A nonprofit senior living services provider has won the grand prize in The Detroit News’ Holiday Cheer for Charity campaign presented along with Priority Health.
Southfield-based Presbyterian Villages of Michigan was the contest's winner, The News and Priority Health officials announced Tuesday.
"We got word this morning," said Roger Myers, the charity's president and CEO. "Obviously, we're very pleased with the news."
Founded in 1945, the faith-based nonprofit has 30 senior living communities that provide services to more than 4,500 seniors across Michigan.
The nonprofit edged out four other finalists to claim the $20,000 grand prize. The other finalists were the Michigan Humane Society, Teen HYPE, Sweet Dreamzzz and the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.
The contest was held in two stages. In the first, readers cast votes for 15 organizations participating in the competition. The top five vote-getters moved on to the second round, where the group collecting the most donations wins.
Officials for Michigan.com, The Detroit News' business agent, said the competition was tough.
"It was a neck and neck race with many donations processed for the two leading organizations minutes before the cut-off at 12 a.m. on Jan. 1," officials said in a statement. "Presbyterian Villages of Michigan raised a total of $21,601.70 and Sweet Dreamzzz raised a total of $21,500. More than $45,000 was raised between the five participating organizations, which is amazing."
Myers attributed Presbyterian Villages of Michigan's victory in the campaign to the nonprofit's ability to rally its constituents and supporters and solicit donations.
He said the group plans on using the prize money to expand and enhance the services and programs it offers residents of its communities.
Possibilities include expanding transportation services, increasing activities and community outings as well as boosting its fund for helping residents with financial hardships, he said.
Myers also said the chairty was pleased to be included among the contest's entrants.
"These are all great, worthy organizations," he said. "We felt very privileged to be part of the group. It was an honor. "