Concert strikes a chord for Police Foundation beneficiaries

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published June 29, 2016

 Community members pack the Berman Center for the Performing Arts.

Community members pack the Berman Center for the Performing Arts.

Photo by Donna Agusti

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Over 200 people packed the Berman Center for the Performing Arts June 23 to raise money for the West Bloomfield Police Foundation. 

The Concert for a Cause — which was hosted by the foundation and the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission — featured performances by Karen Newman, Kyle Johnson and Steve Acho. In total, the foundation — which provides financial support for officers and their families, and community members in need — raised over $28,000.

The witty banter of West Bloomfield Fire Chief Greg Flynn, who was the auctioneer for the evening, helped the foundation raise $3,800 during the live auction, while the remainder was brought in through ticket sales and a silent auction. 

“He was like a standup comedian,” Police Foundation President Curt Lawson said. “A portion of the money will be put into reserve in case it’s ever needed for a tragic event within the Police Department, such as an officer being injured or killed. The rest of the money will be used for community programs.”

Silent auction prizes included items donated by local businesses, and during the live auction, community members had the opportunity to bid on a suite at a Detroit Pistons game, pick up their son or daughter at school in a fire truck, and ride along with a police officer, which included visiting the West Bloomfield Police Department’s shooting range.

 The Police Foundation is a separate entity from the Police Department, and Police Chief Michael Patton said the foundation is a “model community foundation that supports not only the needs of the members of the Police Department, but the broader West Bloomfield community.” 

“Many people in West Bloomfield have been blessed and are very fortunate, but there are some that are struggling, and the Police Foundation is there to be a support if and when they can,” Patton said. 

Lawson said that because the community continues to support the foundation through participating in its fundraisers — including annual bowling and volleyball events — the foundation will be able to assist programs like Blessings in a Backpack and Coats for Kids, and to purchase presents during the holidays for families in need. 

“The Concert for a Cause event was an extremely nice community get-together for a worthwhile cause,” Patton said. 

Because of the concert’s success, Lawson said, the foundation looks forward to partnering with the Parks and Recreation Commission in the future for similar projects.