Farmington High sophomore Grace Newlin has never organized a fundraiser, but she's getting a crash course as she helps plan the Oct. 26 'Boo-ling' for Jobs event at Drakeshire Lanes in Farmington Hills.
Newlin was 2nd runner-up in this year's Miss Farmington pageant. She said she joined the program because she wanted to get more involved in the community.
"Each member of the court and Miss Farmington holds an event at Drakeshire," she explained. Newlin chose Goodwill Industries of Southeast Michigan, because she has donated to the organization through her school and church, she said.
Mark Lane, Goodwill's director of public relations and special events, said the event will feature lots of family fun, along with raffles, a 50/50 drawing and silent auction. Items up for grabs so far include sports memorabilia and a certificate for limousine service through Millenium Limousines, based in Farmington Hills.
This will be the fifth Bowling for Jobs event; the new name reflects a Halloween theme. "What better way to get your message out there than with an event that offers family fun?" Lane said.
In southeast Michigan, Goodwill is a tier one automotive supplier, works with DTE Energy to recycle downed wires and damaged transformers, and has an asset recovery business – outside the typical image of the nonprofit as collecting items and operating second-hand stores.
"We create the businesses that create the jobs," Lane said, adding Goodwill helps people "who are having a tough time finding a job." Most of the Michigan Works and Michigan One-Stop Shop offices are run by Goodwill employees, he said.
"In the last year, we touched over 20,000 individuals in southeast Michigan, and put 1,250 in full, paying jobs," Lane said. About 80 percent of the work is done in Oakland County.
Lane said there is no real fundraising goal for the Drakeshire event, although last year's brought in about $5,000. "The goal is always to have a good time and create awareness. The rest takes care of itself," he said.
Newlin said she plans to contact local businesses, as well as spreading the word among her friends, about the event. Donations will be sought for the raffle and auction items, and sponsorships are available.