Over 500 community members raised nearly $400,000 for Ele’s Place


Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, a healing center for grieving children and teens, held its 11th annual Healing Hearts Society Fundraising Breakfast yesterday at the Marriott Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti.

Over 500 guests from in and around the community listened to inspirational stories of former Ele’s Place families on the impact Ele’s Place Ann Arbor had on them. Immediately following the presentation, guests had an opportunity to donate and gave a combined total of nearly $401,000. This year’s event was generously sponsored by Hylant, Old National Bank and Plante Moran ensuring that every donation will go directly to Ele’s Place Ann Arbor.

Our family speakers included Charles Ramsey and his son Chandler; Mr. Ramsey is a former Assistant Basketball Coach at University of Michigan and Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Eastern Michigan University. Charles and his two sons attended Ele’s Place in 2017 after the death of his wife, Allison. Charles stated, “Ele’s Place has been a Godsend for the Ramsey family and will forever hold a place in our hearts.”

Susan Torrible-Spoor and her children attended Ele’s Place after the tragic death of her husband, Martin Spoor. Susan’s three young children attended Ele’s Place in 2007 the first year we were open in Ann Arbor. Susan shared at the breakfast, “A decade later, I am so grateful for Ele’s Place and what it is done for my family. I’m grateful for every supporter who ensures Ele’s Place keeps helping every family that needs it.”

Other speakers included Community Board Member and event Emcee, Jackie Silhanek; John Twining and Ivori Hufnaged from Stockbridge Schools; Capital Campaign Co-Chair, Howdy Holmes; Ele’s Place Michigan CEO, Dan Layman; Ele’s Place Ann Arbor Director, Monica Brancheau; and Ele’s Place Community Board Member and Program Volunteer, Mike Halpern.

Proceeds from the event will support children and teens coping with the death of a parent, sibling or another close family member or friend. Ele’s Place serves an average of 100 families weekly at no cost, through on-site peer to peer support groups. In addition, Ele’s Place supports approximately 120 grieving students annually through Ele’s Group; its school-based program.

For more information, please contact Ele’s Place Ann Arbor at (734) 929-6640 or visit elesplace.org.

About Ele’s Place

Ele’s Place is a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to creating awareness of and support for grieving children and their families. Through peer support group programs, Ele’s Place helps children to cope with the death of a parent, sibling or other significant persons. Before coming to Ele’s Place, many grieving children feel alone and keep their feelings inside, not wanting to burden their parents or other family members. Often, friends don’t seem to understand if they haven’t had a similar experience.  But each week at Ele’s Place, hundreds of grieving children find a warm and welcoming place to meet new friends who really understand how they feel and begin to heal after a significant death.



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