Pistons Team Up With Mentor Michigan To "Pass It On" With Mentoring Night At January 22 Game

Need for Male Mentors at a High in Michigan with Only 33 Percent of Adult Mentors Being Men

On January 22, the Detroit Pistons in conjunction with Mentor Michigan are hosting “Mentoring Night” at The Palace during the 7:30 p.m. Pistons vs. Suns game to raise awareness of the growing need for mentors in the community, especially male mentors. A portion of ticket proceeds is being donated to Mentor Michigan which will later be distributed as mini-grants through a state-wide funding opportunity.

Hundreds of mentor and mentee “matches” will be present as the Pistons and Mentor Michigan bring to light the need for mentors in the state. At halftime, 70 members of City Year, a national service organization, will be honored on-court and there will also be mentoring stories spotlighted in-arena throughout the night to create an understanding of the impact of these programs and to encourage fans to “Pass It On” through volunteerism.

State-wide mentoring groups and the general public are invited to participate in and support this community night by taking advantage of a ticket special with 200 level tickets for the game for $15 or 100 level tickets for $30. To purchase specially priced tickets, visit www.mentormichigan.org and click on the Mentoring Night link. For each ticket purchased online, Mentor Michigan will receive $5.

“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.”

There is a significant need for male mentors in communities across the state. Of the 17,681 adult mentors in Michigan in 2010, only 33 percent were male. The majority of youth looking to be matched with a mentor are boys. Mentoring relationships are proven to add long-term benefits to youth. Children with mentors are 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol and 52 percent less likely to skip school. Those with mentors are more confident in their school work performance and are better engaged with their families. They often also experience long-term benefits such as the desire to complete high school and college, future employment and community engagement, higher self-esteem and life satisfaction, and reduced problem behavior and criminal offending.

Mentor Michigan is an initiative of the Michigan Community Service Commission.

About Mentor Michigan:
Mentor Michigan supports nearly 250 organizations around the state that are changing lives by matching mentors with young people. Mentor Michigan provides those organizations with training and research. It fosters partnerships with businesses, faith-based and nonprofit organizations, schools, colleges and universities, and state and local government to support mentoring. Mentor Michigan also builds public awareness about the importance of and the need for mentors by urging caring adults to “Pass It On,” because sharing a little of yourself with a young person can reward both of you with lifelong benefits. For more information, visit: www.michigan.gov/mentormichigan.