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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Michigan Masons $5M Gift Will Transform Literacy in Detroit

The Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation (MMCF) originally began in 1891 to support the creation and ongoing operation of the Grand Lodge of Michigan's Masonic Home. While it has continued that mission, it has expanded over the last century to fund programs all over the state to improve local communities. To that end, they have just made a substantial, long-term commitment to an important program in Detroit.

From the PRNewswire.com today:
 The Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation announced today a 10-year, $5 Million grant that will provide ongoing literacy and tutoring support to thousands of families and students in the Lipke Park neighborhood.  The entire grant will be given to S.A.Y. Detroit and its umbrella of charities founded by renowned author and journalist Mitch Albom. The donation will provide continuing support of S.A.Y. Play's literacy and tutoring programs that serves Detroit's youth, ages 8 to 18.
The S.A.Y. Play Center (19320 Van Dyke St., Detroit), which opened in 2015, is located on a 14.5-acre campus that previously was the site of an abandoned city of Detroit recreation center.
To become members, students must strive to achieve a 3.0 GPA, maintain an outstanding attendance record in school, and spend at least one hour each visit in the academic center in order to use its state-of-the-art sports and enrichment programs, including Robotics and STEM, dance, music (Notes for Notes) and the arts.
"The Masons are making a tremendous commitment to the future of Detroit's kids," Albom said. "From the beginning, the Masons expressed unbridled enthusiasm for helping on all levels of our city's needs, from day care to senior citizens. I have been overwhelmed by the Masons' level of commitment and devotion to doing good work."
Albom said the Masons' gift -- "M.A.D.E. by Masons" standing for Making a Difference Everywhere – will enhance the center's educational curriculum and other programs. 
"Too many Detroit children face the barriers of illiteracy and achieving their full potential," said William Finkel, Grand Master of Michigan Masons. "The Michigan Masons through the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation are committed to helping these children. Organizations like S.A.Y.Detroit are vital to the future of Detroit."
S.A.Y. Detroit and its partner, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, also operate and support a number of other area charities, including Working Homes Working Families, the S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic and Detroit Dream Scholars. The Michigan Masons pledged to commit to volunteering and working alongside S.A.Y. Detroit on various nonprofit projects and programs each year.
The Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation is dedicated to continually providing quality programs and services for Masons and their families while making communities a better place to live. There are over 30,000 Masons in the state of Michigan, with more than 250 lodges dedicated to community service and fraternal fellowship among its members.
S.A.Y. Detroit was founded in 2006 by best-selling author and journalist Mitch Albom. Operated in partnership with the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, S.A.Y. Detroit (Super All Year) - a 501 (c) (3) charity - and its group of non-profits are committed to helping improve the lives of Detroit's neediest citizens. All administrative costs are paid privately.
Contacts: Mark Lane -- MCCI on behalf of the Michigan Masons (313) 727-5846
Marc "Rosey" Rosenthal  (313) 225-1500 

Today, the MMCF ranks 7th out of the top 10 Michigan foundations in total asset size. (What is perhaps more impressive is that four of the other foundations on that list were also started by Michigan Freemasons - the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Charles Steward Mott Foundation, and the Ford Motor Company Fund.) 

In addition to the Masonic retirement living programs, the MMCF supports numerous programs around the state. It provides matching funds for community charity programs and college scholarships that are sponsored by local Masonic lodges; the Michigan CHIPs program; training for high school teachers and advisors to deal with teenage alcoholism and drug use and student bullying; and supports the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library in Grand Rapids.

The MMCF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and contributions are generally tax deductible.

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