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CONTACT: Kris Marshall, 248-709-4488,

Winning Futures, a nonprofit organization that inspires and prepares at-risk youth for success, raised over $60,000 for its life skills, mentoring and scholarship programs at Detroit’s Best Opening Day Party on April 8, 2011.

The event, sponsored by local businesses CRH, Fifth Third Bank, Hennessey Capital, InStar Services, Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, MKD Wealth Coaches, O’Keefe and Associates, UHY LLP and Young and Susser, P.C., was held at the Gem Theatre where over 800 clients and executive level staff shared food and drinks in celebration of the Detroit Tigers home opener. The event also included a private VIP lunch for sponsors and their top clients, a live auction and Michigan Sports Hall of Fame celebrity “meet and greet” with Rob Otto, WDFN; Ray Scott, Former Pistons player and coach; Eddie Murray, Former Detroit Lion; Ray Lane, Former Tiger broadcaster; Frank Beckmann, WJR host and Michigan football broadcaster; Greg Kelser, Piston and MSU announcer, former Pistons player; and Dino Ciccarelli, former Detroit Wed Ring.

Money raised at the event will support the Winning Futures’ mentoring programs in Detroit, Harper Woods, Warren and Pontiac, enabling high school students to partner with business mentors for the school year. Students will meet with their mentors on a weekly basis and complete fun, structured activities focused on character value development, goal setting, job readiness skills, and strategic five-year planning.

Contributions from the event will also support $25,000 in scholarships for the “RARE Everyday Hero Scholarship Program.” RARE honors real heroes that are changing lives, inspiring others and have made a difference through extraordinary commitment, integrity, selflessness and courage. RARE provides a forum for students to write about Everyday Heroes in their communities to help them see possibilities and make the connection to fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. High school seniors in Michigan are awarded $2,500 scholarships and the heroes they write about are honored annually at Winning Futures’ Night of Heroes event.

“Each year we are more and more amazed at the generosity and commitment of our sponsors and their guests,” said Kristina Marshall, President and CEO of Winning Futures. “Enabling us to provide mentors and scholarships to high school students that show great potential, the money raised at this event is integral to helping our kids reach their goals and continue their educational success. We truly thank each of our sponsors and all attendees for their continued support and charitable spirits. Together, we can make a difference in young people’s lives.”

Winning Futures is a 501(c)(3), non-profit goal setting, mentoring, and scholarship program for teens.  More than 20,000 students have been impacted and $1.5M has been awarded in scholarships since 1994.  The organization’s evidence-based life skills program has been implemented into agencies in 30 states.  More than 90 percent of winning Futures’ students continue their education past high school.  To learn more, visit