Waterford, Michigan -- Eleven Oakland County projects – which range from a yoga program for young children to a fitness program for seniors with an average age of 87 – received funding from the Brooksie Way Minigrant program.
The awards, which were announced today, were handed out during a news conference by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. The 11 minigrants awarded totaled $10,600.
"The goal of the Brooksie Way Minigrant program is to put money back into Oakland County communities to improve the health and wellness of our residents and we’re doing that," Patterson said. "Through the Brooksie Way Half Marathon and the minigrant program, we're touching thousands of lives and making a real difference."
Patterson created the program to use proceeds from the Brooksie Way Half Marathon to improve the quality of life for Oakland County residents by promoting healthy, active lifestyles. Minigrants are awarded three times a year. Grant guidelines and applications are available on the Brooksie Way website, www.thebrooksieway.com. The applications are accepted and reviewed three times a year – April 1, Aug. 1 and Dec. 1.
Support from HealthPlus of Michigan, the presenting sponsor for the Brooksie Way Half Marathon – set for Oct. 3 at Oakland University in Rochester Hill – helps make the minigrant program possible.
"Through our sponsorship of the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, HealthPlus is also pleased to support the Brooksie Way Minigrant program for these 11 worthwhile Oakland County organizations that meet our corporate vision of 'A Healthier Community,'" said Bruce R. Hill, president and CEO, HealthPlus of Michigan. "Whether it's running or walking, biking or wellness programs to benefit young or old, HealthPlus is committed to going above and beyond to help metro Detroiters live healthier lives."
Since its inception earlier this year, the program has given out $18,325 in grants so far in 2010. In May, minigrants totaling $7,725 helped fund nine Oakland County projects.
Awards were given to the following organizations:
- Lourdes Senior Community – Grant amount: $1,000: "Lourdes Wellness Plan" – A four-component plan targeted toward 250 seniors. The grant will be used to help expand the exercise program and purchase resistance bands, balance balls, cuff weights and hand weights. It will benefit each of the 250-plus residents of the home. The average age at the home is 87.
- St. Joseph Mercy Oakland - Grant amount: $1,000: "Shapedown" is a 10 - week family-based nutrition and exercise program for overweight children ages 6-18. Children and teens participate with their parents because pediatric obesity research has shown that family-based treatment is more effective than individually-focused programs. The grant will provide scholarships for two at-risk families.
- Friends of the Clinton River Trail - Grant amount: $1,000: The group is hosting the 6th annual "Clinton River Trail Fall Classic," set for this Saturday, Sept. 18. Bikers and walkers choose routes from five to 40 miles. This non-competitive, family-friendly event acquaints area residents and newcomers with recreational opportunities afforded by the Clinton River Trail. Of course the Clinton River Trail is part of the race course for the Brooksie Way.
- South Lyon Parks & Recreation Commission - Grant amount: $250: The commission is sponsoring the "Jingle Bell Walk" on the first Saturday of December, a 2.5 miles walk in and around South Lyon to promote fun and family fitness while being exposed to local parks and the trail system.
- Building Better Families through Action - Grant amount: $500: The group is sponsoring a program, "Preventing Eating Disorders," which consists of a Parenting and Wellness Fair and a parent education program to address ways a parent can prevent their child from developing an eating disorder while promoting ways for healthy lifestyle.
- Gilda's Club Metro Detroit - Grant amount $1,850: The Royal Oak group is offering a six-week lecture and workshop series, "Managing Cancer through Health & Fitness," which focuses on the benefits of health and fitness for people diagnosed with cancer.
- Orion Township Parks and Recreation - Grant amount: $1,000: The "Park 2 Park Fall Crawl Fun Run" is set for Oct. 9 and invites people of all fitness levels to run or walk from Civic Center Park to Friendship Park using the Polly Ann Trail and other safety paths as they learn about the community assets and the walkable areas.
- Royal Oak Community Coalition - Grant amount $1,000: The coalition has created "Healthy Moves, Loaded for Game," a series of family-based sessions on various health and wellness activities in six areas: first aid training, martial arts/self defense, yoga, food for life, Ga-Ga pit (a popular African ball game that is being taught across the country) and skate board lessons.
- National Kidney Foundation of Michigan - Grant amount: $1,000: The foundation has created "Enhance Fitness" for the senior population at the Royal Oak Township Recreation Center from now through Aug. 2011 in collaboration with the Pearl Wright Senior Center. Participants attend a one-hour physical activity program three times a week. It focuses on cardiovascular conditioning, resistance and strength training, and flexibility and balance training. The Pearl Wright Senior Center will be providing transportation to the Rec Center to make it easily accessible for participants.
- The Community House Association - Grant amount $1,000: Community House is presenting: "Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle at Every Age: Scholarships for Expanded Yoga Programming for Children and Teens." The mission is to help young people improve their lives. The grant will provide scholarships for the program.
- The Baldwin Center - Grant amount: $1,000: In collaboration with Oakland University, the Baldwin Center has created a pilot fitness program, "Be Active with Baldwin," to afford a healthy, safe and dignified lifestyle to the people of Pontiac, regardless of income.
The Brooksie Way joins Count Your Steps (CYS), another successful health program founded by Patterson. Count Your Steps encourages elementary children and families to engage in more physical exercise through a pedometer walking challenge. CYS/Brooksie Way is organized to develop and implement one or more programs to educate school age children and their parents on the importance of a healthy diet and exercise and to foster and promote programs to encourage public health and fitness.