SOUTHFIELD, Mich., (Feb. 26, 2015)— The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s 29th annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon raised $1,008,086 to fight hunger and homelessness during today’s 16-hour event, which aired live from the Emagine Theatres in Royal Oak, Michigan, on News/Talk 760 WJR.

For the sixth year in a row, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit partnered with News/Talk 760 WJR and its on-air personalities Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann and Mitch Albom as well as Ken Rogulski, Steve Courtney, Ken Brown, Ed Kelly and a special appearance by guest host Big Al Muskavito.

Bed & Bread Club Chairman and retired Detroit radio Hall of Famer, Dick Purtan, returned to the airwaves to host the final three hours of the marathon broadcast, joined by Purtan’s People.

Among the day’s largest contributions:

  • A matching $65,000 donation consisting of $40,000 from Jack and Annette Aronson’s Artichoke Garlic Foundation and $25,000 from Garden Fresh Gourmet.
  • Ford Motor Company Fund generously donated $50,000, while also supporting the launch of the newest Jr. Bed & Bread truck, Harrison, which will be officially unveiled on February 29.
  • Toyota Motor North America donated $20,000, the bulk of the donation through the automaker’s “Walk in My Boots” event, which provided 200 pairs of boots to women and children in need.   
  • Marathon Petroleum Corp. donated one year’s worth of gas for The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread trucks, as well as Harrison.
  • Michigan Financial Companies was recognized for its $12,500 contribution to the early-February Comedy for a Cause fundraiser at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak.
  • In addition to providing Emagine Theatre of Royal Oak as the radiothon venue, Emagine Entertainment Founder and Chairman Paul Glantz gave a $10,000 matching gift.
  • The day featured a number of additional matching donations including $48,660 from The Salvation Army Metro Detroit Advisory Board; $30,000 from Dick and Gail Purtan; $25,000 from Edsel and Cynthia Ford; $21,060 from Dick Genthe Chevrolet and $20,000 from actor and comedian Tim Allen.


  • Other significant contributions throughout the 16-hour broadcast included $25,000 from Ally Financial; $20,000 from Pat Moran Chevrolet; $12,500 from Big Boy and $10,000 each from NAI Farbman/The Farbman Group and Pat Milliken Ford.

“It has been remarkable to watch the community come together and help The Salvation Army Do the Most Good through the Bed & Bread radiothon,” said Major Russ Sjögren, General Secretary and Metro Detroit Area Commander for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. “We also want to extend a special thanks to everyone at WJR, and everyone who took the time to make the radiothon a great event.”

The nonprofit’s Bed & Bread annual radiothon is the largest single-market, single-day radio fundraiser in the country. Funds from the Radiothon go directly to the Bed & Bread program.

About The Salvation Army Bed & Bread Program
The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s Bed & Bread Program serves more than 4,200 meals each day to men, women and children who would otherwise go without. That’s more than 1.5 million meals every year. In addition, The Bed & Bread Program provides shelter to more than 500 homeless individuals each night, more than 183,000 nights of shelter annually.
The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s Bed & Bread Program is unique in that it serves many people via mobile soup kitchens. The Bed & Bread trucks are on the streets of Detroit 365 days a year making designated stops throughout the day.