Roseville Heritage Foundation receives conditional approval for cruise

By: Sara Kandel | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 31, 2013

 Council unanimously passed a conditional approval for the Roseville Heritage Foundation to hold a Roseville Gratiot cruise July 28. Posing with Dennis and Shelly Neumann’s classic car are, from left, Jack Johnson, foundation board member; Jerry Iezzi, foundation sergeant at arms; Stephan Pawl, foundation president; Bill Shoemaker, foundation vice president; Dennis Neumann, foundation member; and Shelly Neumann, foundation member.

Council unanimously passed a conditional approval for the Roseville Heritage Foundation to hold a Roseville Gratiot cruise July 28. Posing with Dennis and Shelly Neumann’s classic car are, from left, Jack Johnson, foundation board member; Jerry Iezzi, foundation sergeant at arms; Stephan Pawl, foundation president; Bill Shoemaker, foundation vice president; Dennis Neumann, foundation member; and Shelly Neumann, foundation member.

Photo by Sara Kandel

ROSEVILLE — The Roseville Heritage Foundation celebrated May 28 after City Council unanimously passed a conditional approval for the 2013 Gratiot Cruise in Roseville.

After a series of meetings with the foundation, City Manager Scott Adkins recommended that council conditionally approve the four-mile route on northbound and southbound Gratiot, from just north of 11 Mile Road to just north of 13 Mile Road, for a July 28 cruise.

“We have been having quite a bit of conversations with the foundation’s committee planning members and we believe those conversations have been very fruitful,” Adkins told the council. “We feel that after our administrative review, and after sitting down with the committee, we can put forth a recommendation for a conditional approval at this time.”

The approval was based on the condition that the foundation meet specified deadlines for payment to the city, proof of insurance, applications and a finalized cruise plan with detailed committee and volunteer contact information, a cleanup plan and a map with locations of cooling and first- aid tents, portable restrooms and security.

Spokespersons for the foundation are confident they can meet all the required conditions, which include a 50 percent deposit for city-related costs submitted prior to June 7 in the amount of $12,675; the remaining $12,675 of city-related costs paid in full by June 28; a valid certificate of insurance naming the city as additionally insured by June 28; copies of contracts for traffic barricades, cones, signs, portable restrooms and the like by June 28; an approved event plan submitted by June 28; and a Michigan Department of Transportation permit by July 18.

The foundation has raised approximately $18,500 in cash and another $15,500 in promised funds, but the overall cost of the cruise will amount to more than $40,000 and foundation members say they needed the conditional approval from council in order to get the remaining funds.

Troy resident and classic car owner and enthusiast Carla Reeb, who has 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising and event marketing, is volunteering her time helping the foundation raise funds for the event. She spoke about the importance of council approval.

“There are people waiting to give us sponsorships. Once they know it has been approved, they will write their checks and give us sponsorships,” Reeb said. “Also, there is a large contingent of cruisers who are registering their vehicles. Most of them are waiting to hear we will be approved so they can write their checks for car registration, which will really put us over the top and help us with next year’s event, even.”

Other foundation members made pleas to council during the first hearing of the public.

“I have lived in the city for my whole life, except for a short time when I was in the Navy, and although my business is not in the city, I love this city and I really want to see it happen,” said Greg Evennou, who is on the board of directors for the foundation. “Until you say this is going to happen, nobody is going to believe it. We just need you to say yes, and this is going to happen.”

About 10 other foundation members joined Evennou at the meeting, as well as business owners and cruise planners from other cities, all of whom came to speak on behalf of having a Roseville Gratiot cruise in 2013.

Shelly Neumann, owner of Speedy Clean Services in Clinton Township, attended the meeting and spoke about the importance of council approval.

“We all agree how this can help businesses in the area, and there are many businesses not even on the cruise route that are willing to help because they, too, see the benefit of the cruise and what it can bring to the community,” Newman told the council. “There are rumors going around that you’re not going to allow it, so if you are able to let neighbors and businesses know you are in support of this event, there will be many more backers.”

An organizer from the Mount Clemens cruise drove in from Armada to urge council to approve the cruise.

“It is truly a beneficial event for the businesses,” said George Calvert, of the Friends of Mount Clemens. “I work hand in hand with many of the businesses in Mount Clemens, and the businesses say that on the day of the event, their volume is four to five times what it normally is. Businesses are tax dollars right? If you support your businesses, they support you.

“I believe in this cruise because of the camaraderie, the enthusiasm. The attitude about having young kids driving is incorrect. The people that own these cars are not young kids. They have $40,000, $50,000, $60,000-plus cars. These are responsible adults. As well as being participants, they will be actively overseeing that the event goes on without riffraff.”

Council might not have needed the half-dozen testimonies that preceded the vote, but those certainly didn’t hurt, and after a few questions confirming that the foundation understood the conditions, each council member voted for approval.

Foundation members in the audience broke out in whispered cheers — after working so hard for so long, the cruise finally received council approval.

“After two and a half years, we are finally here,” said Stephan Pawl, president of the foundation. “We’re very excited the City Council has recognized the Roseville Heritage Foundation in the request for the Roseville Gratiot Cruise, and I’m proud of the board members for an excellent presentation to Council and representation over the past two and a half years.

“Now is the time for car enthusiasts to show their support physically and financially so we can have this family-fun event for years.”

The Roseville Heritage Foundation is seeking volunteers and sponsorship. For more information, call (586) 404-9409, visit www.rosevillegratiotcruise.com or email rosevillegratiotcruise@yahoo.com.