Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Four Grain Straight Bourbon Joins Detroit City Distillery’s Lineup
Detroit City Distillery (DCD), an independent craft distiller located in Detroit’s Eastern Market, is launching a new bourbon to join its permanent lineup of whiskies: Four Grain Straight Bourbon.
DCD will host a Bourbon Release Party on Friday, Sept. 3, at Detroit City Distillery’s Tasting Room on Riopelle Street in Eastern Market from 4 p.m. to midnight. Customers can purchase bottles from the first batch, sample whiskey flights and bourbon cocktails, and try to obtain the first limited-edition bottle from DCD’s special Four Grain Bourbon Single Barrel Series.
DCD has been aging Four Grain Bourbon in maple, wine, and cognac barrels. On the first Friday of each month, DCD will host a single-barrel release party at its Tasting Room where customers can buy these rare bottles. Fewer than 250 bottles will be available for each release. Single-barrel releases are first-come, first-serve, starting at 6 p.m. for in-person sales only on Sept. 3 (maple), Oct. 1 (wine), and Nov. 5 (cognac), respectively. Limit of two bottles per person. Statewide distribution of Four Grain Straight Bourbon starts Oct. 1.
“It’s a special moment when you bring a new bourbon into the family,” says Michael Forsyth, co-owner. “When you make whiskey from scratch, you’re working on it for years before you get to share it with the world. The addition of Four Grain Straight Bourbon represents everything we love about making whiskey — sourcing the finest Michigan grain, making whiskey inside a historic building that was once home to Goebel’s and Stroh’s, and creating a label that screams this is Detroit whiskey, and we’re damn proud of it. Our Four Grain Straight Bourbon represents the best of the farm and the city, and that’s really what we’re all about.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield Provides $904K+ to Strengthen Michigan’s Safety Net
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced the 49 recipients of its 17th annual Strengthening the Safety Net program who received a total of $904,500.
The clinics will use the awards to provide free or low-cost medical, dental, and behavioral health services to uninsured or vulnerable Michigan residents. Since 2005, the Strengthening the Safety Net grant program has awarded more than $17 million to clinics throughout Michigan. Program data shows nearly 59,000 vulnerable residents will be patients of these facilities this year, more than half of whom are uninsured.
“As we continue forging a path toward equitable health care in Michigan, the Strengthening the Safety Net program remains one of the most impactful grant programs aimed at improving care within vulnerable communities,” says Ken Hayward, vice president and special assistant to the president for community relations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “By increasing access to care and eliminating barriers for the uninsured and underinsured, we can further move the needle toward better health outcomes for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. Blue Cross commends each clinic’s work and dedication improving the health of Michigan’s citizens and communities.”
Grantees have agreed to provide patient navigation as a regular function of care. Patient navigators are focused on providing patient assistance with obtaining Healthy Michigan Plan or other coverage, education, and assistance with obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine, and referrals to behavioral health care providers and food assistance. Grantee leaders were also required to participate in unconscious bias education and encouraged staff and volunteers to also complete training.
Clinics that provide free or low-cost medical, dental, mental health, vision and specialty care services were invited to apply for a Strengthening the Safety Net grant to support operations or expand services. In addition to the more than $900,000 in grants from Blue Cross, health care organizations offering primary care services received $190,000 in matched funding. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the single largest private funder of Michigan’s free clinics.
To see a list of clinics being supported by BCBSM in southeast Michigan, visit here.
Ally Invests $30M in Black Businesses and Communities
Ally Financial is making a $30 million investment to help grow Black-owned businesses and fuel broad-based Black community development in recognition of Black Business Month.
The Ally investment consists of two parts. The first is a $5 million primary investment in Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund created by women of color for women of color. Ally and Fearless Fund executives will be working closely on a series of programs that support Black entrepreneurship and wealth growth.
The second is a $25 million investment in SoLa Impact’s recently launched $300 million Black Impact Fund, which invests exclusively in Black and Brown communities in major urban markets. SoLa Impact is the seventh-fastest-growing minority-led private company and has been recognized as one of the leading urban real-estate platforms in the country.
“Black-owned businesses are the backbone of many communities throughout the country,” says Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking at Ally Bank. “To succeed, they need capital and, when it comes to accessing that capital, we know representation matters. Our investments in Fearless Fund and the Black Impact Fund will help develop the next generation of successful Black entrepreneurs, investors and community leaders who will be writing the checks and creating the opportunities. These are important steps to building a healthier and more inclusive economy.”
Novi’s Lineage Logistics Sponsors LPGA Golfer Virginia Elena Carta
Lineage Logistics of Novi, the world’s largest temperature-controlled industrial real estate investment trust and logistics solutions provider, are sponsoring professional golfer Virginia Elena Carta.
As part of Lineage’s sponsorship, Carta will wear Lineage’s logo during official tournaments and associated public events.
“We are honored to be a part of her professional season debut,” says Kevin Marchetti, co-executive chairman of Lineage and co-founder of Bay Grove, which founded and manages Lineage. “Like Lineage, Virginia shares a passion for food and sustainability which makes this partnership a natural fit. I’m confident that together we will have a positive impact on our community.”
Carta earned her B.A. from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with a focus on food systems. At Duke, she completed a dissertation on the socioeconomic impacts of sustainable and organic agriculture to local communities. In 2020, Carta earned a Master of Philosophy in Environmental Policy at the University of Cambridge.
“Lineage’s purpose to help feed the world and eliminate waste deeply resonates with me,” says Carta. “I’m excited to work together on and off the golf course to continue to raise awareness of this issue and ensure a transparent and sustainable global supply chain. I’m incredibly grateful for Lineage’s partnership and belief in me at this stage of my professional career.”
Carta made her professional golf debut at the Ladies Italian Open in May 2021 and is competing on the Ladies European Tour until the start of the LPGA Tour. Carta won seven international tournaments between 2014 and 2019, including the 2016 NCAA Individual Championship, as well as the 2019 NCAA team championship during her time at Duke.
Sunset at the Zoo Fundraiser Scheduled for Aug. 27
The Detroit Zoological Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Sunset at the Zoo presented by Strategic Staffing Solutions, is scheduled to take place between 6:30-10:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27.
New this year will be more than a dozen food trucks, dueling pianos, an acoustic artist, steel drums, live animal feeds, and story telling. Guests will learn about the zoo’s newest residents and its plans for the future.
Proceeds will support the society’s commitment to the future, including high-impact programs that advance wildlife conservation, environmental sustainability, and humane education.
Tickets range from $200-$775 and can be purchased here.
Deadline Looms for Motown Museum Singing Competition
Applications for Motown Museum’s Amplify: The Sound of Detroit singing competition officially close at 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3.
Participants will compete to become the Amplify Sound of Detroit Singer of the Year and win the grand prize, which includes $5,000 and engagement with music industry executives and studio time.
Amplify: The Sound of Detroit singing competition seeks to build on the rich legacy of classic Motown by celebrating the voices of Detroit and the creative synergy of artists past and present in order to curate authentic experiences for artists to grow and connect.
“Amplify: The Sound of Detroit is one of the incredible programs offered by Motown Museum and one of the many ways we’re engaging young talent within our southeast Michigan community,” says Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum. “We are thrilled to create a competitive space for up-and-coming artists to showcase their talents inspired by the rich legacy of Motown.”
The competition is designed for singers who would like to challenge themselves in a competitive environment. It is open to solo vocalists and vocal groups from metro Detroit aged 16 and older.
Semi-finalists will be selected from the online audition entries by a panel of Motown Museum and industry professional judges. The selected semi-finalists will be taken through a series of group and one-on-one workshops and coaching sessions led by music industry professionals, styling icons, producers, music directors, and vocal coaches.
Sessions will take place approximately once per week, both virtually and in-person from mid-September to mid-November.
The final performance date will be announced at a later date.
Aspiring participants can apply by visiting here.
Wayne Health and Detroit Chassis Partner to Improve Preventive Car
The Wayne Health Mobile Unit and Detroit Chassis LLC, a Detroit-based automotive supplier, are partnering in a program to improve the health of Detroit Chassis employees and their families through regular, on-site primary and preventive health services.
The new relationship kicks off Aug. 24 with an event bringing a series of free health screenings, COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and community health resources to the Detroit Chassis Plant at 6501 Lynch Rd. in Detroit.
Ford Motor Co. was instrumental in the two Detroit-based organizations coming together. Detroit Chassis is a Ford supplier, and Ford is a partner in Wayne Health’s mobile health program, providing the custom-fit Transit vehicles used to deliver mobile health services throughout the community.
“By partnering with Detroit Chassis, we have a way of furthering our community health outreach by providing care where people work, not just where they live,” says Dr. Phillip Levy, chief innovation officer at Wayne Health and leader of the mobile health program. “It’s an innovative way of providing ‘care your way, where you work’ for small-to-medium sized businesses, with the long-term goal of improving employee and population health outcomes.”
Owned by Michael and Carlton Guthrie, Detroit Chassis is an automotive manufacturer of niche vehicles, and Ford Brand RV and commercial truck chassis.
“Carlton and I are excited about the opportunity to partner with Ford Motor Co. and Wayne Health to offer easy access to quality, on-site health care to all Detroit Chassis associates,” says Michael Guthrie, co-chairman. “Health, safety, and wellness is a priority. As we prepare for our first event, we anticipate having regular health and wellness events with Wayne Health as part of our benefit plan for our associates and their families.”
The Aug. 24 event will feature blood testing for diabetes, cholesterol, and kidney function; blood pressure screening; COVID-19 testing and vaccines; school immunizations and sports physicals; child wellness exams; HIV screening; behavioral health and patient education resources; and primary care physician referrals. All the services are free-of-charge for participants and insurance is not required. Insurers will be billed for screening tests.
For more information on the Wayne Health Mobile Unit, visit here.
Ann Arbor Suicide Prevention Nonprofit to Host 24-hour Virtual Fundraiser Sept. 3
Garrett’s Space, an Ann Arbor-based suicide prevention nonprofit, is hosting Go 24 for Garrett’s Space, a 24-hour livestream fundraiser, Sept. 3.
The livestream event promises star-studded musical performances, talks from inspirational speakers, yoga, fitness, meditation classes, and more.
The 24-hour livestream will feature guest segments from Broadway and television performers and politicians, including:
- Robert Ariza, a cast member of “Hamilton”
- Jo Ellen Pellman of “The Prom”
- Joe Serafini of Disney’s “High School Musical” television show
- Benj Pasek, Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Golden Globe Award-winning song writer
- Isabella Gomez, of “One Day at a Time”
- DeMarius Copes and Danny Pino, of the “Dear Evan Hansen” film
- Andy Lassner, executive producer of “Ellen”
- David Axelrod, a senior CNN political commentator
- S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow
- S. Rep. Jamie Raskin
- Abdul El-Sayed, podcast host, physician, and former health director for the city of Detroit.
“Go 24 for Garrett’s Space is an opportunity to shine a light on the serious impact suicide and mental health challenges have on our community,” says Julie Halpert, co-founder of Garrett’s Space. “Today, more than ever, there is a tremendous need for Garrett’s Space and the services we provide. We’re thrilled to welcome well-known personas and celebrities to our 24-hour livestream event for an exciting day of performances and entertainment.”
Garrett’s Space provides a support option to struggling young adults through its wellness group, where young adults are gathering virtually three days each week for a support group with their peers, a mood and movement activity and an informal session to connect over icebreakers and games.