Rochester Hills, Mich: Neighborhood gives back for 19th year
Here’s a tip: When visiting Joanne Marcil’s home, watch your stuff. Just ask her husband, Ray, who left a jacket lying around. Joanne grabbed it and sold it at her community’s Make A Difference Day flea market. When Ray later asked her about it, she just smiled.
The project began in 1992 as a garage sale, raising $150 to buy high chairs for a soup kitchen. Marcil, 77, had such a good time she enlisted family and friends to create bigger events every year. The two-day market is now tradition, requiring 150 volunteers and five families’ garages to store donated items.
In 2010, the sale raised $13,000 for women in crisis, the homeless, people with chronic diseases and others. In 19 years, the project has raised $71,000. It’s hard work but well worth it, Marcil says. “I’m doing something to help this world, not just wishing things were better.”
$10,000 Make A Difference Day Award from Newman’s Own goes to The Baldwin Center, Pontiac, Mich.
This year’s judges:
Charles Gabrielson: President & Publisher, USA WEEKEND Magazine
Brian Gallagher: President and CEO, United Way Worldwide
Michael Havard: Vice President of Marketing, Newman’s Own Inc.
Kim Martin: President and General Manager, WE tv and Wedding Central
Michelle Nunn: CEO, Points of Light, Institute & Co-founder, HandsOn Network