HWPI Volunteer Spotlight

HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Matt Pegouskie
November, 2019

Matt Pegouskie

Matt Pegouskie has lived throughout Michigan, including several years in Lewiston and Sault Ste. Marie. He received his degree in Political Science from Lake Superior State University. These experiences taught Matt to appreciate the outdoors and the benefits open spaces can provide. He’s been involved with HWPI as a Board Member since trail talks began. His role as the Community Investment Manager with 5 Healthy Towns Foundation allowed the Foundation to bring state partners and local stakeholders together, as the idea of connecting all five healthy towns (Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester and Stockbridge).

He most closely works with the northern component of the trails, especially in the Stockbridge area. He worked with Stockbridge Area Wellness Coalition to develop a walking strategic plan and authored a grant application to obtain an $800,000 grant from Ingham County Parks and Recreation. These efforts assisted in the process to upgrade Mike Levine Lakelands Trail in Ingham County, including paved sections within Village of Stockbridge limits.

Matt currently lives in Green Oak Township with his wife Brittany, where they enjoy using the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail and kayaking along the Huron River. They make it a point to walk new trails every chance they get.

Thank you, Matt, for your contributions of coalition building, trail facilitation and leadership. Your efforts will help us realize our vision of healthy, active and connected communities!

HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Morey
September, 2019

Karen Morey, enjoying the newly opened Dexter-Chelsea B2B Trail segment

We would like to introduce our September Volunteer of the Month, Karen Morey! Karen is an avid all-season cyclist and passionate trail user. Most weekends and some weekday evenings you can find her out for a spin on regional trails, including the B2B. She loves cycling because of the freedom she feels while on her bike. She also enjoys discovering new routes, meeting interesting people and trying new cyclist-friendly businesses – the ones with the bike racks and friendly smiles to welcome her!

Karen first became aware of HWPI through her favorite bike shop, and home away from home, Aberdeen Bike and Outdoors in Chelsea. When she learned of the B2B Trail, she couldn’t wait for the proposed segments to be completed, so she volunteered right away! Karen has helped with a variety of HWPI’s events, from serving beer at the Oberun to staffing groundbreakings and trail openings. Karen has been an invaluable support. Karen says, “I enjoy meeting the other volunteers who share my passion for trails and eagerly look forward to the day the Border-to-Border Trail is completed!”

Thank you, Karen, for the support you have given to HWPI! Your dedication brings us closer to realizing the goal of safe, accessible trail networks that connect the communities of Washtenaw County and beyond.

HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Draffen
August, 2019

Susan Draffen, with four of her seven grandchildren

We are pleased to introduce HWPI’s August Volunteer of the Month, Susan Draffen! Susan volunteers with HWPI every chance that she is able and was one of the top individual fundraisers for the Karen’s Trail teams at the 2019 Dexter Ann Arbor Run.

Susan’s connection to Karen’s Trail is profound. It began when she started running with the Ann Arbor Running Goddesses, where she had the tremendous good fortune to run and work out with Lew Kidder and Karen McKeachie. Susan developed a close friendship with Karen and Lew over many years. She is committed to HWPI’s work to insure that the B2B Trail is completed to honor Karen by helping creating a safe, scenic nature pathway where everyone is able to participate in outdoor activities.

Volunteering for HWPI is just one of many ways that Susan has had an impact on her community. She was a founding mother of the Back Door Food Pantry, Hope Clinic nurse volunteer, school and community programs and coach for Saline Women’s Cross Country. She works as a Nurse Case Manager at the University of Michigan. Blessed with four wonderful daughters, and now with their spouses, she says she considers herself a lucky Grandma to seven little cherubs. She “… married my wonderful hubby, Jimmie Lee, and we live happily in a log cabin in the woods, where we will dwell until we dwell no more.” An athlete herself, Susan loves to be on the B2B Trail. “The active lifestyle is my elixir of life, as the late great George Sheehan has been known to write about. Marathon running and Triathlons previously with hiking and a wide variety of outdoor interests currently are at the heart of my daily desires.”

Susan shared, “Working toward the completion of this pristine, precious, marvelous trail is absolutely a meaningful and worthwhile investment of time and self. Anything that will make the world safer for the generations to come and encourage an active, outdoor lifestyle is purposeful mission work for me and exactly what I hope to contribute to the continued growth and completion of Karen’s Trail and the B2B.”

Thank you, Susan, for your passion and commitment to supporting the work of HWPI and the legacy of Karen’s Trail. We are so grateful for all that you do!

To see past honorees, please visit the HWPI Volunteer Spotlight History page.