2019 Gala Recap

Million-Dollar Milestone

Thank you for your energy, your dedication, your belief that our collective future relies on investing in children, and for inspiring all of us at Starfish.

On Friday, May 17, 2019, the 8th annual Great Hearts Gala broke many records.

  • A record number of community friends and supporters gathered at the stunning Ford Field stadium in Detroit.
  • A record number of sponsors pledged their commitment to empowering metro Detroit children and families.
  • We honored Detroit Education Innovators, who are part of a record-setting initiative that will revolutionize a Northwest Detroit neighborhood.

And . . . drum-roll please, we exceeded our $1 million goal! Our working total: $1,002,097

(Working because donations continue to roll in)

We don’t know what our 2020 Gala goal will be, but we do know that our potential is unlimited because of your “Great Hearts” and “Great Friends” like all of you.

Revenue raised: $1,002,097

  • An astonishing 63% increase from 2018

Number of attendees: 513 (our best-attended gala ever!)

Our greeters: 6 of our amazing preschoolers representing 2 of our Detroit education centers

  • Watch the Starfish story told by the children of Starfish

Our families: As always, take center stage

  • Click here to watch an inspiring journey

2019 Great Hearts Award Recipients: Detroit Education Innovators

  • The Kresge Foundation
  • Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Marygrove College
  • University of Michigan, School of Education

View our especially produced Gala video that spotlights this historic and revolutionary partnership.

A standing ovation to our Leadership Team: Click for a full list of Gala host committee members.

  • Honorary co-chairs
    • Dr. Elizabeth A. Burns
    • Dr. Elizabeth Birr Moje & Mr. John Moje
    • Dr. Mark S. Schlissel
    • Dr. Nikolai Vitti & Rachel Vitti
  • Event chairs
    • Lauren & Phillip Fisher
    • Emily & Henry Ford III
    • W. Howard & Karla Morris
    • Eileen & Mark Petroff

Resounding applause for our emcee: Lauren Sanders

2019 Photo Gallery

Check out our 2019 galleries below! Please click the image above the gallery you wish to access.

Starfish Family Services Gala 2019
Starfish Family Services Red Carpet
Great Hearts Gala – Ring Roamer Snaps