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A Night of “BIG” Celebrations with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Inspiring children to obtain beyond mediocrity is something Friday night’s honorees and guest all had in common! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit (BBBS) hosted its annual “Big Event” Impact Awards Gala Fundraiser this past Friday, October 20th at the General Motors Heritage Center; in celebration of our corporate partners and individuals who are dedicated to supporting our youth.

Guest admire the many GM vehicles on display Friday night.

The night kicked-off with over 200 guest roaming throughout the VIP reception in awe of the amazing scenery which took place in the heart of the GM Heritage collection of more than 165 vehicles. Each vehicle illustrated a design, technical or sales milestone or accomplishment in the history of General Motors. Some eye candy that was on display included a 1939 Buick , 1956 Chevrolet 3100 Pick-up and the most sought after selfie background, the 1967 purple Pontiac GTO.

Alan Coleman (Strategic Staffing Solutions), and representatives from AAA Michigan, General Motors and Ally compete in the Sponsor Slot Car Race Competition.

Cheers, laughters and cell phone flashes filled the air as our guest enjoyed the all-inclusive NASCAR themed experience. Dow, in partnership with Richard Childress Racing provided the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet Show Car and Driver Simulator which attracted guest throughout the evening. Miniature Motorways led the Slot Car Racing competition among our Sponsors and Guests. Strategic Staffing Solutions took home first place with a customized BIG trophy and the traditional NASCAR bottle of milk. AAA Michigan placed second place, landing in third place, General Motors and fourth place was awarded to Ally Financial. Each sponsor took home an official autographed 1:24 Die-Cast of NASCAR courtesy of The Dow Chemical Company.

CEO & President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit- Jeannine Gant presented the Clifford P. Normand Award to Richard Hampson, President of Citizens Bank, Michigan for his outstanding service as BBBSMD Board Secretary

The highlight of the evening circled around the awards presentation led by Big Brothers Big Sisters Metropolitan Detroit’s CEO & President, Jeannine Gant. Ms. Gant shared multiple stories of positive impact each honoree has made in the life of a child and within the communities of southeast Michigan. Long time corporate partner General Motors received the BIG Impact Award honoring their continuous efforts in helping us reach more vulnerable youth whose lives can be changed for the better. Mr. Rick Hampson, President of Citizens Bank Michigan was awarded the Cliff Norman Award for outstanding board member. This award was named after our beloved Cliff Norman, former board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters locally who additionally served at the national level. Past recipients of this award include Allen Coleman, Executive Vice-President (Strategic Staffing Solutions) Michele Samuels, Vice President, General Auditor and Corporate Complianc (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan) and our current board chair Terry McElroy, retired Executive Vice-President (The Auto Club Group). The 2017 BIGs (Mentor) of the Year were none other than Sgt. Brent Ross (Waterford, MI Police Department) and Professor Nicole Pitts (Oakland Community College). Both Brent and Nicole have volunteered as BIGs for over 3 years and have made life-changing impact upon the lives of their Littles Diamond and Knicholas.

The Big Event could not have been made possible without our amazing sponsors listed below:

Monaco Grand Prix Sponsor ($10,000 - $14,999)

  • AAA Michigan

Le Mans Party Sponsor ($5,000 - $9,999)

  • DADA (Rod Alberts)

  • Strategic Staffing Solutions

Pit Crew Sponsor ($2,500 - $4,999)

  • Ally Financial

  • Comcast

  • DTE

  • MGM Grand Detroit

In-kind Donations:

  • Atwater Brewery

  • Elysium Experience

  • Michigan Videography

  • Miniature Motorways, Inc.

  • Parsonage Events

  • Richard Childress Racing

  • The Dow Chemical Company

To view more photos from the Big Event click the gallery below. To learn more about possible partnership and volunteering opportunities with Big Brothers Big Sisters Metropolitan Detroit please contact our Development & Marketing Manager, Ebony Walls (313) 309-9234 or via email at

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