Pass It On

Mentoring Night a chance to support Michigan youth

Join the Pistons for Mentoring Night when they take on the Phoenix Suns this Saturday.
P.A. Molumby/NBAE/Getty
Mentors make a difference. They help mend the world with their caring touch and nurturing example simply by showing compassion for another human being.

That’s why the Detroit Pistons have teamed with Mentor Michigan to host Mentoring Night at The Palace when Phoenix visits on Saturday. Discounted tickets are available with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Mentor Michigan. Money raised will be distributed as mini-grants through statewide funding. Fans are encouraged to “pass it on” through volunteering and helping the youth of our community grow into inspired and productive members of society.

We all look up to someone. In our adult lives, we strive to achieve something great, attempting to climb the next step on the ladder of success, often mirroring the lives of someone we could use as an example. In work and in life, mentors have a way of shaping who we are and the choices we make. As adults, we have learned many lessons through hardship and failure, through success and celebration; we have grown through our experiences and our mentors have been our guide in finding our way on the great expedition we call life.

Having a positive influence at any stage of life is important, but even more so as a child and adolescent. When mentoring partnerships are established at an early age the foundation of a child’s future becomes strengthened from the ground up. Success rates increase, crime rates decrease and communities grow closer than ever before.

“Across the state of Michigan young people are benefitting from the efforts of local mentoring programs and their volunteers,” said Paula Kaiser VanDam, executive director of the Michigan Community Service Commission. “But there are still thousands more who could benefit from formal mentoring relationships. Mentoring night at The Palace will hopefully encourage spectators to pass it on and get involved with their local mentoring programs.”

More mentors are needed in Michigan, especially males, with just 33 percent of adult mentors being men and boys constituting the majority of need. Children with mentors are 46 percent less likely to start using illegal drugs, 27 percent less likely to start drinking alcohol and 52 percent less likely to skip school.

Upper level tickets for Saturday’s game with Phoenix are just $15 and lower level tickets are $30. To purchase the specially priced tickets, go to www.mentormichigan.org and click on the Mentoring Night link. For each ticket purchased online, Mentor Michigan will receive $5.