Metro Detroit Youth Day is a great way to channel children’s energies in a positive and constructive setting. We have been doing this for 35 years now and we have become a metro Detroit tradition.
Not only do youngsters look forward to Metro Detroit Youth Day each year, but this event unites a community and brought peace and tranquility to Detroit following altercations in 1980 between youth and area retailers on Livernois Ave. between Six and Seven Mile Roads. Then mayor Coleman A. Young met with community leaders to calm tensions, and asked Ed Deeb to meet with retailers urging them to be more sensitive to customers to help restore calm. He asked Ed to “do something to help resolve the problem.”
The idea for Metro Detroit Youth Day, the largest youth event in Michigan, which has drawn over 1 million youngsters over the years, was born. Founders Ed Deeb, the late Tom Fox and the late Jerry Blocker, formulated the goal of bringing together metro Detroit area youth from all walks of life for a day of sports, fun, and constructive activities, and to show youngsters that business people, the community and the food industry cared about them and respect them.
This event has grown annually from some 1,100 participants the first year to more than 35,000 youth in 2016. In addition more than 1,800 volunteers lend a helping hand to supervise the sports clinics, games, contests, luncheon and various other activities held at this colorful event. Volunteers come from more than 360 organizations and 260 businesses and civic groups who support Metro Youth Day.
Originally, the goal was to help foster goodwill and harmony. But in 1991 Metro Youth Day became more than fun and games. It was expanded to include youth guidance, mentors, role models, anti-substance abuse activity, motivational speakers, entertainment, awarding college scholarships beginning with two given out the first year and now averaging more than 120 scholarships yearly, and honoring outstanding students for academic excellence and community service. Sports stars, government officials, College Row, media celebrities and others attend the event and provide upbeat messages and encouragement to the youth. Co-founder Ed Deeb is the driving force of the big event which takes about a year to plan. He is chairman and coordinator, donating his time and energy for the kids, and is supported by Michigan’s food industry which provides a free, nutritious lunch, and numerous corporate sponsors and small businesses who provide buses to transport kids to and from Belle Isle and/or college scholarships.
Metro Detroit Youth Day is not your ordinary fun day for youngsters. It is well planned by an Executive Board consisting of more than 50 persons who not only want the day to be fun-filled, but meaningful and educational as well. The event has received countless honors and proclamations from all areas of our state and nation. They include the Point of Light Award No. 477 from President George H.W. Bush and the Points of Light Foundation, the Michigan Governor’s Award on Physical Fitness as the top youth event along with numerous honors from local and national governmental agencies. Since 1991 we have given more than 1,800 college scholarships to area graduating high school seniors in Metro Detroit.
“When we help our kids we provide meaning and service to humanity, which is the best work of life,” says chairman and coordinator, Ed Deeb. “We thank all the individuals, the volunteers, the many participating organizations, the corporate sponsors and small businesses for the many years of dedicated service to our youth and our communities. Thank you so much!”
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