A fundraiser this Sunday will support substance abuse awareness and raise money for a substance abuse transition facility in Lyon Township.
The Constantino Del Signore Foundation is inviting the community to Tino’s Farm Picnic from noon to 7 p.m. at Sweet Acres Farm, 5880 Eight Mile Road, east of Pontiac Trail, in Lyon Township.
CDS board of directors plan to eventually use the Sweet Acres house and 37-acre farm as a substance abuse transition center for between eight and 10 people, likely teens, recovering from substance abuse. Start-up costs are estimated at about $500,000 and organizers hope to open the facility in 2016.
Admission is $15 per person and free for children younger than 5. The ticket includes live music all day, a barbecue chicken dinner, pulled pork, hamburgers and hotdogs. There will be children’s games, hay rides, pony rides, a balloon artist, an archery demonstration, bocce ball, horseshoes, bouncy house, door prizes and a 50/50 drawing.
A popular game at the event is “crap shoot.” Players pick a square and a chicken is placed on the grid. The winner is determined by the spot where the chicken defecates.
CDS is working in cooperation with Livonia Save Our Youth Coalition, St. Mary Mercy Hospital, Botsford Hospital Foundation and Safari Club International S.E. Chapter of Michigan Bowhunters.
The CDS Foundation’s focus on drug awareness began after Tino Del Signore died in a tractor accident on the farm. Del Signore, the 47-year-old son of John and Lina Del Signore, owners of Laurel Manor in Livonia, was known for his generosity and philanthropic work.
The Aug. 24 fundraiser is intended to carry on that legacy. Tino Del Signore was among a group of people who started the CDS Foundation 20 years ago. Since then, more than $475,000 has been donated to various causes, including St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Garden City Hospital, Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Angela Hospice in Livonia, Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit and other facilities, as well as the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund, which Tino founded.
The foundation began when a church in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy, needed a roof. Foundation organizers raised the needed money and decided that many other organizations could use help in the United States and throughout southeast Michigan.
While the picnic brings a lot of awareness, it doesn’t bring a lot of money. However, sponsorship donations do.
Sponsorships range from: $100 for the bronze level, which includes a one-eighth ad in the picnic program; $200 for the silver level, which includes a quarter-page ad and two complimentary tickets to the picnic; $500 for the gold level, which includes a color half-page ad in the program, a banner at the picnic and four picnic tickets; and a legacy level at $1,000 or more, which includes a full-page ad, plaque at Laurel Manor, 10 picnic tickets and a banner display.
Last year, Jacqueline Dobson didn’t know about the fundraiser that was being held at a farm next to her home at Eight Mile and Chubb. Her 32-year-old son, Jared Norwood, died from a drug overdose a few months earlier. Jared fought his addiction for years, she said. and went from “countless” rehabilitation facilities and from one drug abuse program to another.
Dobson understood firsthand the importance of transitional housing for drug abusers during her son’s 12-year struggle. The natural next step for Dobson was to begin volunteering with CDS. She comes to the effort as a longtime Girl Scout leader, Muscular Dystrophy supporter and is active with a number of programs at her church, First United Methodist in South Lyon.
The need in the community for a transition house is tremendous, she said.
“Especially for a transitional facility for youth,” Dobson added. “There are none in our area and substance abuse is in our area. This allows us to support youth in our community so they can successfully negotiate their substance abuse.”
For more information about the picnic and sponsorship opportunities, contact the CDS foundation at 248-763-0142 or visit www.cdsfoundation.net. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to CDS Foundation, 39000 Schoolcraft Road, Livonia, MI 48150.
248-437-2011, ext. 262