‘Press Releases’

33rd Annual Dobson a huge success!

The 33rd Dobson Open yesterday proved to be the most successful one-day fundraiser for The Rainbow Connection, with the golf tournament, dinner and silent auction bringing in a record of more than $172,000. The charity founded by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson to make dreams come true for Michigan children with life-threatening medical conditions also had a sellout, with 260 people attending the festivities.

Executive Director Mary Grace McCarter said the Dobson event on Monday, July 30, raised at least $50,000 more than ever before.

“The Rainbow Connection fulfills the wishes of seriously ill children because of the generosity of individuals like those that attended the Dobson Open on Monday,” said Patterson, who hosted the event. “However, we need that support to continue. I encourage others help us make more dreams come true by walking in The Rainbow Connection walks in August and September.”

Auction items included a University of Michigan football tailgating package, Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings party suites, gift certificates to Michigan restaurants featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” and a Kid Rock Ultimate Fan Basket, among other items.

The Dobson Open was first held in August 1980 to honor the memories of the three members of the Dobson family who were killed in a private plane crash. The Rainbow Connection evolved from the Dobson Open fundraiser. The Rainbow Connection has fulfilled more than 2,400 dreams for seriously ill Michigan children between the ages of 30 months and 18 years.

The Rainbow Connection’s Title  Sponsors are Walmart, Sam’s Club and Prudential Retirement.



“Quake on the Lake” to host National Inboard Hydroplane Championships

Pontiac, MI, April 11, 2011 – This summer’s 12th annual “Quake on the Lake” will host one of the nation’s premier boat races – the 2011 National Inboard Hydroplane Championships.

Members of the American Power Boat Association (APBA) recently held their national meeting in Dearborn, Michigan, where they decided to return the hydroplane championships to Michigan after 42 years. The last time the National Inboard Hydroplane Championships were held in Michigan was at Ford Lake near Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1969.

“‘Quake on the Lake’ is among Oakland County’s best quality of life events,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. “To host the National Inboard Hydroplane Championships validates what a great event ‘Quake on the Lake’ is.”

“Quake on the Lake” is scheduled for Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 at the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area in White Lake and Waterford townships. The racecourse at Pontiac Lake is recognized as the fastest one-mile racecourse in North America.  Since the “Quake on the Lake’s” inception 11 years ago, 17 world speed records have been broken in 10 classes of inboard hydroplanes.

This year’s hydroplane racing will feature classes that will run from 90 miles per hour to those that approach 175 miles per hour in the straight-aways.  The Eastern Divisional Championships were held at Pontiac Lake in 2009 and over 100 race teams attended from across North America.

The best part of “Quake on the Lake” remains the same – raising money for charity.  Event producers, the Oakland County Community Club, have given over $100,000 to various charities.  Once again this year, all Quake On The Lake net proceeds will benefit The Rainbow Connection, a 501(c)(3) charity founded by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson that grants wishes to Michigan children with terminal or life threatening illnesses as well as support other community grass-root initiatives.

In addition to the high-speed action on the water, there will be loads of family entertainment for all ages including musical entertainment from national and local acts.  Last year’s lineup included Mark Farner, formerly of Grand Funk Railroad, along with Night Ranger and the Tubes.

For more information, click on www.QuakeOnTheLake.org.  For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.


A Tragedy Remembered



Rochester, Mich., July 9, 2010 — It seems like just yesterday that Elwyn and Helen Dobson from Vassar received the phone call that every parent dreads. It was May 9, 1980 and the police were calling with bad news.

Their son, Ron Dobson, his wife Janet, and their two children, Tim and Jennifer, were traveling on Ron’s private airplane to a wedding in Canada. Tragedy struck. Ron’s oil pump on the plane froze up, and the plane crashed. Ron and the children had been killed and Janet was not likely to live. Read more »

The Stars Shine for Kaitlin in LA



During her long stays at Children’s Hospital, 16 year old Kaitlin from Walled Lake made sure that she never missed an episode of The Ellen Show. “It was the one thing that made her smile”, her mother explained. Read more »

TRC Gains Additional Support from TCF Bank



Rochester, Mich., April 15, 2010 – Michigan children stricken with life threatening illnesses can count on a dream come true from The Rainbow Connection but Executive Director Mary Grace McCarter is quick to explain that The Rainbow Connection is much more than a wish. Read more »