The spirit of leadership in Detroit was more vibrant than the sapphire blue and sunset orange glow that illuminated the walls of the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel’s Woodward Ballroom Saturday evening at the Michigan Chronicle’s fourth annual Newsmakers gala, “Legacy in Motion.”
The chic event celebrated the city’s most noteworthy leaders, individuals, families and organizations whose hard work and dedication to Southeast Michigan’s local communities enhanced the region’s economic growth, social reform and overall development.
There were many key trailblazers in attendance, including Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb, Judge Damon J. Keith, Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon, U.S. Congressman John Conyers, City Council President-elect Charles Pugh and State Rep. Shanelle Jackson, among many others. Such recognition of courageous leadership paired with the elegant backdrop of the city’s historic Book Cadillac Hotel was a refreshing departure from the flood of grim news and images that are pumped out and around the city on a daily basis.
The event, sponsored by DTE, Bank of America, MGM Grand Detroit, St. John Health, Marygrove College, Real Times Media, Jackets for Jobs, and Good People Popcorn, served as a canvas on which a positive image was painted; an image of the hope, hard work and innovative leadership that it takes to pull a city out of an economic crisis.
In addition to leadership, generosity was also a theme of the evening. In fact, one of the most notable events came when the Pickard Family Fund, in association with the Michigan Chronicle’s parent company, Real Times Media, presented a generous donation of $100,000 to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.
Dr. William F. Pickard, who chairs the Pickard Family Fund, said he chose to present the donation at the Legacy in Motion gala, where Robert Bobb was being honored as a Newsmaker of the Year, for a number of reasons. Most notably because the affair, which is known to attract some of the region’s most influential citizens, would help in putting a stronger spotlight on the need for the business community to assist with revitalizing our educational system.
The donation comes to the DPS Foundation just four months after the independent non-profit emerged from a seven-year dormancy. The gift will help support struggling athletic and fine art programs that recently suffered massive cuts in state funding.