DETROIT, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Way for Southeastern Michigan 2012-2013 Community Giving Campaign raised $35,121,006, surpassing its $35 million goal, representing an increase of 11 percent from last year's campaign total.
The private ceremony was hosted by Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures Chairman and Founder Dan Gilbert at The M@dison on Broadway in Detroit. Mr. Marchionne also symbolically "passed the torch" to Ford Motor Company Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, who will serve as United Way Campaign Chair for 2013-2014.
Last September, Mr. Marchionne kicked-off the annual community giving campaign with a torch-lighting ceremony on Detroit's Hart Plaza to announce a $35 million fundraising goal for the organization. After standing dark for five years, the torch was relit to signify a monumental change in the way the public and private sectors are working together to achieve a common goal – making greater Detroit one of the top five cities in the country in which to live and work by the year 2030, which is the year when children born in 2012 will graduate from high school.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, along with many long-time United Way supporters, civic, business and community leaders attended the event.
Supporting United Way ensures that positive, lasting community change will continue to occur at a grassroots level. The last few years have been financially challenging for the organization, which relies on a combination of individual and corporate contributions, as well as grant funding, to survive.
"When we lit the torch this past fall, hope was in the air. That hope was fueled by men and women coming together, determined to forever change our community and our way of looking at the future," said Marchionne. "We now know that ultimately, regardless of the circumstances, we have the power to refuse our consent to decline, to a devastating cycle where children worry about whether their basic human needs will be met. Each of us, in our own way, has the obligation to play a part in putting right the consequences of the market. Because consenting to all these things would not only be a denial of our own rights in life, but also of our duty to protect the welfare of our community."
He continued, "Today's announcement is a great accomplishment, and the effort to reach this target was led by a Cabinet, made up of members drawn from throughout our community who came together to share their expertise, their resources and their passion to help transform southeastern Michigan into a vibrant center. To be worthy of our history, we all need to assume proactive roles in creating what is next to come, in crafting a sound foundation for our neighbors, our city and this region."
"Today is truly a celebration of the hard work of this year's Campaign Cabinet under Sergio Marchionne's leadership and innovative practices," Brennan said. "Chrysler Group, and its employees, has a long history of generosity. This was demonstrated in remarkable ways throughout this year's campaign that has led to palpable change in our community."
"We are now looking ahead to the coming year and thank incoming Campaign Chair Mark Fields for agreeing to carry the torch forward with a visionary approach to meeting our next annual goal," Brennan continued. "We are grateful for his enthusiasm for and dedication to United Way's mission."
Fields' role as 2013 Campaign Chair builds on the thriving long-term partnership between Ford Motor Company and United Way. Ford and United Way have collaborated to place countless Ford employees as volunteers in local nonprofit agencies, serve more than 1.1 million meals through their Mobile Food Pantries program and build wheelchair ramps for dozens of local families, among other initiatives.
"Our One Ford team is dedicated to doing our part to build a better world, and that starts with the metro Detroit community where our company was founded," Fields said. "We look forward to supporting United Way's efforts by raising funds to support education, boost financial self-sufficiency and reduce hunger for those in need."
This year's fundraising campaign was supported by a new pro bono marketing campaign created by the Dearborn-based advertising agency Team Detroit Inc. The "Better Headlines" campaign is focused on positive news headlines for the year 2030 that can be anticipated if people continue to donate to United Way and fund the efforts it supports in three areas—Education, Financial Stability and Basic Needs.|
Last summer, Chrysler Group partnered with United Way in the fight against childhood hunger throughout Detroit metro area communities. As a result, the partnership served up more than 100,000 summer meals for hungry children. For the 2012 Campaign, Chrysler Group employees donated nearly $7 million to United Way campaigns in the U.S. and in Canada; and, employees volunteered thousands of hours in support of United Way agencies and activities.
About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through its annual Campaign and is a leader in convening partners to impact local residents each year by increasing economic self-sufficiency, protecting children and youth at risk, strengthening families, empowering neighborhoods and communities, and promoting health and wellness. For more information, visit LiveUnitedSEM.org.
About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Durango, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 171,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
SOURCE United Way for Southeastern Michigan