DEARBORN, Michigan – Dearborn SOUP, a gathering of the community for dinner, music and networking—bestowed its first mini-grant on Detroit Youth Energy Squad (D-YES), Sunday, March 6, 2011. SOUP is a monthly dinner that funds micro-grants for creative projects. This event, modeled after Detroit SOUP, is designed to support local entrepreneurs whose ideas will positively impact the community in the areas of the arts, humanities, or “green” initiatives.
D-YES, created by Justin Schott, also the program’s director, was voted to receive the first donation of over $650. D-YES, a program of WARM Training Center, empowers and trains high school students and adult AmeriCorps crew leaders to promote energy conservation and perform basic home energy retrofits. The residential improvements help 1,500 low-income households save updwards of $250 annually. At Dearborn SOUP, D-YES proposed to expand the already existing garden and future greenhouse at Detroit Community High. In addition to producing a greater amount of healthy food for nearby residents, the group wants to reach out to youth with disabilities to include them in the success of this garden and program.
“We were extremely pleased with the very first Dearborn SOUP event,” said organizer Dee Hamka. “The crowd that gathered included families with small children, seniors, artists and musicians. It was exciting to gather that diverse a group together to really make a difference in the community.”
The event attracted nearly 200 guests from the Dearborn community and was held at The Glass Academy in Dearborn. Each attendee was asked to donate $5 for admission, which includes a light meal. During dinner, up to four pre selected individuals presented their ideas. The attendees then voted on a winner and the proceeds were granted to fund the winning idea.
Dearborn SOUP hopes to attract both non-profit and for profit ideas for presentation. The next SOUP will be held the first Sunday in April from 5-8 pm at the Fairlane Ford dealership in East Dearborn. All are welcome. Those with business plans to be considered should submit them in writing to Dearborn SOUP on Facebook. Those willing to donate food or seating or with questions can reach Dee Hamka at (313) 801-4444.