Community Outreach

Michael Ward has been providing major support to the local community through his company in a variety of ways. He is a major supporter of the running community, supporting and organizing many running events to help raise money for such organizations as Macomb Special Olympics, Shelby Twp. Lions Club Food Basket Program for Needy Families, Veterans Memorial, Cat Tail Acres, and Penrickton Center for children with multiple disabilities. Last year his Gopher The Gold Run (12th Year) raised over $9,000 for Special Olympics and it looks like this year's race in July raised a similar amount. He has been a major sponsor for 9 years of the Ryan Shay Memorial Run held each summer in Charlevoix, Michigan. He also sponsors many high school events, donating medals and providing other support for local high schools. He also supports the Hanson Brooks Running Program.

He is a former member of the Shelby Twp Lions Club, and is involved in many major events that help support the local community. He helps organize the annual Christmas Basked Food Program for needy families.

For the last 16 years, Michael has been organizing over-night trips for groups from Toronto, Ontario that are part of Community Living Toronto. Community Living Toronto is a non-profit organization, dedicated to supporting people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Many of the adult individuals they support live independently in their own apartments in the Toronto area. These individuals support themselves on a small government pension of between $700-900 per month, an income well below the poverty line. Despite their financial limitations, many of the individuals they support show extraordinary determination and enthusiasm for all aspects of community living, and especially sporting events. There are over 6,000 adults in the program spread across four regions across Toronto. There are over 52 group homes, and over 76 total locations.

For Michael, it all started one fall day at a Detroit Tigers Baseball game, when Bruce Walling, sitting in front of Michael, started a conversation that has led to 13 wonderful years of many overnight trips to Detroit to attend various sporting events. The very first event was a Detroit Red Wings Hockey game in early December of that year. The following summer, a larger group returned for an overnight trip to a Detroit Tigers Baseball game.  Of course, all expenses were covered, and continue to be to this day for every event. Since that first Red Wings game, the group has attended 2 Red Wings games, 4 Detroit Pistons Basketball games, including 2 autograph sessions with Rick Mahorn, and 14 Detroit Tigers games, with 3 autograph sessions with Gates Brown. Several years ago the group was able to attend a Michigan State Football game, including tickets, parking and meal vouchers compliments of Michigan State University. Special thanks to Mark Hollis and the Green and White for their generosity.   They have done a remarkable job of accommodating our special needs for an exciting college football game.  

Michael was recognized for his efforts by Community Living Toronto by being voted Volunteer of The Year for Etobicoke/York Region for 2005. He is the only person to win this award from outside the Toronto area and outside the country too. He was given a national award last year by The Enterline Foundation for his work with the developmentally and intellectually challenged. Last year he received an award from Macomb County for his volunteer efforts. Just a short time ago Michael was selected as a Fitness Ambassador by the Michigan Fitness Counsel for his support of running and fitness in general. 

Michael was recently given the Shelby Twp A Better Place To Play award for his continued support of those in need!  

 

To learn more about Community Living Toronto and the trips, visit: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dcwFKaYNcs