Waterford, Michigan -- A program that surprises a child with cancer by bringing a horse to the family home for a day of fun activities is among nine "healthy" Oakland County projects that received a total of more than $10,000 in funding through the Brooksie Way Minigrant program.
The awards were handed out today by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson during the 2012 kickoff breakfast for The Brooksie Way Presented by HealthPlus at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. News Talk Radio 760 WJR and the Paul W. Smith Show broadcast live from the event.
"Brooksie Way minigrants have touch thousands of lives in Oakland County by helping fund worthwhile community projects," Patterson said. "Some of these projects might fall by the wayside, were it not for the minigrant program. My son Brooks would be proud to see his legacy continue through the promotion of health and fitness activities for Oakland County and its 1.2 million residents."
The Brooksie Way is named in honor of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and son of the county executive, who died after an accident in 2007. The Brooksie Way, in its fifth year, includes a half marathon and 5k run or walk and a one mile "fun run." The 2012 race is set for Sept. 30.
Bruce Hill, president and CEO of HealthPlus, joined Patterson in presenting the minigrant awards. HealthPlus is the presenting sponsor of The Brooksie Way.
"HealthPlus is proud to mark five years as The Brooksie Way's title sponsor," Hill said. "For us, The Brooksie Way has provided a wonderful way to engage the community in healthy activities while helping serve local populations in need. I commend L. Brooks Patterson for his good work and vision."
Support from HealthPlus helps make the minigrant program possible. In three years, the program has awarded more than $83,000 in minigrants to 80 organizations for support of health and wellness projects in the county.
During today's race kickoff, Patterson introduced the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) as the new finish line sponsor, unveiled the 2012 five year anniversary race logo and said the race will have more course entertainment and a larger post-race party than in past years. State-of-the-art chip in the bib timing and electronic finisher messaging is available to participants in all races.
Patterson also introduced the Brooksie Way Race team, which is now devoted solely to the Brooksie Way. In prior years, the team split time between the Brooksie Way and the Crim Festival of Races in Flint. The Brooksie Way is now an independent race led by race director Deb Kiertzner.
Patterson said there is still time to sign up for the 16-week training program, sponsored by McLaren Health Care that prepares novice runners for either the half marathon or the 5k. It begins in June in either Southfield or Rochester.
Patterson created the Brooksie Way Minigrant program to use race proceeds to promote healthy, active lifestyles for Oakland County residents. Minigrants are awarded three times a year. The maximum award is $2,000. Grant guidelines and applications are available on the Brooksie Way website, www.thebrooksieway.com
, and are reviewed three times a year.
The 2012 Brooksie Way Minigrants were awarded to:
Farmington Baseball Boosters, Farmington
"Farmington Community Baseball Cage"
The grant will purchase an outdoor batting cage at Farmington High School to benefit the high school baseball teams, the South Farmington Blues youth organization and the community.
CARE House of Oakland County, Pontiac
"Yoga Exercise for Kids! – A Component of Child Sexual Abuse Therapy"
This innovative program consists of four six-week sessions for children ages six through 11.
Brooklands Elementary PTA, Rochester Hills
Students in grades one through five will have the option to run or walk a quarter mile lap during recess. They will be eligible for prizes, based on laps they accumulate.
Crossroads for Youth, Oxford
"Adventure Center – Zip Line to Success"
Adventure Center is committed to helping at-risk youth develop a healthy lifestyle through exercise. The grant will be used to purchase guide harnesses and helmets for zip line use.
Kidz Kare Inc., Rochester Hills
"Back to School Bonanza"
The minigrant will fund the purchase of medical supplies and publicity for a free health clinic for under or uninsured children up to age 18 in the northeast quadrant of Oakland County on August 11.
Oakland County Children's Village Foundation, Pontiac
The Foundation, in partnership with Waterford School District and the Leslie Science and Nature Center, presents "Raptor Respect." This project includes intensive, hands-on guided lessons to promote knowledge and appreciation of birds and their native environments. It assists students with stress reduction, positive socialization, conflict resolution and handling challenges.
Brandon Township Parks & Recreation, Ortonville
"Life Trail Advanced Wellness System"
A series of 10 activity stations built on the principles of functional fitness. The exercises promote muscle development and good health and will be installed in the Brandon Township Community Park.
Camp Casey, Royal Oak
"Camp Casey's Horsey House Calls"
This nonprofit organization brings a horse into the life of a child with cancer. The minigrant will fund a Horsey House Calls, where a child is surprised by a horse on her doorstep inviting her for an afternoon of riding and fun in her own backyard.
Bridgewood Church, Clarkston
"1 Day 5K"
The church is holding its 4th annual 5k run and 1 mile family fun walk on June 3. The minigrant will fund the race coordinator for the event.