Slide 2 - Career Mentors Needed
Slide 3 - Golf Social
Slide 4 - TheVision2023 Outcomes Report

2024 Corks & Forks a Huge Success

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When I realized what happened, all I could think of was, “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!”

Chaired by Michelle Gardner, Vice President of Global Hardware, Systems & Integration at General Motors and supported by Pete Hockey of Ford Motor Company, Marcelo Conti of General Motors, and Scott Thiele of Stellantis, our annual fundraising gala, Corks & Forks, was held on March 9, 2024, at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. With incredible support from 250 guests and sponsors, we raised over $625,000 to support students in our Workforce Prep program!

See pics from the 2024 Corks & Forks

The evening started with a wine tasting reception featuring more than 30 exceptional wines from across the globe and delicious appetizers prepared by The Townsend’s executive chef. Guests sipped, snacked, and mingled, then enjoyed a five-star gourmet dinner in the exquisite ballroom.

The program featured celebrity pawn broker, Les Gold, from the hit television show Hardcore Pawn and head honcho at American Jewelry and Loan. Using his unique blend of sharp humor and cunning negotiating skills, Les left guests in stitches as he auctioned several exclusive opportunities to spend quality networking time with senior automotive executives. 

The evening was warmly accentuated by Amaya Davis. A graduate of our high school Workforce Prep program and current student in our College Success Mentoring program, Amaya took the stage and spoke about her experience in our program.

Watch Amaya’s remarks.

“Before joining Winning Futures, I was just an average student, unsure of my path after high school. I lacked guidance and clarity about my future,” said Amaya. “However, that changed when I joined the program my sophomore year.”

“As a junior, I faced one of the most challenging times of my life – the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty, my mentor became my anchor, helping me stay focused on my schoolwork and encouraging me to keep looking ahead.”

“Winning Futures has also supported me financially. I am so blessed for the scholarships they have awarded me.”

“Now, as I near the completion of my associate’s degree at Macomb Community College, I am filled with excitement for the future. I will soon be transferring to Wayne State University to pursue my passion for education. My dream is to go into school administration and perhaps even become a principal one day.”

“What a great night,” said Kris Marshall, President and CEO. “We are very lucky to have so many generous people who believe in our mission and support our students. All proceeds from Corks & Forks will directly support our students, like Amaya, who are working very hard to overcome barriers and achieve success.”

As the evening came to a close, I peeked at the fundraising tally, which brings me to my grandfather. Pop Pop, as I knew him, passed long ago when I was just a kid, so my memories of him are limited. But I do recall him shouting “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat” when he was happily excited. The true meaning of this phrase is unclear, even by today’s scholars. I know it as a way to enthusiastically express happiness.

Hey Pop Pop, if you’re listening, our 2024 Corks & Forks was a “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat” kind of night!

Mark your calendar! Our 2025 Corks & Forks will be held at The Townsend Hotel on Saturday, March 8. This event has become very popular and now sells out every year. For sponsorship and ticket opportunities, contact Daniela Matthews, Director of Development, at or 586-371-2125.

NOTE: Our 2024 golf event is taking on a whole new look. Designed for golfers of every skill level, even those who have never picked up a club, our 2024 Golf Social will be held at Topgolf in Auburn Hills on Wednesday, September 25. Co-chaired by Frank Orsini, Executive Vice President and President of Lear’s seating business, Brandon Leslie, Vice President-Industrial for Barton Mallow, and Tony Tomczak, Vice President of Electrical Sales and Marketing for DTE Energy, this new event will include a VIP reception, tournament, free-play, raffle prizes, dinner, and plenty of opportunities to network. Learn more!