"My mother just wanted to infect you so you would go on and do that. Just carry on," said Janet Denk, daughter of the late co-founder of Focus:HOPE, Eleanor Josaitis, who died last August.
A sell-out crowd of more than 1,000 supporters Saturday stood in solidarity to raise $2.5 that was generated when furniture magnate Art Van Elslander challenged to match up to a million dollars from participants at the Light for HOPE Eleanor M. Josaitis Tribute Dinner at the Detroit Mariott Renaissance Center.
These drum majors for justice clearly claimed that the Josaitis work would continue to train the jobless, and provide for mothers, infants and seniors, among others in its diverse programs that widen the playing field for all.
Josaitis led Focus:Hope for 43 years with Father William Cunnigham when civil unrest rocked Detroit.
Testimonies of the impact of Focus:HOPE on recipients were repeatedly told as Yemi Kinni-Olusanyin, a graduate said:
"I came to know Focus:HOPE when I was at the crossroads of my life."
The event was led by 19 of Josaitis' girlfriends, including Beth Chappell, Anne Mervenne, and Debbie Dingell, among others, who also steered 35 businesses, schools, organizations and churches to deliver food, school supplies, and more, to Focus:HOPE last Saturday.
And, this Saturday, this drum major's work for justice moves on with the pledge of 1,000 supporters.