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Local auto suppliers give back to Detroit area communities and work together to support more charities


We all know the US auto industry is on roll with record sales, innovative new products and strong profits. But did you know how much the automakers, suppliers and dealers do for their local communities and charities that improve the quality of life?

They are big givers, committed to the communities where they have plants, dealerships and employees. They often support Little League teams, local artists, schools and more.

Many of our local suppliers are deeply involved with Detroit-area charities and community organizations. Six of those charities were recognized at Tech Crawl 2016, an annual Michigan automotive news and technology event put on by the PR firm AutoCom for its clients. That event brings automotive journalists and suppliers together for a half-day series of press conferences and networking.

Larry Weis

Larry Weis

It’s really all about networking … and not just chatting about the industry and making contacts. That’s certainly part of it, but this Tech Crawl also is about helping the charities each supplier supports find new backers. Each supplier will highlight one of its charities. Those charities range from the arts, education, animal rescue and finding books for kids to national organizations that search for cures for major diseases.

“The Tech Crawl brings our community together,” said Larry Weis, president and CEO of AutoCom. “Each company has its own charity. Our clients interact a lot at Tech Crawl so we hope they will want to get involved in each other’s charities.”

HELLA, a supplier of lighting and electronic vehicle components, will host the Plymouth Community Arts Council. PCAC offers programs to supplement and enrich arts education in schools and sponsors summer concerts in downtown Plymouth. HELLA’s US corporate headquarters is in that city.

Eview 360, an international design agency based in Farmington Hills, is supporting the Walnut Lake Preschool and Developmental Kindergarten. The school works with young children to help them move on to a traditional school setting with greater capacities to learn, communicate and make friends.

Young people learn new skills

Young people learn new skills at Walnut Lake Preschool and Developmental Kindergarten

INFICON, a supplier of leak-detection equipment, is teaming up with AutoCom to host Furget Us Not Animal Rescue, a small volunteer-based pet rescue group operating in Hazel Park. INFICON is headquartered in Cologne, Germany, and has offices in metro Detroit.

Furget Us Not

AutoCom Associates is also hosting Detroit Little Libraries. That group puts doll house-size boxes near a home, small business or community garden that are filled with books anyone can take or leave. It planted the first Little Free Library in the city less than 18 months ago, and numerous partners and generous donors have helped provide thousands of books in 150 in locations throughout the city. The goal now is to make Detroit the Little Free Library capital of the nation. Detroit Unspun/TheHUB wrote about the group earlier.

AutoCom, based in Bloomfield Hills, recently helped Detroit Little Libraries with a fundraiser where those attending had the opportunity to sponsor one of the special little libraries created by local artists as well as donate to the cause.

A Detroit Little Libraries supporter leans on the library with the art work by Palmer Woods resident Barbara Barefield

A Detroit Little Libraries supporter leans on the library with the art work by Palmer Woods resident Barbara Barefield

Other suppliers are supporting the work of organizations searching for ways to prevent and cure diseases.

Kiekert, a Heiligenhaus, Germany-based systems supplier, will host the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. UMDF promotes research and education for the diagnosis, treatment and cure of mitochondrial disorders and provides support to affected individuals and families. Kiekert has a facility in Wixom.


Riding in Tour de Cure

MAHLE, a supplier of engine technology to the auto industry, will highlight Tour de Cure of the American Diabetes Association. The Tour is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 40 states nationwide to benefit the ADA. MAHLE has 10 facilities in metro Detroit including four in Farmington Hills and six in Troy.

Networking can certainly work wonders.

– Photos of Detroit Little Libraries event courtesy of former Detroit News photographer Ed Ballots

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