Left: The MGM Grand ballroom
was filled with 600 young Jewish
Detroiters for the EPIC Event.
600 turn out to
the launch of
he March 10 EPIC Event at the
MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit
did indeed live up to its epic
expectations. This first annual
fundraising event, which formally launched
Federation's NEXTGen Detroit, was sold
out almost a week in advance and ended
up attracting close to 600 people.
Attendees consisted of active and new
participants in Federation's NEXTGen
programming, mainly in the 21- to
45-year-old demographic, as well as
Federation professional and lay leaders.
Although some follow-up is still in
progress, so far the event raised more
than $151,000; this includes 200 new
donors to the 2012 Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit Annual Campaign.
This number also reflects a 53 percent
card-for-card increase over donations from
this group from 2011.
Comedy Central regular Jeffrey Ross
produced plenty of laughs and roasted
members of the audience who voluntarily
went up on stage. He then stayed the rest
of the evening for the EPIC After Dark
community party and danced the night
away with NEXTGen Detroiters.
Efforts of young leadership task force
members — led by event co-chairs Leah
Bold and Matthew Ran, and YAD 2012
Campaign co-chairs Rachel Wright and
Steve Migliore — together with the
Federation team made the event happen.
"This event was truly a game changer for
the future," Wright says. "A clear, vibrant
tone was set loud enough — and you can
feel it days later. Our Detroit Jewish NEXTGen
community is making things happen and is
determined to see a successful future. What
EPIC did was bring together the excitement,
energy and passion of more than 600 people
with this same vision."
Migliore says, "The EPIC Event is a
fantastic example of what our community
can accomplish when we work together.
It was a total team effort. To me, the
success of the event is a strong statement
that we as a community are heading in
the right direction and that the NEXTGen
demographic is not only willing to be
involved and engaged, but also willing to
support our Jewish community by investing
in Federation's Annual Campaign. The
feedback I received was overwhelmingly
positive, and the most common sentiments
I heard were a sense of excitement about
where we are going and a sense of pride
in what the EPIC Event accomplished."
Bold says, "When you use a word like
EPIC you have to live up to it, and we took
every detail into account to make sure our
first event was not only EPIC, but would
also create a buzz that would keep people
engaged. The food was delicious. The
lighting was beautiful. The entertainment
was hilarious and our message worked. We
launched a new campaign, brought new
faces to the crowd and increased our donors.
It feels great to be a part of this powerful
community that is making change."
Josh Levine, YAD president, says, "The
EPIC event was beyond description and
exceeded all of our expectations. Most
importantly, however, is that this represents
that we as a community are committed to
the importance of changing the way we do
business on how we engage the young adult
demographic. We've talked about it for a
while, and now we are walking the walk. We
are taking meaningful action to effect change
and EPIC proves that it's working."
Marty Maddin, incoming NEXTGen
Detroit president, says, "The EPIC Event
was an absolute home run, and further
proof that young Jewish Detroit is alive
and full of possibility. The sold-out event
was a perfect mix of bar night, camp
reunion and fundraiser and left people
wanting more. Tapping into this energy and
engagement is exactly what NEXTGen is
The event also featured the new NEXTGen
campaign video. To watch it, go to
Steve Migliore of West
Bloomfield and Rachel
Wright of Birmingham,
YAD campaign co-chairs;
Marty Maddin of
incoming NEXTGen Detroit
president; Josh Levine of
Huntington Woods, YAD
president; Matthew Ran of
Bloomfield Hills and Leah
Bold of Royal Oak, event
Casey Koppelman of West Bloomfield, Adam Rubin
Jason Weiner and Rachel Stewart both from West
Event co-chairs Matthew Ran of Bloomfield Hills and
and Natalie Kulbersh, both of Bloomfield Hills
Bloomfield check out the EPIC Event "Dee-Brief."
Leah Bold of Royal Oak flank comedian Jeffrey Ross.
arch 22 • 2012