2019 Blog Posts, Culture, Feature Story

DYC Homecoming Celebration + a BIG $1M Surprise

Hi, friends! I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful weather this weekend! Soon it will turn cold and dreary so enjoy the sunshine and warmth while you can.

Speaking of getting out and about in Detroit, did you happen to make it out to the Detroit Youth Choir’s (DYC) Homecoming Celebration yesterday? Or did you watch it LIVE on WDIV Local 4?

Detroit Youth Choir Homecoming Celebration Detroit, Michigan
The Detroit Youth Choir Homecoming Celebration was held at Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit. (Photo by Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit)

It was a very heartwarming welcome home for the DYC and their family and loved ones. It was also PACKED at Campus Martius because there were hundreds of people who came out to welcome the DYC home!

It made me happy to see so many supporters welcoming home the youth and Mr. White. I am sure the DYC and their family and friends were very grateful for all of the love.

The DYC Welcome Home Celebration was hosted by WDIV Local 4, the city of Detroit, and the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Television journalist Kim Gill was the main speaker at the celebration.

She has been documenting the DYC’s America’s Got Talent journey over the last couple of months. Ms. Gill said she feels like the DYC is family now because of the great amount of time she spent with them. She said the kids call her, “Auntie Kim.” (Lol that’s cute.)

Detroit Youth Choir Director
Detroit Youth Choir’s artistic director Anthony White
hugs a friend at the homecoming celebration.
DYC Homecoming
Hundreds of people turned out at the DYC Homecoming Celebration!
DYC Homecoming Celebration
The DYC Homecoming Celebration was packed!

It sounds like the entire journey has been just a beautiful experience! I’ve been very taken with the DYC’s story when my friend told me about their Golden Buzzer moment with Terry Crews. It was a joy to cheer on the DYC and welcome them home at the celebration!

Mayor Duggan, the city of Detroit’s mayor, also presented the DYC with the key to the city. He said the youth would also get their own individual copies of the key to the city. What a great honor!

Detroit Youth Choir Homecoming
Mayor Duggan presents the Detroit Youth Choir a key to the city.
DYC Homecoming
The Detroit Youth Choir received a key to the city!


Perhaps the biggest highlight of the DYC’s homecoming celebration was the announcement that Detroit and other Michigan-based businesses and philanthropists made a BIG donation to the DYC for…get this…ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!

Wendy Lewis Jackson, Detroit Program Managing Director for Kresge Foundation and Tonya Allen, President & CEO of the Skillman Foundation made the announcement together.

“We all voted with our phones last week,” Ms. Lewis Jackson said at the announcement. “Now we want to show our support with our resources.”

DYC Homecoming
Local supporters cheer on the DYC.
DYC  Homecoming
Many people had their phones out taking photos and recording the Detroit Youth Choir’s Homecoming Celebration.


Along with the Kresge and Skillman Foundations, here are the other businesses and philanthropies who donated to the Detroit Youth Choir:

  • The Kellogg Foundation
  • The Ballmer Group
  • The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • DTE Energy Foundation
  • Bank of America
  • Huntington Bank
  • Dakota Integrative Systems
  • Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation

Everyone was overcome with emotion at the news. Mr. White shed a few tears and was almost speechless. Mayor Duggan (mayor of Detroit) said everyone felt there should have been two first-place prizes so the Kresge Foundation and Skillman Foundation partnered together to make it happen for the DYC! What a great blessing!

DYC Homecoming
Anthony White and WDIV’s Kim Gill are overjoyed at the news of the $1M donation to the Detroit Youth Choir.
Detroit Youth Choir director
Mr. White, the DYC artistic director, greets family and friends at the DYC Homecoming Celebration.
DYC Homecoming Celebration
Members of the DYC and a few family members head
back out after the homecoming celebration.
DYC Homecoming
Many people were asking to take pictures of the DYC. It was a joyous
celebration that people didn’t want to forget!
Detroit Youth Choir Homecoming
What up doe, DYC!
Anthony White Detroit Youth Choir Director
Mr. White greets fans at the DYC Homecoming Celebration.
Detroit Youth Choir Homecoming
Loved ones hug Mr. White as he heads to the bus.

I’m excited to see what’s in store for the Detroit Youth Choir and Mr. White. The $1M donation to the DYC is going to be a great resource for the music program and its youth singers.



Join 2,587 other subscribers


All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

What are your thoughts?