DBusiness Daily Update: Life Remodeled Planning ‘Prom Remodeled’ Fundraiser, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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Durfee Innovation Society
The Durfee Innovation Society is hosting Life Remodeled’s ‘Prom Remodeled. // File photo

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Life Remodeled Planning ‘Prom Remodeled’ Fundraiser

Life Remodeled, the Detroit-based nonprofit organization focused on repurposing vacant properties into one-stop hubs of opportunity for entire families to thrive, is planning a fundraiser designed to provide generous Detroiters with a chance to remodel one of the rites of youth — the high school prom.

Life Remodeled will host the first Prom Remodeled from 7-11 p.m. on May 13 at the organization’s Durfee Innovation Society building, once a school and now a neighborhood hub of services and experiences for Detroit families.

Prom Remodeled will transform the building for one night into an evening of couples clad in tuxedos and prom dresses — to raise funds to expand Life Remodeled’s strategy of neighborhood revitalization that lasts. Because of Prom Remodeled, more Detroit students and families will have access to math and reading enrichment, health and wellness services, and job training and development opportunities.

Featuring live music from Gin Blossoms and Montell Jordan, Prom Remodeled will offer attendees heavy hors d’oeuvres from some of Detroit’s leading restaurants such as Baobab Fare, Casa Amado, Flowers of Vietnam, Oak and Reel, SheWolf, Townhouse, Union Joints, and Wright & Co., and beverages from Great Lakes Wine and Spirits.

“Prom Remodeled will be a chance to re-do or re-live your prom experience as we bring together some of the most dynamic difference-makers from Detroit neighborhoods where Life Remodeled has partnered and a who’s who list of the Detroit philanthropic community,” says Chris Lambert, founder and CEO of Life Remodeled.

While most of Prom Remodeled’s attendees will be invitation-only or guests of sponsors, Life Remodeled offers a limited number of Honor Society tickets. That $1,500 level includes two tickets with access to the event (complimentary food and cocktails, activities, and entertainment) as well as two additional tickets to be gifted to Detroit neighborhood leaders who work closely with Life Remodeled.

Also, Chaperone sponsorships are available to the public for $5,000, which includes four tickets and multiple forms of recognition.

A limited number of individual public tickets will go on sale April 1, for $350 each, on a space available basis.

Sponsorships at other levels are still available. For details on that and all aspects of the event, visit promremodeled.org.

Renovation of SW Detroit Apartment Building Saves 10 Units of Affordable Housing

Local Initiatives Support Corp.’s Detroit office (LISC Detroit) and Detroit developer Bobby Lewis have begun renovations on 1403 Junction in southwest Detroit, preserving 10 units of affordable housing in the city, with support from the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund (DHFF).

Built in 1928, 1403 Junction is the first DHFF project in southwest Detroit. The project preserves affordable housing for existing residents in a neighborhood seeing significant growth and new investment. The project also is the first for Bobby D. Lewis, an emerging developer of color from Detroit.

Lewis approached DHFF in September 2022 for financing, and DHFF provided a $603,500 acquisition/rehab loan as well as a Developer of Color predevelopment matching grant to Lewis’ Porter-Junction Apts. LLC. The loan covers acquisition, hard and soft costs for light rehab of the property, including the addition of smoke alarms, emergency lighting, upgrades to common areas, and most important, the loan preserved the existing affordability for the next 12 years.

This is my first project as a developer” says Lewis. “The assistance from DHFF and the Developers of Color predevelopment matching grant were vital tools to help me get established. I am excited for more projects in the future.”

At the time of acquisition, the building was 100 percent occupied but required rehab to give residents the quality housing they deserve. Lewis has invested more than $100,000 in equity to complete the acquisition and rehab, as well as lock in long-term affordability for the next 12 years. Nine of the 10 units are rent/income restricted up to 50 percent AMI, with monthly rents currently between $600 and $735. The lone two-bedroom unit rents for $925 per month.

For more information about the DHFF and the Developers of Color programs, visit detroithousingforthefuturefund.org.

Study Explores Relationship Between Discrimination and Frailty in Black Cancer Survivors

Discrimination experienced by Black people can affect their health and increase their frailty, according to a new study by researchers at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and colleagues at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC.

“Association between major discrimination and deficit accumulation in African American cancer survivors: The Detroit Research on Cancer Survivors Study” was published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The researchers assessed frailty by several factors, including whether a participant had several chronic diseases, poor muscle strength, and difficulty performing activities of daily living.

“Discrimination can act as a chronic stressor which can throw the body off balance, resulting in increases in blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, inflammation, and numerous other factors,” says Dr. Jeanne Mandelblatt, director of the Georgetown Lombardi Institute for Cancer and Aging Research. “These stressors can also increase rates of aging, leading to greater risk of frailty. We hypothesize that discrimination can lead to an older biological age than a person’s actual chronological age. This is important to understand as there have been virtually no studies of the relationships between discrimination and aging in the setting of cancer survivorship.”

The researchers surveyed the participants, via phone, in writing, or online about any aging-related diseases they had, their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and most importantly, about major discrimination events they may have experienced over their lifetimes, specifically targeting seven areas:

  • Being unfairly fired or denied a promotion in their job.
  • Not being hired for a job.
  • Being unfairly stopped, searched, questioned, physically threatened, or abused by police officers.
  • Being unfairly discouraged by a teacher or advisor from continuing their education.
  • Unfairly receiving worse medical care than other people.
  • Being prevented from moving into a neighborhood because a landlord or realtor refused to sell or rent them a house or an apartment.
  • Moved into a neighborhood where neighbors made life difficult.

Based on the survey results, the majority of cancer survivors were classified as either prefrail (42.7 percent), meaning they had some health difficulties, or frail (32.9 percent). Only 24.4%. percent of those surveyed had few or no signs of frailty. When queried about the seven discrimination areas, 63.2 percent of the participants reported experiencing major discrimination, with an average respondent reporting 2.4 types of discrimination.

“For those cancer survivors who reported four to seven types of discrimination events, we observed a large, clinically meaningful increase in frailty scores compared to survivors with fewer discrimination events,” Mandelblatt says. “Significantly, this pattern of discrimination affecting frailty was consistent across the four types of cancer surveyed, indicating that discrimination is an important factor to study and understand in Black cancer survivors in order to improve their quality and length of life.”

DTE Energy Foundation Grants $3M to United Way for Southeastern Michigan

 The DTE Energy Foundation today announced a $3 million grant to United Way for Southeastern Michigan and partner agencies to help feed Michiganders in southeast Michigan.

As food insecurity continues to rise and assistance programs decline, this support for meals and critical nourishment will help bridge the gap for families in need. According to United Way, food insecurity calls have increased more than 33 percent over the last two months. This grant will provide immediate support however, more still needs to be done to ensure long-term stability for those in need.

This month, households across southeast Michigan saw a significant decrease in food support under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, as increased benefits designed to provide relief to low-income households during the COVID-19 pandemic expired. This is driving what’s being called a “hunger cliff” by many as the decline in benefits combined with an increase in grocery prices due to inflation drives a spike in food insecurity for struggling families.

“Many in our state are facing significant challenges and especially with our neighbors losing the SNAP boost, we knew we had to expand our support and provide hope in a truly tangible way,” says Lynette Dowler, president of the DTE Foundation. “At the DTE Foundation, we know a healthier, more vital Michigan begins with creating stable households where basic needs are met. United Way for Southeastern Michigan shares our commitment to addressing critical needs, removing barriers to basic needs. We’re grateful for their direct line to Michigan’s most vulnerable residents and their ability to change lives in our community.”

Darienne Hudson, president and CEO at United Way for Southeastern Michigan, says: “This support from the DTE Foundation is putting food on the tables of people who need it most and helping fund ongoing work to address food insecurity in our region. The timing couldn’t be more vital for families, so many of whom are struggling with grocery bills as federal support decreases and food costs continue to rise.”

The grant allowed United Way for Southeastern Michigan to distribute the $3 million funding throughout the region where the need was greatest. 20,000 households have been provided a $100 gift card redeemable at Kroger to use towards food and basic needs.

Mahalo Banking Selected as Finalist in NACUSO’s Next Big Idea Competition

 Mahalo Banking, a Troy-based credit union service organization that provides online and mobile banking solutions, has been selected as one of five finalists in the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations’ (NACUSO) Next Big Idea Competition.

The competition is designed to showcase innovation, collaboration, and new solutions for the credit union industry.

The finalist organizations will present their digital banking innovations at the NACUSO Network Conference March 28 at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort. Mahalo’s Denny Howell will showcase the provider’s latest neurodiversity functionality platform enhancements that are engineered to improve digital inclusivity and accessibility and better accommodate the cognitive needs of all credit union members. Following the presentations, the conference audience will select the first and second-place winners of NACUSO’s 2023 Next Big Idea Competition.

Designed by credit union industry veterans, the Mahalo platform intuitively meets the common needs and challenges faced by today’s credit unions and their members. The platform enables credit unions to remain competitive and grow their membership by providing an enhanced digital banking experience. Through deep integrations into credit union cores and streamlined third-party integrations, credit unions leveraging Mahalo’s platform can offer members a cohesive omni-experience with mirrored features across mobile and online browsers.

SunMed to Acquire Respiratory and Anesthesia Consumables Business of Vyaire Medical

Grand Rapids-based SunMed has agreed to acquire the respiratory and anesthesia consumables business of Vyaire Medical in Illinois.

The combined business is expected to be well positioned to enhance innovation, ensure reliable and predictable product supply for customers, and be a one-stop source for the highest-quality consumable respiratory and anesthesia medical products to ensure the best outcomes for patients.

“This combination represents an exciting growth opportunity for SunMed that will strengthen our already robust core consumables business and further differentiate our ability to meet our customers’ needs,” says Hank Struik, CEO of SunMed. “The transaction brings together two like-minded teams who share a deep commitment to quality, reliability and continuous innovation as trusted partners to health care professionals.”

CoreTigo to Demonstrate IO-Link Wireless Live at Detroit Workshop

 CoreTigo Inc., an industrial wireless automation solution provider for machine builders, equipment manufacturers, and manufacturing plants in Grand Rapids, will exhibit its IO-Link Wireless-based products and solutions in the IO-Link User Workshop to be conducted in Detroit March 30.

The event, organized by PI North America, aims to showcase the benefits of using fieldbuses and Industrial ethernet solutions for cost-efficient and highly reliable automation, while assisting device manufacturers throughout North America in the development and marketing of IO-Link products.

CoreTigo’s technology is designed to allow production line adaptivity, while increasing throughput. IO-Link Wireless is breaking down barriers for wireless machine connectivity and enabling a range of new solutions that were not possible before, along with solutions for existing machines that are reducing complexity and increasing overall flexibility.

“We are excited to participate in the IO-Link User Workshop in North America, showcasing our IO-Link Wireless-based products and solutions.” Says Reid Schook, president of IO-Link Wireless. “This IO Link Workshop will help machine builders differentiate their offerings and End Users optimize their operations, allowing both to better meet their customer needs.”

For more information, visit here.

RHP Properties in Farmington Hills Adopts 10th School, Hits $100K in Donations

 RHP Properties in Farmington Hills has made two $10,000 donations to support educational initiatives at Lincoln Elementary School in Ogden, Utah and Berkeley Lake Elementary School in Duluth, Ga.

The Berkeley Lake Elementary donation marks the 10th school RHP Properties has adopted through its AdoptAClassroom.org partnership and $100,000 in cumulative giving to support schools serving children who are residents of nearby RHP Properties manufactured home communities.

“One of our core principles is to create an environment where residents can thrive and we believe that starts with a commitment to the youngest among us,” says Ross Partrich, CEO of RHP Properties. “Our longstanding partnership with AdoptaClassroom.org has enabled us to respond to the needs of families in our communities by providing schools with the funds needed for academic success.”

The recently donated funds will be used to purchase essential basic supplies such as pens, glue, tape, pencils, notebooks, paper, and folders in addition to books and curriculum and STEM education materials such as science lab equipment, robotics kits, and supplies for makerspaces.

 Jan-Pro Moves to Farmington Hills, Will Pay Back Hebrew Free Loan

Jan-Pro Cleaning and Disinfecting is moving from its Southfield home of eight years and opening a new office in Farmington Hills. It also is paying off its $90,000 Hebrew Free Loan.