The Champ: From the Finish Line to the Front Lines

BY Shinola Team


Crowds roaring, confetti flying, and national anthems ringing loud and clear. The podiums and pyrotechnics. The ceremonies and celebrations. There’s nothing like the sheer scale of the summer Olympics. 2020 was supposed to be no different—well, was.

Flags were turned in for masks. Spandex was swapped for scrubs. Suddenly, the home team was the whole planet. When the 2020 Summer Olympics were put on hold, we did things the Detroit way: turn a challenge into an opportunity to serve the city that we call home.

We could never have done it without your help. Here’s how the community rallied together to accomplish an Olympic feat.



The Champ Detrola was reborn with the same spirit, but a new twofold purpose: to celebrate the real champions of Summer 2020, the frontline and essential workers; and to make a difference in the lives of frontline healthcare champions in Detroit. We pledged $197,500 to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan’s Healthcare Workers Fund. Folks rallied around the new purpose, gifting Champ Detrolas to the Champs in their life.

As the summer went on, our artisans brought the factory floor back to life—slowly, safely, and surely. We’re proud to say that we made good on our promise that The Champ Detrola would be the first up on the assembly line, and it shipped out to deserving heroes shortly after.



Summer is fading, and every last Champ has been gifted to a deserving Champ. But although the race has been run, there are many more challenges ahead. You can still rise to the occasion and support the tireless healthcare workers on the frontlines in Detroit—donate at CFSEM’s website to keep Champs going.

We owe our community endless gratitude. Thank you, gifters of the Champ, for making the dream to support healthcare workers in Detroit a reality. Thank you to the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan for making the fund possible. And thank you, thank you, thank you to every essential worker out there. You’re our Champs.


The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change. Led by president Mariam Noland, the Foundation has a significant track record of leadership in important initiatives, from playing a major role during the city’s bankruptcy to now helping Detroit’s healthcare organizations fight COVID-19.

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