Rare Earth original lead singer Peter Rivera, Iron Butterfly and Blues Image lead singer Mike Pinera and Sugarloaf original lead singer Jerry Corbetta, touring as the Classic Rock All Stars, will take the stage at the fourth concert in the 2009 Rockin’ on the Riverfront classic rock series on Friday, Aug. 14. The 2009 concert series sponsor is Andiamo Detroit Riverfront, in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM.

With Rivera on drums and lead vocals, Rare Earth sold more than 25 million records and produced popular hits such as “Get Ready” and “I’m Losing You.” Rare Earth was also the first all white band signed by Motown Records. On lead vocals and guitar, Pinera found astounding success with Iron Butterfly and Blues Image, but he’s best known for bringing the world the classic rock hit ”Ride, Captain, Ride.” Former lead singer, keyboardist and founder of Sugarloaf, Corbetta helped the group find success with hits such as “Green-Eyed Lady” and “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You.”

Novi, Mich. bass player Larry Prentiss will also join the Classic Rock All Stars on the Rockin’ on the Riverfront stage. Detroit band Standing Room Only will open the show at 8 p.m., and the Classic Rock All Stars will perform from approximately 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Upcoming Rockin’ on the Riverfront concerts include:

August 21 – Foghat
August 28 – Edgar Winter
September 4 – TBD

Admission to the concerts is free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and people are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are invited to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the view of the stage from the water.

Food and refreshment concessions from Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will be available at several locations on the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and invites guests to take advantage of its gorgeous outdoor patio overlooking the Detroit River.

Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, in partnership with the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan, is announcing an innovative program to help local arts and cultural organizations raise sorely needed operating funds.

On Aug. 18 at 10 a.m., the Community Foundation will launch its $1 million “Community Foundation Challenge — Arts & Culture,” an online giving challenge designed to stimulate giving to arts and cultural organizations in southeast Michigan.

“For 25 years, the Community Foundation has supported arts and cultural organizations in southeast Michigan as part of our mission to improve the lives of all who live and work in the region, “ said Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan President Mariam C. Noland. “Arts and cultural organizations are essential to our quality of life. They touch our lives every day. They educate us, challenge us, show us who we are and who we can become. And right now, they urgently need our help.”

Gifts for the Community Foundation Challenge made online at http://www.cfsem.org to support participating Cultural Alliance members will be matched 50 percent by the Community Foundation. For every two dollars contributed online by donors to support these arts and cultural organizations, the Community Foundation will match it with one dollar. Gifts can be made by credit card or e-check and can range from $25 to $10,000 per contributor, per organization.

The goal of the program is to generate $3 million in much needed operating funds for participating arts and cultural organizations. Each participating Cultural Alliance member can generate up to maximum of $600,000 of operating funds ($400,000 in gifts and $200,000 in matching funds).

Time, however, is of the essence. The “Community Foundation Challenge – Arts & Culture” will begin accepting contributions at 10 a.m. on Aug. 18. It is expected that matching funds will be used quickly and the program will end once the $1 million matching fund is exhausted.

“Arts and cultural organizations all over southeast Michigan are suffering major cash crises and reducing their programs.” Noland said. “This Challenge gives everyone an opportunity to lend a hand to help support these vital organizations and makes their contributions worth even more.”

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations committed to the future of southeast Michigan. The Foundation works to improve the region’s quality of life by connecting those who care with causes that matter. The Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $360 million through more than 33,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St.

Come join Cosi in supporting the Detroit Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk, benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Dine at any of their six Michigan restaurants, Wednesday, August 12th, 4pm till close and 10% of your purchase is donated to the walk.

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Sports Come Through in the Clutch

Micheline Maynard
The New York Times

In 1968, when I was young, Detroit was in shambles. Its soul had been wrenched open the summer before by riots that pitted angry black residents against a mostly white police force. The city’s newspapers were on strike. Auto industry leaders were beginning to worry about a threat posed by the Japanese.

Only one thing kept the city together, or so it seemed: the Tigers.

On the beaches of its metropolitan parks and in the kitchens and backyards of homes across Michigan, like the one where I grew up, we heard the voices of Ernie Harwell and Ray Lane broadcasting the play-by-play on WJR-AM and its sister stations.

When the Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, we were all united in more than just delight. The community, young and old, needed the success for spiritual reasons as much as for the sheer pleasure of seeing a sports team prevail.

Lately, I’ve felt a similar bond, only on a much grander scale and across many playing fields. As so many people around the world have lost their jobs, and seen their homes deflate in value and their countries become unsettled, sports have stepped in to distract us.

It is almost as if athletes everywhere have sensed an extra responsibility in 2009 and are rising to the occasion. They have good reason to do so. Even before the recession that has gripped the world, fans were increasingly fed up with doping scandals and violence and disappointments involving their sports heroes.

But athletic performance makes a difference now, far more than in a prosperous year.

Here in Detroit, where the Tigers have a tenuous grip on first place in the American League Central, two special events have gripped the city’s attention this year.

In April, it was the N.C.A.A. Final Four, in which the Michigan State men’s basketball team ultimately lost to North Carolina. Granted, it was a stretch to classify the East Lansing-based Spartans as a local team, but the 100-mile distance was happily overlooked, given the boost that M.S.U. gave to the local mood.

Two months later, the city was alternately jubilant and depressed, not to mention sleep deprived, thanks to the Red Wings. They tussled with the Pittsburgh Penguins before conceding the Stanley Cup in Game 7. That final buzzer at Joe Louis Arena ushered in a remarkable few months.

This summer has brought to mind not only my 1968 Tigers, but also the United States’ hockey victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics and France’s victory over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final, which sent a million people surging onto the Champs-Élysées in celebration.

In rapid succession, fans around the world have been riveted by events that almost no one could have predicted.

In June, the United States men’s soccer team stunned top-ranked Spain in the Confederations Cup and led a shocked Brazilian team in the tournament’s final. There was no Miracle on Turf, however, and the Americans wound up losing the game but gaining respect.

Then came Roger Federer’s record-setting match against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon, an agonizing, exhilarating nail-biter whose final set lasted 30 games. The session went on long past the usual breakfast at Wimbledon and well into lunch before Federer finally claimed his 15th Grand Slam singles title.

It seemed only a blink of an eye before the 59-year-old Tom Watson was in the spotlight, falling a good putt short of winning the British Open but reassuring every golfer around the world that age was second to skill.

Layered over those individual performances was the three-week Tour de France, with so much drama it was hard to know which story was the most intriguing.

The Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, whose eyes have the same intensity as Federer’s, emerged as the best in his sport. But Lance Armstrong’s third-place finish at 37, after three and a half years away from racing, was clearly what many Americans cared about most.

Then comes fall and the World Series, when maybe, just maybe, my Tigers can recreate their magic once more.

Woodward Dream Cruise: Beginnings

Paul Stenquist
The New York Times

The Dream Cruise, Detroit’s mammoth automotive celebration, could take place only on Woodward Avenue, the street that has been inseparably linked to the automobile business for more than a century.

It was on Woodward that the birth of the American auto industry was announced in 1896, when Charles Brady King drove the street in his horseless carriage. Hundreds of spectators watched King cruise Woodward from Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit to Grand Boulevard, where he was ticketed for disturbing the peace. Henry Ford, who reportedly followed King on a bicycle, cruised the same avenue in his own car a few months later.

Woodward soon became the showplace for Detroit iron. Auto company executives used the street to show off their newest hardware, proudly demonstrating the machinery and gauging public reaction. In 1909, a one-mile stretch of the avenue became a concrete-paved road. In the 1920s, Woodward was widened from its southern end near the Detroit River to its northern terminus more than 20 miles to the north in Pontiac.

The 1950s were the golden age of the American car business, and Detroit was flush with dollars. New model introductions were celebrated. If you were old enough to drive, you had a car. And if you had a car, you showed it off on Woodward.

From one drive-in restaurant to the next, from the Totem Pole in Royal Oak to Suzy Q’s, the Varsity, Big Boy and Ted’s, young Detroiters in their hot iron cruised nine miles of Woodward. It was the place to see and be seen, a place to hang out with your friends and embrace the good times. If you were a hard-core street racer, it was also a place where you could engage in stoplight-to-stoplight drag races. Late at night, the competition became more serious. And the competitors weren’t just teenage thrill-seekers.

“Some big-three battles of the 1960s were fought just east of Woodward on Square Lake Road,” said Floyd Allen, Chrysler’s former vice president for power train product engineering. “A number of our engineers built their own high-performance street machines, as did the Ford and G.M. guys. Once a week, factory engineers from all over the area would gather after midnight. They had a portable Christmas tree and timing equipment. Pair after pair, they’d blast off side-by-side down Square Lake, recording numbers well into the triple digits at the quarter-mile finish line. It was a battle of warring states, a ritual defense of one’s honor.”

Today, you won’t see much real racing on Woodward, and the Detroit Three are fighting their battles in other arenas. You will see some machinery that is obviously built more for go than show, and quiet negotiations are sometimes conducted at the side of the road. But if races take place, they’re probably held in some obscure and distant place.

For most Detroiters, Woodward is more about entertainment than competition. And perhaps more about the past and the future than the moment. Today, Woodward is the cruise, the party, the celebration and the affirmation. It’s a place where car folk can go to dream about the way things were and hope for better days. It’s the beating heart of the American automobile business.