The 7th Annual JAC Products MVP Awards Dinner benefiting Detroit PAL presented by Bridgewater Interiors was held on Wednesday, February 24 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. We were very excited to bring back Rhonda Walker of WDIV-TV as our Mistress of Ceremony for the fifth year in a row as well as honor distinguished men and women whose support has impacted Detroit PAL enormously.
Detroit PAL awarded the Dave Bing Leadership Award to Honorable Senator Carl Levin. Recently retired Michigan Senator Carl Levin played a key role in championing the redevelopment of the Historic Tiger Stadium at Michigan Ave. and Trumbull Ave. Through his efforts, the site is designated to receive $3.1 Million in federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That money became the first financial basis for what has become Detroit PAL’s “Kids at The Corner” Capacity Campaign. Senator Levin’s commitment to help the city, and especially the youth in Detroit, began back in the days when he was a member of City Council. Now, he is continuing the fight for the kids by serving as our Honorary “Kids at the Corner” Campaign co-chair. Watch Video Here.
The Scodellaro/Boylan “Builder” Award was presented to Police Chief James E. Craig and the Detroit Police Department. In 2015, Chief Craig and the Detroit Police Department increased its commitment by joining with Detroit PAL to create the ‘Team Up’ program. In its first year, ‘Team Up’ was able to significantly increase police involvement in PAL. In addition to PAL’s three full time officers, ‘Team Up’ helped add a corps of officers who volunteer to work with kids directly, on the field or on the court. ‘Team Up’ pairs trained police officers with one PAL team to serve as an assistant coach and mentor. It’s important that Detroit children look at police officers with respect and that police officers get to know Detroit kids in a setting that breaks barriers, create alliances and builds friendships based off of trust and respect. Watch Video Here.
The Varner/Tenbusch “Game Changer” Award was presented to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation gift of $2 Million, matching the largest gift PAL has ever received, was a game changer for the Kids at the Corner campaign. Through their generosity, the legacy of Ralph Wilson will continue through the work of Detroit PAL and its mission to put kids first, building character, one child at a time. Watch Video Here.
The Cynthia Covington “Volunteer of the Year” award was presented to Karen Hall. Karen D. Hall has been involved with Detroit PAL since 1998. During her years of service with Detroit PAL she has served in many capacities throughout the seasons but primarily with Detroit PAL Track & Field as a coach, registrar, administrator, coordinator, mentor, mediator and medical trainer. Detroit PAL’s Youth of the Year was also presented with a certificate for serving for the 2015-16 school year. Arianna McMiller gave a wonderful speech to the crowd about what Detroit PAL has meant to her and other kids just like her.
We at PAL are very grateful for the support we received for this event. We would like to thank our Title Sponsor; JAC Products as well as our Presenting Sponsors; Bridewater Interiors, LLC and our additional MVP Awards sponsors: Tooles Roncelli-Joint Venture, Coca-Cola, Signature Associates, Team Detroit, Detroit Lions, Detroit Sports Commission , Duffey Petrosky, Citizens Bank, Clark Hill Associates, Edward Jones – Alicia McGovern, Gerry Boylan, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and UHY, LLP.
Thank you all for your support and we look forward to next year’s event!