2018 Bed & Bread Club Radiothon

Feb 26, 2018

The Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club Radiothon Tops $1.2 Million in 16 Hours to Help the Hungry and Homeless Across Metro Detroit

Total donations exceed $34 million over 31-year Radiothon history.

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit's 31st Annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon, presented by Ford Motor Company Fund, raised $1,261,716 to combat hunger and homelessness during today's 16-hour event, which aired live on News/Talk 760 WJR from the Emagine Theater in Novi, Michigan.

For the eighth year in a row, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit partnered with the Great Voice of the Great Lakes and on-air personalities Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann, Guy Gordon and Mitch Albom.

Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund and Salvation Army National Advisory Board member, joined the broadcast mid-day as a special guest host. He kicked off his stint behind the microphone by announcing Ford Motor Company Fund's matching $100,000 contribution, encouraging supporters to double their donations over his first 100 minutes on-air. Vella circled back during the evening to announce additional $37,000 matching contributions, following his family stepping to the stage with its own $12,000 donation.

Among the day's other large contributions:

  • Stage sponsor Emagine Theaters once again hosted the Radiothon, enhanced by a $5,000 donation by Emagine Entertainment Owner Paul Glantz.
  • Jack and Annette Aronson donated $70,000 through the Artichoke Garlic Foundation.
  • An anonymous donor contributed nearly $55,000 to cover the program's bread costs for the entire year.
  • Reflecting 31 annual fundraisers, Pat Moran, Edsel Ford II with his wife, Cynthia, and Radiothon founder and Detroit radio Hall of Famer Dick Purtan, with his wife, Gail, each generously donated $31,000. Once their donation was matched, the Purtan's contributed an additional $10,000. A case of the flu caused Purtan to miss his evening hosting duties.
  • Tote board sponsor Lear Corporation was joined by phone bank sponsor DTE Energy Foundation, the Suburban Group and UAW-Ford with donations of $30,000 each.
  • $25,000 donations were presented by Ally Financial and The Salvation Army Advisory Board.
  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation pledged a year's worth of gas to keep Bed & Bread trucks on the streets, while Toyota contributed $15,000 on top of its donation of women's and children's footwear through the automaker's "Walk in My Boots" program.
  • The tote board grew $22,500 through the presentation of Comedy for a Cause proceeds from Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle and Michigan Financial Companies.
  • Comedian Tim Allen called in $12,000 during a matching hour.
  • Dick Genthe Chevrolet, Pat Milliken Ford and Huntington National Bank each contributed $10,000.
  • In the final minutes of the broadcast, an anonymous donor contributed $25,000, along with $10,000 from the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal Company.

Dean Sellers Ford encouraged donations throughout the day with a trio of incentives: a 24-month lease on a 2018 Ford Escape and 10- and seven-day rentals on other Ford models. The dealership is also donating proceeds from all new vehicle sales through the end of February. The Detroit Zoological Society also contributed a private giraffe feeding.

"Doing the Most Good requires the hard work and dedication of many groups, from generous donors and sponsors to dedicated Salvation Army officers and Bed & Bread truck employees," Major Russ Sjogren, general secretary and metro Detroit area commander for the Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. "We are enormously thankful to News/Talk 760 WJR, Ford Motor Company Fund, Emagine Entertainment, Lear Corporation, DTE Energy Foundation and all those who've helped make this year's Radiothon a success."

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