2014 Heroes for Hope  Receipt Retire US Senator Carl Levin 

Focus: HOPE’s second annual “Heroes for Hope” gala fundraiser, sponsored by Lear Corporation, will be held on Friday, May 15, 2015 at Cobo Center. The event recognizes heroes in the fight for social justice. This year’s honorees are retired General Motors Corporation President Lloyd E. Reuss, former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and retired Congressman John D. Dingell. Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh will serve as the master of ceremonies for the evening.

During the presentation, Focus: HOPE will recognize Mr. Reuss with its first corporate leadership award. The award has been established in his honor and will be presented annually to a national corporate leader who helps advance social justice and equity.

Mr. Reuss helped establish Focus: HOPE’s Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT), which has awarded more than 300 associate and bachelor degrees in engineering to Focus: HOPE students. He is being honored for his many years of leadership and service to the organization and its mission of creating equal access to jobs, housing, food and education. Additionally, he helped lead Focus: HOPE’s two most recent capital campaigns, raising a combined $184 million. Mr. Reuss founded and chaired the Focus: HOPE Corporate Advisory Board for more than twenty years.

“Mr. Reuss has certainly set the standard for corporate leadership. As successful as he was in the auto industry, he has been equally successful in providing education and training opportunities to thousands of Detroiters. Many of them may not know Lloyd personally, but his efforts created opportunities that changed their lives,” said Focus: HOPE CEO William F. Jones, Jr. “We are grateful for his tremendous efforts in recruiting volunteers, soliciting leadership giving, and providing counsel and advice throughout much of Focus: HOPE’s history. It’s with great pleasure that we present him with this special honor.”

The event will honor retired Congressman John Dingell for his decades of service and leadership in the House of Representatives. Throughout his career, Congressman Dingell was a leading Congressional supporter of social welfare measures and civil rights bills. Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is being recognized for his role in helping to rebuild the city of Detroit and his commitment to helping disadvantaged minorities in Detroit find employment at the Bing Group of businesses. Currently, he is meeting the mentoring needs of young men of color through his Bing Youth Institute.

Lear Corporation is the presenting sponsor of the Heroes for Hope event, which pays tribute to the organization’s late co-founders, Father William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis, who were leaders in the fight against racism, poverty and injustice. The honorees have been selected for the work they have done to improve the lives of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. Lear is one of Focus: HOPE’s largest corporate donors and Lear CEO Matt Simoncini co-chaired the non-profit’s $100 million Investing in Hope Campaign.

The black tie gala takes place from 6:00 p.m. until midnight in Cobo Center’s Grand Riverview Ballroom in downtown Detroit. The evening will feature a formal dinner, desserts, dancing and live entertainment. The after party event is sponsored by Plastic Omnium. Other notable supporters of the fundraiser include Ford Motor Company, JPMorgan Chase, Michigan.com, Johnson Controls, and Delphi.

Proceeds from the Heroes for Hope event will be used to continue the social justice initiatives at Focus: HOPE. Hundreds of thousands of individuals and families have benefited from the social services, job training and education programs offered by the non-profit organization.          

A limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.focushope.edu/heroes or by calling 313.494.4750

Last year’s inaugural event was a sellout with nearly 500 guests. U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and now-retired U.S. Senator Carl Levin were the first recipients of the Heroes for Hope award. More than $500,000 was raised for Focus: HOPE’s programs and services.


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