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Bejeweled: Michigan Military Brides Program Gives Back

Denise Ilitch is looking to help military brides by offering them designer  jewelry as a gift for their big day as a thank you.

Ilitch, eldest offspring of Mike and Marion Ilitch, announced her Michigan Military Brides Program to give  back.

 "Supporting and honoring our troops and their families is very dear to me,"said Ilitch, who owns Denise Ilitch Designs.

"They are giving up so much serving our country that I wanted to come up with somethng to tell them how much we appreciate them."

Ilitch, who started her jewerly design business five years ago, has found success with her upscale jewelry line. She held a trunk show last month at the Detroit Instititue of Arts' Rembrandt exhibit that was standing room only.

Ilitch said military brides can choose from a selection of freshwater pearls and crystal necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to create a bridal set of either a necklace and earrings or a bracelet to complement their gown. There are no strings attached and it is free.

To qualify, a couple must have residence in Michigan and either the bride or groom must be enlisted or a past member of the armed forces. In addition, the couple must submit an application to DID for approval during the months of February and March.

Ilitch is following in her father's footsteps by helping those in the military. Mike Ilitch, who was in the Marines, set up a program to help honorably discharged vets obtain Little Caesars franchises at a discounted rate. The family has supported those in the military and veterans with other community programs through the years.

For his efforts, Mike Ilitch was awarded the Secretary's Award by U.S. Secretary for Veterans Affairs in 2007.

Denise Ilitch, who is a regular panelist on WWJ-TV CBS Detroit's "Michigan Matters," is also chairwoman of the University of Michigan board of regents and co-publisher of Ambassador Magazine.

For more on Michigan Military Brides Program call 248-203-6789 or

(You can watch "Michigan Matters" 11 a.m. Sundays on WWJ-TV CBS Detroit)

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