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Jim Leyland salutes kidney patient and former Tiger John Young

Spectacular Fireworks display on big screen at Sound Board


Detroit, MI (June 2013) – Ora’s Alliance, will award former Detroit Tiger and RBI founder John Young the Ovation Award.  Young has suffered with Type 2 diabetes for several years, yet he has continued to live a quality life while touching the lives of more than 200,000 young ball players annually through RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner City).  Jim Leyland, Tigers manager and Young’s minor league roommate will introduce Young.  Ovation is a Roman custom declaring victory over a lesser foe. Young’s life is a testament that kidney disease is no match for him and he deserves an ovation.


Dr. Greta Manning, president and founder of Ora’s Alliance, a former Detroit resident and University of Michigan trained physician, summarizes the event’s goal, “It is our hope that this event will help ease the financial burden of prescription medications incurred by kidney patients in Southeast Michigan.” In addition, part of the proceeds will benefit American Kidney Fund.


Many of the 31 million Americans who suffer with chronic kidney disease do not have adequate insurance coverage to address their unique needs.  Moreover, there are 700,000 adults with this disease in Michigan and more than 300,000 at risk.  One of our beneficiaries, the American Kidney Fund helps over 100,000 patients annually with dialysis related expenses, with 97 cents of every dollar spent going towards programs and services. 


Bankole Thompson, distinguished journalist, presidential author and senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle will serve as co-host.



What:Ovation Awards are given to individuals whose lives have been challenged by kidney diseases

When:  Monday, June 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. with special Fireworks display on big screen at 10:06 p.m.

Where: Sound Board located at Motor City Casino Hotel & Conference Center, 2901 Grand River Avenue

Tickets: Strolling Dinner $75.00 available at Ticketmaster locations and ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone,

call 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at Sound Board Box Office Wednesday, Friday- Sunday.


Surprise guests and silent auction items featuring sports and entertainment items




A non-profit organization, committed to building public awareness of kidney diseases, providing funding for valuable research and supporting organizations that serve patients who suffer with end-stage kidney disease. The acronym ORA, denotes “obliterating renal aliments.” Learn more at http://www.oras-alliance.org



The mission of the American Kidney Fund is to fight kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, health education and prevention efforts.  The American Kidney Fund envisions a world without kidney disease.  As they move toward that goal, American Kidney Fund is committed work to achieve a nation where kidney patients have access to the health care they need, and one in which there are far fewer people with kidney diseases. Learn more at http://www.kidneyfund.org




John Thomas Young grew up in South Central Los Angeles.  After graduating from high school in 1967, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the Major League Baseball Free Agent Draft.  After turning down the Reds offer, he enrolled at Chapman College where he played basketball and was a member of Chapman’s 1968 NCAA Division II Championship Baseball Team. In 1969, he made his major league debut, after being selected by the Detroit Tigers in first round of the MLB Free Agent Draft.  Young played six years in the Tigers organization and reached the major leagues in 1971. A wrist injury retarded his major league playing career in 1972.  Young’s first non-uniform baseball job was an associate scout with the Chicago Cubs, where he received supervision by baseball legend John “Buck” O’Neil.  Under O’Neil’s tutelage, Young received an education in scouting skills and lifelong advice that he will carry in his heart forever. Young also developed his passion for the Negro Baseball Leagues by listening to the many stories told by the Kansas City Monarchs icon.  From 1978 to 1983, Young worked in the Tigers Player Development and Scouting Departments as a minor league batting instructor and scout.  In 1981, he became MLB’s first African American Scouting Director when the Tigers named him to that post.  In addition, Young worked with the San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers and Florida Marlins.  During his scouting career, Young signed 20 Major League Players to their first professional contracts.  In 1989, he founded the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Program.  In 1992, Major League Baseball assumed the administrative duties of RBI and committed additional resources to enhance the program.  Currently, there are over 200 worldwide RBI Programs with more than 200,000 youth playing annually and over one million participants since its inception. He retired from baseball as the special assistant to the general manager of the Chicago Cubs.  In 2009, he became a dialysis patient and his priorities changed forever.  Young considers maintaining his normal lifestyle while on dialysis to be his greatest accomplishment.  He spends countless hours lecturing on life after dialysis and the value of a positive attitude.  Young resides in Irvine, California with wife, Sheryl and has three adult children, Dorian, Jon, and Tori.

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