On Saturday, Anthony Ahee and other third-generation members of the Edmund T. Ahee family carried on the philanthropic traditions of their parents and their grandparents before them. In addition to working at the family business — the prestigious Grosse Pointe jeweler Edmund T. Ahee Jewelers — the grandchildren have also jumped in full force to support the family’s favorite charity, Capuchin Soup Kitchen of Detroit.
Once again, the Capuchin Souper Summer Celebration, a free fundraiser the family has hosted for more than 30 years, took place at Comerica Park with this year’s dazzling theme, “Viva Las Vegas.” The evening included tribute acts, Vegas showgirls and deluxe casino games.
“My grandparents started this event with their seven kids back in 1981, and the grandchildren got involved a few years back” said Anthony Ahee. “We are so appreciative of the support we get from our community for this event. To date, we’ve raised over $5 million, and now we’re ready to raise more.”
Always a major attraction of this party is its extraordinary $1 raffle, with prizes valued at over $30,000, including a ladies Rolex watch. But there’s so much more — entertainment from the Simone Vitale Band, DJ Prevu with Live percussionist Jared Sykes and Scottie Alexander on the piano. There was also food court fare available for purchase, along with a cash bar.
“My grandfather grew up near the Capuchin Soup Kitchen on Mount Elliott in Detroit and remembered the lines of those impoverished people waiting for food,” said Ahee, who is marketing director for the jeweler. “Seeing this made him want to not only raise funds for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, but to also raise awareness.”
Just prior to the pulling of the winning raffle tickets, the crowd of several thousand people was treated to an awesome fireworks display. After a few words from Ahee family members, the winning numbers are announced.
The Ahee family has underwritten the free fundraiser every year, covering the cost of producing the event, entertainment and jewelry raffle prizes. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen benefits from the sale of $1 raffle tickets sold before and during the event and outright donations. One hundred percent of all proceeds go to the Capuchin.
Chuck Bennett is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador and creator of the Social D. See thesociald.com.