As we get closer to spring, an effort from last summer is providing a ray of sunshine here at the Foundation.

In late August, families in the Birmingham School District came together to support education by creating “The World’s Longest Lemonade Stand.” On the weekend of the Woodward Dream Cruise, the effort was successful.  Parents and businesses came together to put together 349 stands totaling 1,399 feet and 11 inches, breaking the Guinness world record. LONGESTLEMONADESTAND.COM

Much of the funds raised benefitted Birmingham Schools, but the rules of the event allowed sponsor support to benefit other nonprofits. We are grateful that a portion of Ernst & Young’s donation benefits our Foundation, along with the Birmingham Education Foundation. Ernst & Young has a major office presence in Downtown Detroit but, with employees and clients around Metro Detroit, sees itself as a regional firm.

This is part of a growing trend of perception we believe will benefit the Foundation and our community. Funding successful programs that benefit DPS students has a positive regional impact and requires regional support. Those are facts that the region understands now, more than ever before.

Our fundraising appeal at the end of 2011 shows examples of the region’s belief in the greater benefit of Detroit students’ success. We received donations from 268 zip codes in and out of Michigan. Looking to the rest of 2012, we are seeing other potential examples of regional collaboration to support our mission. We look forward to sharing those with you later this year.