Pure Michigan, MLive and "Under the Radar Michigan" Host Live Music, Variety Programs to Benefit Michigan Hospitality  Industry Employees

LANSING, MICH. Pure Michigan, MLive Media Group and “Under the Radar Michigan” are hosting a new virtual concert and entertainment series for Michiganders to enjoy while practicing social distancing to benefit the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association Education Foundation’s (MRLAEF) Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund.
Come Together: A Relief Effort for Tourism Workers will stream live during National Travel and Tourism Week on Monday, May 4 – Friday, May 8, from 7-8 p.m., on MLive’s Facebook page as well as Pure Michigan’s Facebook page. Donations collected online during the series will go directly to the relief fund to assist those in the tourism industry who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
“There is no doubt that we are currently going through an incredibly difficult period as a state and as a travel industry, so we hope to spread some joy through these fun virtual experiences that will also benefit hospitality industry employees,” said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We’re thrilled to work with talented individuals to put together five nights of live music, culinary inspiration and surprises in appreciation of Michigan’s hospitality industry and provide some inspirations for travels to come.”
The series, co-hosted by MLive’s John Gonzalez and “Under the Radar Michigan” host Tom Daldin, will feature different segments each evening including performances by Michigan musicians, food and beverage demonstrations and surprise features. Guests will include Brian Vander Ark, Greensky Bluegrass, The Accidentals, Marvin Sapp, Ginger Zee, Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill, Detroit Tigers Pitcher John Schneider, Carter Oosterhouse, Iron Fish Distillery, Eddie Baranek, Mitch Albom and Short’s Brewing Company.
“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be part of this much needed live event,” said Tom Daldin, host of “Under the Radar,” a Michigan PBS travel program distributed by Detroit Public Television. “The music, food and special guests we’ve come up with will be a fun and compelling way for folks who need the help to get it, and folks who want to help to give. This will be some serious fun for all.”
In addition to the entertainment series, Pure Michigan is encouraging statewide strength and unity with a “Two Peninsulas, One Pure Michigan” message. Michigan lovers can show their state pride by purchasing a “Two Peninsulas, One Pure Michigan” t-shirt, with $5 from each purchase going toward the Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund. People are also encouraged to share photos of themselves in their t-shirt and engage on social media using the hashtag #OnePureMichigan.
“We are super excited to take part in this relief effort,” said John Gonzalez of MLive, who travels with Amy Sherman as part of the Michigan’s Best series. “Our hospitality workers, who are usually behind the scenes, do so much to make our experiences truly memorable that they should be celebrated every day.  They are the rock stars. Putting on this series of live, fundraising events is the very least we can do. Please join us for a few laughs and great entertainment as we celebrate all things Michigan.”
For more information on these initiatives, inspiration for future trip planning and virtual resources, including tours, downloadable worksheets, digital post cards and more visit michigan.org and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
All hospitality employees in Michigan are eligible to apply for funds from The Michigan Hospitality Employee Relief Fund. Applications are available online at mrlaef.org/relief-fund. Restaurant employees also can apply for financial assistance from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Relief Fund at https://rerf.us/.
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
About the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation
The mission of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (MRLAEF) is to provide invaluable resources and training to Michigan’s hospitality industry which employs nearly 600,000 people and creates $40 billion in annual revenue. The MRLAEF also prepares high school students for the challenges of a career in restaurants and foodservice through ProStart, a nationwide, two-year high school program that unites the classroom and the industry. ProStart students learn vital kitchen skills, including food safety and knife cuts, and important management lessons, such as menu development and marketing. For more information, visit https://mrlaef.org.

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