Bald­win Cen­ter rais­ing funds

The Detroit News - - News - BY ROBERT SNELL The Detroit News

non­profit Bald­win Cen­ter will launch a new pro­gram to fight poverty in Oak­land County dur­ing its an­nual fundraiser May 4 at the Lafayette Grande ban­quet hall in Pon­tiac.

Or­ga­niz­ers at the Pon­tiac cen­ter, which pro­vides food, cloth­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and em­pow­er­ment to the area’s poor through more than 25 pro­grams, hope to raise $50,000.

Dur­ing the event, which co­in­cides with the cen­ter’s 100th an­niver­sary, or­ga­niz­ers will launch a pro­gram to help mit­i­gate poverty. The pro­gram, fi­nanced with a grant from the Michi­gan Health En­dow­ment Fund, cre­ates a coun­ty­wide net­work to help so­cial ser­vices clients nav­i­gate as­sis­tance.

“Our goal at Bald­win mov­ing for­ward is to di­min­ish the poverty that im­pacts in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in our community,” El­iz­a­beth Lon­g­ley, the cen­ter’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said in a state­ment. “We want to pro­vide more tools that help our clients at­tain and main­tain a stan­dard of liv­ing above the poverty line.”

The 6:30 p.m. fundraiser will have a Ken­tucky Derby party theme.

Money raised dur­ing the event will help the cen­ter con­tinue to serve as many as 3,000 peo­ple per year. The cen­ter serves more than 50,000 meals a year, runs a hol­i­day store and op­er­ates a sum­mer camp.

Bald­win Cen­ter has a small staff and re­lies on hun­dreds of vol­un­teers. “AnyThe body who comes to us has a num­ber of needs, from le­gal prob­lems to ed­u­ca­tional prob­lems to food prob­lems, sub­stance-abuse prob­lems and im­mi­gra­tion prob­lems and we can’t serve all of those so we work bet­ter when we con­nect them with the the right agency,” Cra­bill said.

Gen­eral Mo­tors Co. also do­nates school sup­plies, cloth­ing, money, food and vol­un­teer hours. It will re­ceive the Heart of Bald­win Cor­po­rate Ser­vice award. Michelle Tocco will re­ceive the Heart of Bald­win In­di­vid­ual Ser­vice award. Tocco, the cen­ter’s re­tir­ing food ser­vices man­ager, has worked at the cen­ter for al­most 24 years,.

Tick­ets for the gala cost $65. For in­for­ma­tion, call the cen­ter at (248) 332-6101 or visit www.bald­win­cen­ter.org.

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