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Tux & Chucks 5th annual charity event honors Detroit-based nonprofits

Photo Credit: FORGIVE ME NOT PHOTOS Co-Founders, Byron Suggs and Jason Appling

Photo Credit: FORGIVE ME NOT PHOTOS Co-Founders, Byron Suggs and Jason Appling

Cool Smart, Inc. along with presenting sponsor MGM Grand Detroit announce the 5th Annual Tux & Chucks fundraising charity event. Elite professionals and socialites unite with the goal of giving back in mind. Not just a traditional bash, three local organizations benefit from a portion of the proceeds. Tux & Chucks is Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 from 8 p.m. at MGM Grand Detroit located at 1777 3rd St. in Detroit, Michigan. The Grand Ballroom will transform into a grandeur space of elegance and sophistication to set the ambiance for this year’s event. Patrons will experience a philanthropic journey infused with décor, cuisine, style, and entertainment.

Cool Smart, Inc. co-founders Byron Suggs and Jason Appling are Detroit natives who have awakened a vision that is magnetic. This 21 and up fundraising event has gained momentum each year since its 2011 debut, with more than 3,000 supporters attending and $30K generated in past years. They hope to expand to all major cities in the U.S. “We would like to see the event grow annually, which would enable us to give more back to local organizations and beyond,” Suggs says.

For the fifth year, this event will assist local non-profits with continuing their specific initiatives through financial support. This year’s recipients are Mittens for Detroit, Kicks for Kids, and the Rhonda Walker Foundation.

Rolling out sat down with Jason Appling to discuss why Tux & Chucks was founded and how they plan to expand this event to a larger market.

What are the goals of this annual fundraiser?
To raise money for local non-profit organizations in metro Detroit to help further their mission statement with monetary support.

Where did the Tux & Chucks concept originate?
The concept originated from an idea that co-founder Byron Suggs wanted to do an event to celebrate our birthdays, which incorporated tuxedos and Chuck Taylor gym shoes to mimic his wedding party. I then came up with Tux & Chucks as the name and we agreed it should impact the community, so we decided to transform the event into an annual fundraiser.

What has made this such a must-attend event for the Detroit professional community?
The event raises money for local, metropolitan Detroit non-profit organizations, has a cool theme, provides an open bar, food, and a live performance and Detroit’s hottest DJs. It’s not your average boring fundraiser. It’s a F-U-N-draiser!

What is your professional background?
By day, I am an information security analyst at General Motors. After 6 p.m., Monday-Fridays and on weekends, I am a passionate, young philanthropist.

Describe the elements of the event that make staging it special?
The live performance by different musical artists. The fundraiser is a production.

How has developing a successful event added to your professional development?
People like to be a part of situations that are successful. This event has become an vehicle for the Cool Smart, Inc. team to build new partnerships and meet new people that we didn’t know prior to the creation of Tux & Chucks.

How do you see the event evolving over the next couple of years?
I see the event being held in Chicago annually. Then further in the future, in every major city in the USA. We are looking to come to a city near you.

What should someone anticipate if they are attending for the first time?
An evening of Detroit socialites, community leaders, millennials, GEN Y and X, baby boomers all coming together in the name of philanthropy. A super fun good time all for a great cause and impacting change in our community.

Does the event bridge generations to come together for a great cause?

Finish the sentence:
The world needs Tux & Chucks because … it’s transforming fundraiser into FUNdraiser. Emphasis on the “FUN”!

The crowd at Tux & Chucks is … excited to be socially responsible and agents of change in their community.

For additional information, to purchase tickets and to donate, visit

See pictures from past events below.