Life Directions, Detroit's Peer to Peer Mentoring organization, will host its 45th Annual "Spark of Hope" Tribute Gala fundraiser at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the GM Wintergarden in the Renaissance Center. Lear Corp. in Southfield is this year's Ignite the Spark Title Sponsor. The Spark of Hope Tribute Gala will include dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment, and the company of like-minded philanthropic leaders. Funds raised will support the Life Directions mission, and the impactful mentorship programs serving the youth and communities of Detroit.
The Spark of Hope Tribute Gala is bringing a unique opportunity for sponsors to have an ROI through the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (June 1-3), along with key corporate partnerships like Lear Corp. The funds used from our annual gala will directly impact efforts to implement Life Directions' programs in another Detroit school and allow Life Directions to continue making a real difference in the lives of students and spark hope for their bright futures.
Special thanks to John Clagett, president of Trans Am Race Co.; Douglas Peterson, owner of 3-Dimensional Services Group; and former four-time Detroit Red Wing Stanley Cup winner Darren McCarty for their support of Life Directions Spark of Hope Tribute Gala. Guests will be treated to special event opportunities and engage with McCarty who will serve as the 2018 Grand Marshall in the Trans-Am Series of the 2018 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle.
In turn, Peterson generously donated the branding rights to the 3-Dimensional Services Group Trans-Am Series race car that will compete in the Detroit Grand Prix, which has already sold out. But during the gala, attendees will have the opportunity to bid to have their company, organization, or personal logo on Darren McCarty's parade car. All of the proceeds will benefit Life Directions. "We're really excited about the strong support from the racing community, Trans Am Race Co., 3-Dimensional Services Group, and Darren McCarty for their participation in this event," said Eddie Rimanelli, CEO of Brazen Sports in Detroit, a Life Directions board member, and co-chair of the 2018 Spark of Hope Tribute Gala.
This year's event will honor two outstanding citizens from the Detroit community who have made a profound impact on young people in Detroit. Both honorees have "gone the extra mile" countless times for our youth, the city, and Life Directions.
Terrence B. Larkin, executive vice president, business development, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Lear Corp., will receive the Life Directions 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. Larkin has been a strong supporter of the greater community and Detroit youth for many years, and currently serves as chairman of the Life Directions Board of Trustees, where he consistently inspires and supports the organization with his time and leadership.
Jack Aronson, co-founder of Clean Planet Foods in Clinton Township, will receive the Life Directions 2018 Guiding Light Award for his years of dedication and commitment to the Detroit community, promotion of youth literacy, and support of numerous other charitable causes focused on bettering the lives of children and young adults. His dedication and contributions serve as an inspiration and exemplify the spirit of community service represented by the Guiding Light Award.
"It's a great honor and privilege to provide recognition for the considerable impact on our community and their support for the mission of Life Directions that Jack and Terry have made over many years. They stand as examples to us all and we are most grateful to them for their untiring service and personal contributions," said Fr. John Phelps, CEO of Life Directions. "We're also most grateful for all of our sponsors and especially for Lear Corp., our Title Sponsor and. Without the involvement and support of our generous sponsors such as Beaumont Health, Clean Planet Foods and O'Brien Construction, and so many others, this event and our work would not be possible."