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Helping Detroit youths shoot for stars

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TODAY’S SUBJECT: Detroit-based Powerlink Facilities Management, a provider of building management services, including housekeeping, groundskeeping and general facilities maintenance for business customers, provided support of Winning Futures and the Gregory Kelser Detroit Basketball Camp.

THE CAUSE: Winning Futures, a nonprofit organization based in Warren, provides goal setting, mentoring and scholarship programs for teens. More than 20,000 students have been helped, and $1.5 million has been awarded in scholarships since 1994. This year, the organization will collaborate for the first time with Gregory Kelser for the basketball camp to work with eighth-grade boys and girls enrolled in the program in Shoot for your Goals sessions to help them set goals, enhance teamwork and attitude, and prepare for ninth grade.

BACKGROUND: Powerlink became involved with Winning Futures first as a supporter of its golf outing in 2008 and now principal Scott Rice is on the Winning Futures board of directors. The company is now a major sponsor of the organization.

RESULTS: Powerlink and its Detroit partner Sodexo funded the camp and Shoot for your Goals program, investing more than $25,000 into the camp and creating a partnership for Winning Futures with Greg Kelser. The camp provided 79 eighth-graders from Detroit Public Schools with the opportunity to work directly with Kelser to improve their basketball skills while stressing the importance of education through the Winning Futures life skills and mentoring sessions. Volunteers at the event included 12 Powerlink employees, including Link Howard, president and CEO and Scott Rice, chief operating officer, and 55 additional volunteers. 100% of the students set an academic goal during the program for their ninth-grade school year and mapped their way to achieving that goal. In addition, the company recently sponsored the Winning Futures Golf for Kids Classic and its Corks & Forks events adding another $2,500 in contributions to Winning Futures.

ON GIVING: “We planned the camp to give eighth-graders more of the skills they will need to succeed in that first year in high school,” said Howard. “What Greg Kelser can teach about focus and discipline from an athletic perspective will be supported and applied to academics and everyday life through the Winning Futures curriculum. It’s a powerful combination.”

INFORMATION: To learn more about Winning Futures, visit . To learn more about Powerlink, visit .