GM Foundation Unveils Education-Themed Float for America's Thanksgiving Parade
Float's theme - Education Fuels Tomorrow's Innovators - symbolizes commitment
to invest in future of youth
DETROIT, Nov. 13, 2012
DETROIT, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --The General Motors Foundation today
unveiled a new float it is sponsoring during America's Thanksgiving Parade®,
An 86 Year Tradition, on Thursday, Nov. 22. With a theme of "Education Fuels
Tomorrow's Innovators," the float showcases the Foundation's commitment to
investing in America's youth – the next generation of innovators.
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121113/DE11879 )
"Our new float is a celebration of the GM Foundation's many educational
partnerships and our commitment to encourage more students to pursue studies
of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) - areas critical to the
future success of our nation," said Selim Bingol, GM vice president, Global
Communications and Public Policy and the new chairman of the GM Foundation.
The float, designed and built by The Parade Company, is also a celebration of
education in Detroit, specifically the United Way "Network of Excellence,"
created by the GM Foundation's $27.1 million commitment to seven Detroit-area
high schools and administered in conjunction with United Way for Southeastern
Michigan. The goal of the effort is to raise graduation rates by 30 percent
over five years while supporting the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.
Representatives from the "Network of Excellence" high schools participated in
the float unveiling, and members of the East Detroit Marching Band accompanied
the float on its maiden journey along Atwater Street.
"This float is GM Foundation demonstrating its commitment to the youth and
families of our community," said Michael J. Brennan, United Way for
Southeastern Michigan president and CEO. "We are delighted by the
forward-looking view of the work we are doing now to transform high schools
throughout the tri-county region."
The float offers a futuristic scene with two students leaving high school and
embarking on their futures. Arriving at a crossroads, the students find
themselves presented with educational roads to take: Science Way, Math Lane,
Engineering Road and Technology Drive. Each road provides examples of the
opportunities that await them as STEM majors.
The float is 17 feet tall and 60 feet long. An animated robot controls the
action on board and features a pneumatically powered head and mouth that move.
The float also incorporates hydrogen and electric charging stations.
"We are delighted that the GM Foundation has chosen such an inspiring theme
for their new float," said Tony Michaels, president and CEO, The Parade
Company. "We are certain that parade goers will be entertained by both its
theme and the intricate design."
The 86^th America's Thanksgiving Parade®, one of the country's oldest and
most-celebrated parades produced by The Parade Company, will step-off at
Woodward Avenue and Mack on Thanksgiving Day and will end at Woodward Avenue
and Congress in downtown Detroit. Congressman John Dingell and Debbie Dingell
will serve as co-grand marshals for the two-hour parade.
About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of
millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to
disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting
Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community
Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding
of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM
Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit
About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Wayne,
Oakland and Macomb counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways
throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of
volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the
community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan
Detroit community through its annual Campaign and is a leader in convening
partners to impact local residents each year by increasing economic
self-sufficiency, protecting children and youth at risk, strengthening
families, empowering neighborhoods and communities, and promoting health and
wellness. Additional information is available at www.liveunitedsem.org.
About The Parade Company
Founded in 1984, The Parade Company is a not-for-profit organization governed
by the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation whose board of directors is
comprised of key civic and corporate leaders in the greater Detroit region.
The Parade Company is celebrating 86 years of Parade tradition in Detroit,
which is broadcasted to over 140 markets and cities nationwide. The mission is
to fund, create and execute the best family events in metro Detroit. The
Parade Company staff, the board of directors and thousands of parade
volunteers work year-round to bring a wide variety of magnificent events to
the City of Detroit, each year, including the Target Fireworks, Fifth Third
Turkey Trot and America's Thanksgiving Parade^®. Visit www.theparade.organd
follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE General Motors Foundation
Contact: Maria Mainville, GM Foundation & Corporate Reputation Communications,
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