Ferndale Blues Festival Sends 100 Kids to Camp, Gives Blue Pig Awards

By, Crystal A. Proxmire


Monica Mills and Ferndale Mayor Craig Covey, co-chairs of the Ferndale Blues Festival, presented a $7,000 check to Ferndale Youth Assistance[FYA] at the April 26, 2010 City Council meeting.  The money comes from the annual Ferndale Blues Festival event which takes place at the end of January to raise money for several local charities.


Ken Seawell accepted the check on behalf of FYA, saying that money would be used to send 100 kids to camp this summer. 


“The Blues Festival is held for nine days in the end of January and beginning of February.  This is the ninth year that we’ve put this event on and it’s put on for a variety of reasons,” said Covey.  “Including to bring people Downtown.  It’s the middle of winter and we want people to come and get outside, get some fresh air.  Get some camaraderie.  It’ certainly helps the businesses by bringing lots and lots of folks from all over the region.  Certainly it provides culture and promoting the economy through the supporting of the clubs and restaurants and bands.  And finally the best part of it is the fact that we raise lots of money for charities.”


This year the Blues Festival raised over $25,000 after expenses.  Money goes to Michigan AIDS Coalition and FYA.  MAC is one of Michigan’s largest non-profit, community-based organizations dedicated to health promotion, harm and risk reduction, HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention education, grant making and public policy. MAC has conducted thousands of workshops and trainings, reaching over a half million people – 30,000 in the last year alone.


The mission of Ferndale Youth Assistance is to strengthen youth and families and prevent and reduce delinquency, neglect and abuse through volunteer involvement. Each year they send kids to various camps through scholarships so they can experience new things.  (http://ferndaleyouthassistance.org/default.asp?page=Camp)

Ferndale Youth Assistance offers free, voluntary and confidential counseling all year long to Ferndale School District families (including the cities of Ferndale, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge and The Charter Township of Royal Oak) We take referrals from parents, teachers, police or anyone concerned about a child's welfare.


Mills also presented two Blue Pig Awards – one to Denise and Dean Bach of Dino’s, who raised the most money during the Blues Festival thanks to their annual Rib Burn Off.  The second was to local business owner Ann Amato of edtec central, LLC (www.edtec.net), an educational consulting group based in Ferndale, with a major project being ACE Academy in Highland Park: (www.aceacademysda.com).  Amato was recognized for her quiet support of the Blues Festival.  Each year Dino’s sells paper pigs for a dollar and hangs them around the bar, and Amato matches the donations.  “I have a service consulting business and educational firm, and we work with juvenile delinquents so we’re really happy to contribute to this cause each year and especially that the money goes to Ferndale Youth Assistance.”


“This is a testament to the City of Ferndale and all the help that comes from the community.  I get this award personally, but it is really deserving to a hundred people out there who really put forth a great effort and put out a lot of really good food too,” said Dean Bach.


Information on the Annual Ferndale Blues Festival can be found at www.ferndalebluesfestival.org.