$140,000 Raised for Belle Isle Improvement Projects


DETROIT — More than 400 of metro Detroit’s civic and business leaders came to the 10th Anniversary Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon in September. Held at the Belle Isle Casino, the annual Polish the Jewel fundraiser offers an afternoon of networking in support of the Belle Isle Conservancy.

This year’s event raised more than $140,000, and included sponsors such as MASCO Foundation, Sarah and Tony Earley, Franco Public Relations Group, Baker Tilly, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ford Motor Co. Fund, Ruth Roby Glancy, Lear Corp., and St. John Providence Hospital.

“Polish the Jewel punctuates what makes Belle Isle so special, the supporters and volunteers who are so dedicated to the island, and all it has to offer,” says Michele Hodges, president of the Belle Isle Conservancy. “So much has happened over the last 10 years of Polish the Jewel events that has breathed new life into the island, and I look forward to seeing the exceptional opportunity that will be uncovered over the next 10 years.”

Commemorating the 10th anniversary event, Hodges recognized Belle Isle Conservancy chair, and Polish the Jewel event founder, Sarah Earley for her dedication to the revitalization of Belle Isle Park. 

“Sarah was the primary force behind the very first luncheon a decade ago,” Hodges says. “Not only has she been instrumental in developing the luncheon as a tradition we look forward to each year, but she has also been one of Belle Isle’s greatest supporters throughout its transformation.”

Over the past nine years, Polish the Jewel has raised more than $2.5 million to successfully fund two major construction projects on Belle Isle Park — enhancements to the island’s famed Sunset Point, as well as a historically accurate restoration of the horse stable roof. Proceeds from the 2014 Polish the Jewel will support further improvement projects, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. 

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