Historic night for Charles H. Wright Museum with donations

gala-440The Wright Museum’s 50th Anniversary celebration reached a new peak during the fifth-annual Wright Gala.
Over 1,100 local and national business, community, and philanthropic leaders witnessed the most successful fundraiser in the museum’s history.
The black-tie event, which took place at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center, procured nearly $1.8 million, with donations still being received.
“My goal was to have an African American donor giving $100,000 for each decade of the Museum’s 50-year history,” Wright Gala Chair Vivian Rogers Pickard, President of the General Motors Foundation & Director, Corporate Relations for General Motors Company, said as she introduced the five donors Saturday night. “I am so proud to say that we have accomplished that goal.”
This achievement came from the generous gifts of five Detroit-based African American entities: Bridgewater Interiors, Prestige Automotive, Roy & Maureen Roberts, The Sid E. Taylor Foundation, and The Pickard Family Fund.
“As I get older, I realize now, more than ever before, the importance of having an understanding and appreciation of our history and pride in our heritage,” said Damon Keith, senior judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. “The Wright Museum reminds us of the progress that previous generations fought for, and it fortifies us to have the integrity to end the injustices that continue to plague our world today.”​
Special guest Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. gave a historic glimpse of African American achievement and cultural sustenance, emphasizing the importance of institutions like The Wright Museum, before leading an invocation.
Other gala attendees supported the museum’s efforts by participating in the live and silent auctions, which raised an accumulated total of $185,000.
The silent auction featured 18 original art pieces inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair; pieces created and donated by GM Global Design Center’s Design Team. During the program, a Fashion Fair-inspired sculpture was presented to Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman of Johnson Publishing Company, and daughter of Ebony Fashion Fair founder Eunice Johnson.
Ford Motor Company encouraged attendees to become members of The Wright by offering a custom gold 50th Anniversary commemorative bracelet. Members also gained access to the Ford Member’s Lounge hosted in collaboration with actor and stage director, Blair Underwood.
Ford also gifted the Museum with a new Ford Transit van, to be used to assist the museum in transporting individuals participating in educational outreach programs throughout the city.
The Gala Committee was co-chaired by Pamela Alexander, director of community development with Ford Motor Company Fund, and Faye Nelson, vice president of public affairs for DTE Energy and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. 84 volunteers – comprised of prominent local entrepreneurs, philanthropists and businesswomen – served on the 2015 Gala Host Committee.
“We are overwhelmed and inspired by the amount of support that has poured in from all corners of the community during our 50th Anniversary year,” said Juanita Moore, Wright Museum president & CEO. “We now move forward with confidence that in the next 50 years, our efforts will be elevated, magnified and backed by those who have already stepped forward, and those who will join the journey. We are so thankful and hope our unyielding gratitude is expressed through the work we continue to do in and for Detroit.”

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