On October 12, 2016, HWPI hosted a reception at the Chelsea Wellness Center to thank our sponsors for their generosity. HWPI Chair, Jeff Hardcastle announced that we had achieved the criteria for receiving a $125,000 match contribution from the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. This match contribution is in addition to the direct contribution of the same amount that HWPI received from St. Joe’s in 2015.
Jeff opened the reception by saying, “This summer, HWPI completed the match that the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System set up for us last fall. The match was a part of St. Joe’s overall gift of a quarter of a million dollars. Half of that gift was a direct contribution. The other hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars was a matching contribution, based on HWPI receiving an equivalent amount from other sponsors within a one-year period. Due to the generosity of the people in this room, and others, we have jump-started a trail development project to a level that other groups have taken many years to achieve.“
L to R: Jeff Hardcastle – HWPI, Nancy Graebner and Rob Casalou, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Jeff concluded his remarks by saying, “There’s a good chance, based on the progress we’ve made so far and continuing success with private fundraising, that we will see nine miles of new trail on the ground by 2018. We hope to have construction started on two sides of Chelsea, one headed north and one headed east [toward Dexter], by this time next year. I want to thank Rob [Casalou] and Nancy [Graebner] from St. Joe’s for their early commitment, which really added momentum to our efforts.”
Rob Casalou responded, graciously acknowledging Jeff’s leadership in HWPI’s efforts. “Jeff, we want to thank you, too. Without your leadership of this initiative, we would not be standing here today. I remember when Amy [Heydlauff] had Jeff come to the Chelsea Wellness / 5 Healthy Towns board. I was sold. You sold it to me, right then and there. I don’t want us to leave without thanking you. You’re passionate about it, and you’re effective at pulling us all together, and I wanted to acknowledge that.”
To which, Jeff humbly replied, “Thank you, Rob. But I’m just the front man. We’ve got a bunch of great people working on and supporting this effort!!!”
Representatives from many of HWPI’s current sponsors gave Jeff, Rob, and Nancy an enthusiastic round of applause, and then gathered for a group photo.
Back row, L to R: Dennis Bauer – Chelsea Lumber, Sue Bauer – Chelsea Lumber, Peter Feeney – The Feeney Family, Terri McCalla – Chelsea Lumber, James Alford, MD – IHA, Amy Middleton – IHA, David Hughes – Vanston/O’Brien, Inc., Rob Casalou – Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Dick McCalla – Chelsea Lumber, Howdy Holmes – Chelsea Milling Company, Tom Bloom – Bloom Roofing, Nancy Graebner – Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Mike Lee – Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, Mark Heydlauff – Heydlauff’s Appliances, John Gardner, MD – IHA, Jeff Hardcastle – HWPI / Hardwood Solutions
Front row, L to R: Amy Heydlauff – 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, Susan Brown – Chelsea Rotary, Laura Hughes – Vanston/O’Brien, Inc., Beth Trollman – Bloom Roofing, Anne Nauts – Chelsea Rotary, John Mann – Chelsea State Bank
Representatives from HWPI sponsors, The Common Grill, Bank of Ann Arbor, Green Tree Pediatrics, and Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home were unable to attend this reception.