Ilitch Charities has donated $50,000 to the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center (MORC) that will help pay for MORC programs for residents with disabilities in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.
Ilitch Charities officials made the donation Friday night during a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park in front of about 41,000 fans.
“It was a spectacular evening,” said MORC executive director Gerald Provencal. “It was the greatest rainy night in my life. Holding a check for $50,000 from the Ilitch family was an exciting, gratifying and humbling experience.”
The money will go to MORC’s Futures Foundations to pay for items and services that government funding does not cover.
In addition to the donation, MORC received “tremendous recognition for the work we have been doing for the last 41 years and it will pay dividends to us well into the future,” said Provencal. “It’s a testament to the integrity to the passion of MORC and all of us who contribute to its success.”
Another exciting moment Friday night was when Mark Stillwell, who formerly lived in a state institution for people with disabilities in Lapeer, rolled out onto the field in his wheelchair and watched the check-presentation ceremony.
Tiger Manager Jim Leyland walked over and shook Stillwell’s hand and wished him all the best.
MORC was nominated for the award by Executive Programs Director Larry Hudas of Aon Risk Solutions of Southfield, who has been a longtime supporter and admirer of MORC’s humanitarian work.
Chris Ilitch, son of Tiger owners Mike and Marion Ilitch, presided over the event and presented MORC the check.
A picture of the check presentations was posted on the Detroit Tigers’ Facebook page.
“Each of us walked out separately to receive the check and had our picture taken,” Provencal said.
Other recipients of $50,000 each were the Michigan Humane Society and Detroit Historical Society.
“It was a wonderful, wonderful night for MORC staff and consumers at the game. It will be long remembered by those who love MORC and love baseball,” Provencal said.