The 5th Annual MVP Awards benefiting Detroit PAL presented by DTE Energy was held on February 13, 2014 at The Detroit Athletic Club. We at Detroit PAL were excited to have Rhonda Walker of WDIV-TV as Mistress of Ceremony for the third consecutive year. Detroit PAL was honored to award three distinguished men who have been champions of Detroit PAL for many years. Along with each of their company’s support in sponsorships, in-kind donations and pro bono work, each have positively impacted the lives of the kids Detroit PAL serves.
Detroit PAL was proud to honor Joe Petrosky of Duffey Petrosky with our Dave Bing Leadership Award. This award honors individuals who are living Detroit PAL’s mission every day as champions of girls and boys living in the city. Duffey Petrosky is an award-winning marketing and communications agency in metro Detroit that also has a big heart for kids. Since 1999, Duffey Petrosky has been assisting Detroit PAL with the best ways to market and promote programs and services available to the youth of Detroit. In 2013, Duffey Petrosky was instrumental in assisting Detroit PAL with the rollout of its new name and brand. All in all, Duffey Petrosky spearheaded the creation of three public service announcements for Detroit PAL voiced by Rhonda Walker, and secured commitments from local TV stations to air those PSAs for free. In addition, they provided guidance, connections and expertise that allowed PAL to enjoy more than 75 broadcast, print and online spots. Duffey Petrosky’s support has allowed Detroit PAL to experience increased visibility, media presence, participation and donations this past year.
The Scodellaro/Boylan Builder Award was presented to Percy Wells of the Coca Cola Company. This award is presented to an individual or organization that has provided long-term service to Detroit PAL in an effort to sustain its greatness and help to bring it to the next level of fruition. Born and raised in Detroit, Percy Wells has been involved in his community his entire life. As a Detroit PAL Board member for more than 14 years, he has diligently served the youth of Detroit through the organization’s mission of building character in kids through sports. As Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications, Eastern U.S. Operations at The Coca-Cola Company-North America Group, not only has he brought his own time, talent, and expertise to serve the mission, he has effectively influenced his employer to support our kids as well. Thanks to Percy’s advocacy, Coca-Cola activated its Healthy and Active Lifestyles priority area, which is designed to support access to exercise, physical activity and nutritional education programs, through Detroit PAL. Children who participate in programs such as track and field, volleyball and soccer have all benefited from the support of Coca-Cola and the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Detroit PAL was also proud to honor Dr. Dan Gould with our Varner/Tenbush Game Changer Award. This award is awarded to an individual who works or volunteers in the city of Detroit, in an effort to improve the lives of all young people. This person is a true champion of Detroit PAL’s youth, working to make positive change and create innovative ways to overcome adversity. In order to accomplish a goal as important yet elusive as building character in kids through sports, it is important to consult the experts. Dr. Dan Gould and his team at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS) at Michigan State University are widely recognized as a preeminent leader in the industry of youth development through sport. When Dr. Gould was first approached by Detroit PAL in 2006 to assist in developing a volunteer coach training curriculum, he did not hesitate to lend his and his team’s time and talent to the project. Immediately recognizing the breadth of Detroit PAL’s reach and the ability of the organization to impact the lives of thousands of girls and boys annually, Dr. Gould and ISYS have since worked closely with PAL in the development of its patented IMPACT coaching program and also hosted PAL’s entire athletics team for a two day retreat on youth development through sport. Detroit PAL would like to thank everyone who has helped make Detroit PAL better and the individuals who live our mission everyday.
We are grateful to all the support we received for this event and thank our presenting sponsor: DTE Energy and our additional MVP Awards sponsors: The Coca-Cola Company; Team Detroit; Kathy and Gerry Boylan; Bridgewater Interiors LLC; The Detroit Lions; Duffey Petrosky; Signature Associates; The Diez Group; Ersnt & Young; Steve Fishman; Jon Frank & Arthur Horwitz; Tony Nuckolls; Janis & Scott Seabolt; Terence Thomas; UAW Ford; PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; John Bush and WDIV.