On December 5, 2011, area athletes and the Southeast Michigan business community will come together for a special evening, the 3rd Annual "Athletes Adopting Families for the Holidays" event at The Reserve in Birmingham, MI (215 S. Eton Street).
Supporting sponsors from around the Metro Detroit area include: Presenting Sponsor, Stonebridge Financial, along with O' Brien Construction, Lucido Fine Jewelry, Quicken Loans, Fathead, Comerica, Vital Performance, Studio 32, Abood Law Firm, Just Baked and more donate to this cause in hopes of raising $100,000 for Volunteers of America Michigan's the Adopt A Family program.
Scheduled Detroit athletes attending, include: Current Lions standouts Louis Delmas, Stephen Tulloch and other active Detroit Lions players. Detroit Pistons' Charlie Villanueva and recent draft choice Vernon Macklin. Former UM Fab 5 Stars Jalen Rose and Jimmy King, Detroit Lions 4-time All-Pro Wide Receiver Herman Moore, 7-time All Pro and Super Bowl Champion Lomas Brown along with UofM lineman Mike Martin. Celebrities include: Actress and Mittens for Detroit Founder Erin Cummings and Biggest Loser, Season 7 Winner Helen Phillips.
"Stonebridge Financial has sponsored this event every year since its inception three years ago," said Managing Partner Jeff Ivory. "Volunteers of America Michigan's Adopt a Family is a program that our firm really gets behind every year and we hope other members of the area's business community will too. Your donations provide items such as new clothes, toys or a gift and food for a family, which we often take for granted but are much needed for area families in need this holiday season."
The event will include food, music, great company and lots of great surprises throughout the evening! There will be a live and silent auction and our annual wine bottle drawing and donation table that one lucky guest will go home with an exclusive piece of jewelry from Lucido Fine Jewelry.
Tickets are $100. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit, www.athletesadoptingfamilies.com or www.voami.org
About Volunteers of America Michigan
Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Through hundreds of human service programs, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America helps over 2 million people in over 400 communities. Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. Our work touches the mind, body, heart - and ultimately the spirit - of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services.
For more information, please visit, www.voami.org
Erin Cummings is scheduled to appear on a Charter One parade float called "Saving Our Future." The 16-foot-tall creation features recycled and recyclable materials, like 2 liter bottles and plastic milk jugs. Since playing Dr. Abbey Ward on "1-8-7," which was filmed in Detroit, the actress has worked on a Vin Diesel-produced Web series called "The Ropes" about the lives of bouncers. Cummings also has a three-episode arc as Ginny Saddler on the ABC series "Pan Am."
Shortly after relocating to Detroit last year to work on "1-8-7," the actress founded Mittens for Detroit, a nonprofit that donates mittens and gloves to those in need.
"I didn't plan on starting a charity," says Cummings last week by phone from her new home in Los Angeles.
"I was handing out Halloween candy with my cousin Kathy (Moss), when a girl came to the door missing a glove and crying. Kathy gave her a pair of gloves. That sparked the idea." Since its inception last year, the nonprofit has collected 10,000 mittens and gloves that have been distributed to such charities as Michigan Veteran's Foundation, Latino Family Services and COTS (Coalition on Temporary Shelter).
Like other "Detroit 1-8-7" actors, Cummings makes frequent return visits to the city. "I go back once a month usually," she says.
America's Thanksgiving Parade, one of the country's oldest and most celebrated Parades, will step off at 9:05 a.m. on Woodward Avenue and Mack and end at Woodward Avenue and Congress in downtown Detroit on Thursday, November 24, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of parade-goers will be watching as the Parade makes its way down Woodward Avenue. The parade will be broadcast LIVE on WDIV Local 4 and on WJR 760 AM.
Hob Nobble Gobble 2011 presented by PVS Chemical, Inc. will once again be held from end zone to end zone at Ford Field on Friday, November 18th from 6:30 - 11:00pm!
The most anticipated holiday event of the season in Detroit, Hob Nobble Gobble boasts phenomenal food, a full carnival midway complete with games and rides, interactive Teen End Zone, and national caliber talent to headline the evening! This black-tie, family friendly event is a fundraiser for the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation and The Parade Company; producers of America's Thanksgiving Parade, the Target Fireworks and Fifth Third Turkey Trot.
This magical evening takes place in the atrium and on the field of Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. An event for children of all ages, this magnificent event will have you smiling from the complimentary valet, the giveaways, game prizes, delectable desserts and array of food, to the grooving beats of the Hob Nobble Gobble stage. Be sure to stop by and tell Santa your holiday wishes before getting on our full size Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, or Tilt-a-Whirl!
SuperStar Ticket Holder Meet & Greet Celebrities:
Cari Cucksey - TV Personality; Star of HGTV's Cash & Cari
Erin Cummings - Actress; Spartacus, Detroit 1-8-7, Pan Am; Founder Mittens for Detroit
Doug E Fresh - Rapper; Original Beat Boxer; The Show and La Di Da Di
Louise Roe - Entetainment Television Correspondant
Ross Mathews - TV Personality; The Tonight Show
Roary - Detroit Lions Mascot
Special performance by singer, songwriter, and One Tree Hill Actress Kate Voegele. Appearance made possible by Ford Motor Company, 99.5 WYCD and The Parade Company!
Erin will be attending "12 Drags of Christmas" to benefit Mittens for Detroit and the Ruth Ellis Center on Dec. 3rd.
Top Shelf All-Star Drag Entertainers Including: Saugatuck's September Murphy, Orlando's Trixie Deluxxe, Chicago's Lauren Jacobs, Toledo's Hershae Chocolattae, & Michigan's first ever National Entertainer of the Year title holder Spacee Kadet! Also, direct from L.A. Internationally known Comedienne/Drag Superstar Miss Coco Peru!
Special Guest Appearance by: Star of ABC TV's PAN AM & Detroit 1-8-7's Erin Cummings!
Plus FREE Hors d'oeuvres from 6:30-8:00pm
FREE samples of Hard Luck Candy Vodka from 6:30-7:15pm
Don't Miss the Silent Auction to benefit Mittens for Detroit & the Ruth Ellis Center
By nature, Detroit is not a destination. This is not to say that it cannot change in the future, but this sense of insulation has inherently made us hyper-sensitive to hasty attacks from outsiders and has pumped us up with a prickly sense of pride. We provide a safe haven for Bob Seger and Kid Rock and shun Nickelback because they don’t represent Detroit.
Rare is the high-profile person who rolls into town and is not only accepted by the community, but also leaves fans yearning for their return, as was the case with Erin Cummings. But then again, not many people have gone to the lengths that Cummings has to truly immerse themselves in the fabric of the local culture.
Though she hadn'’t spent any extended periods of time in Detroit prior to the filming of the ABC drama Detroit 1-8-7, the Huntsville, Texas native said that the acceptance of a nomadic lifestyle is an important part of becoming an actor.
"The mobility comes with the territory," said Cummings. "I moved to New Zealand for five or six months to film Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and with Pan Am they said on a Friday 'OK, you got the job, we’ll need you to move to New York for two months starting Wednesday.'"
Growing up with a father in the Air Force meant that sudden relocations were a way of life for Cummings and her family, who lived in Korea, Nebraska and Louisiana prior to settling in Texas.
After she received word that she had been cast as Dr. Abby Ward on Detroit 1-8-7, she was more concerned with a perceived lack of things to do in the metro Detroit than she was with commonplace issues such as safety. Her fears were allayed not long after she touched down in the Motor City.
"One of the first things that I did when I got to Detroit was throw out the first pitch at Comerica Park in a game against my home-state team, the Texas Rangers," said Cummings, an avid baseball fan.
"We went out after the game and I found it to be a really cool city with a great energy and a wonderful spirit that I grew to love."
Cummings channeled that very spirit to help fuel Mittens for Detroit, which began as a community initiative and one year later has blossomed into a 501(c)3 operating under the fiscal sponsorship of the North Woodward Community Foundation.
She established Mittens for Detroit after she and her cousin Kathy Moss, of Southfield, handed out candy on Halloween last year. Two young girls came to the door trick-or-treating, and one of the girls was crying. Moss noticed the girl was missing a glove, and without hesitation she invited the family inside, gave the girl a spare of gloves, put them on the little girl's hands to help her stay warm in the cold temperatures outside.
It was in that moment that Cummings realized how simple it can be to not only help provide necessities to people, but to also bring a smile to their faces.
"It doesn't have to be throwing a massive event, nor does it need to have the pomp and circumstance associated with it, it just has to be one person caring enough to make sure another person has warm hands," she said.
Although reluctant to use the "celebrity" label, she acknowledged that her role as a star in Detroit 1-8-7 had given her a platform to make appearances at metro Detroit events and lend her support to different charities. While appreciative of the thoughtfulness of the organizations, she began to feel a sense of shallowness because she wasn’t personally connected to them all.
"I think that anyone who says 'I want to start a charity, what type of charity should I start?' is going about it in the wrong way–if it's not coming from an organic place," she said. "For me, I knew that in my heart I was seeking something greater, and something was telling me that I was destined to do something in Detroit that’s far greater and will last much longer than this television show–although at the time I was really hoping the show would last a while!"
At the core of Mittens for Detroit is altruism at its purest form, boiling down to the notion of how far a dollar can go–even in these tough economic times.
"If someone can't afford to spend $25 on a coat or to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to give an entire family a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, they probably do have a dollar, and while that dollar may not necessarily buy the fancy, expensive leather-and-fur gloves, it'll probably buy something that will at least keep someone comfortable during the winter," she said.
Cummings realized that there weren't any organizations that addressed the need for gloves and mittens for Detroiters, she decided to act and developed a community initiative that was disseminated largely through word-of-mouth and social media channels. Needless to say, the support that the organization received from throughout the area exceeded her hopeful expectations.
"That was when I really saw the true spirit of Detroit, because people just jumped out of their houses to help us," she said. "We quickly found that the generosity of people was coming from all angles."
A number of sponsors have expressed their support for her charity, including the Detroit Tigers, American Coney Island, Quicken Loans and Just Baked Cupcakes. Operating as a non-profit 501(c)3 charity now gives Mittens for Detroit the leeway to accept tax-deductible donations through their website. Drop boxes are also located at all Just Baked and Emagine Theatre locations, as well as select ACO Hardware stores.
The actress has maintained a steady slate of work since the final episode of Detroit 1-8-7, starring this summer alongside Vin Diesel in Fox Digital Entertainment's original web series The Ropes and most recently in a recurring role on ABC’s Pan Am as the sultry Ginny Sadler (which reunited her with Detroit 1-8-7 director Andrew Burnstein). Looking into the not-so-distant future, she's got her fingers crossed that a few potential projects will surface during this winter's pilot season on television. Her past roles include stints on the television shows Mad Men, Nip/Tuck, Dollhouse and the aforementioned Spartacus, as well as movie roles in Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins and the cult favorite Bitch Slap.
In non-acting news, the University of North Texas alumna is excited about the chance to put her journalism degree to use as a contributing blogger for the new Huffington Post Detroit, which is set to launch November 17th.
For more information on how to donate to Mittens for Detroit, including drop box locations nearest to you, visit their website.
ABC now has the Pan Am episode "Truth or Dare" set to air on Sunday. Erin's 3rd episode of Pan Am, "Romance Languages", was originally scheduled to air this Sunday. Right now an airdate for this episode is unknown.
Actress Erin Cummings , the hot redhead who served as medical examiner on "Detroit 1-8-7" and founded the Mittens for Detroit charity, flew in from L.A. last Friday and hosted a super fun bash at Grace Keros ' downtown American Coney Island featuring coneys, cupcakes and cocktails. Among the party people: actor Sean H. Robertson (who was a guest on "1-8-7"), publicists Jason Brown and Monica Luoma , fashion historian Sandy Schreier and her husband, attorney Sherwin Schreier , and The Spoons , who played an impromptu set. Erin, now a brunette for her role on ABC's saucy '60s drama "Pan Am," looked marvelous in high black heels and a second-skin black and red dress. On Sunday, she and 50 of her pals were hosted by Paul Glantz at his Emagine Theater in Royal Oak to watch her second appearance on "Pan Am." Erin says she'll be back in the D for Hob Nobble Gobble, and to enjoy Thanksgiving with her extended family, Dr. George Blum and Joyce Blum of Bloomfield Hills.