Six Oakland County 'healthy' projects awarded minigrants

Six more Oakland County projects received funding through the Brooksie Way Minigrant program, bring the total to more than $57,000 given to support health and wellness projects in the county in little more than one year.

The awards were handed out last Friday by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson during a kickoff for the 2011 Brooksie Way Half Marathon at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. News Talk Radio 760 WJR and the Paul W. Smith Show broadcast live from the event.

"The Brooksie Way races continue to fund worthwhile community projects that provide for healthy lifestyles," Patterson said. "My son Brooks would be proud to see his legacy promoting health and fitness activities for the 1.2 million residents of Oakland County."

The Brooksie Way is an annual half marathon and 5K race named in honor of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and son of the county executive, who died after an accident in 2007. The 2011 race, which is partnership between Oakland County and the Crim Fitness Foundation, is set for Oct. 2. The run/walk begins and ends at Oakland University.

Support from HealthPlus of Michigan helps make the minigrant program possible.

"HealthPlus is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Brooksie Way Half Marathon since the race began in 2008," said Bruce R. Hill, HealthPlus president and CEO. "We're especially pleased that our support helps fund minigrants to so many worthwhile health-related non-profits and wellness programs, which helps make Oakland County a healthier community. It's rewarding to see the Brooksie Way and HealthPlus grow in southeast Michigan."

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 - April 1, August 1 and December 1.

Awards were given to the following organizations:

1. Polly Ann Trail Management Council, Leonard: The Polly Ann Trail connects Orion, Oxford, Addison Townships and the Villages of Oxford and Leonard. It is 14.2 miles long and utilizes the abandoned P.O. & N. railroad corridor. The grant will fund marketing of the 13th annual Rural Pearl of a Ride on the Polly Ann Trail which will take place on July 23.

2. Swan for Life Cancer Foundation, Clarkston: Founded in 2009, the foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for persons affected by cancer. Swan for Life's service hope is to alleviate some of the anxiety associated with a cancer diagnosis by providing education and a support network. The grant will fund "Integrative Medicine - A Wellness Program" that incorporates acupuncture, yoga, clinical massage therapy and nutrition counseling.

3. POH Regional Medical Center, Pontiac: The center is presenting its first Fit for Life 5K Fun Run & 1-Mile Walk on June 11. The walk/run will begin and end at Beaudette Park in Pontiac. Health and wellness screenings will be available for participants and a healthy celebration lunch. The Brooksie Way Minigrant will fund 25 scholarships for Pontiac middle and high school students to participate.

4. Main Street Franklin, Franklin: Franklin is one of the newest Main Street Oakland County communities. It is presenting its first Main Street Franklin Historic Farmers Market, from July through October. The grant will fund children's activities that are focused on healthy outdoor fun and eating habits.

5. The Neighborhood Gardening Club, Ferndale: The Gardening Club is an independent organization of partners that include MSU Extension Master Gardeners, MSU University Extension 4-H, Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, The Charter Township of Royal Oak Parks and Recreation Department and other representatives. The grant will fund a community garden in Royal Oak Township in an abandoned park behind Grant School.

6. Troy Community Coalition, Troy: For over 20 years, the Troy Community Coalition provides substance abuse prevention programs and activities for adults and local youth. The coalition, in partnership with the Troy Police Department, offers a summer camp for the children residing at the Rochester Villas apartment complex and students residing near Morse Elementary School in Troy. The award will fund bus transportation to swimming field trips and admission fees to the swimming locales.

Patterson said the race will begin and end at the Meadow Brook Music Festival, making it more convenient for racers. The Brooksie Way Fitness Expo, set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, has a new location. It will be held at the Oakland University Recreation Center. The 16-week training program that prepares novice runners for either the half marathon or the 5K begins in June in either Southfield or Rochester. More information and registration is available at

Published: Mon, May 23, 2011