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JUNE 13, 2012 Natalie Stavale / 248-417-8510 cell
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Community Dream Team Gathers to Announce New Initiatives for 15th Annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats
New collaborations announced with several non-profit organizations ranging from major Autism Outreach to a Zumbathon; plus an exciting new event inspired by USA Basketball
ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Citizens Bank and festival founder, L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, today announced that the 15th annual festival is returning for the third year to Royal Oak this Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 – Sept. 3, and continues to expand its commitment to community initiatives. The festival also announced a new program that will bring the magic of USA Basketball to the streets of Royal Oak.
“Year after year, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats continues to demonstrate that it is among the premier summer events in Michigan. The vibrant displays of art, outstanding lineup of music, and mouthwatering array of food bring people from across the region to the streets of Royal Oak,” said Patterson. “What’s often overlooked, is that the festival raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and has numerous community collaborations.”
Oakland County’s annual unique cultural celebration of artists, musicians and food exhibits will feature several new programs, including a major outreach aimed at providing families with autistic children with a joyful holiday weekend. Along with more than 60 nonprofits and community organizations that will financially benefit from this year’s festival, there are a number of new and returning high-impact initiatives aimed at raising awareness and helping a wide array of organizations and individuals that have special needs.
“The wide reach and incredible impact of this year’s community initiatives is to be applauded,” says Mike O’Brien, Detroit Regional Sales Manager, Ford Motor Company. “From helping families with children on the autism spectrum, to supporting those in the deaf community, to assisting local arts organizations, to providing dollars for critical medical research, the festival is helping causes from across the area. Ford Motor Company has a long tradition of supporting the local community over its 109-year history, and this event’s continued commitment to giving back is one of the reasons why we are proud to continue our sponsorship of this perrenial highlight of the summer.”
SPEAKING UP FOR THOSE WITH AUTISM
Thousands of children and their families across Michigan live within the autism spectrum every day. This year, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats is teaming with Autism Alliance of Michigan and Autism Speaks to offer select families a unique experience and an all-access pass to the festival. On both Saturday and Monday, hundreds of children on the autism spectrum and family members will enjoy access to the festival that includes free parking courtesy of the City of Royal Oak, as well as free admission, free lunch, free carnival rides and moonwalks. In addition to the special day for families, the Autism Alliance of Michigan and Autism Speaks both will be among the nonprofit beneficiaries of this year’s gate proceeds.
“This customized all inclusive package from Ford Arts, Beats & Eats is a real treat for hundreds of families with autistic children,” says Tom Riopelle, Regional Director - Midwest, Autism Speaks. “With enough free giveaways to keep anyone occupied with incredible food and activities, the children and their families will have a day of fun and entertainment that they will never forget.”
Citizens Banks SUPPORTS critical Calls For Kids, A “Miracle” Money Booth and the return of an important food drive
The initiative that will likely have the biggest financial impact at the festival will be a new radiothon named “Soft Rock 105.1 Calls for Kids,” benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network at Beaumont Children’s Hospital. The New Soft Rock 105.1 will conduct the fundraising event in an area donated by will conduct the fundraising event at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats with space donated by Citizens Bank and WDIV Local 4. Throughout each day of the festival, both festival attendees as well as Soft Rock 105.1 listeners will have the opportunity to make donations to help kids at Beaumont.
In addition to generating pledges, festival guests will be selected each hour to enter the Citizens Bank “Miracle” Money Booth with the chance to keep all the cash they can grab in the eight foot wind tunnel in 20 seconds time. Citizens Bank will match each guest’s winnings in the form of a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network.
“Citizens Bank is proud to donate exhibit space for the all new Soft Rock 105.1 Calls for Kids Radiothon at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats,” said Pat Reardon, Commercial Banking President at Citizens Bank. “We applaud the efforts of Soft Rock 105.1 for making this possible and look forward to joining them in helping to raise significant funding for the Children’s Miracle Network and Beaumont Hosptial. The “Miracle” Money Booth always puts a smile on people’s faces, but seeing that joy doubled this year in the form of donations to these great organizations will mean so much to us at Citizens Bank.”
In addition, Citizens Bank will return once again as the presenting sponsor and host of the Citizens Bank Food Drive. The Drive will collect donations of food to benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan in an effort to raise awareness of the hunger relief initiative. Thousands of pounds of food for those in need in the region are expected to be generated from the campaign, which is in its third year of partnership with the festival.
GETTING ACTIVE FOR GREAT CAUSES
As the premier health and wellness sponsor, Priority Health, one of Michigan’s largest health insurers, is bringing healthy options to the festival again this year, with a real focus on fun and active events for a great cause. This year, Saturday will feature a health and wellness celebration with the culmination of two great events back to back. The morning will kick-off with the Priority Health Arts in Motion 5k presented by DMC. More than 500 runners are expected on the streets of Royal Oak to support the arts. It’s a great event with costume contests, beautiful scenery and all for a great cause –the Michigan Youth Arts Council.
The race will end just as Priority Health kicks off the Zumbathon celebration to benefit the Karmanos Cancer Institute. The event will be an hour-long workout combining Latin and International music. More than 1,000 participants are expected. The cost to enter is just $5, and participants are encouraged to raise money by securing pledges. Instructors interested in forming a team should contact Susan at email@example.com.
Registration for both events will be available starting early July and can be accessed through www.artsbeatseats.com.
“Priority Health is pleased to partner with Ford Arts, Beats & Eats once again to bring healthy, family-friendly activities to event this year,” said Don Whitford, Vice President of the East Region Market for Priority Health. “This great partnership is enabling us to highlight the importance of healthy living within the community in a creative and fun way that benefits two important causes – the Barbara Karmanos Cancer Institute and the Michigan Youth Arts Council.”
Key Donated Exhibit Space to support deaf fine artists and regional arts organizations
Title Sponsor Ford and its Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers will donate exhibit space for the first annual Deaf Arts Festival featuring as many as ten outstanding artists that are hearing impaired. Exhibit space will also be donated by Ford to the Cultural Alliance to showcase more than ten regional arts organizations including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and the Arab American National Museum. In total, Ford is donating more than $15,000 of exhibit space to support the outstanding work of great organizations and talented.
The mission of the Deaf Arts Festival is to celebrate the arts by exhibiting diverse, quality visuals and performing arts through the support of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. The essence of this organization is to enrich and educate the audience through personal interaction among Deaf and Hard of Hearing Artists.
THE MAGIC OF THE DREAM TEAM
New this year will be the Metro PCS USA Basketball Dream Tour. Visitors will be able to show off their skills on the Metro PCS basketball court in games of HORSE, Around the World and Shootout, all with an exciting Android twist. When ready to take a break from shooting hoops, guest will be able to step over to the MetroPCS trailer and get an extensive, hands-on look at some of the latest and greatest mobile devices from Samsung. The devices will feature an array of basketball and trivia applications that will pit visitors against each other in friendly and exciting competition.
Basketball fans of all stripes will want to make sure they stop by the booth on Friday between 5 -7 p.m. and Saturday between 1 – 3 p.m. when former NBA and USA Basketball star Muggsy Bogues stops by to meet and greet guests, sign autographs and pose for pictures.
“Bringing together the excitement of basketball and the latest in mobile technology for the tens of thousands of visitors at the festival is an incredible opportunity for us,” says Shawn Byrnes, vice president and general manager of Metro PCS. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to share the love of the game and the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet a basketball legend with fans young and old.”
NEW RESTAURANTS JOIN LINEUP OF OUTSTANDING EATS
A number of new restaurants will join the mouth-watering lineup of more than 70 eateries, caterers, and dining attractions are taking part in this year’s festival. Along with the usual lineup of outstanding food, guests now will be able to choose from the authentic Lebanese experience of Gemmayze, the classic pub-favorite offerings of Hamlin’s Corner, the delicious entrees of Bastone’s Brewery, the renowned seafood featured at Mitchell’s Fish Market, as well as great tastes from Beans and Cornbread, Slab and Slice and the Polish Village Café.
Returning sponsors include Blue Care Network, Brown-Forman, Budweiser, Citizens Bank, City of Royal Oak, Comcast, Downtown Royal Oak, Ford and its Southeast Michigan Dealers, Metro PCS, Michigan Lottery, Oakland County Parks, Pepsi, Priority Health, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, FlexPerks Visa, and US Park.
The 15th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, Oakland County's Taste, Music & Arts Festival, will be held over Labor Day weekend in downtown Royal Oak, August 31 – September 3, 2012. Approximately 335,000 visitors attended the 2011 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats in its second year in Royal Oak. Fan us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @artsbeatseats. For additional public information, visit www.artsbeatseats.com or call 248-334-4600.