Shining Light Awards honor four Oct. 9

The 2014 Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards will be presented to Congressman John Dingell, Senator Carl Levin, Sheilah Clay, and Monique Stanton for their important contributions to regional progress, cooperation, and understanding in Southeast Michigan.

They will be honored on Oct. 9 at a special breakfast ceremony at the Ford Conference & Event Center in Dearborn beginning at 8 a.m. The eighth annual awards ceremony and breakfast is open to the public.

Tickets are $50; tables of 10 are $500. For ticket information, go to or call 248-336-8623.

Congressman John Dingell and Senator Carl Levin will each receive the Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership for a combined 95 years of public service on behalf of the citizens of the region and state. The Neal Shine Award honors those who are having a regional impact and are willing to take risks to further progress, cooperation, and understanding. Separately or together, Dingell and Levin have marshaled bipartisan support for the auto industry and the Great Lakes; rebranded and rebuilt local institutions; and secured funding for low-income housing, job training programs, and a wildlife refuge. Their legislative achievements, oversight hearings and investigations, and dedication to seeking compromise and fair solutions have left an indelible mark on the country, state, and region. They both retire from office at the end of the year.

Sheilah P. Clay, president and CEO, Neighborhood Service Organization, will receive the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award for her outstanding vision and hard work that has made NSO a model human service organization serving citizens of Detroit and beyond. Clay has devoted her life to helping the homeless, mentally ill, children in crisis, people with addictions, and practically anyone who needs a helping hand. She is an advocate for the voiceless and runs programs that lift people out of crisis.

Monique Stanton, president and CEO, CARE of Southeastern Michigan, will receive the Dave Bing Future Leader Award for her commitment to treating people plagued with addictions and other challenges with dignity and respect. She grew up affected by drug and alcohol abuse, and has dedicated her life to serving adults and children impacted by family concerns, workplace challenges, mental health conditions, and the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. CARE touches 25,000 people annually in Macomb and Wayne Counties.

Thom Linn, immediate past chair of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition and co-chair of the Shining Light program said, "We are fortunate to have such exceptional honorees. Each of them has had an extraordinary impact on the people of Southeast Michigan - demonstrating leadership and pulling people together to achieve great things."

The Detroit Free Press and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition launched the Shining Light Awards in 2007 to highlight the critical importance of regional leadership and cooperation to the success of Southeast Michigan. The awards are named in honor of the late Neal Shine, former Detroit Free Press editor and publisher, who consistently demonstrated his dedication and commitment to the Greater Detroit community.

Published: Fri, Sep 12, 2014