Inaugural multi-cultural event to feature dance, music, and food; award $10K to local nonprofits

Belly dancing and step dancing. Drummers and Middle Eastern dancers. A smorgasbord of international cuisine.

Not to mention the chance to help award $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations.

It’s all happening at the inaugural giving circle event for the Minority Philanthropy Initiative, presented by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. The event, the first of its kind, is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron.

The Minority Philanthropy Initiative (MPI) giving circle aims to celebrate the region’s rich multi-cultural community and all the while rewarding some of its hard-working nonprofit organizations.

“This is going to be a very important opportunity for us to gather together, to learn culturally, share our stories, network, eat together, dance together and enjoy each other's company,” says Jessica Brown, committee member of MPI. “So this is going to be an opportunity for everyone, no matter where you are or what part of the community you are, to come together and enjoy this time with us.”

It works like this: For a $100 registration fee, guests can attend the event and enjoy a diverse array of food and entertainment as their regsistration fees pool together to award $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations.

Upon registration, guests are asked to nominate their favorite nonprofit program, project, or organization in St. Clair County. MPI will identify the top ten organizations to receive nominations and randomly select three of those organizations to advance to the final round.

At the giving circle event itself, the three selected nonprofits will each give a three-minute “pitch” where they introduce their organizations and their missions. Guests will then select their favorites in an anonymous vote.

The nonprofit to receive the most votes will be awarded $5,000 with $3,000 and $2,000 going to second- and third-place, respectively.

“We want to create some momentum around minority nonprofit leaders and people who really want to live out their dreams,” says Shawn Shackelford, chair of the Community Foundation’s Equity & Inclusion Fund Committee. “We want to get out in the community and reinvest that back into the community and into people who really want to be a part of this area, grow their businesses and live out their dreams.”

Click HERE to register for the inaugural Minority Philanthropy Initiative giving circle event and nominate your favorite local nonprofit organizations today. The registration window is open until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19.