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Groupon Co-Founder, Southfield Native, To Speak At Camp Fundraiser

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Eric Lefkofsky, founder of Chicago-based Groupon, will be the guest speaker at Tamarack Camps’ Third Annual ‘Send A Kid To Tamarack’ Patron Event on Sunday, April 17.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the new Berman Center for the Performing Arts at the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit in West Bloomfield Township. 

“We are thrilled to have Eric Lefkofsky, Tamarack alumnus, as our featured speaker at this year’s Patron Event,” said Tamarack development chair Stacy Brodsky. “The excitement that is already being generated by Eric’s friends and former campers, combined with the backdrop of the new Berman Theater, promises to make this a fantastic evening. As always, it is our pleasure to showcase Tamarack to the community, sharing the tremendous impact camp has on our Jewish children.” 

The Patron Event is the centerpiece of Tamarack’s ‘Send a Kid to Tamarack’ annual fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $350,000 to support the camp’s $1.3 million financial aid program, which helps 45 percent of its campers enjoy a Jewish camp experience.

Lefkofsky grew up in Southfield and attended Tamarack Camps as a camper and staff member.  He attended the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School, receiving his law degree in 1993. In 1999, after pursuing other business opportunities, Lefkosky, along with college friend and fellow Detroiter Brad Keywell, created an Internet company called Starbelly that specialized in promotional products. In January 2000, they sold Starbelly to Halo. In 2001, Lefkosky founded Innerworkings, and he and Keywell founded Echo Global Logistics and Medibank in 2005 and 2006. 

In January 2007, Lefkofsky invested in ThePoint.com, a Web site that allows people to start a campaign asking people to give money or do something as a group, but only when a “tipping point” of people agree to participate. In late 2008, Groupon was formed as an outgrowth of The Point. Leveraging the framework for collective buying (offering group coupons), Groupon features daily deals on, according to Groupon’s Web site, “the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy … in more than 300 markets and 35 countries.” 

In August 2010, Forbes identified Groupon as the fastest growing company in history. Currently, Lefkosky and Keywell have 14 companies that they either started or have invested in at an early stage, and are actively seeking to add new companies to their portfolio.

For the first time in front of a Detroit audience, Lefkosky will tell his story to supporters of Tamarack Camps’ ‘Send a Kid to Tamarack’ campaign.

Said Lefkosky’s friend and honorary chair of the Patron Event, Joe Lash: “I am extremely grateful that Eric agreed to speak at our event. Many of Eric’s friends and family in the Detroit area have followed his career from a distance with pride and admiration. We are excited to hear first hand how he went from being a Tamarack camper and counselor to become a successful entrepreneur and investor, who is now at the epicenter of one of the biggest business stories (the growth of Groupon) in the country at this time.”

For tickets, patron levels and more information, please contact Tamarack Camps at (248) 647-1100 or www.tamarackcamps.com.

Tamarack Camps, established by the Fresh Air Society, provides enriching Jewish camping experiences for children and families, independent of financial ability, building a vibrant community.

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