DETROIT, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Way for Southeastern Michigan 2012-2013 Community Giving Campaign raised $35,121,006 , surpassing its $35 million goal, representing an increase of 11 percent from last year's campaign total .
The private ceremony was hosted by Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures Chairman and Founder Dan Gilbert at The M@dison on Broadway in Detroit. Mr. Marchionne also symbolically "passed the torch" to Ford Motor Company Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, who will serve as United Way Campaign Chair for 2013-2014.
Last September, Mr. Marchionne kicked-off the annual community giving campaign with a torch-lighting ceremony on Detroit's Hart Plaza to announce a $35 million fundraising goal for the organization. After standing dark for five years, the torch was relit to signify a monumental change in the way the public and private sectors are working together to achieve a common goal – making greater Detroit one of the top five cities in the country in which to live and work by the year 2030, which is the year when children born in 2012 will graduate from high school.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, along with many long-time United Way supporters, civic, business and community leaders attended the event.Supporting United Way ensures that positive, lasting community change will continue to occur at a grassroots level. The last few years have been financially challenging for the organization, which relies on a combination of individual and corporate contributions, as well as grant funding, to survive. "When we lit the torch this past fall, hope was in the air. That hope was fueled by men and women coming together, determined to forever change our community and our way of looking at the future," said Marchionne. "We now know that ultimately, regardless of the circumstances, we have the power to refuse our consent to decline, to a devastating cycle where children worry about whether their basic human needs will be met. Each of us, in our own way, has the obligation to play a part in putting right the consequences of the market. Because consenting to all these things would not only be a denial of our own rights in life, but also of our duty to protect the welfare of our community."