Posted on 16 July 2012.
Our Detroit 2020 Person of the Week is well-known across the city. He’s a business leader, and someone who truly unifies and inspires the community.
And his biggest annual event just marked a milestone.
About 35,000 kids of all ages enjoyed a sun-soaked day on Belle Isle this week.
It was the 30th anniversary of Metro Detroit Youth Day—an event started by Ed Deeb…
“I never dreamed we would be this big,” Deeb told Detroit 2020.
Deeb came up with the idea for Youth Day back in 1980, when then-Mayor Coleman Young asked him to come up with a plan to ease tensions following incidents between store owners and youths.
“He said hey you guys gotta do something for the kids and I’ll help calm the parents,” Deeb said.
1,100 kids were there for the first one, and then it kept growing–with hundreds of businesses, community organizations and sponsors, helping make Deeb make it all possible.
“I do feel gratified that we’re doing something to help inspire our kids to do better to become better citizens, to become better in school…we won’t want them to waste their lives,” Deeb said.
Deeb’s event has something for kids of all ages–from face painting to hula hoops, to bowling, to boxing.
Students were honored for their academic achievement and community service—and 81 received college scholarships.
And volunteers teamed up to serve a free lunch to every child–35,000 in all.
“Personally I get the satisfaction that the community as a whole has been participating,” Deeb said.
Deeb is the chairman of the Michigan Food and Beverage Association—representing thousands of independent grocers, convenience store owners and others.
And on this Youth Day, it was a who’s who on center stage who turned out to show their support for Ed Deeb—a man who was there– when the city called on him.
“I’m so pleased that Ed Deeb has continued to do this…he’s just a jewel in our city and I just appreciate him greatly,” Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said.
So on this 30th anniversary of Metro Detroit Youth Day, we honor Ed Deeb as Detroit 2020’s Person of the Week.
If you’d like to nominate a Detroit 2020 Person of the Week, let us know in the comment section below!
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