More than 600 votes have been cast in the first six days of the Deadline Detroit Bernstein Service Award online campaign.
As the four-week effort enters its second week Monday, the early leader in reader support is Camp Casey, a Royal Oak-based horseback riding program for kids with cancer, followed closely by the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, a Detroit project.
They and the three other finalists (see list below) get 25 cents for every vote, up to $5,000. The top finisher March 30 gets another $500 from the Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills.
Voting runs through 5 p.m. March 30 at the firm's Facebook page. Additional details follow.
March 3 article:
After sifting through an impressive number of nominations from readers for the Deadline Detroit Bernstein Service Award, we’ve narrowed the finalist list to five nonprofits that are doing great things to make Metro Detroit a better place.
Finalists, selected by the Sam Bernstein Law Firm and Deadline Detroit, are: Friendship Circle, Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Camp Casey, Downriver Arts Council and Heart 2 Hart Detroit.
Now, it’s time for you to vote for one of the five finalists.
From March 3-30, people can cast their ballot for their favorite organization by going to the Sam Bernstein Facebook page and clicking “like.”
Then click the icon that says “Deadline Detroit Bernstein Service Award.” (It’s on the same line as photos and “likes.”) Read the instructions and vote. The app lets you vote only once.
Each organization will get 25 cents per vote, up to $5,000. The one that gets the most votes will get an additional $500.
"We are absolutely blown away by the response to this contest,” said attorney Mark Bernstein. It's great to partner with Deadline Detroit and these exceptional organizations."
Here are details about each organization:
Friendship Circle, West Bloomfield: It provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. The organization also provides help for people with addictions and is involved in anti-bullying education. The organization uses a network of volunteers to carry out its mission.
Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Detroit: This start-up run, by volunteers, provides hands-on education about sustainable urban farming at its location at 7432 Brush St., where it grows crops. The organization also educates people about proper diet and nutrition. “We want people to develop a certain consciousness about where their food comes from and their role in the process,” the organization says.
Camp Casey, Royal Oak: This horseback-riding program for children with cancer "has spread the healing power of horses for almost a decade,” its site says. Children treated at pediatric oncology in Southeast Michigan are eligible for the “Horsey House Calls” which brings a horse to the home for a day with a group of people to supervise. Families in Michigan are eligible for the “Cowboy Campout” that twice a year provides an all expense paid weekend for families to spend time at the Double JJ Ranch near Muskegon.
Downriver Arts Council, Wyandotte: The council serves more than 350,000 residents in 21 Downriver communities. It supports local artists and performers through artistic outreach programs and special promotional opportunities and has created regional partnerships with other cultural organizations, schools and service clubs. The council offers workshops, classes and youth art camps, gallery exhibits, theater productions, literary events, music concerts and classes, gift gallery and facility rentals.
Heart 2 Hart Detroit, Farmington Hills: The organization was started in 2012 by Larry Oleinick, who wanted to help the homeless in Metro Detroit. “Our vision is to lift up individuals in crisis, and help end homelessness,” the website says. The group distributes food, clothing, toiletries and helpful information on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to men and women living on the street or in shelters. The group also services warming centers and clothes closets to by distributing clothing.