Walk drew 5,000+ supporters who support our mission

Our 39th annual WALK drew an enthusiastic crowd of more than 5,000 supporters and raised approximately $225,000 to support our education and job training programs, our food program, and our community revitalization efforts.

The event was renamed this year to honor Eleanor Josaitis, who co-founded Focus: HOPE with Father William Cunningham 45 years ago.  Although both of our co-founders have passed on, Focus: HOPE is going strong and working hard to continue their work to overcome racism, poverty and injustice.

In honor of our 45th anniversary, the Walk route was changed to cover 4.5 miles through the city. Walkers passed through part of the neighborhood we are working to change through our HOPE Village Initiative. 

Andrew Humphrey, chief meteorologist at WDIV Channel 4 returned for the fourth time to be master of ceremonies for the program.  The event began with a drumming circle led by Lori Fithian of Drummunity.  The Spoonful Blues Band performed a variety of blues and R&B.  Their performance was sponsored by AIM Computer Solutions, Inc.

Plastic Omnium has signed on as our major sponsor this year, with a $100,000 donation.  Last year, the automotive supplier made a large contribution to the Eleanor Josaitis Fund for Focus: HOPE in honor of our late co-founder.  A full list of sponsors is here.

Photos are posted on our facebook page and others will be posted here this week. 

 

 

Here are members of the WALK Steering Committee that helped plan the event:

ACCESS, Rachid Elabed
ARISE Detroit,  Luther Keith
Birmingham Unitarian Church,  Paul Vochan
Blue Babies, Saba Gebrai
Build On, Brooke Ahles
Care of Soul Companions All Faith Festival, Father Lawrence Ventline
Charles H. Wright Museum, Ted Canaday
Chrysler Corporation, Jody Pisching
Connect the Dots, Ed Boyd
Denso,  Melissa Smith
Detroit Historical Society, Robert Bury
Detroit Media Partnership, Deb Scola
Detroit Police Community Service,  Daran Carey
Ford Motor Company,  Renee Hollis
General Motors, Marie Ceranski
Lutheran Child & Family Services,  Karen Joseph
Marygrove College, Janice Machusak
MCCI, Kim Stricker
Mercy High School.  Judi Griggs-Dennis
Microsoft,  Donna Bank-Hoglen
MUSE, Iman Taylor
Neighborhood Services Organization, Nikki Hess
Oakland Community College, Janet Roberts
Oppenheimer, Gail Perry-Mason
Parkman Library,  Sharon Vlahovich
Plastic Omnium, Susan Kmiecki
Plymouth-Canton Civitans, Gary & Kathy Turnquist
Public Service Credit Union,  Candance Williams
SER Metro, Lucia Seed
U of D Jesuit High School,  Todd Wilson
University Liggett School, Peter Gaines
Walsh College,  Jason Sweet
Whole Foods Market, Versandra Kennebrew
Focus: HOPE, Bill Wenzell