Freedom Hill to unveil Tribute to the American Workforce
When fans of the Four Tops and Beach Boys walk through the gates of Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights on Saturday night, they will be among the first to view the “Tribute to the American Workforce” wall.
After breaking ground one year ago, the monument will be unveiled at a private ribbon-cutting ceremony with community supporters, and then to the public. The event will be hosted by Freedom Hill Amphitheatre owner Tom Celani and his wife Vicki Celani.
“We are proud to recognize the contributions made by hard working people throughout the region,” Celani said in a statement. “Having the tribute prominently and permanently displayed at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre is a small token of our appreciation to the countless dedicated men and women in our workforce.”
The metal and marble memorial wall is about 60 feet wide and 20 feel tall, and has a video screen centerpiece.
A number of business leaders, county officials and labor unions participated in the privately funded project, which had been in the discussion stages for about a year.
It was designed by the architectural firm of Infuz Ltd. in St. Clair County and Sterling Heights-based Roncelli Inc. served as the general contractor. DTE Energy was a primary sponsor and DTE President Steve Kurmas, a Warren native, has said the utility responded to Roncelli’s invite to held fund the $250,000 project.
Dennis Bishop, vice president of development for Roncelli Ltd., said Celani thought of the project, and collaborated with Gary Roncelli, the construction firm’s CEO as a “vision partner.”
“Mr. Celani was looking to honor the American worker who has made our society,” Bishop said. “The American worker did the grunt work. We’re part of organized labor, so we felt it was complementary to be involved with such a nice tribute.”
Community supporters in the creation of the monument, include: DTE Energy, Operating Engineers Michigan 324, Lear Corporation, Michigan Lottery, SVS Vision, UAW Ford, Lutz Roofing, Carpenters Union, Signal Restoration, Teamsters, Roncelli Inc., Bricklayers Union IBEW-NECA, Motor City Harley Davidson and Luna Entertainment.
Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, which seats about 7,200, is known for hosting summer concerts and festivals. It is on 16 Mile Road east of Schoenherr Road.