An EPIC Unlike Any Other
By Vivian Henoch, Editor myJewishDetroit
February 1, 2017
Federation’s NEXTGen Detroit is rolling out the red carpet at The Fillmore Detroit on March 4th for their premiere annual fundraiser, EPIC, brought to the community by Sue & Alan J. Kaufman & Family. The event will feature the standup comedy of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s JB Smoove bookended by a fabulous pre-glow and after party —all sprinkled with new EPIC surprises for 2017.
“We are so excited to have EPIC at this historic Detroit landmark,” said Abi Liepshutz, EPIC 2017 Co-Chair. “We want people to have fun as well as know how important their support is to the Jewish community. We are bringing a lot of new elements to this event, and we can’t wait to see 500+ young adults support our community.”
Over the last five years, EPIC events have raised an impressive $1 million for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s Annual Campaign. The donors behind these dollars are the young adults of the Detroit Jewish community. Ranging in age from 21 to 45 years old, they are carrying on a tradition of giving that ensures the needs of the Jewish people are taken care of here in Detroit, in Israel and around the world.
“EPIC welcomes about 100 new young adult donors to the Federation’s Annual Campaign every year and has been instrumental in growing NEXTGen Detroit’s donor base by 100% since 2012,” said Matt Ran, NEXTGen Detroit President. “But it’s certainly not just the amount of donors that makes this so special, it’s the commitment behind their gifts. Last year at EPIC, we saw that attendees’ donations increased an average of 40 percent from the year before.”
The event, which has grown every year since 2013, is expected to welcome 550 attendees and raise a projected $215,000 this year.
“Our family is excited to once again sponsor NEXTGen Detroit’s EPIC. As the presenting sponsor for the past five years, we have seen the tremendous reach and impact that this event has had on the NEXTGen Detroit community and its emerging leaders,” said Alan J. Kaufman. “Due to the continued success of EPIC, we have proudly increased our support of this very important program. We are always amazed by the level of commitment, enthusiasm and generosity among EPIC attendees, and we have no doubt that this year will exceed the success of years past.”
This year, thanks to the incredible generosity of the Kaufman family, all new or increased donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar. With this match in place, EPIC 2017 is poised to be the most successful NEXTGen Detroit fundraiser to date.
“EPIC began with the goal of raising money for the community while also serving as a fun night out to thank our supporters. It has since blossomed into the premiere fundraising event of the year for those of us in our 20s, 30s and 40s,” said Scott Mitnick, EPIC 2017 Co-Chair. “EPIC is replicated around the country in various cities with much success, and as national leaders in young adult engagement, we feel the need to raise the bar each year. At the onset of every EPIC, we meet new attendees eager to engage as well community supporters who come back year after year, which really shows the growth and sustainability of our efforts.”
NEXTGen Detroit is thrilled to welcome comedian JB Smoove as the headlining act this year, best known for his role as Leon on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Smoove is also the recipient of a Writers Guild award, which he earned for his work writing for SNL. He has appeared in feature films including Date Night, Hall Pass, We Bought a Zoo,The Dictator and The Sitter; and he has voiced characters in Ice Age 4 and Smurfs 2.
“We are so excited to welcome JB Smoove to Detroit as part of EPIC this year,” said Michael Rubyan, EPIC 2017 Co-Chair. “We know everyone is in for a great time and a lot of laughs.”
The event kicks off at 8 PM with a pre-glow reception spanning the Fillmore’s ornate two-story lobby. Guests will be treated to an open bar, desserts and live entertainment. Ben Gurion Society donors also are invited backstage to an exclusive meet-and-greet with JB Smoove. Small bites and complimentary drinks will be served during the performance, and everyone is invited to stick around for a DJed after party and late night snacks.
Registration for EPIC is open until February 27 at jewishdetroit.org/EPIC. Early registration is $60 before February 20 and general registration is $75 after February 20. This is a 21+ event and dietary laws will be observed.