Thank you to all who supported our June 10, 2016 Great Hearts Gala! Because of the generosity of you and many others, over $550,000 was raised to benefit the children and families we serve. Thank you again and we hope you’ll join us next year.
Lauren and Phillip Fisher, Allan Gilmour and Eric Jirgens and Lois and Gail Warden were the honorary chairs of Starfish Family Services’ fifth annual benefit gala. Lisa Widner chaired the planning committee of the event that attracted more than 350 guests to Eastern Market to socialize, dine, dance and celebrate families.
Take a peek behind the magic: watch how Detroit’s Eastern Market transforms from an urban farmer’s market to a dazzling venue for our Great Hearts Gala!
The night’s festivities included the debut of a Starfish video feature depicting the Runyon family and their triumph over struggles commonly faced by Starfish’ families.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of this year’s 2016 Great Hearts Award to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) and its longtime President, Mariam C. Noland. Since its founding in 1984, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has had far reaching impact in the communities it serves. It’s distributed more than $800 million through more than 55,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. Starfish Family Services was one of the first of more than 190 local nonprofits to begin building their endowment with the CFSEM. Since 1991, Starfish has received more than $3.6 million from various funds of the Community Foundation.
During the cocktail hour guests had the opportunity to help create a commemorative mosaic artwork designed by Farmington Hills artist, Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan. The community art project was designed in honor of the CFSEM in recognition of the widespread impact it has fostered in the seven counties it serves. Once complete the artwork will be installed at the CFSEM downtown Detroit office.
The splendid evening raised over $540,000 that will help fund programs and initiatives like Starfish University. Starfish University is an initiative designed to offer parents a variety of accessible educational opportunities and support that strengthen families and empowers parents to serve as their child’s best teacher, role model, and advocate.