Corporate Community Unites to
Detroit, MI- On November 13, 2003, the Detroit area corporate community came together at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan to hold an exclusive fund raising event to benefit the Drug Enforcement Administration Survivors Benefit Fund. The event was chaired by J. Walter Advertising Inc. CEO and President Peter Schweitzer and General Motors Corporation Executive Director for Media Affairs and Advertising in North America, Michael A. Browner. Peter Schweitzer's wife Elaine coordinated the evenings activities which included remarks by DEA Administrator Karen Tandy and the keynote speech by Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Jr., son of slain DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena Sr., who was killed in the line of duty in 1985. Erik Camarena was also in attendance.
The event was attended by approximately 400 of Detroit's most influential business leaders from all avenues of the automotive, advertising and publishing sectors. The evening included a fine meal and an extravagant auction to finish the evening.
"Kiki" Camarena Jr. thanked all of the DEA employees and corporate guests who have contributed to the Survivors Benefit Fund making it possible for him to receive the financial assistance to pursue his dream of becoming a prosecuting attorney. Enrique's very moving remarks recalled how at the young age of 11, his father asked him to promise not to become a DEA Agent because of the danger involved with the job. "Kiki" explained how becoming a prosecuting attorney has allowed him to keep his promise to his father, but maintain contact with members of the DEA family and serve society in an honorable way. As "Kiki" reminded the audience, his father Enrique Camarena Sr. was the definition of patriotism, honor and integrity. One of the guests at the dinner was so moved by Enriques' remarks that he called the following morning and donated an additional $5,000.00 to the DEA Survivors Benefit Fund.
The generosity shown by the guests was overwhelming and proceeds from the dinner, auction and contributions are expected to provide the Survivors Benefit Fund with nearly $150,000 in financial support.
The DEA Survivors Benefit Fund Board of Directors would especially like to thank Peter and Elaine Schweitzer and Michael Browner for their tireless support and efforts on behalf of the DEA Survivors Benefit Fund since it's creation in 1997. Because of their efforts and the efforts of many more, the Survivors Benefit Fund has been able to distribute over $750,000 in financial support to DEA employees and their families and erected memorials that assure that our heroes are "Never to be Forgotten".