Growth means major changes for DMBAF's annual charity event

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The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation is making some big changes to its annual foster children's charity event.

For the first time since 2010, In Seventh Heaven will be held outside the city of Detroit. This year the event will take place in a private, 18,000 square foot mansion in Franklin Village on Saturday, May 2.

In addition, the DMBAF's For The Seventh Generation charity has attracted its first celebrity support. Detroit Lions' Linebacker Kyle Van Noy and his wife, model and fashion blogger Marissa Van Noy, are the event's honorary chairs.

"After several years of struggling through the recent recession, we've seen huge growth in the past few years and Kyle and Marissa's involvement, coupled with our new location, is going to take us to a whole new level," said DMBA Foundation and For The Seventh Generation Executive Director Lorraine Weber.

In 2014, For The Seventh Generation served more than 1,000 foster children, families, and teens double the number supported in 2013. State wards received beds, orthodontic care, clothing, glasses, Prom attire and more as FTSG, which was founded by the DMBAF in 2003, expanded to attract specific grants and increase its community outreach to secure individual donations of goods and services.

"We started For The Seventh Generation as a way to provide needed services for vulnerable children and teens in foster care," Weber said. "And we've been deeply gratified by the response of our area's legal, business, and philanthropic communities as well as the generosity of too many individuals to count."

"When you tell metro Detroiters that a child is in trouble and needs help, they turn out in droves to get the job done," she added.

Of course, all of this progress takes funding and that's what In Seventh Heaven is all about.

"This event raises the bulk of our undesignated funding," Weber explained. "These are the dollars we use to do community outreach and pay the people who supervise our Help Closet and work to match donors with specific foster children in need."

"We've vastly increased the number of children served, and done it on a budget that can only be described in terms of 'shoestrings.' With that in mind, we're working to raise as much as $100,000 this year to allow us to do even more."

Those funds are coming courtesy of In Seventh Heaven sponsors including the Seed Foundation, GEM Asset Management, Plunkett Cooney and Excellacare, among other businesses, philanthropic organizations, and individuals.

But while the sponsorship deadline has passed, it's not too late to help For The Seventh Generation meet its overall goal.

"There are a few things people can still do including attending In Seventh Heaven and making a monetary gift to For The Seventh Generation in honor of National Foster Care Month this May," said Excellacare President and Chair of the 2015 In Seventh Heaven host committee Vanessa Metti.

"We'll also have an exciting live auction and a great raffle at the event itself, so we hope people come ready to win some fabulous prizes!"

For more information about the event, visit www.fortheseventhgeneration.org/inseventhheaven.

Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

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