Community GiveBack contest provides for others

The PLEA Foundation named winner in online poll

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published July 15, 2015

 Day Dreams Farm Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation President Lisa Ponke takes a moment with Chase.

Day Dreams Farm Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation President Lisa Ponke takes a moment with Chase.

Photo provided by Day Dreams Farm Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation


METRO DETROIT — Leslie McMahon has always had a connection to law enforcement.

Her late father, Arthur Dickinson, was an associate member of the Fraternal Order of Police No. 130 in Ferndale, and her late grandfather, E. Parker Dickinson, was a reserve officer in downtown Detroit.

So it’s fitting that McMahon is the president of the Professional Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) Foundation, a nonprofit organization that donates equipment and training to law enforcement professionals, including K-9 officers.

The Troy-based charity recently received a boost financially when it was named the first-place winner in C & G Newspapers’ Community GiveBack contest. The charitable group won $2,000 in cash, plus four full-page ads in any of C & G Newspapers’ 19 community newspapers, free of charge.

“We are so excited,” McMahon said. “It was wonderful all of our members came through for us.”

The GiveBack contest offered an opportunity for local nonprofit organizations to win cash and free advertising in C & G Newspapers. Suburban Subaru, along with Suburban Hyundai in Troy, provided the prize money, while C & G Newspapers, located in Warren, offered the advertising space. This was the first time for such a contest. Nearly 80 nonprofit groups submitted applications.

C & G Newspapers readers voted online for their favorite charitable group. The contest was promoted through the newspapers, social media and C & G Newspapers’ website, Voting began May 20 and was held for several weeks. Approximately 32,000 people voted. 

Detroit Bully Corps, based in Lapeer, won second place, receiving $1,000, plus two full-page advertisements. Day Dreams Farm Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation, headquartered in Fair Haven, finished third and received a full-page ad.

Suburban Imports of Troy General Sales Manager Adamm Davis presented checks to the PLEA Foundation and Detroit Bully Corps during a brief ceremony July 7 at the car dealership.

“Suburban is always interested in giving back to the community,” Davis said. “The Subaru Corp. is very involved with charity. It’s about making a connection with the customer in the community.”

Davis said it “was awesome” to be able to help the nonprofits involved in the GiveBack contest.

“That’s why we do it,” he said.

The PLEA Foundation formed in 2014. In an effort to provide services, volunteers seek donations by contacting businesses and applying for grant money. The foundation will use its Community GiveBack winnings to purchase teddy bears for police departments. While on duty, police officers can give the stuffed animals to young children traumatized by stressful situations as a way to comfort them.

So far, there are members of the PLEA Foundation in 38 states. The foundation’s goal is to provide what it can for police departments, including equipment, K-9 police training vests, and training for law enforcement members.

“There’s such a need out there. They need training all the time. Sometimes it can be a whole department,” McMahon said. “Sometimes the cities can’t afford it.”

The foundation is an offshoot of the Professional Law Enforcement Association. The mission of PLEA is to provide legal defense and other benefits to members. PLEA and the PLEA Foundation are two separate entities. The foundation also works to raise morale among officers.

“I really believe right now law enforcement has such a tough time in the press,” McMahon said.

Since the organization is so new, it’s working on a variety of ways to publicize its services.

Detroit Bully Corps is a nonprofit charity that helps abused, neglected and homeless dogs through education, adoption, rehabilitation and training. The group advocates for bully breeds, including the American pit bull terrier, boxers, mastiffs and any strain of the Molosser category of canine. Board member Michelle Spranger, of Southfield, learned about the Community GiveBack contest by reading the C & G paper the Southfield Sun.

“We rescue dogs primarily from police and fire departments. Most of the dogs are located in Detroit,” Spranger said. “We house them in our facility in Lapeer. Many of the dogs that come to us are very sick, emaciated, abused or neglected. Most of them are strays. Some were used for dog fighting.”

Once at the facility, Detroit Bully Corps volunteers evaluate the canines, get them comfortable in their new surroundings, and teach basic obedience skills.

“Some are not socialized at all,” Spranger said. “They have to learn to trust people. We have volunteers that come in and walk with them. We have some agility equipment to expose them to different things. Currently, we have 15 dogs in our program. They go from scared and hungry to thriving and being happy and healthy and loved.”

Once rehabilitated, the dogs become available for adoption.

“I am super grateful that C & G offered this contest,” Spranger said, adding that the prize money will go toward a new heating system at their facility.

Day Dreams Farm Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation helps abused and neglected horses. Volunteers educate the public on the responsibility of owning horses, and the value of bonding with horses and other animals. 

Giving back to the community is ongoing for Suburban Subaru and Suburban Hyundai, which are part of the Suburban Collection in Troy. The Suburban Collection is actively involved with local and regional charities and goodwill organizations.

The Suburban Collection offers a variety of automotive services to retail and industry customers throughout Michigan, Florida and California. Michigan locations include Farmington Hills, Ferndale and Sterling Heights.

The dealerships provide sales of new and used cars and light trucks, sales of replacement auto parts, vehicle maintenance, warranty repairs, paint and collision repair services, and arrangement of extended warranty contracts, financing and insurance for customers.

C & G Newspapers held its first-ever Community GiveBack contest, which gave nonprofit organizations the opportunity to win money and free advertising to promote upcoming events and fundraisers.

Suburban Subaru and Suburban Hyundai in Troy were the sponsors. For more information on Suburban, call (248) 649-2300 or visit

The PLEA Foundation was the first-place winner.
For more information on the Troy-based group, call (248) 588-8989 or visit

Detroit Bully Corps, based in Lapeer, won second place.
For more information, visit

Day Dreams Farm Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation won third place.
For more information, visit