“It was a spectacular evening,” said Gerald Provencal, the executive director of MORC. “It was the greatest rainy night in my life,” he said. “Holding a check for $50,000 from the Ilitch family was an exciting, gratifying, and humbling experience.”In addition to the donation, MORC received “tremendous recognition for the work we have been doing for the last 41 years and it will pay dividends to us well into the future,” said Provencal. “It’s a testament to the integrity and the passion of MORC and all of us who contribute to its success.”
Another exciting moment Friday Sept. 20 was when Mark Stillwell, who formerly lived in the state institution in Lapeer, rolled out onto the field in his wheelchair and watched the check-presentation ceremony. Tiger Manager Jim Leyland walked over and shook Mark’s hand and wished him all the best.“The Ilitch companies are proud to be part of the fabric of our community, and giving back to the communities where we do business is very important to us,” said Christopher Ilitch. The $150,000 that went to MORC and two other nonprofits was raised in late August at the Sixth Annual Ilitch Charities Celebrity Golf Classic, the organization’s annual signature fundraising event.
“Among many other initiatives, our annual Ilitch Charities Celebrity Golf Classic is a great way for us to raise funds each and every year that go directly back into making our community a better place for all,” Ilitch said.MORC was nominated for the award by Executive Programs Director Larry Hudas of Aon Risk Solutions of Southfield, who has been a long-time supporter and admirer of MORC’s humanitarian work.
Ilitch, the son of Tiger owners Mike and Marian Ilitch, presided over the event and presented MORC the check.A picture of the check presentations was posted on the Tigers’ Facebook page after the Tiger-Chicago White Sox game which Detroit won 12-5.
Each of us walked out separately to receive the check and had our picture taken, Provencal said. Other recipients of $50,000 each were the Michigan Humane Society and Detroit Historical Society.“It was a wonderful, wonderful night for MORC staff and consumers at the game. It will be long remembered by those who love MORC and love baseball.
Jerry Wolffe is the Writer-in-Residence/Advocate-at-Large at the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at 586 263-8950.