Who doesn’t love a good party? Especially this year! Our 13th annual Corks & Forks event did not disappoint. It was held on Tuesday, June 22 at the stunning Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester. The theme for this year’s event was a 1920’s Garden Party and the backdrop of the sprawling estate, manicured gardens and the beautifully set tables under the large white tent set the stage for a memorable evening. The highlight of the evening though was the generosity from our sponsors and donors who helped us raise $445,000 in support of our students.
Lear Corporation is our Program Presenting Partner and the Presenting Sponsors of Corks & Forks were Faurecia, Harman, Plastic Omnium, Sharp, Summit Polymers, Trilogy, and Yazaki.
Our guests enjoyed fabulous food and wine, shared stories and laughter and even a few tears reminiscing about this past year. Kris Marshall started the evening reminding everyone of the reason for this event – “to support our students as they push through the obstacles they face to become the employees you want to hire!”
“When I think about Winning Futures, I cannot help but smile,” said Tom McMillen, executive director, Global Purchasing – Chassis & Body Structure at General Motors and chair of this year’s event. “I have such great appreciation for the structure this program provides to students, and it is an honor to be a part of it.”
Les Gold from the TV series, Hardcore Pawn, returned as this year’s auctioneer. With his comedic auctioneering style, Les asked guests to “dig deep,” noting that his grandson was in attendance and would report back on his performance. Thank you Les, well done!
The evening’s final speaker, a Winning Futures alum and recent University of Michigan graduate, Deshawn Wafer, is the epitome of how our program helps students rise up!
Deshawn spoke about the challenges of his senior year with “zoom university” and feeling drained and defeated, and how he almost lost hope. He went on to explain that as a first-generation college student it was difficult for his family to relate to the pressure he felt or help navigate situations to ensure his success.
“It’s not that my family wouldn’t want to help, they just couldn’t.” said Deshawn. “Then my mentor entered my life and ignited a fire in me that will never go out. She equipped me with tools not only to survive but thrive.”
Deshawn learned to ask and receive help and be better for it. “This last year taught me how to walk. Whatever life throws at you, don’t stand still. Just keep moving!”
Solid advice for all of us.
Thanks to all our supporters, students and especially our dedicated staff for making the 2021 Corks & Forks one to remember!
Next year’s Corks & Forks will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Mark your calendars now and contact Daniela Mathews, donor relations manager at Daniela@WinningFutures.org or 586-371-2125 for sponsorship opportunities!