80s Party For a Purpose Celebrated Their 10th Anniversary At The Emerald Theater

On June 4, 2022 the charity group, 80sParty For a Purpose held a fundraiser at the Emerald Theater. (Photo/ Scott Whiteman)

Take a good idea of celebrating an iconic era, like the 80s. Mix in a founder with a big heart like Dean Johnson, and add a few friends/volunteers like Kelley Metter, Kristie Swailes, John O’Brien, Tammy Churches, Paul Pirrone, Cyndie Reiterman, and Kerry Johnson (to bring this concept to reality). Stir and Walla! You get ‘80s Party For A Purpose’. The 80s celebration brings people from the United States and Canada every year for this one-night event. Awesome!

Setting up the Emerald Theater for the 80s Party For a Purpose fundraiser. (Photo/Scott Whiteman)

To set up an event like this took time, planning, and the love of the 80s. In my opinion, that is what it took to be able to pull something like this off. (The crew did a heck of a job putting this year’s event together.) Volunteers started working on the theater the day before the event. Putting up decorations for the guests that flooded the doors on Saturday. As well as the members/crew of Saturday’s musical entertainment, the 80s cover band Rockstar. getting their huge stage together for the event. To the Max!

Posters of the 80s For a Purpose event. The event was held on 06/04/2022 at the Emerald Theater in Mt Clemens, MI (Photo / Scott Whiteman)

80s Party For A Purpose is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is run by volunteers. The members are “lifelong friends working together, giving back to raise funds for local Metro Detroit area Charities”, and on Saturday 80s Party For a Purpose celebrated its 10th anniversary (2011 – 2022). This yearly event was held at the Emerald Theater in Mt Clemens, MI. (Yes, the math doesn’t add up. So don’t email me telling me that it is not ten years, but we had that thing that screwed everything up, so that is why they are doing it now.) The concept started in 2011 with a simple idea: have a party and raise money for a couple of local special needs charities. The 80s theme party was so successful that people wanted the members to do it again. It went on year after year. Hence a tradition was born.

“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while; you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller, ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ (1986).

For ten plus years members of ‘80s Party For a Purpose’ raised over $160,000, and helped many local charities. The charities that will benefit from this year’s event include Great Lakes Burn Camp, Macomb Autism Connect, Save-A-Soul Sanctuary & Rescue Animals, Humble Design, Blue Star Mothers #180, Mt. Clemens Turning Point, Know Resolve, and The Rainbow Connection. For sure!

Mt. Clemen’s street was a scene from an 80s movie on Saturday, with a mixture of people dressed up in 80s-style outfits and iconic cars such as a mini Miami Vice boat as well as the Kitt car in front of the theater. The event was a bit limited to how many cars they could have parked. There was construction with a dumpster in the street, so the spots were a bit limited. But it was totally rad seeing the vintage vehicle. Omigod!

Who’s afraid of a ghost? The logo on Ecto-1 was on full display during the 80s Party For a Purpose event at the Emerald Theater. (Photo/Scott Whiteman)

In addition to the car show out front, the local chapter of the Ghostbusters Detroit came by to help out. The members were dressed in the standard GhostBuster uniform and they brought the GhostBuster car, Ecto-1. Excellent!

“Aw, this is the worst lookin’ hat I ever saw! What, when you buy a hat like this, I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh? Oh, it looks good on you, though.” – Al Czervik, ‘Caddyshack’ (1980).

Inside the Emerald Theater, music videos were playing on an approximately 10 ft by 20ft screen, from many known acts/bands from the 80s. Bands such as George Michael, Inner City, Dead or Alive and Prince and the Revolution, White Lion, and Rick James to name a few. There was even a scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the scene with Mr hand and Spicoli. An 80s-style party would not be complete without music videos and Fast Times playing.

The host of the 80s Party For a Purpose event, Mr. Jamie Wheatley. (Photo/Scott Whiteman)

While inside, there was a presentation thanking and acknowledging everyone who helped with the event including the founder of 80s Party For A Purpose Dean Johnson. The announcement was done by Jamie Wheatley. Afterward, the party kicked into high gear. People were on the dance floor dancing to 80s music. You could tell that they were having a good time.

In a small section of the Emerald Theater were people getting styled up. There were people spiking/curling/etc the hair of women to match the theme of Saturday’s event. What party would have something like this for their guests? Things like this just added to the fun that was being had by all that were there. A simple idea but awesome to have. Nice! 

The band of the night was Rockstar and they played two long sets, kicking it even further with each time they played. It is obvious why this 80s band is so popular. They play as if they are rock stars, giving the audience their money’s worth and then some.

The members of the 80s cover band ‘rockStar’ entertained the crowd for approximately over an hour and a half, plus or minus. (Photo/Scott Whiteman)

Between the Rockstar sets, the crowd had an 80s treat. On the screen, the VJ played Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters theme song and on cue, the GhostBusters came out dancing with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Who stopped for pictures with the crowd. (You cannot blame him, he is a celebrity you know) Included in the gag was Slimer, from the original movie. Wicked!

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man stopped for selfies with his fans during his dance routine at the 80s Party For a Purpose. (Photo/Scott Whiteman)

During the two sets from the cover band Rockstar, some famous people from the 80s showed up. For example, Journey Steve Perry look-alike(boy, he looks like he never aged a day in his life), maybe Freddy Mercury, and maybe Ozzy Osbourn to name a few appearances. The appearances just added to the show’s outrageous performances. To the Max!

Even though there was a two-year break, because of that ‘C’ thing that screwed everyone up, you could not tell from Saturday’s event. The 80s Party For a Purpose was well put together, thanks to Dean Johnson and his team and the people at the Emerald Theater. Everyone there appeared to be enjoying themself with good music and an awesome atmosphere. If you ever get a chance to go to this event, you should. You will have fun…wonder when they are ready to sell tickets for next year’s event. Hmm. 

Also in attendance was the one, the only, Moon Man Bob Bennett. He was walking around the event with his “MTV” flag, having people sign it. By the end of the night, it appeared to be covered with signatures and he seemed to be very popular with the guests. There were many people who would stop him for a “selfie” with him. Who wouldn’t?

Event Date: 06/04/2022