DBusiness Daily Update: Monroe Street Midway Returns to Downtown Detroit May 27, and More

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.
The Monroe Street Midway returns to downtown Detroit May 27. // Courtesy of Decked Out Detroit
The Monroe Street Midway returns to downtown Detroit May 27. // Courtesy of Decked Out Detroit

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.

Monroe Street Midway Returns to Downtown Detroit May 27

The Monroe Street Midway, part of Bedrock’s Decked Out Detroit initiative, returns to downtown Detroit May 27 offering family friendly entertainment for the second consecutive summer.

New this year, visitors will enjoy a nine-hole mini golf course, covered pavilion seating, and a large grass lawn to spread out and enjoy concessions.

The Rollout Detroit roller rink — operated by RollerCade — will be returning with a new and improved rink. Rocket Mortgage Sports Zone — operated by Come Play Detroit — also will be returning.

Entry to the Midway is free as well as mini golf. Roller skating is $13 per session and includes skate rentals.

Starting May 27, the midway will be open Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except Memorial Day and Labor Day.

For more information, visit DeckedOutDetroit.com.

Mackinac Island Rum Co. Releases Banana and Vanilla Cinnamon Rums

Mackinac Island Rum Co., a brand of High Five Spirits, has released two new Rums to its premium collection — Banana Rum and Vanilla Cinnamon Rum.

The Banana and Vanilla Cinnamon Rums are available in stores and bars/restaurants starting April 1.  Mackinac Island Banana Rum is a full-flavored Caribbean Style Rum, aged for two years in bourbon barrels and infused with all-natural tropical flavor. Mackinac Island Vanilla Cinnamon is a five-year bourbon-barrel aged rum with a hint of vanilla followed by a light cinnamon finish.

These new products join the brand’s eight-year-year bourbon-barrel-aged Rum made with Mackinac Island fudge.

Mackinac Island Rum Company is a brand of the High Five Spirits.

North Star Reach Hosting ‘Under the North Star’ Fundraiser May 21

Pinkney’s North Star Reach, which provides camps and programs for children living with serious illnesses and their families, is hosting its signature fundraising event, “Under the North Star,” from 5-10 p.m. on May 21 at the camp.

The evening will feature dinner from a renowned chef, a live auction, camp-style experiences (including pontoon boat rides), music in the camp’s outdoor amphitheater by the Detroit band FiftyAmpFuse, camper stories, and more.

Those unable to attend in person are invited to join the livestream online auction from 8-9 p.m. Admission is free, but online registration is required here.

The evening also will include the premiere of a new North Star Reach video on the lasting impact of the camp.

Change the World for You to Host Autistic Children Awareness Fundraiser Sat. April 30

Change the World for You, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Detroit dedicated to supporting parents whose children have autism spectrum disorder and create awareness of the need to support these children by implementing programs to help them with their daily lives, is hosting its Autistic Children Awareness Fundraiser on Sat., April 30 at 7 p.m. at Regency Hall in Detroit.

The organization was founded by Oakland County resident Tiffany Jackson after she learned her four-year-old daughter, Daijah, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2015. She founded the organization inspired by her daughter and the challenges she faces each day.

Tickets to the Gala Fundraiser are available by visiting ctw4you.com.

FloraCraft in Ludington Receives National Award for Sustainable FōM Product 

FloraCraft, a manufacturer of foam products for the craft and floral industries, in Ludington, has won a bronze Edison Award for an innovative product related to manufacturing for its new product, FōM with PolyRenew.

Winning projects represent “game-changing” new products and services, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation. Winners were selected by the award’s 3,000-plus panel of judges composed of the world’s top senior business executives, academics, and innovation professionals. Previous winners of this award include Google, IBM, SC Johnson, Carrier, Caterpillar and GoPro.

Vice President of Extrusion Phil Gable represented FloraCraft at the Edison Awards Gala on April 21 in Fort Myers, Florida, He also attended the Innovators Showcase and Forum to network with fellow winners and learn more about their innovative products.

“It was humbling to be recognized nationally for our team’s work and be in the company of some of the greatest innovators in the country,” says Phil Gable, vice president of extrusion at FloraCraft. “I loved having the opportunity to share FloraCraft’s story about the work that went into producing FōM and was inspired to hear from other innovators about the processes that made their organization, industry and the world better.”

The award marks the third national honor FloraCraft has received since debuting FōM in September 2020. Last year, the company was recognized with a Manufacturing Leadership Award for sustainability from the National Association of Manufacturers, as well as a Stevie Award in the product innovation category.

FōM claims it is the first craft and floral foam product made with post-consumer plastic. The product saves hard-to-recycle plastics from landfills by using recycled garment hangers and other recycled polystyrene sourced from retailers across the country.

It is a result of more than a decade of research and development with a significant multi-year capital investment, including the company becoming vertically integrated. FloraCraft now designs, engineers, and produces its own extruded polystyrene, or XPS, from its Ludington headquarters.

“Our team is well-deserving of this honor, and their hard work further validates we are an organization that cares about our people, customers, community and the environment,” says Eric Erwin, president and CEO of FloraCraft. “To continue to be recognized nationally for our years of dedication to developing an innovative and sustainable product is incredibly rewarding.

“This Edison Award is a great representation of a truly innovative product that has changed the industry. As we continue to rethink our products and processes, we’re confident this is just the beginning for us as we reach for new innovation and sustainability goals in the future.”

By using recycled materials, the company can still make the same amount of product it normally does but takes out the equivalent of nearly 1,000 miles of plastic, or the distance between New York and St. Louis, per year. By producing its own XPS in-house, FloraCraft also reduces nearly 400,000 miles of truck traffic each year from its former supplier to its headquarters.

Schoolcraft College Foundation Announces $1 Million Grant To Support Transformational Learning Space

The Schoolcraft College Foundation in Livonia has made a multi-year $1 million grant commitment to support the expansion and renovation of the college’s VisTaTech Center.

The goal of the commitment is to provide more experiential learning space for Schoolcraft’s Culinary Arts program and the addition of a new high-tech demonstration space that provides unique opportunities for academic, professional development, and community-based education programs.

The over $6 million, 15,000-square-foot project, referred to as VisTaTech 2.0, includes an addition of 10,000 square feet and renovation of 5,000 square feet. The foundation says it is proud to be the first funder to step up to support this student-centric initiative.

“I believe it goes to the heart of the Schoolcraft Foundation’s purpose,” says Glenn Cerny, president of Schoolcraft College. “Donors will be able to see first-hand how their contributions truly impact creating high-end educational facilities that will enhance our mission of providing transformational experiences to our students, businesses, and the community-at-large.”

Schoolcraft’s students, faculty and members of the community have come to rely on the superior facilities and services of the College, and VisTaTech 2.0 is a further step toward improving the quality and expanding the capacity of the campus infrastructure and services.

Besides expanding the existing culinary department’s American Harvest Restaurant, the new space will include an additional culinary classroom and new innovative space that can be used as a demonstration kitchen, multipurpose lab, and high-tech educational theater.

As part of the renovation, spaces will be reworked to increase effectiveness of space utilization and offer a more welcoming space for students and community guests. This includes an expanded Café retail space and Brewpub to accommodate the increasing demands for those services.

“This investment is an opportunity to support the forward-thinking vision for students and the community served by Schoolcraft College,” says Lois McEntyre, president of the Schoolcraft Foundation Board of Governors. “This is the largest single grant commitment made through our Vision 2025 Campaign and a way for the College to leverage this support for future investments.”

The project will start this summer and is expected to be complete by fall 2023. For information, contact the Schoolcraft Foundation office at 734-462-4455.