CARE of Southeastern Michigan to host road rally fundraiser

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published April 7, 2021

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FRASER — CARE of Southeastern Michigan is flipping the script on its annual spring recovery fundraiser.

Following years of putting on the Ride 4 Recovery event throughout Macomb County, the nonprofit organization based in Fraser is introducing a new event: Rally 4 Recovery.

It will be presented by Ascension and First State Bank, with numerous other sponsors also participating.

CARE President and CEO Susan Styf said this new event replaces Ride 4 Recovery. She and employees “sort of felt it was time to do something different.”

Last year’s Ride 4 Recovery event was totally virtual.

“We wanted to do something that was interactive and in person,” she said. “We also wanted an event that could adapt and change if there were social distancing standards or not. … It’s been sort of hard as a nonprofit with the traditional sponsors we have.”

The clue-based road rally event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24. All participant vehicles will begin at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights, where they will receive a program book, a raffle ticket and their first clue.

There are five clue stops, with teams earning an additional raffle ticket per completion. If all stops are completed, teams will receive one extra raffle ticket toward a grand prize of $1,000.

Other raffle items include baskets that contain cooking items, luxury items and items such as an Apple Watch.

Teams that do not wish to complete all clues can pull an “emergency envelope” and travel to the final stop. The more clues that are accomplished, the more raffle tickets are garnered by each team.

At the end of the event, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham will be broadcast on Facebook Live drawing the winning $1,000 raffle ticket.

There could potentially be two or three teams in one vehicle, with no set number for how many individuals can be part of one team. Each vehicle pays $25 to participate.

Now over a year into the coronavirus pandemic, CARE has experienced an increase in its services — as well as increases related to the organization’s student assistance contracts and employee business programs.

Styf said there has been an uptick in services “that were pretty steady for a number of years.” New people, both those in recovery and/or family members and friends aiding recovery efforts, have utilized CARE’s Recovery United Community Center, located at 32577 Garfield Road.

“It’s really difficult in the pandemic for hiring,” she said. “A lot of people aren’t willing to make job changes right now so we’re trying to find ways to hire new people and fill vacancies we have.”

The pandemic has exacerbated substance abuse issues for those who previously had them, while individuals who previously did not have such issues may be more prone to seek help.

Alcohol abuse remains the No. 1 substance issue and has gotten worse since March 2020.

“I think there’s a better awareness of the symptoms of when people are struggling and more of an acceptance of what people are willing to address,” Styf said, referring to how stigmas have altered during the past year.

Old and typical methods or outlets of coping, such as through sporting activities or even being around family and friends, have been mitigated or stopped altogether.

Styf used the example of CARE’s normal support for first responders, where on-site visits are virtually nonexistent due to safety regulations.

While many people wish for a “new normal” to firmly take hold, she said there are still plenty of uncertainties.

“We know that people need the services and it’s looking a little bit different and we have had to take a different approach. … We’re still in the middle of it. We so desperately want to be finished with the pandemic but we really haven’t seen the impact of anything.”

Registration is required for the Rally 4 Recovery, and people can register up until the day before the event. To do so, visit www.careofsem.com or call (586) 541-2273.

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