Thousands of smiling youngsters braved the heat to attend the 31st annual Metro Detroit Youth Day held July 17th, on Belle Isle’s athletic field. They were treated to games, contests, sports clinics put on by the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons, tennis, boxing, golf, martial arts, entertainment by our metro Detroit Youth Idol Contest winners and a free lunch provided by Michigan’s food industry.
The event was sponsored by 220 corporate sponsors, 320 civic and community organizations and 1,600 volunteers. 80 scholarships were presented to high school graduating seniors and community service awards were given to undergraduate students. The event was covered by all the media and has become the largest youth event in Michigan and possibly the Midwest.
Metro Detroit Youth Day was formed in 1981 following altercations between youth and store owners where in a 2 week period 2 youth and 1 store owner was shot and killed. A meeting was called by Mayor Coleman Young of community and business leaders among them was Ed Deeb one of the founders of Metro Detroit Youth Day along with the late Jerry Blocker and Tom Fox. The event has grown from 1,100 the first year to more than 34,000 youngsters this past July 17th.
Metro Detroit Youth Day has become a tradition. The event has been awarded numerous awards and accolades including the Point of Light Award (No. 477) from President George H.W. Bush and the Point of Lights Foundation, the Governor’s Award on Physical Fitness to name a few.
Some of the scholarship winners have gone on to become doctors, dentists, TV and radio personalities, CPA’s. They all credit Metro Detroit Youth Day for helping them to be able to pursue their chosen careers.
Next year’s Metro Detroit Youth Day will be held on July 9th on the athletic field at Belle Isle.
To learn more about Metro Detroit Youth Day visit the event website MetroDetroitYouthDay.com