Presented by Fifth Third Bank, Judson Center’s annual gala seeks to enhance community programs that began in 1924

CONTACT: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications;; 248.260.8466; Betsy Reich, Judson Center;; 248.837.2020

Farmington Hills, Mich. —October 10, 2019— Just as U.S. Army Air Service pilots took the first flight around the world in 1924, so too did Judson Center’s first mission take flight as an orphanage. Ninety-five years later, Judson Center has grown into a multi-county human service agency that provides child and family services including foster care and adoption in tandem with its affiliate, Child Safe Michigan, autism programs, behavioral health services, employment services for persons with disabilities, and primary care for all ages.  In honor of its 95th anniversary, the organization announces “A Night to Embrace Gala…Our Amazing Flight” at the MGM Grand Detroit on Saturday, November 2, to celebrate and support its programming for Michigan children and families.

The festive evening will kick off with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and a program featuring WXYZ reporter Ann Marie LaFlamme as emcee. The event will also offer raffles, live and silent auctions, and a special video message from 2019 America’s Got Talent winner Kodi Lee, the 22-year-0ld vocalist who is legally blind and was diagnosed with autism at age four. The Dal Bouey Show, a high-energy dance band, will take center stage for live entertainment and dancing after dinner until midnight. Formal attire (black tie optional) is requested. Individual tickets ($300 each) and tables are available for purchase on Judson Center’s website. The deadline to respond is Friday, October 25.

“This year’s gala promises to be a celebration from the heart as we honor our history and look forward to the future,” said Judson Center CEO Lenora Hardy-Foster.  “The funds we have raised at our signature gala through the years help Judson Center offer life-changing services. This year, we keep in mind in a special way those who benefitted from Judson Center services in the past, those we are helping now, and the children and families that will seek our assistance in the years to come.” 

Co-chairs of the gala include former Judson Center Board Chairs: John Aubrey, James Bayson, Curtis Bolden, John Carter, Richard DiBartolomeo, Peter Farago, Kyle Hauberg, David Lau and Henry Mistele.  Fifth Third Bank is the presenting sponsor. This year’s event is dedicated to David F. Lau, a Detroit-area businessman who served on the Judson Center Board of Trustees for more than three decades and passed away on October 7, 2019.  

For more information about the event or available sponsorships, please visit or contact Nick Papadas at or 248.554.6361.

A Night to Embrace Gala “Our Amazing Flight” Details:

  • When: Saturday, November 2, 2019 
  • Where: MGM Grand Detroit, 1777 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
  • Program: VIP Reception 5:30 p.m.; General Reception 6:30 p.m.; Dinner/Program 7 p.m.; Entertainment until midnight
  • Attire: Formal (black tie optional)
  • Tickets: $300 each 
  • Order: 
  • RSVP: Friday, October 25, 2019
  • Proceeds: Provide ‘fuel’ for Judson Center’s future 

About Judson Center

Judson Center, trusted by Michigan families for 95 years, is a non-profit human service agency providing comprehensive services to strengthen children, adults and families impacted by abuse and neglect, autism, developmental disabilities, and behavioral health challenges. Primary care is also offered through the Judson Center Family Health Clinic. Since opening its doors in 1924, Judson Center has grown to change the lives of over 10,000 children, adults, and families each year. Judson Center has five regional offices in Genesee, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Headquarters are located at 30301 Northwestern Highway, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-3277.  Learn more at