Generous grant from the Masco Foundation, combined with continued support of major sponsors, architect and others, make second lounge for traveling military and veterans possibleNews Releases
Romulus, Mich., December 17, 2015 -- A new Freedom Center Military Lounge, located adjacent to Gate D-17 in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s North Terminal, officially opened today for the benefit of travelling members of the military, their families and veterans. The lounge was made possible by a generous $100,000 grant from The Masco Foundation, combined with the continued financial support of corporations, including Meritor, Inc., Delta Air Lines and many other area companies.
“Since we envisioned establishing a permanent, world-class military lounge in this great airport, we have been blessed with outstanding support of area corporations, a wonderful team of volunteers and support of many, many citizens of the area,” said Kenneth S. Pratt, president of the Michigan Armed Forces Hospitality Center, Inc., the non-profit organization which operates the Freedom Center Military Lounges. “In just four years, our lounge in the McNamara Terminal, plus our lounges at the military processing stations in Troy and Lansing, Michigan, have assisted over 200,000 members of our military and their families. We are proud today to open our fourth facility in the heart of DTW’s North Terminal in time for the busy holiday travel season. Thank you all for making this possible.”
Pratt went on to acknowledge the contributions of the Masco Foundation for their $100,000 grant that made the lounge possible, plus the support of others.
“The Masco Foundation, along with Meritor, Inc., Delta Air Lines and others have made our second Freedom Center airport lounge possible,” Pratt added. “They are great partners and continue to enlist the support of other community members. Everyone was ‘all in’ for building out this lounge. The airport authority gave us the space, but we needed to complete the space within budget. With the generous support from the project managers TPC, (The Petersen Companies,) their partners JGA, their contractors and many, many others, we today have another world-class lounge for our military. Our thanks to everyone who made this happen.”
“At Masco, we value the service and sacrifice of our veterans, U.S. military troops and their families. We are extremely honored to partner with the Michigan Armed Forces Hospitality Center and support the second Freedom Center at Detroit Metro Airport. The creation of a Freedom Center at the North Terminal will ensure that the special needs of all military travelers connecting through Detroit will be met. We are proud to be a part of this project and have this opportunity to serve those who have served us,” stated Richard Manoogian, Chairman Emeritus of Masco Corporation.
The new Freedom Center lounge is an 800 sq. ft. facility located adjacent D-17 near the center of DTW’s North Terminal. Its design features one wall, composed of bricks donated by the Michigan Aerospace Foundation and its Yankee Air Museum located at the bomber plant at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti. Open to all who are currently serving in the Armed Forces, as well as all veterans, amenities include comfortable seating, free internet access, a large screen TV, as well as free beverages and snacks. TPC (The Petersen Companies), Wixom, Mich. was the general contractor and designer of the new lounge and JGA of Southfield was the project manager. TPC enlisted the support of numerous suppliers and subcontractors to keep build-out costs to a minimum.
“We are deeply honored to have been a part of the Freedom Center project,” said Arvid Petersen, chairman of TPC. “We are proud and pleased to be able to give back to the service men and women, and their families, for the constant sacrifice they have made for us and for their vigilance in keeping us safe.”
“The team at the Michigan Armed Forces Hospitality Center at Detroit Metropolitan Airport performs an outstanding service,” said Airport Authority CEO Thomas Naughton. “We are proud to support their expansion into the airport’s North Terminal, which will now enable access to their comfortable lounge amenities to all our traveling military personnel and families.”
The first Freedom Center lounge, located at Gate A-43 in DTW’s McNamara Terminal, was dedicated on Veterans Day in 2011. Since that time, more than 200,000 individuals have been hosted by volunteers at the Freedom Center lounges operated by the Michigan Armed Forces Hospital Center, Inc. The non-profit corporation also has satellite lounges in Troy and Lansing to benefit enlistees and their families during the enlistment and swearing-in process. Additional information is available at MIFreedomCenter.org.