A generous $2,500 donation from Chemical Bank will support Starr’s annual celebration of working with children and families. Founder’s Day, which will be held Sunday, Oct. 5 on Starr’s Albion campus, will mark 101 years of Starr with an exciting event lineup.
The Founder’s Day celebration will continue Starr’s “Art of Resilience” campaign, which began with the Starr Summer Youth Festival in Detroit Sunday, Aug. 10. More than 40 youth arts groups from southeast Michigan participated in the festival, including dance groups, singers, spoken word artists and more. Focusing on the resiliency of the communities Starr serves, Founder’s Day will feature some of these same groups, as well as a special presentation by guest speaker Mario Bonds.
Bonds was made famous by NBC Universal’s 2012 run of “The Glee Project,” season two, in which he showed the world that a person with a disability can rise to meet any challenge. Mr. Bonds lost his sight at age 9 and suffered significant abuse and abandonment in his childhood, leading to a period of homelessness. He never lost hope, however, and went on to earn a place at the prestigious Suitland’s School for the Visual and Performing Arts in his teens, followed by a degree in journalism from George Mason University.
Among his various achievements, he became a gifted technology expert, providing skillful computer guidance to people needing support. Mr. Bonds will not only talk about his personal story of resilience but will treat the Founder’s Day audience to some powerful singing performances.
Dr. Martin Mitchell, President and CEO of Starr Commonwealth, said: “We are delighted to have the generous support of Chemical Bank for the celebration of Starr’s 101 years’ service to children and families. Founder’s Day is an opportunity to recognize the values that Floyd Starr set out in 1913 – values which still guide us today as we create positive environments where children and families can flourish. We look forward to members of the local community joining us on October 5th for a day focused on celebrating the resilience of youth. The performances from Mario Bonds and our young artists are going to be inspirational and uplifting.”
Founder’s Day 2014 is expected to attract an audience of approximately 700 guests to Starr’s Albion campus, including members of local communities from across Michigan, staff, donors, alumni and partner organizations.
Starr is located at 13725 Starr Commonwealth Road in Albion, just off of Interstate 94 at exit 119, roughly 1/2 mile south of the highway.