Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

February 18, 2014

GM Foundation gives grants to 3 Detroit charities

DETROIT (AP) — The General Motors Foundation awarded a total of $1 million in grants to three Detroit charities on Monday in honor of the automaker’s former chief executive.

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen is getting $500,000 to feed Detroit residents and tend to their basic needs. Habitat for Humanity Detroit, which refurbishes and builds homes for the city’s needy, received $400,000, and COTS gets $100,000 to provide services to the homeless.

The money was donated as a tribute to former GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson and his wife, Karin, who were known for their charity work during Dan’s tenure with Detroit-based GM. He was chairman and CEO for more than three years before retiring from the company Jan. 15.

The Akersons chaired the Karmanos Cancer Institute’s annual dinner, raising $868,000. They also chaired the Capuchin “SOCK” dinner and personally donated $250,000 and raised $1 million for the organization.

“Although not natives of Detroit, Dan and Karin Akerson were incredibly moved by the people and circumstances they encountered in the city,” Selim Bingol, chairman of the GM Foundation, said in a statement. “They changed many lives through their significant personal donations, and we wanted to honor their commitment through these grants.”

GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard presented checks to the three charities on Monday.

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