Continued from page 1

He called the controversy surrounding his use of the Confederate flag a “fiasco.”

“I’ve never flown that flag with any hate in my heart. Not one ounce,” Ritchie said before announcing $50,000 in donations from his foundation to Detroit recreation centers, a conservancy on the city’s Belle Isle, a youth theater group, a youth training agency and Habitat for Humanity.

Ritchie met recently with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and discussed how he could help the city, mayoral spokeswoman Karen Dumas said Sunday night.

Ritchie also announced that his foundation would be donating $50,000 to storm relief efforts in tornado-ravaged states.

“That’s what Detroit city is all about,” he said. “We’re fortunate enough that we haven’t been touched by Mother Nature like our friends in the South have.”

His family-run foundation is very active in the Detroit area. It has supported the Detroit-based Karmanos Cancer Institute’s research and patient care, where Ritchie’s donations have included money, guitars and even an invitation to dinner _ to the highest bidder.

Through his “Made in Detroit” apparel line, Ritchie recently established the Made in Detroit Endowed Scholarship to help offset tuition costs of Wayne State University students from throughout southeastern Michigan who are selected for their academic achievements and limited financial resources.