Southfield City Centre Advisory Board represents the businesses and institutions located in the City Centre. Together they work to promote the economic vitality and quality of life in the city. They also contribute individually through charitable works. “It’s important to the company as a whole to give back to the community that gives so much to us,” explains Brooke McNemar of Etkin Real Estate Solutions. Etkin, owner of Evergreen Atrium and Franklin Center, among other properties, supports Michigan Animal Rescue League, American Diabetes Association, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, Lighthouse, Brilliant Detroit, Zekelman Holocaust Center, Robert A. Schuele Scholarship, and Alzheimer’s Association-Michigan chapter.
Town Center hosts a major, annual fundraising event for the Michigan chapter of Gift of Adoption, a national organization that helps families cover the costs of adopting a child. “Our funding supports the birth mother and legal fees predominately for domestic adoptions but also international adoptions,” says Clarence Gleeson, senior vice president at Transwestern, the management agent for the building. More than 100 Michigan families received assistance last year.
Dürr Systems, a global mechanical and plant engineering firm, has its North American headquarters in the City Centre. The company contributes donations and volunteer time to United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Forgotten Harvest. Employee teams participate in Mayor Kenson J. Siver’s annual Big Rake, providing fall lawn maintenance for seniors and residents with disabilities. When the Engineering Society of Detroit hosts its Future City competition for middle-school students, Dürr employees volunteer as team mentors and competition judges. The company also supports LTU’s annual designing, building and racing of a small formula-style racing car and offers free robot path trainings to LTU students in their Training Center.
Friends of Southfield Public Arts, the nonprofit organization that supports the goals of Southfield Public Arts Commission, assists with art acquisitions, such as the sculpture that lines the Southfield City Centre Trail, and exhibitions of local artists’ work on display each quarter in the main lobby at City Hall.
LTU donates a range of courses and professional-development opportunities that benefit Southfield high school students and high school and middle school teachers. Most significant is the $85,000, four-year Blue Devil Southfield Scholarship for Southfield high school graduates. LTU students also volunteer for the Big Rake, snow shoveling and working the polls on Election Day. “Southfield is a shining example of the Town and Gown relationship,” says Lisa Kujawa, VP for enrollment management at LTU. “How we come together shows how we – the university and the city – value one another.”