Students Encouraged to Connect and Continue Their Education Beyond the Classroom at
8th Annual Scholarship Luncheon
MIRA Foundation’s Joseph D. Sarafa Scholarship Program invests more than $700,000 in tomorrow’s leaders since 1999
West Bloomfield, Mich. (June 29, 2016) — The 8th Annual Joseph D. Sarafa Scholarship luncheon was held at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) on Tuesday, June 28th to congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients. The event was held in the main Ballroom of the DAC to a host of sponsors, guest speakers, MIRA members, parents and students throughout the Midwest, including winners from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois. In total, 38 students received scholarships at the event.
With this year’s scholarships, the MIRA Foundation has distributed over $700,000 in scholarship funds to the employees and family members of member businesses, their customers, and financially disadvantaged youth.
Keynote speakers at the event were Dan Loepp, President & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan, and Jim Petcoff, Chairman & CEO of Conifer Insurance Company. The luncheon was led by MIRA President and CEO, Auday Arabo and former MIRA Chairman of the Board Joe Bellino Jr., who presented the scholarships to this year’s winning students. The $1,500 scholarship was awarded to extraordinary and deserving students who will be attending or who are already attending an accredited public college, private college or university.
The event’s first speaker was Dan Loepp, President & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan, who offered some advice to this year’s scholarship recipients. “Make as many personal and professional connections as you can,” said Loepp. “No one achieves anything without the help from others.”
Speaking next was Jim Petcoff, Chairman & CEO of Conifer Insurance Company, who talked about how education extends beyond the classroom. “School provides the basic understanding of principles and learning for a person, but for a person to get educated, he needs to be involved in society and gain many various experiences,” said Petcoff.
Highlighting this year’s event was the announcement of a special scholarship awarded in honor of the late Rev. Nicholas Hood Sr. and the invocation will be given by his son Rev. Nicholas Hood Jr. Prior to his death, the Rev. Hood Sr. was the Minister Emeritus of Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit.
“I think the most important thing that we do is give back to the youth,” said Arabo. “The youth are our leaders of tomorrow. Education is the ultimate equalizer and when you see youth do so well, you want to pat them on the back and encourage them to do even better.”
The Foundation’s scholarship program would not be possible without the support and generous contributions from various sponsors around the Midwest.