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Tom Gores Pledges $350,000 to Youth at SAY Detroit

Commitment includes funding to create high-tech media center and production facilities at SAY Play Center

Platinum Equity founder and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores announced a $350,000 commitment to SAY Detroit, which includes funding earmarked to create a new media center and production studio at the SAY Play Center.

Gores made the pledge during his yearly call to WJR-AM radio host and Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom’s 11th annual SAY Detroit radiothon, an annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Albom founded in 2006 to address homelessness, healthcare access, and other charitable support to underserved communities.

Albom announced that the commitment from Gores helped the radiothon raise more than $1.8 million, which is a record for the fundraiser. Since its first broadcast in 2012, the annual radiothons have raised more than $12 million.

Gores said he hopes creating a high-tech media center and training program at the SAY Play Center will help further empower kids, amplify their voices and provide meaningful skills.

“We have been working with these kids for many years now. They are smart, creative and I know they have incredible stories to tell,” said Gores. “It’s important for everybody to have a voice. What I’d like to do is take the momentum we have and create a technology and media center.”

Gores said his team will work with SAY Detroit to build out the facilities and educational program.

Albom said: “On behalf of the kids, I don’t know how to say thank you enough. You just pushed us to a whole new level.”

During yesterday’s Radiothon, Gores and Albom also previewed the output from a SAY Detroit entrepreneurship program Gores announced during last year’s Radiothon and executed over the summer. Gores allocated $100,000 of his $350,000 pledge last year for kids at the SAY Play Center to develop and launch a small business initiative.

That program featured an 8-week curriculum teaching the basics of branding, retail marketing and product development. Participants designed and launched an apparel collaboration with the Detroit Pistons that goes on sale next week. The apparel will be available at Pistons313Shop.com starting December 12 and at Little Caesars Arena on Dec. 16 when the Pistons face the Sacramento Kings.

All proceeds from the retail line will benefit SAY Detroit for future programming.

The year before, Gores earmarked $100,000 in funding for SAY Detroit youths to allocate to different charities in Detroit. They learned how to set goals, assess and evaluate charitable organizations; and ultimately decided themselves where to allocate funds.

“I’m very excited about the work the kids have done,” added Gores. “It’s one thing to have dreams, we should all have them, but it’s another to do something every day to achieve them. I’m inspired by the kids and their ability to deliver.”

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