Clays for Kids raises more than $100,000 for CEF

Dearborn, Mich. – October – After the rain and gun smoke cleared, it looked like the Clays for Kids event had hit the ‘mark’.

The first-time fundraiser, presented by the Farbman Group and Toni and Randy Kowalski and hosted by the Oakwood Healthcare Foundation, recently took place at the Detroit Gun Club in Walled Lake and generated more than $100,000 to help fund programs at the Center for Exceptional Families (CEF). The CEF is located in Dearborn and is an acclaimed clinical facility providing coordinated family-centered care for children with special needs throughout southeastern Michigan.

“These dollars don’t go to something frilly,” said Kowalski. “The funds go to the kids and their families that need our support—especially with the economy the way it is today.”

The event allowed shooters of all experience levels to take part in shooter training, practice rounds and a 13-station sporting clays—or skeet shooting—competition. A team of shooters from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department and one from the Wayne County Sheriff’s department took part, and Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard stopped by for a brief visit, as well. An auction was part of the fundraiser, too. David Farbman of the Farbman Group said he was happy to take part. “It’s a passion-based event for a passion-based, wonderful cause,” said Farbman.

The CEF families can receive anything from high-quality health care to social counseling, mental health services and physical therapy—regardless of their ability to pay. It serves thousands of families annually, according to Dr. Susan Youngs, who has overseen the programs there for about 12 years.

“In my opinion, we serve the best kids in the whole country,” she said. “Our kids are super brave, but super challenged. They have hard lives and things they have to overcome.”
The nature of the services the CEF provides—and the funding it is eligible for—means that it relies heavily on donations, according to Robert Kramer chair of the Center for Exceptional Families Operational Board.

“This is something that doesn’t exist anywhere else,” he said. “Unfortunately, the services provided by Dr. Youngs and the center are very expensive. It takes quite a bit of money to take care of this kind of program—and most of it has to come from philanthropic initiatives.”

Brian Connolly, president and Chief Executive Officer of Oakwood Healthcare, Inc (OHI), said he appreciated the support shown by the sponsors and participants.

“It’s humbling and encouraging to see so many people support an event like this,” said Connolly. “Oakwood is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these children and we are truly grateful to everyone who helps and supports our vision.”

Follow the links to watch the video or see event photos from the event.