DETROIT (WWJ) – Helping consumers get the best out of their money is the focus of a week-long public awareness campaign now underway across metro Detroit, the state and the nation.

This year, Money Smart Week features more than 500 free events taking place in more than 50 counties across Michigan – with classes, workshops, training programs and seminars for every age group, including children, young adults, those saving for a home and family, and people planning for retirement.

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WWJ’s Vickie Thomas emceeded a kickoff breakfast Friday morning at the Federal Reserve Bank in Detroit, with Deputy Mayor of Detroit and former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon as the guest speaker.

John Bebow, with Center for Michigan, was one of the partners who helped make it happen.

“We’re so thrilled to be here to partner and help kick off Money Smart Week,” Bebow told Thomas. “The Center for Michigan is here this morning with more than a hundred financial leaders and citizens, talking about pocketbook issues, jobs and upward mobility across our state.”

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Among those businesses hosting workshops this year is Ally Financial.

“Ally Financial is partnering with local churches ; we’re also working with the Hundred Black Men of America, the Society for Professional Development and Financial Education to teach classes on budget and credit,” said spokeswoman Jacqueline Howard. “We have several classes throughout the week.”

Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and cover all facets of personal finance.

Events run through April 18-April 25.

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For a schedule of events in Michigan, CLICK HERE. For complete information visit