Society: Motown takes center stage at PAL fundraiser


Spontaneous bursts of Motown music filled the air Thursday night at a cocktail party benefiting the Detroit Police Athletic League. About 150 people gathered at Will Leather Goods in Midtown Detroit to celebrate the invitation-only occasion. Several well-known entertainers jumped in at appropriate times displaying their singing chops through sassy love songs that helped make Motown what it is today.

“At Will Leather Goods, we’re determined to give back to the community and what better time to do it than during the holiday season,” explains Bill Adler, who owns the leather goods stores that are scattered throughout the country. “We get involved in a lot of community efforts. We wanted to thank our friends with a party. We wanted to give them an opportunity to give back.”

One of the most popular questions of the evening was, “Have you tasted the food?” Chef Bobby Nahra of Lakeland Banquet Center prepared a remarkable spread of gourmet sandwiches and salads, that were all washed down with a series of libations — special thanks to Zim’s Vodka, who donated a wicked specialty drink and a series of beers from Atwater Brewery.

The evening’s songs ranged from “Ooh, Baby Baby” to “Dancing in the Streets,” and among the entertainers were the Miracles featuring Mark Scott, the Original Vandellas, Dames Brown, Hazelette Crosby, Mia Johnson and Tra Lyn. During one point of the evening, PAL’s CEO Tim Richey stepped up along with Will Leather CEO Adler to make their appeal to the guests.

In addition to selling Christmas cards and taking donations, PAL also received a portion of the sales receipts taken in at the event, hosted by this columnist. With year-round programs that star more than 12,000 young athletes and thousands of coaches, Detroit PAL helps its athletes learn the skills needed to succeed both on and off the playing field.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of and is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.