Russell Ebeid and Ramy Eidi have a great deal in common.
Both men are the sons of Lebanese immigrants, who instilled in them a dedication to education and hard work. Both became successful presidents at local companies — Mr. Ebeid was the president and chairman of Guardian Industries, the flat-glass producer based in Auburn Hills, Mich., while Mr. Eidi is the CEO and president of Eidi Properties, a real estate investment firm in Toledo.
And as of Thursday, both men have invested money in a ProMedica initiative that funds research and programs targeting demographic factors — such as income, education, housing, and food insecurity — that affect a person’s well-being.
Gary Cates, ProMedica chief philanthropy officer, announced the $1.5 million donation from Mr. Eidi and his wife Faye to the $50 million Ebeid Neighborhood Promise initiative during a news conference Thursday at ProMedica’s Ebeid Institute in UpTown. The donation brings ProMedica closer to its $10 million fund-raising goal for the initiative.
“[The initiative] is going to make our community vibrant, and God willing, better and better,” Mr. Eidi told The Blade.
In October, officials announced a 10-year, $50 million investment in addressing social factors that affect health and well-being through both research and community development following a $28.5 million gift from the family of Mr. Ebeid, who died in July, 2017.
ProMedica donated another $11.5 million, and its foundation set a goal to raise an additional $10 million over a 10-year period. The Eidi family donation is the first major gift to contribute to reaching that fund-raising goal.
The funding is dedicated to developing the National Center for Social Determinants Research to study the relationship between demographic factors and health, as well as programs such as job training, nutrition education, and financial literacy beginning in the UpTown neighborhood.
Housed at the Ebeid Institute on Madison Street, the Ebeid Neighborhood Promise has funded, in part, the Market on the Green, a full-service grocery store in a designated food desert; job and work-force training, and cooking classes, such as one that focuses on how to feed a family of four for less than $10.
Additionally, the initiative has helped fund the hiring of five financial coaches at the Financial Opportunity Center, which has served 1,000 individuals to date. Data collected at the center shows a significant increase in credit scores, employment levels, and net worth of participants in the program, said Kate Sommerfeld, president of social determinants of health at ProMedica.
Ms. Sommerfeld said ProMedica will continue to reach out to local businesses, like Eidi Properties, to ask for their support to reach the initiative’s $10 million fund-raising goal.
“This is really about partnerships,” Ms. Sommerfeld said. “While ProMedica is trying to spearhead this, it’s really a gift to the community.”
Staff writer Lauren Lindstrom contributed to this report.
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