Community groups get Brooksie Way minigrants

 A yoga program for disabled children, weekly mother and child walking sessions, and an elementary school fitness and nutrition program are among the applicants that received funding Wednesday from the Brooksie Way Minigrant program.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson made the announcements at a sponsor reception at the Royal Park Hotel during the kickoff for the 2013 HealthPlus Brooksie Way.

“The minigrant program allows us to put money back into worthy Oakland County organizations to help them achieve their fitness and wellness goals,” Patterson said. “A fit Oakland County is a healthy Oakland County. A healthy Oakland County is one of the leading factors in determine quality of life.”

The HealthPlus Brooksie Way, which includes a half marathon, 10k and 5k races, is named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, the son of the county executive who died after an accident in 2007. The 10k race is new this year. The races can be run or walked and are set for Sunday on the grounds of the Meadow Brook Music Festival at Oakland University. This is the sixth year of the event. More than 6,000 runners and walkers are expected to participate.
Support from HealthPlus and other sponsors help fund the minigrant program. The seven minigrants awarded totaled $7,700. Organizations that received the minigrants are:

—The Kenny Goldman Basketball League at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit 

The 2013-14 Kenny’s League will use the grant award toward the purchase of new score clocks, basketballs, nets, athletic tape, an air compressor and air compressor needles.

—Strive Recreational Therapy
Strive is partnering with Clarkston Hot Yoga for their program, New Pathways. This is an 8-week program for any person with disabilities, 8 years old and older, and their families. They will participate in yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and Pilates.

—Special Olympics Michigan Oakland County Area 15
The Brooksie Way Minigrant award will fund the facility charges for the Southeast Regional Tournaments for poly hockey and basketball.

—Rochester Hills Public Library
The library will be hosting a 3-day Activity Camp Try-athlon of physical activities during midwinter school break. Activities planned include: yoga, dance, tumbling, Zumba, and martial arts. The goal of the camp is to introduce community members to fitness and to the library’s offerings of books and DVDs on physical fitness and general health.

—Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Foundation
Crittenton Hospital, in partnership with the Village of Rochester Hills, is developing a Mommy & Me Walking Program. The program will take place weekly, through Sept. 2014, and will serve mothers, children and families in the area.

—Sheiko Elementary School
Sheiko Elementary School will participate in an educational program developed by Henry Ford West Bloomfield that focuses on fitness and nutrition for kids. All of the school’s students will participate in 5-session Chef for a Day/Farmer for a Day program, including visits to the hospital’s Demonstration Kitchen and greenhouse.  The Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital will install 6 hydroponic flood and drain systems at the school, and provide seeds and plants.

Patterson created the minigrant program to use private race proceeds to promote healthy, active lifestyles for Oakland County residents. The minigrants are awarded three times a year. Grant guidelines and applications are available at

During the kickoff, Patterson introduced the members of the newly formed Brooksie Way Board of Directors, which included running legends Bill Rodgers and Greg Meyer. Both have participated in Brooksie Way races in the past. 
Rodgers is a former Olympic marathon runner, a four-time winner of the Boston and New York City marathons and a member the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.

Meyer, who lives near Grand Rapids, is the last American male to win the Boston Marathon. During his running career, Meyer set 10 American road race records and two world records.

New this year for the races are color-coded starting position, which place the runners and walkers according to their pace times. Also new is the Fifth Third Bank Victory Run for Athletes with Disabilities which begins Saturday at 3 p.m. There is no cost or pre-registration for disabled athletes to participate in the victory run but there is a mandatory check-in before the race. Complete details on the victory run and other Brooksie Way races, including the competitive walking races, can be found at

Participants for Sunday’s events can pick up their race packets, which include their colored racing bibs, at the Fitness Expo at the Oakland University Student Recreation Center. Expo hours are Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Race applications will be accepted online and at the Fitness Expo.

Race day there is an expanded post-race party which includes various food vendors and adult beverages and Brooksie Way merchandise.


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