Grosse Pointers show solidarity with Detroit in fundraiser

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 7, 2018

 The Grosse Pointe Stands with Detroit fundraiser for Life Remodeled will take place 6:30-10 p.m. March 10 at The War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms.

The Grosse Pointe Stands with Detroit fundraiser for Life Remodeled will take place 6:30-10 p.m. March 10 at The War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms.

File photo

FARMS — The border between the Grosse Pointes and Detroit has sometimes been something of a chasm, but more and more Pointers are reaching across that divide in a show of unity with their neighbors.

That unity should be evident during Grosse Pointe Stands with Detroit, a fundraiser for the Detroit-based nonprofit Life Remodeled from 6:30 to 10 p.m. March 10 at The War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms. Tickets cost $100 for the event, and while reservations are encouraged, they can also be purchased at the door.

Chris Lambert, the founder and CEO of Life Remodeled, said that the Grosse Pointes are among several communities that have forged a partnership with Life Remodeled. He said the city-suburb campaign started in 2016, and now there’s a Westland Stands with Detroit, Livonia Stands with Detroit, etc.

“We’re trying to get stronger bonds with the suburbs,” Lambert said.

This is the first fundraiser Life Remodeled has had with a partner community, he said. Lambert said they decided to organize the fundraiser after realizing that more than 450 Grosse Pointers had either donated to Life Remodeled or volunteered for one of their projects.

“There’s a lot of interest in Grosse Pointe, a lot of passion for Detroit,” he said.

Each year, Lambert said, Life Remodeled invests about $5 million worth of labor, cash and investments into a single Detroit neighborhood. The organization restores a community asset, fixes up owner-occupied homes and, with the aid of 10,000 volunteers, spends six days improving 300 city blocks.

Dozens of prominent Grosse Pointers are on the 2018 Grosse Pointe Stands with Detroit host committee, including retired attorney Howard Hill, of Grosse Pointe Farms. 

“Despite the flower pots in the middle of Kercheval (Avenue in Grosse Pointe Park), Grosse Pointe is not your grandfather’s Grosse Pointe anymore,” Hill said. “Things are changing. (There’s) an openness and willingness to talk.”

He said Life Remodeled brings together city residents and their suburban neighbors — sometimes for the first time — and enables them to embrace their shared humanity and shed stereotypes.

“The beauty is, you go there to help clean out brush, but you do it with people you might otherwise have not (met),” Hill said.

Money raised by this fundraiser will go toward transforming Detroit’s former Durfee Middle School, 2470 Collingwood St., into what Lambert said will be a community innovation center, which will offer educational opportunities for kids and adults, provide employment for local residents via the nonprofit and for-profit tenants that will lease space there, give people a place to start their own businesses, and more.

Lambert deeply appreciates the support Life Remodeled has gotten from Grosse Pointers.

“It means everything,” he said. “We believe, for a neighborhood in Detroit to be sustainable, there must be a continuing relationship between the city and the suburbs. … To see Grosse Pointers take such an interest in the neighborhoods really says a lot to me about the passion Grosse Pointers have for Detroit, and that’s really a passion for the people.”

The War Memorial is located at 32 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms. For tickets to Grosse Pointe Stands with Detroit, visit For more information about Life Remodeled, visit its website,