Event puts spotlight on track and field
Event puts spotlight on track and field
Chuck Bennett / Special to The Detroit News

A group of young businessmen in suits stood in the middle of the floor in a private room at Bacco Ristorante in Southfield on Friday, holding on to their cocktails and scoping the room with looks of amazement.

“This is so cutting edge,” one of them proclaimed for anybody who might have been listening. “I love it.”

The event was a private reception for the Robert S. Shumake Scholarship Relays, a comprehensive track meet involving around 2,000 students from the Midwest and Canada, which took place April 25 at Renaissance High School in Detroit. The meet is recognized as one of the premier Class A track and field competitions for high school students across the nation.

“We did a party this year because, although we are very successful among the students and in the school system,” Shumake explained, “on a social level, we still need to raise awareness. We also wanted to take this time to welcome Olympic gold medalist Dee Dee Trotter, who is here for the relays.”

About 100 guests showed up. Keeping with the track-meet theme, fashion models did physical workouts all evening on elevated gym equipment placed throughout the room. Progressive dance music pulsated through the sound system.

Partygoers dined on dishes that included homemade Italian sausage with onion-gorgonzola compote, and cavatelli with duck meatballs.

During a brief program, Shumake, a prominent Bloomfield Hills businessman, who founded the scholarship relays five years ago, encouraged guests to support children whenever they can. He then introduced Trotter, who also is the founder of “Test Me I’m Clean,” a charity dedicated to combating the abuse of steroids. She said a few words and was presented with an award of excellence from Shumake.

The Shumake relays not only award medals and trophies, but also provide college scholarships to qualified participants. More than 5,000 students have received scholarships from the annual event since its inception.

Categories: Track and Cross News

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