By BTL Staff
Attendees at this year’s Motor City Pride on Saturday June 7 capped off the evening at Motor Ball, a revival of an event last held in Detroit in 2005. More than 500 people were at the party, and raised nearly $6,000 for the Michigan AIDS Coalition.
Motor Ball, originally called the GEAR Party (Generating Education, Awareness, and Respect), was a fundraising product of a now dissolved organization called Geared for Life. GFL was around from 1994 until 2005; the mission was to raise dollars for area AIDS organizations that provided education, financial assistance, and service programs for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Entirely volunteer driven, GFL was important to the community as it provided much needed financial support for AIDS non-profits. After eleven years, the founders all went their separate ways to pursue life and careers. But in the summer of 2013, three of the original founders – Tracy Hoffman, Derek Zachariah, and John Joanette – approached Michigan AIDS Coalition CEO Terry Ryan, and expressed an interest in re-starting Motor Ball, with MAC as the beneficiary.
All parties agreed to do a one day, “soft” re-launch of what years earlier had grown to be a multi-day party event, and Detroit’s version of the famed circuit parties so popular in North America. Given the success of the 2014 event, the three co-founders agreed to sign over all rights to Geared for Life, the GEAR Party, and Motor Ball to the Michigan AIDS Coalition, to be incorporated into their fundraising and program activities.
There will be a 2015 Motor Ball, date to be determined, and possibly other activities under the GFL banner.