More than 120 people who attended a free breakfast fundraiser, hosted by the Rotary Club of Dearborn, opened up their wallets and purses to help Pro-Literacy Detroit, Michigan’s largest literacy agency which provides services to adult learners.
More than $4,000 was raised following the breakfast program which included remarks by Margaret Williamson, CEO of Pro-Literacy Detroit, and members of her board who are also tutors and adult learners.
“It was their personal stories that really touched everyone,” said Margaret Blohm, 2010-11 president of the Rotary Club of Dearborn. “They shared how just giving two hours a week of your time to help someone to read can make a huge difference — in the lives of the tutor and the learner.”
It is estimated that 47 percent of metro Detroiters are unable to read and that 44 percent of Michigan adults are unable to read above the fourth grade level. During the past 25 years, Pro-Literacy Detroit has tutored more than 12,000 adult learners and trained over 8,000 tutors to help metro Detroiters over the age of 16 to read.
The fundraiser, held at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, was emceed by WWJ Newsradio 950 technology editor Matt Roush. Table sponsors included Rotary District 6400, Dearborn Rotary Foundation, the Rotary Clubs of Dearborn Heights, Detroit AM, Fairlane Sunrise, and Grosse Pointe Rotary along with the HFCC Federation of Teachers, Pro-Literacy Detroit, and Sanford Brown College. Individual sponsors include Michigan Representative George Darany, Rick Goward, Kerrie Peterson, Sue Surducan, Jim Thorpe, Brian Whiston, Judge Richard Wygonik and Bob Ziolkowski.
Barnes & Noble of Fairlane Green in Allen Park provided beautiful leather-bound books as table centerpieces, which were later donated to Pro-Literacy Detroit.
Proceeds from the event were presented to Williamson at the Rotary Club of Dearborn’s next weekly meeting following the fundraiser.
“I can’t begin to tell you what a difference these donations will make in helping us give the gift of reading to more people in our community,” said Williamson. “We’re also grateful to have so many Rotarians volunteer and become certified as tutors.”
The “Shares & Cares” fundraising breakfast was one of several efforts now underway to benefit literacy programs throughout Rotary District 6400, which includes southeast Michigan and southwest Ontario, Canada.
“We hope that the ‘Shares and Cares’ breakfast will become an annual event to help benefit literacy and other efforts that help improve the quality of life in our community,” said Blohm, who also thanked Rotary Board member Amy Bazzy and her committee who organized the event.
Today’s Rotary is an international service organization of 1.2 million business and professional leaders in 33,000 clubs worldwide. The Rotary Club of Dearborn is one of 50 clubs in Rotary District 6400 which includes Wayne, Monroe and Lenawee counties in Michigan and Essex County in Ontario. Dearborn Rotary meets weekly at The Fairlane Club in Dearborn. For additional information, visit www.dearbornrotary.org or call (313) 278-7233.