the time we need to remind ourselves of it.”
Thank you for showing us who you are—generous donors, caring volunteers, and a grateful community who have a vested interest in seeing things improve in Detroit.
Erica Wright’s eyes were rimmed with tears as he spoke.
S.A.Y. Detroit was visiting Wright’s summer session for a lunchtime pizza party at her Westside Cultural & Athletic Club nonprofit on a recent Thursday when Derrick R. Coleman paid her a surprise visit.
Nearly 40 years ago, Coleman was a 6-year-old boy on Detroit’s west side — “growing up around heroin addicts,” he said — when he found solace, support and love in the form of a woman who had created a youth program out of her home to keep children on the straight and narrow.
That woman was Erica Wright, who founded the Westside Cultural and Athletic Club in 1976.
Today, Coleman, 45, is superintendent of the River Rouge school district. Earlier this year, he was a finalist for Detroit’s superintendent position; Coleman is also working on his doctorate.
“Each one of us has a story to tell,” Coleman told Wright’s 22 teen leaders assembled that day at West Side Academy. “How could I become a district superintendent when my mom didn’t graduate from high school and I didn’t know who my father was? A big part of why I went into education was because of Ms. Wright.”
He looked over at Wright, who was standing to his right in the classroom at the school, where food was being distributed to the needy one floor below outside its doors.
Wright and her grass-root’s nonprofit, which S.A.Y. Detroit supports through funding from Mitch Albom’s annual S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon, received statewide recognition in 2013 when she was recognized with the Governor’s Service Award.
Coleman said he can’t emphasize enough what Wright and her program did for him during his youth.
“I had a good family, but this woman sheltered a burden for the entire community,” he said. “I was a kid who dealt with self-esteem issues. I never played a down of high school football, or basketball. I needed someone to breathe life into me.
“Everything I do in life now is to be of service for others. She quit her job at the IRS and became, (essentially), the mother of an orphanage. I’m here in my Gucci loafers, but that doesn’t qualify as success. She sacrificed for other people’s kids. If money didn’t mater, what would I do? I’d be Erica.”
When Coleman’s talk was finished, he was swallowed up by Wright’s loving arms in a long embrace.
“I am the one who’s grateful,” she said.