(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 9, 2013)
When over a thousand runners filled the streets of Ferndale last month for the Rainbow Run, it wasn’t just about a test of endurance and getting covered with multicolored cornstarch paints. The event also raised $6,600 that got divided among three charities.
Ferndale Area Chamber Executive Director Jennifer Roosenberg and Board President Jay McMillan presented checks to representatives of the three receiving charities at Monday’s city council meeting.
Jon Fitzgerald of Affirmations accepted their $2,200 check which will help with expenses at the Ferndale-based LGBT community center. Affirmations provides a wide variety of services for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including youth programs, a computer lab and library, art gallery, support groups, STD testing, counseling and events. Their website is http://www.goaffirmations.org.
Upstander also received a $2,200 check, accepted by Lauren Lewis. Upstander is a project of The Friendship Circle, a nonprofit with a chapter based in West Bloomfield whose mission is to support people with special needs and people with community service. Upstander focuses on anti-bullying education, and the Chamber’s donation will go specifically to doing a program in Ferndale Schools. More information on Upstander can be found at http://www.upstander.com/.
The third organization to benefit is the Ferndale Community Foundation, with Board Treasurer Greg Pawlica and Board Member Craig Covey accepting the group’s $2,200 check. The Community Foundation disperses money to various other causes and projects through the city, including Peace Action Michigan, Michigan’s Fallen, The Ferndale Public Library, The Ferndale Historical Society, FernCare and others. Their website is http://ferndalecommunityfoundation.org.
The Rainbow Run doubled in size from its inaugural event last year. Roosenberg said that of the over 1,000 runners, over 80% came from outside of Ferndale, and that each runner brought an average of one additionally supporter to the event with them, giving many people the chance to enjoy Downtown Ferndale and boosting the local economy. The Rainbow Run’s website is http://www.rainbow-run.com/.
The event took place just before Ferndale Pride, a day full of support for diversity in the community. Watch the video below for a taste of the day’s events, and check out our previous story at https://oaklandcounty115.com/2013/06/08/balloons-powdered-paint-and-politics-at-ferndale-pride-video/ to see more!