Detroit Pistons Foundation Logo

OUR MISSION

The Detroit Pistons Foundation is committed to making a lasting impact in the Detroit community by supporting established organizations in Metro Detroit who share our values and goals. Through strategic partnerships and targeted funding with local organizations, the Foundation has a meaningful impact in four key areas: education, health and fitness, mentoring and equality.

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ABOUT US

Photo of Pistons Owner Tom Gores with the quote 'Uniting the community has long been a priority for our organization.' – Tom Gores

In 2016, Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores, Vice Chairman Arn Tellem, and the Detroit Pistons Foundation began a strategic campaign to maximize the Pistons’ charitable impact by connecting with key community organizations to create an open dialogue and an opportunity for the Pistons organization listen to and learn from Detroiters who understand the needs of the various Detroit communities and the barriers in place that prevent Detroiters from meeting those needs.

OUR FOCUS

Education

"Investing in education, especially in communities that too often go overlooked, is vital in the fight for social justice and equality. Kids in our community need better opportunities and a more level playing field."
— Tom Gores

"Education is vital to the city’s continued growth and resurgence."
— Arn Tellem

Health and Fitness

"Our parks initiative continues to expand and adapt, delivering important benefits for the community at a time when kids and Detroiters of all ages need opportunities to stay active in a safe and responsible way."
— Tom Gores

Mentoring

"I believe one of the best ways to help a community is by supporting its young people. Kids need mentors they can look up to who can help them develop skills and gain valuable life experience."
— Tom Gores

Equality

"We will support...organizations that bridge divides, educate and support inclusion and create opportunity and equality."
— Tom Gores

"We will do our part to contribute to healing not only through words but action."
— Tom Gores

OUR INITIATIVES

Photo of community group

30,000 DONATED TICKETS

The Foundation donates over 30,000 Pistons home game tickets annually to Detroit residents

Neighborhood park

$750,000 IN GRANTS

The Foundation supports scholarships for Detroit students and Detroit non-profit organizations

Neighborhood park

FREE SUMMER PROGRAMMING

Our Neighbors Program supports free programming for Detroiters of all ages at five parks around Detroit

Neighbors Program

Neighbors Program

The Detroit Pistons Foundation has partnered with the City of Detroit, the William Davidson Foundation, and the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation to create and implement The Pistons Neighbors Program. The Pistons Neighbors Program is an initiative to provide healthy, safe, and free outdoor programming to five Detroit neighborhoods each summer.

In 2021, programming will be developed at Zussman Playground, Adams Butzel Complex, Butzel Family Center, Rouge Park and Patton Park. The program will take place: June 2, 2021- September 5, 2021

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Additionally, the Foundation offers free training to local nonprofits and neighborhood groups about how to activate public spaces in Detroit.

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OUR GRANTEES

Black History Month Scholarship

Black History Month Scholarship Event & Competition

Rick Mahorn and the Pistons host an annual event at the Detroit Institute of Arts in which Detroit and Flint high school seniors perform through their chosen artistic medium (song, dance, speech, poetry) in front of a panel of community leaders, corporate partners and Pistons Legends.

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City Year Detroit

City Year Detroit

City Year is a national service program to unite young adults from diverse backgrounds for a demanding year of full-time community service. Our donations have assisted more than 5,000 students daily in seven different Detroit schools. The Detroit Pistons Foundation is the primary sponsor of Osborn High School.

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

The DSO's Civic Youth Ensembles have provided high quality music instruction to young people across Southeast Michigan for over 45 years. Our donation has been used to provide subsidized tickets for 4th graders to attend DSO performances and create a new percussion ensemble called the Bucket Band for Detroit students' musical education.

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Sphinx Competition

Sphinx Competition

The Sphinx Competition is a national competition offering young Black and Latinx classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges, and to perform with and receive mentorship from established professional musicians. Prizes range from $3,000 to the top $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize. The Sphinx Competition is held every year in Detroit, Michigan. Our donation is used to host the competition in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra auditorium.

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B.I.N.G.O

B.I.N.G.O

The Bing Youth Institute supports programs and activities that are designed to improve the academic, behavioral, and social wellness of young men of color. Our donations have provided mentors and mentees meeting spaces, tickets for games, educational and career growth opportunities and marketing support.

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S.A.Y. Detroit Play

S.A.Y. Detroit Play

S.A.Y. Detroit improves the lives of Detroit’s neediest citizens through shelter, food, medical care, volunteer efforts and education. The Detroit Pistons Foundation donations have been used for the refurbishment and rebranding of the basketball gym at the former Lipke Park Recreation Center. The gym has become a hub for Detroit Pistons to grow basketball on Detroit's eastside as well as host Detroit PAL leagues and various Pistons community events.

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Detroit PAL

Detroit PAL

The Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) was founded to create safe and supportive places for kids to play while building positive relationships between the police department and the community. Our donation has been used to create a youth recreational basketball league in Wayne County. 2,100 children ages 7-17 have been taught basketball skills and have had access to coaching and mentoring from trained volunteers and Detroit Police Officers.

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APPLY FOR A GRANT

For questions regarding the application process, please contact us at Foundation@pistons.com

COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS
Hooper poses with a young fan

The Detroit Pistons Foundation Community Champions Program offers donors a unique opportunity to experience one-of-a-kind, signature events. Donors who contribute $8,000, $16,000, $25,000 or more will receive a spot on our premiere roster which guarantees exclusive access to at least one, two, or three events throughout the year, all of which will feature current Pistons players, coaches, or legends.

Community Champions have the opportunity to have their name or company mentioned in Pistons social media posts surrounding Detroit Pistons Foundation events, on our website, at in-person Detroit Pistons Foundation events and will enjoy a commemorative end of year gift.

By becoming a Community Champion, you are making a commitment to the continued growth and success of youth in the City of Detroit.

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BECOME A CHAMPION | There are three levels of community champions, Red, White and Blue. Red $25,000; White $16,000; Blue: $8,000
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CURRENT CHAMPIONS
Henry Ford Health System logo
Ethan and Gretchen Davidson

Our Board Members

Mary Ann Sigler, President and Treasurer

Eva Monica Kalawski, Secretary

Nicolet Lewis, Director

Our Team

Gaby McKee, Executive Director
GMcKee@pistons.com
313-771-7529

Erika Swilley, VP of CR & Social Responsibility for Detroit Pistons
ESwilley@pistons.com
313-771-7523

Patrick Duggan, Foundation Coordinator
PDuggan@pistons.com
313-771-7662

Micaela Reardon, Foundation Coordinator
MReardon@pistons.com
313-771-7605