Lighthouse of Oakland County raises $90,000 at Salute America!

More than 200 guests enjoyed the 2016 Salute America! event presented by Beaumont & Conway MacKenzie for Lighthouse of Oakland County on June 24. A major fund-raiser for the 44-year-old agency, the event raised $90,000 for its self-sufficiency programs while also honoring three outstanding community leaders.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy was honored for being a woman of many "firsts." A few of the "firsts" included her leadership in sounding the alarm over the abandoned rape kits found in a Detroit Police warehouse in 2009 which has resulted in more than 756 serial rapists being identified, to date; starting the county's first unit dedicated to elder abuse prevention and prosecution; and creating the first fund to help protect witnesses so they can safely testify and help crime victims.

"Keep doing what you're all doing," Worthy told the audience at Oakland Hills Country Club. "There are not enough of us helping victims of domestic violence and people with little resources."

Also honored at the event were Drs. Harris and Phoebe Mainster of Bloomfield Hills, who use their own resources to help people in medically underserved places of the world each year. To date, Harris and Phoebe have travelled to more than 42 countries each summer to help people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. In 2016, they will travel to an orphanage just north of Bucharest, Romania.

"We've seen an increase in need this year," said Lighthouse CEO Rick David. "We've helped more than 16,000 people with food alone this year. But food is just the beginning, because Lighthouse requires a commitment to help stabilize the lives of men, women and children who are facing hardship in our region."

The transitional PATH program is an example of that commitment, according to David. It's a two-year program that provides stability for women and their children facing homelessness. Former client Rachel Pica shared her story of being homeless and finding Lighthouse in her darkest hour.

"I was referred by HAVEN," Pica said. "Because of Lighthouse, my children have never known that we were homeless."

Pica was in the PATH program from 2010-12 with her children, and now is gainfully employed and lives in Royal Oak.

Major support for Salute America! also was provided by Flagstar Bank; MGM Grand Detroit; PNC Bank; Crain Communications; Laurie & Tom Cunnington; Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, PLC; and many individuals that "helped to make the 13th annual Salute America! a major success," according to David.

For more information on Lighthouse, call (248) 920-6000 or visit www.lighthouseoakland.org.

Published: Mon, Jul 04, 2016

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