Tom Gores Rumors
Gores, the Detroit Pistons’ owner, pledged to raise $10 million toward relief efforts in Flint, through his FlintNOW Foundation. Arn Tellem, the former high-powered player agent who joined the organization last fall as Vice Chair of Palace Sports and Entertainment, was in Flint Friday meeting with philanthropic and charity organizations, and returned Sunday morning to meet with local leaders and hear presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who came to Flint and spoke at a local church. “We’re committed, starting with Tom,” Tellem said Sunday. “He’s a native. He’s deeply concerned about Flint, and cares about it. I can tell you that the entire organization, the coaches, the players, the entire staff at the Pistons and the Palace, we’re all committed to making a difference. This is not going to be a one-month effort of writing some checks. We’re going to be involved and continue to be of help and support to this community. It’s sustaining it, and we get that. And Tom’s committed, and I’m committed. Everyone that’s involved in this effort is committed to seeing it through.”
“Arn and the group that is sort of on the ground from Platinum Equity took a great deal of tine to come and meet with us and find out what was going on,” United Way CEO Jamie Gaskin said Sunday afternoon. “The commitment of $10 million is a commitment that will take place over time. We expect them to not only invest in the immediate recovery but the long-term health care fund that’s been set up for these kids, and even looking into and exploring economic development, because that’s such an important part of our community. Even with this tragedy and challenge, we have to have jobs. People have to live here. Our expectation is that they’re going to continue to stay plugged in here as they continue to make that longer term commitment.”
The money raised from the coach and players has been earmarked for the Flint Child Health & Development Fund, launched by Flint physician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the United Way of Genesee County’s Flint water fund and the Red Cross. “We’ve all been touched by the fact that children and families are suffering up in Flint,” Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver said in a statement. “We want to do something to help, to make sure that those kids and their families have the long-term help they need to recover from this crisis. Our owner has stepped up, and now we’re doing the same.”
So in the midst of the water crisis, Gores is doing more than donating water. He is rallying moguls and prominent entertainment figures to help address the immediate and long-term needs of Flint residents. Gores has announced a private sector campaign to raise at least $10 million. “The issues facing Flint won’t be solved solely through government intervention and emergency support,” Gores said in a press release. “The private sector needs to play role here, and I am committed to helping drive that effort.
Rod Beard: #Pistons Gores on The Palace: “You want to make sure that home is good, it’s livable and we adorn that home because that’s where we live. At the same time, we understand what’s going on in downtown cities and we’re looking at it very, very seriously. We’ll make any of those decisions on a whole basis, for the community and for us.”