Cynthia J. Pasky
Regular readers of this column know of my strong belief that a truly successful business model must include a community service component. Two events this month clearly illustrate that at Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3) we put our money, and focus our effort, where our mouth is.
One event, our annual golf outing, was just completed at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth. This year's outing cleared about $20,000 which will be donated to 2-1-1 On the Go!, the program launched by the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), working with the United Way of Southeast Michigan, to seek out the homeless and offer them the opportunity to change their station in life.
The second event comes later this month as a part of the week of the Belle Isle Grand Prix. We're moving our annual 8k run on Belle Isle, which we have sponsored with the Downtown Runners and Walkers for the past 14 years, up several weeks to Tuesday, Aug. 26 to coincide with the activities of Grand Prix Week.
We're experiencing heightened interest this year because a portion of the run will cover the same race track where the American Le Mans Series prototypes and the Indy cars will be approaching 200 miles per hour just days after the runners have finished. The initial feedback from runners has been quite enthusiastic, so we expect this will be our best year ever.
A number of our local businesses and public officials are pitching to make this a truly memorable event. There'll be free pizza from Little Caesars, a drawing for two tickets from Northwest Airlines, reserved grandstand tickets and paddock passes for Saturday from the Grand Prix and the Wayne County Sheriff's mounted unit will be on hand to name just a few.
The run will start at 6:15 p.m. and will be preceded by a 1k fun walk that will start at 5:30 p.m. Entry fees are $20, or $25 if you want a t-shirt and all proceeds will go to underwrite 2-2-1 On The Go!. There's still time to become involved as a corporate sponsor or a runner. In either event, your support will go directly to the homeless initiative as well.
In addition to the fun participants have at each event, the truly important result of both is a substantial contribution to the 2-1-1 On the Go!. We are seeing positive results from this effort as people who want only the opportunity to get back on track are eagerly accepting the outreach from 2-1-1 On the Go!. We're finding housing, jobs, job training and other services that those who are homeless need so desperately as they try to put their lives back together.
All this is taking place as we close in on our 19th consecutive year of growth at S3, with sales from our 21 branches in 20 cities on track to exceed $180 million, so it's clear our focus on giving back to our community has not in any way harmed out bottom line. In fact, I think that commitment is one of the reasons we continue to grow even in this down economy.
If you'd like more information about the Grand Prix Shakedown, call (888) 738-3261 or visit www.grandprixshakedown.org.
Hope to see you on Belle Isle on Tuesday, Aug. 26.