Five county 'Healthy' projects get Brooksie Way minigrant funding

A senior citizens drum and dance program and a 5K run to support the Children's Tumor Foundation are among five Oakland County programs that received a total of more than $7,500 in funding through the Brooksie Way Minigrant program.

The awards were to be given out Wednesday night at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester during the sponsor reception for The Brooksie Way presented by HealthPlus.

"Brooksie Way minigrants continue to touch the lives of so many and impact our communities in new ways," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "The race is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Sunday and we may hit the $100,000 mark in total minigrants awarded by the end of the year. Those are significant milestones."

This year's race is set for Sunday morning and begins at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University. 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 races include a half marathon and 5k run or walk and a one mile "fun run." As many as 6,000 participants are expected.

Bruce Hill, president and CEO of HealthPlus, has been a supporter of The Brooksie Way and the minigrant program since the beginning.

"HealthPlus has been supporting the Brooksie Way and its minigrant program for each of its five years because we believe these types of community initiatives help equip Michigan residents with the wellness tools they need to be active participants in their good health," Hill said.

Support from HealthPlus helps make the minigrant program possible. In three years, the program has awarded more than $90,000 in minigrants to 80 organizations for support of health and wellness projects in the county.

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,, and are reviewed three times a year.

The 2012 Brooksie Way Minigrants were awarded to:

2012 Addison Oaks Event for The Children's Tumor Foundation

* The Children's Tumor Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) medical foundation, dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by the neurofibromatosis. The funds will be used to help with costs of conducting the 2.5 mile walk and 5K timed run at Addison Oaks.

Troy Historical Society

* The Troy Historical Society will purchase equipment for low-cost, traditional games that can be enjoyed by Oakland County children and families at the Troy Historical Museum. The society is planning four family fun days for "Games on the Green."

Creative Arts Center, North Oakland

* The Pontiac Creative Arts Center is a non-profit organization serving the North Oakland community area with art education, programs and exhibitions. The funds will be used to pay for the instructors of dance and tumbling fall 2012 classes.

Power Upper Elementary School: Nature Club - "Nature Explorers"

* The minigrant will expand the after-school activities to include: exploring the schoolyard's habitat gardens, hiking and journaling. The club will encourage students to enjoy nature and be active outdoors.

Lourdes Senior Community: "Drums Alive!"

* Lourdes Senior Community and Waterford Parks and Recreation will work collaboratively on a new exercise program. Once a week Drums Alive! will be offered at Fox Manor on the Lake. Participants will experience music, sound and movement therapy while combining drumming and dance to increase energy levels and improve health.

Published: Thu, Sep 27, 2012