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Piquette Square for Veterans benefits


from elegant Detroit Panache event


Dan Gilbert, Chairman of Quicken Loans, presented a generous donation check to Southwest Solutions at a special benefit for our Piquette Square for Veterans last Friday night. The check was on behalf of all the different corporate sponsors.

The benefit, called Detroit Panache, was an afterglow event following the North American International Auto Show 2012 Charity Preview on January 13. More than 300 people attended Detroit Panache. The event was formal attire and by invitation only. It was held at The Detroit Club on Cass Avenue.

Detroit Panache was organized by the Detroit City Council. Charles Pugh, President of the Council, served as honorary chair for the event. Two Council staff members were instrumental in planning the event: Bryan Barnhill, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for the Office of the President, and Thea White, Chief of Staff for Brenda Jones.

Quicken Loans was the Title Sponsor of the Detroit Panache and provided $10,000. Other major sponsors included:



Marathon Oil



Coca Cola Refreshments

Ilitch Holdings


Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights



Brinker Group


Speaking at the event, Mr. Gilbert praised the work of Southwest Solutions to help veterans overcome homelessness.

At the end of the program, organizers of the event surprised Mr. Gilbert by bringing out a birthday cake for an early celebration of his 50th birthday.

“The evening was a lot of fun and we are indebted to all the sponsors and the Detroit City Council for orchestrating this impressive event,” said Bob O’Brien, Vice President for Development at Southwest Solutions. “Funds raised will go toward sustaining support services provided at Piquette Square. These services are essential to help the formerly homeless veterans get their lives back on track and reintegrate into the community.”

John Van Camp, President of Southwest Solutions, accepted the donation check from Mr. Gilbert at the event and then spoke briefly.

“As we celebrate the Auto Show and what the business community does for our city and region, let’s not forget the not-for-profit sector,” John said. “We are entrepreneurial and creative and have had tremendous success helping keep families and communities together.”

Although the mock check shown at the event was in the amount of $20,000, the exact figure of how much money was raised for Piquette Square will not be known until all expenses and donations are tallied.

Photographer Eric Hobson has posted almost 800 photos of the event online.


Steve Palackdharry
Communications Manager