Madonna To Jeff Bezos: Give Back In Detroit, 'One Of The Coolest Cities In America'

The Material Girl wants one of the richest figures in the world to turn his eye to Detroit.

Madonna, a Rochester Hills, Michigan native, tweeted Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN CEO Jeff Bezos Saturday after the billionaire called for philanthropic ideas that could make an immediate difference.

"@jeffbezos you, me, the motor city. Let's go and I will show incredible opportunities for almost instant impact in one of the coolest cities in America #Detroit," the 58-year-old pop icon tweeted to Bezos. She signed the tweet "Love, Madonna."

Bezos said in his message that while he likes long-term projects — giving the examples of Blue Origin, Amazon and The Washington Post — he wants to give charitably in areas "at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact."

Bezos is worth $80 billion and could soon snag the title of world's richest person from Microsoft Corporation MSFT cofounder Bill Gates, according to The New York Times.

Madonna graduated from Rochester Adams High School, about 30 miles north of Detroit, in 1976. Forbes estimated her wealth at $580 million in May.

See Also: JPMorgan Chase's $150 Million Detroit Investment: Repair, Revitalize, Reinvest

Supporting Her Hometown

Madonna tagged three Detroit organizations in her message to Bezos: The Downtown Boxing Gym; The Empowerment Plan, a nonprofit that assists those facing homelessness; and The Detroit Achievement Academy, a charter school.

The "Holiday" singer is a supporter of the Downtown Boxing Gym, said Carolyn Geck, the nonprofit's development director.

The Downtown Boxing Gym's youth program assists more than 130 students between the ages of 7 and 18 in the areas of education, athletics, mentorship and intervention.

"Madonna is one of our supporters through the Ray Of Light Foundation, which is her foundation. She has supported us in the past and did help us get into the building we're now in and helped us with some construction costs when we were doing renovations," Geck told Benzinga on Monday.

The star visited the gym a few years ago and invited the staff to her concert. She called out the nonprofit a few times during the show, "which was maybe the coolest thing I've ever experienced in my whole life," Geck said with a laugh.

An Ecosystem Of Development

The Downtown Boxing Gym has a waiting list of more than 800 students and has a goal of doubling the number of enrolled students by 2020, Geck said, adding that the nonprofit has a capital project to expand and improve its facility as well.

She said an investment by Bezos in the Motor City would make sense.

"The ecosystem in Detroit right now is one of development in general," Geck said. "It's really easy to look at the whole picture and see how there could be benefits across the spectrum of society in general when we do things like support education, after-school youth development, art and cultural programs."

Since Madonna's name-check on Saturday, the Downtown Boxing Gym did receive a phone call "out of the blue," Geck said, but she couldn't reveal who it came from.

"It wasn't Jeff Bezos. I'll say that much. Somebody else we don't have an existing relationship with contacted me today out of the blue."

By As stated in Flickr [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted In: AmazonCarolyn GeckDetroitDetroit Achievement AcademyDowntown Boxing GymJeff BezosMadonnaMicrosoftThe Empowerment PlanNewsMovers & ShakersTop StoriesExclusivesMediaInterviewGeneral

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