Lisa Whitmore Davis

For the first time ever, AARP will bring its Block Party to the 2017 GM River Days in Detroit June 23-25, featuring radio personality Donnie Simpson, a virtual reality experience, special prizes, and other activities for the entire family.

But the star of the show will be the Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO), a nonprofit, multi-service agency founded more than 60 years ago in response to the needs of low-income families and communities in Detroit.

As a part of the AARP’s efforts to support the Detroit community, we will donate $1 for every frozen treat given away at the AARP Block Party (maximum donation of $5,000).

“We’re pleased to be able to contribute to Neighborhood Services Organization. They do great work in Metro Detroit providing social and health services for older adults,” said Paula D. Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan.

NSO President and CEO Sheilah Clay commented: “NSO has the honor of engaging in the lives of older adults with mental illness and those who just need community supports to live quality lives.  We are excited about the gift from AARP.


“We plan to use the funds to enhance our senior Wellness Center program funded by the Detroit Area Agency on Aging,” Clay added.  “This program provides community senior services, congregate meals, nutrition education, and other social and health related services.  The funds from AARP will enable us to add additional programming requested by our seniors.  It is their voices that drive our work.”


The check will be presented to NSO on Sunday, June 25 at 4 p.m.

The AARP Block Party is a traveling exhibit that engages attendees with interactive experiences that relate to AARP’s programs and mission.

Visitors who stop by the AARP block party can experience virtual reality and receive a free AARP-branded Google Cardboard VR viewer. In addition to the free Popsicle stand, the Block Party site in the center of the festival area will include a photo booth, prize wheel, and “commitment wall,” where attendees can leave heartfelt messages to the city.

Simpson, a long-time radio DJ and movie and TV personality with Detroit roots, will have a meet and greet at the Block Party tent. He will be at the Block Party from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.

GM River Days is a one-of-a-kind festival which takes place along the Detroit Riverfront. The 10-year-old festival celebrates Detroit’s RiverWalk with activities on land and water. Learn more at


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