At the Ilitch companies, our values are rooted in the transformative power of teamwork and innovation. This year, by working together and thinking big, our partners and colleagues helped make positive change in our community and beyond.
We are dedicated to engaging with our community, supporting education, and developing our youth through sports, making a lasting impact on the people of Detroit and beyond.
Building our Community:
Collaborating with Organizations to Create Change
- During the 2022 Detroit Tigers season, Black-owned businesses were among the vendors at Comerica Park with pop-up concessions, a program that was expanded to Little Caesars Arena for the hockey season. “When I got the call about bringing Bert’s to Tigers games, it was very exciting – I had butterflies! Being in the ballpark is such a great experience and we’ve had so much support from people,” said Bert Dearing Jr., owner of Eastern Market favorite Bert’s Marketplace.
- Affordable housing is an ongoing need in Detroit, particularly in the downtown area. After completing the historic Eddystone apartments in The District Detroit in late 2021, the building was fully leased this year, including the opening of a new restaurant, Basan. Twenty percent of the units in The Eddystone are designated as affordable housing, and it is the first among a number of pending developments that will increase access to housing in the area.
- Our colleagues and charities are committed to giving time and resources where and when they are needed. From the Little Caesars Love Kitchen providing meals across the country, and here in our own backyard to the annual Hometown Holiday Assist, charitable and volunteer efforts allow us to invest in local organizations that are the backbone of our region, including the beneficiaries of Ilitch Charities’ annual celebrity golf tournament, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Downtown Boxing Gym and Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.
Investing in Arts and Education:
Giving New Opportunities to Students in Detroit
- In 2022, companies across our organization welcomed the newest cohort of student interns from our neighboring school, Cass Technical High School. Since 2015, students have gained important work experience through paid internships that provide them with access to event management, marketing, public relations, information technology, finance, and human resources. “I was very excited when I learned that I was selected for the internship, and it has been an incredible learning experience so far,” said Jecholiah Marriott, a Cass Tech senior who interned in the Ilitch Holdings, Inc. communications department. “Interning at the Ilitch organization has opened my eyes to a new world of future career opportunities, and I know it will be a strong addition to my college applications.”
- For DPSCD students interested in taking a deeper dive into commercial real estate development and urban planning, our partnership with Project Destined and Related Companies provides an opportunity to take part in a paid program to develop their team building and work experience and skills related to market research, project analysis, property valuation, deal financing and more. This year, the program was expanded to include students from Wayne State University.
- At the return of DPSCD’s Evening of Fine Arts to the Fox Theatre, students from throughout Detroit had a stage to shine. Held in May, the 53rd annual event included top instrumental music ensembles, vocal music ensembles, dance companies and theatre excerpts, and original works of art by the district’s top visual artists displayed in the Fox Theatre’s Grand Lobby.
Building the Future through Sports:
Empowering Teamwork On and Off the Field
- With our partner Comerica Bank, the Game Changers program celebrates a diverse array of people in our community positively impacting the lives of young Detroiters in the areas of education, wellness, or sport participation. Fans celebrate the honorees during Tigers and Red Wings games throughout the year, and each person receives a $1,000 grant dedicated to the charity of their choice. This year’s honorees included Pamela Moore, the president of the DPSCD Foundation, Jason McCrimmon, founder of Detroit Ice Dreams, and dozens of others.
- The Detroit Red Wings Foundation’s Learn, Play, Score program gives thousands of Detroit students access to ice and floor hockey, as well as esports and career development in the sports industry. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and the Children’s Foundation, this year the program announced a $300,000 investment in strengthening the career and entrepreneur pipeline for youth, launching a new esports lounge at the Lloyd H. Diehl Club.
- The Detroit Tigers Foundation’s Game Day for Kids brought 4,000 Detroit and Wayne County youth and chaperones to Comerica Park to enjoy a baseball game with free transportation, merchandise, and food and beverage. For those kids who wanted to experience the joys of playing baseball, the Tiny Tigers program, a partnership with Detroit Police Athletic League, gives hundreds of Detroit youth ages 4-8 the opportunity to engage with others while learning the sport and other life skills such as teamwork and perseverance.
Through our partners and colleagues, the Ilitch companies are grateful for these opportunities to make a meaningful impact in 2022. We look forward to building our community together in 2023, expanding our relationships, engaging with our neighbors and continuing to make positive change in Detroit and beyond.