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Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative

The Grass Lake community has been chosen to be a part of the Chelsea Wellness Foundation's 5 Healthy Towns, along with Dexter, Stockbridge, Chelsea, and Manchester. This opportunity offers unique expertise and funding toward expanding a healthy atmosphere.

The Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative is a community-based organization with the mission to positively and pro-actively enhance our community's health and wellness. Community members, township and village officials, law enforcement officers, school district employees, local health organizations, and others have come together to develop a long term wellness plan that will satisfy the health needs of our community for years to come. There are four focus areas that are being concentrated on:
1. Avoiding Unhealthy Substances - To share information with the purpose of reducing the use of unhealthy substances.
2. Eating Better - To inform people how our diets can positively influence our lifestyles.
3. Connecting with Others In Healthy Ways - To create a community of caring individuals who support each other in overall community health and well-being.
4. Moving More - To support our community by offering effective ways for all ages to exercise and improve their health.

If you are interested in learning how to become a part of this effort, contact Initiative leaders Jim Stormont (517-522-8464), Mike Hirst (517-206-8563), or Doug Moeckel (517-522-5544).
Wellness Initiative Announcements
​A Note from CWF Community Investment Manager Matt Pegouskie
I’d like to congratulate the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative for being selected as a winner for the Michigan Recreation and Park Association’s 2015 Community Service Award. Well done everyone! The award will be presented Tuesday, April 14th at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing. See the link to see the award notification letter. Well done Grass Lake coalition members, and thanks to Matt for submitting our nomination. ​
Grass Lake Recreation Committee Seeking Input
The Grass Lake Area Recreation Planning Committee is seeking input from Grass Lake community members regarding an updated recreation plan. Please review the attached plan and make comments to Jim Stormont at Go to…/parks…/parks%20and%20rec%20plan.pdf to view the plan.
Copper Nail Surpasses $200,00 in Donations
Congratulations to Grass Lake's Copper Nail Community Resale Shop for surpassing $200,000 of donations to community non-profits. Among the many organizations they have supported, the Copper Nail has been a strong advocate and supporter of education in the Grass Lake community. We appreciate their work toward make Grass Lake a great place to live and work.
Spring Business Expo - Saturday, March 21
Come see representatives of the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative (GLCWI) at the Annual Grass Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce Spring Business Expo. This event is being held at Grass Lake High School on Saturday, March 21, from 10 AM-4 PM. The Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative is a part of the 5 Healthy Towns Project managed by the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation. The Foundation supports wellness initiatives in Stockbridge, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, and Grass Lake.
"A Matter of Balance"
The Region 2 Area Agency on Aging presents "A Matter of Balance-Managing Concerns About Falls". This series is for older adults and is designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. The series runs from April 1 through May 27 on Wednesdays from 10 AM-12 PM at the Grass Lake Township Hall. There is no cost for participants. Call 800-335-7881 to register or to get more information. Go to for a printable flyer.
5H Logo Ice Carving - Thank you Lauren Klapec
"Thank You!" to Lauren Klapec for doing such a wonderful job on her ice carving of our 5H logo at the Grass Lake Chili Cook-Off and Winter Festival on Saturday, January 17, in Downtown Grass Lake. It is spectacular and appreciated very much. Great job Lauren! Thank you to Diane Deboe for capturing the moment and sharing it.

Autism, Learning Disabilities, ADHD: What is Happening to My Child?
Join Dr. David Atiyeh as he discusses "Autism, Learning Disabilities, ADHD: What is Happening to My Child?" on three different dates at the Family Worship Center, 1901 Mt. Hope Rd., Grass Lake. Meetings begin at 7:00 PM on February 23, March 23, and April 27. Go to or more information.
A Note from the Staff at the CWF
No Foundation without U
If you received a copy of the 2014 Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation update last week, you may have noticed something peculiar. On the cover, the word foundation is missing a ‘u.’ While not by design, this simple typo provides CWF an opportunity to emphasize the importance of YOU. To our Community Coalitions, community members, wellness center members, program participants and programming staff the Board of Directors and staff of Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation say THANK YOU.
Without you, there is no 5 Healthy Towns Project. Without you, the membership, there are no wellness centers. There is no movement towards creating a culture of wellness within our communities.
Without you, the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation is only a foundation. With you 5 healthy towns is a vibrant model demonstrating what collaboration can produce. There is nothing to stop Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester and Stockbridge – and all of you living within those school districts – from becoming the healthiest communities in the Midwest.
Thank U!
If you are someone who likes to be in the know, learn more about the great – and often FREE – activities happening within your community by following your local coalition and CWF on facebook.
We wish you well this Holiday Season. Happy, healthy New Year everyone.
Red Ribbon Week A Success.
Thank you to all the schools who are participating in the National Event called Red Ribbon Week (Oct 23-31): Columbia MS, Grass Lake HS, Grass Lake MS, Hanover Horton HS, Springport HS, Vandercook Lake HS and Western HS…unfortunately not all the schools were mentioned in the news clip (see link below). Also attached is the press release that was sent out earlier this week that did mention all our great schools!
Go to this link for the WILX report:
Keep your eye on MLive as they will be having a photo spread which should include more schools.
Go to this link for the news release:
Do you have a talent or a skill that you would like to share with Grass Lake students, but you need funding to make it happen. Investigate the granting opportunity presented by the Copper Nail and the Grass Lake Educational Foundation. The focus of the grant application is to provide hands-on, discovery-based opportunities for Grass Lake students in any age group from Kindergarten through the 12th grade. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE A TEACHER, BUT TEACHERS ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE. Go to for a grant application. For more information, contact Doug Moeckel at 522-5544, or at
2014 Heritage Day a Success!

Please mark your calendars for Monday, September 15, at 6:00 PM, in the Grass Lake Township Hall as we hold our September Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative monthly general meeting. We are progressing nicely toward our 2014-2015 plan submission and will be updating on this and other topics.

Additionally, thank you so much to our coalition members who worked our Heritage Day booth this past Saturday. Supporting our informational cause were Matt Pegouskie, Kathy Camilleri, Joyce Sager, and Wendy Murdock with our booth, and Sue Weible at the library booth. And thank you to Amy Heydlauff for supporting our cause as she assisted all five towns in our displays. The interest in wellness in Grass Lake is growing thanks to all of the volunteerism that you all do for us collectively.

One of the big hits last Saturday, along with the Community Read book give-away, were our walking maps, fresh off the press. Kathy Camilleri took over this task a year and a half ago and diligently worked through the entire process to give us a product that we can be very proud of. Our community members loved it and Kathy should be very proud of her work. Thank you Kathy!
"Sticker Shock" Hits Grass Lake
What better way to eliminate underage drinking than to slap a sticker on alcoholic beverages. For the second year in a row, students with the group “Most Teens Don’t” teamed up with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to promote the project called “Sticker Shock.” With the help from a grant, middle and high schoolers from Grass Lake want to show adults how dangerous selling alcohol to minors can be.
GLMS Students Preventing Risky Behaviors
Grass Lake Middle School and its students' artwork have been featured in a MLive article about their message toward preventing risky behaviors. This "Most Teens Don't" project was funded by the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation/5 Healthy Towns project under the auspices of the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative. 
Grass Lake Walking Program at Stoker Field
Go to the calendar at to see when Grass Lake folks are gathering to walk the track at Stoker Field. Kathy Camilleri is leading this group and she would be happy to see you!
“Volunteer Grass Lake” Up and Running Again!

After a short absence from its online presence, the "Volunteer Grass Lake!" web page is available again for those of you who are interested in volunteering your time. The opportunities available include various tasks in the Grass Lake area that are suitable for individuals, organizations, and clubs. Please take a look at the page and volunteer when you can. This effort is being sponsored by the Grass Lake Area Historical Society and the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative. Also included on this web page is an area where community members can request volunteer services. Link to to access the page, or e-mail volunteergrasslake@gmail.comfor more information.

Spring Business Expo Extremely Successful!
Thank you to everyone who stopped at our Spring Business Expo booth at Grass Lake High School to visit with us. We gave away lots of great stuff and signed up more people to receive our e-mail updates and attend our meetings. The big items were from the "Most Teens Don't" section, and our fliers for the Library's cooking sessions, and our summer combo of our Farmer's Market joining the "Music in the Park" series happening on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday eveings this summer. This is a VERY exciting time for our coalition!

Special thanks to Kathy Camilleri, Wendy Murdock, Joyce Sager, Ed Fuller, Debbie Eneix, and Jim Stormont for helping to staff the booth throughout the day. You all did a great job! I look forward to spreading the word to more people today from Noon-4 PM. I hope to see you there.

GLCWI Meetings Announced
Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative general meetings are held on the third Monday of every month at 6:00 PM at the Grass Lake Township Hall. The public is welcome to attend any of these meetings. We look forward to input from all members of our community.
Grass Lake Park Improvements Discussed
Below is the link to the plan handouts that the Small Town Design Initiative provided Tuesday night from which we discussed proposed improvements to our local parks. If you would like to provide further feedback, please contact Matt Pegouskie at the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation at matt@5healthytowns. We appreciate the participation of those who attended, and look forward to hearing from you, as well as those of you who were not able to attend. The plans reveal STDI’s suggestions that were gleaned from our earlier community meeting where our community members shared their opinions about our parks system.

Grass Lake High School Fitness Hours
The Grass Lake High School Fitness Room is open to the community on days when school is in session from 6:00-7:30 AM and 6:00-9:00 PM. The cost is $1 per visit up to a maximum of $10 per month and payment is made to a drop box in the room. Please contact Doug Moeckel for a pass in anticipation of visiting the room when a paid event is occurring in the gym by e-mailing

The Grass Lake High School classroom hallways are open to the community for walking at no charge from 6:00-9:00 PM on days when school is in session. No passes are necessary.

Please note that the building will be closed in the event of a home JV or Varsity Football Game.
5 Healthy Towns Cooking Classes: Can I Eat My Jack-o-lantern?
Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 6:00 pm

Enjoy the harvest! Brad West will share cooking ideas and food recipes using fall squashes. Find out what to do with pumpkin, acorn, butternut, and other winter squashes. Enjoy delicious samples! Reservations suggested. This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation.* Go to for more information.

Program held at historic Whistlestop Depot, 210 E. Michigan Ave., Grass Lake

It was a delightful evening for “A Walk in the Village” in Grass Lake.
As a kick-off to the “Community Read” season for the “5 Healthy Towns” Project sponsored by the Grass Lake Branch of the Jackson District Library, on Wednesday, October 2, local historian James Damaron led a group of 45 people along the streets of the town, sharing facts, stories and local lore. He gave out information about some of the old businesses, hotels, churches and interurban stations.
The tour started at the Jackson District Library Grass Lake Branch, the former home of the Power & Light Company. This building still houses the original walk-in safe. People could go inside and see old village records from the early 1900s.
They progressed to the business district and learned about the Lake House Hotel, Farmers State Bank, Uriah Shelley Grocery, Post Office, and Davenport Hotel.
The group also discovered that Maple Street was originally called “Lovers Lane.” They also visited the site of the oldest village building that was a former Methodist Church. Currently that building is the Grass Lake Cooperative Preschool.
They group also traveled the path of the former interurban and discovered the old bridge for the train tracks.
Thank you to the 26 citizens who came to voice their opinions on the future of our community's park spaces at our Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative's visioning session at The Depot on Thursday, August 15. We had a well-rounded group with whom facilitator Warren Rauhe has reported to have had an "excellent discussion".

Thank you to Matt Pegouskie of the 5 Healthy Towns Project for his assistance in recording answers and advising on the program's set up, to Tracie Boomer and Kristyn Sandoval of the George Long Elementary PTO who made fruit smoothies for us, and to Tom Nolte for setting up and tearing down The Depot. Also, thank you to Andy Scheller, Diane DeBoe, Heather Brown, Janelle Bechtel, Jim Stormont, Tom Nolte and Matt Pegouskie for attending our initial planning meeting with Warren to set a path for success.

We look forward to meeting  with Warren again
in about two months at an open community forum to discuss his findings. Click here for Shannon Maynard's account of the night on MLive.

"Most Teens Don't" Students Continue Their Work
Congratulations to our Grass Lake students who continue to spread their message about the illegality of adults purchasing alcohol for minors through their "Sticker Shock" program. Thanks to the Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, with financial support from the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation's "5 Healthy Towns" Project, for bringing this project to fruition. Click here to see the additional coverage on Lansing's WLNS news.
"Sticker Shock" Program in Grass Lake Begins
Grass Lake's chapter of "Most Teens Don't" begins its "Sticker Shock" program in the Grass Lake area. This program acts as a reminder to adults not to purchase alcohol for minors. "Most Teens Don't" is a program directed by the Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. The "Sticker Shock" program is funded through the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative, which is funded through the 5 Healthy Towns project of the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department is supporting this project. Click here to see the MLive story.
"Volunteer Grass Lake!" Web Page Now Available!
The purpose of the "Volunteer Grass Lake" web page, which can be found by going to, is to provide opportunities within the Grass Lake community for volunteers who are seeking to connect within the community with those of us who are seeking assistance from volunteers. This service is being sponsored by Grass Lake's Copper Nail and the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative.

Individuals and groups can use the forms on the web page to indicate either that you are interested in volunteering, or you would like to request that volunteers be provided for assistance. Those opportunities will be added to this portal and will be made available to qualified volunteers. By submitting your information, our volunteer coordinator will match parties together.
If you would like to share comments about this web page, please e-mail representatives at
GLCWI Coalition Member Question Answered
An excellent question came in from one of our coalition members who participated in our Wellness Initiative online survey……………….

What is a 5H Farmers Market?

“5H” is the symbol for the “5 Healthy Towns” project that is administered by the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation of which Grass Lake is a part of, along with Chelsea, Dexter, Stockbridge, and Manchester. The Farmer’s Market in Grass Lake is open every Saturday throughout the summer and into the fall from 10 AM to 1 PM, and is located next to the Grass Lake Car Wash and Busy Lizzies on Brown Street.

Grass Lake's Healthy Communities Walking Program Begins April 11
The Grass Lake Community Walking Program begins Thursday, April 11. Join us at the Grass Lake County Park at the children's play area at 10 AM and 6 PM every Tuesday and Thursday. These will be led walks with program developer Kathy Camilleri and we look forward to seeing you. If you have questions you can contact the Healthy Communities Walking Program at 734-593-6271, or at, or on Facebook at
GLHS Students Shine In Contest
Congratulations to Grass Lake High School 9th Graders Carlie Murdock, Zoey Bommarito, Tessa Raica and Caitlyn Gallagher who won this year's "Most Teens Don't" radio ad contest. The ad was recorded by the girls on Monday, January 21, at the K105.3 studios and will be aired beginning in March during the three month countywide marketing campaign (which includes posters, video, banners and billboards). Well done ladies!
GLCWI Awarded Funds to Improve Wellness

"Thank you" to the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation's Board of Directors, to Amy Heydlauff, to Matt Pegouskie, and to active members of the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative for your work and assistance toward being awarded over $86,000 toward implementing 12 interventions working related to the Grass Lake community eating better, moving more, avoiding unhealthy substances, and connecting socially. If you are interested in becoming involved with this initiative, our first meeting for 2013 will be January 21, at 6:30 PM in the Grass Lake Township Hall. We would love to see you there.

Mrs. Clark and NHS Formalize Recycling Efforts
Through the leadership of GLHS Science Teacher Andrea Clark, Michigan Green Schools have identified Grass Lake High School as an "Emerald School", and Grass Lake Middle School as a "Green School". To further our efforts toward recycling Mrs. Clark and NHS students began a campaign to collect plastic and returnables to eliminate them from our waste stream by placing collection boxes throughout the High School. Go to to see the complete story.
Painkillers in Our Medicine Cabinets Aiding Addictions

Weight Watchers Every Thursday at GLMS
Join group leader Amy S. every Thursday night at 6:00 PM at Grass Lake Middle School, 1000 Grass Lake Road, Grass Lake, MI 49240. Monthly Pass: $39.95; 17 Week: $194; $20 Reg. Fee /$13 Meeting Fee. Go to for more information. We will be happy to see you!

The Dangers of Prescription Medicines in the Wrong Hands
Every day prescribed pain killers are synthetic forms of heroin. Protect your children from the abuse of prescription drugs by being informed of the types of meds. that are addictive. Keep them locked up. Watch for county-wide drug drop-off days that will allow you to dispose of un-needed or expired prescription drugs. Click here to access a printable flyer

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
At a time when farms are disappearing at an alarming rate, and some refer to family farms as an endangered species, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) offers an alternative. CSA is a growing social and agricultural movement that can offer a path to farm preservation, stability and profitability, at the same time that it connects people with their food supply and builds community. Community Supported Agriculture links the source of food (the farm and farmer) to the destination of the food (the consumer, or eater). A central concept in CSA is that farm members, as partners with the farmer, share some of the risks of production. Click here to find a map of CSA's throughout the State.
Healthy Living Websites
The Chelsea Wellness Foundation and the 5 Healthy Towns Project have compiled a large number of various website links that relate to our health and wellness in our daily lives. Click here to access an updated list of these important information sources.
Couch-to-5K Running Program
Too many people have been turned off of running simply by trying to start off too fast. Their bodies rebel, and they wind up miserable, wondering why anyone would possibly want to do this to themselves. You should ease into your running program gradually. In fact, the beginners' program we outline here is less of a running regimen than a walking and jogging program. The idea is to transform you from couch potato to runner, getting you running three miles (or 5K) on a regular basis in just two months. Click here for all of the details of the program.

Grass Lake Exchange Student Wins "Most Teens Don't" Poster Contest
The Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition received 18 poster entries for the "Most Teens Don't" countywide poster contest. The posters were judged based on creativity, poster requirements, and message. The four top posters were:
Winner: Don't Let Drugs Control You, Clara Rollan from Grass Lake High School (exchange student), $100 gift card.
Runners up: Clear Your Mind, Rylee Wolfrom from daVinci High School, $25 gift card; Don't Let Them Pull You Under, Carlie Murdock, Grass Lake Middle School, $25 gift card; Stop, Drop and Roll!, Ashley Maldonado, Hannah Bradley, Korrie Kempker, and Danielle Lee, Grass Lake High School, $25 gift cards.
The winning entry will be printed and modified for the spring billboard. Runners up posters will be printed as posters for Jackson County schools. Click here to see the Citizen Patriot article.
Daddy-Daughter Dance Organizers Provide Healthy Food Choices
The Grass Lake Wellness Coalition Initiative extends a warm thank you to the George Long Elementary PTO for all efforts put forth to make the Daddy/Daughter dance a "healthy" celebration. The "Eat Better" subcommittee specifically commends the board for providing an assortment of fresh fruits (strawberries, pineapple, grapes, melon, etc.) vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, etc.) and assorted cheeses to the many participants. We not only support the positive choices provided to those at the dance but appreciate your example to the community at large.
The Grass Lake Warrior generation that we are currently molding, as Grass Lake adults, calls us to step forward and take action in providing better food choices around the community. The PTO has taken a step. We applaud you! While boasting the food, we cannot miss an acknowledgement for the event itself which provides an evening for the Daddies of Grass Lake to "connect" with their precious daughters. Our hats are off and we offer our sincere thanks to the organizing members of the PTO. You ARE helping Grass Lake make healthy choices in providing this beloved event.
This acknowledgement has been provided by the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative - A local group dedicated to making Grass Lake one of the healthiest communities in the Midwest, choosing to "eat better," "move more, "avoid unhealthy substances" and "connect with others in healthy ways."
Synthetic Drug (K2, Spice, Etc.) Information
Synthetic drugs, or "fake weed" as many people call them, continues its assault on our youth. It is important for parents to know as much about it as possible to help turn the tide of substance abuse. This substance is disguised as an appropriate way to party for many youth and it needs to be controlled. Click here for the latest information from the Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

Perspective on the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Amy Heydlauff of the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation offers her thoughts toward childhood obesity related to children in our area. "All around us are kids of every size.  We know that in the 5 Healthy Towns area (Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester & Stockbridge) more kids are overweight than in the State as a whole. The nation, too. But let’s not panic.  Let’s not teach that little boy wearing ‘husky’ jeans to be embarrassed.  Or that little girl to worry she’s not cute if she has cheeks that make you want to pinch them like a great-grandma." Click here to see Amy's comments in their entirety.

Prescription Drug Abuse is a Growing Problem in the United States
  • 1 in 5 teens has abused a prescription pain medication
  • 1 in 5 teens report abusing prescription stimulants and tranquilizers
  • 1 in 10 teens have abused cough medication
  • Though overall teen drug use is down nationwide, more teens abuse prescription drugs than any other illicit drug except marijuana – more than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined.
  • Every day, 2,500 kids aged12-17 abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time and more people are getting addicted to prescription drugs.
  • Drug treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 300 percent from 1995 to 2005.
  • Teens are abusing prescription drugs because many believe the myth that these drugs provide a ”safe” high.
  • Especially troubling is that the majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs say they are easy to get and are often free.
Click here to see ways in which we can help prevent prescription drug abuse, which has been provided to us by the Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

The Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative Is Now on Facebook
The Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative is now on Facebook. Watch this site for updates about local happenings regarding the wellness of our community, including suggestions, thoughts, and announcements of upcoming meetings, workshops, and forums. Click on the Facebook logo on the left to be re-directed to the GLCWI Facebook page.

Another Victim of Heroin Addiction Tells Story

The Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative is working with organizations across southern Michigan to improve the wellness of our communities. One of the most dangerous and potentially deadly impediments to improving wellness in the United States is the use of heroin. In the 12/27/11 edition of the Jackson Citizen Patriot, an interview with a local young man reports his all too common path toward heroin abuse, how he eventually ended up in jail, the regrets he has toward his family, friends, and community, and the hope he has for the future. He is sharing his story as a warning to other young people who may have a vision that drug use has benefits. Local advocate Mike Hirst works tirelessly to help addicts regain their lives, and also to help law enforcement clamp down on the supply lines of this dangerous drug. As Mike reminds all of us, “drugs first take your money, then they take your freedom, then they take your life.” Click here to see the Citizen Patriot story. If you want to learn more about Mike’s mission, you can call him at 517-206-8563, or you can look for Andy’s Angels on Facebook, which is Mike’s foundation.

State Champion Football Team Attributes Success to Nutrition
The eventual AAA Georgia State Champion Football team turned around its success when it was discovered that they weren't getting the nutrition they needed throughout the day. After receiving a grant and feeding the players better, their performance improved tremendously allowing them to finish the season with a 14-1 record and a state championship trophy. Click here to see the story.
Recreation Park Trails In The News Again!
Using a grant from the Chelsea Wellness Foundation the Grass Lake Community Sports & Trails Recreation Park has taken a major stride forward in the "trails" department. Utilizing this funding has resulted in having stoned and mowed walking trails, which has given our community yet another valuable recreational resource. We appreciate the work of Jim Stormont and the Township of Grass Lake toward directing this vision to its current status. The Citizen Patriot offers a story about the use of the trails at Click here to see a slide show exhibiting the trail.
Free Books Available for Children Under 5 Years Old

Early literacy skills are essential to a child's success in school and throughout life. Recognizing the need to strengthen and support early literacy efforts in the community to ensure all young children get the best start possible, the Great Start Collaborative of Jackson County launched Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in April of 2008 with the generous support of CMS Energy. Every child under age five who resides in Jackson County is eligible to receive a free, age-appropriate book each month until their fifth birthday. Click here for more information or to sign up.

Sports and Trail Recreation Park Trail Ready for Use
Nearly 2 miles of grass and stoned walking trails are now available for use by the public at the Grass Lake Community Sports and Trails Recreation Park located on Willis Road between W. Michigan Avenue and Winegar Road. The majority of the funding for the project came from a grant from the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation. The Foundation gave the township a $42,000 grant to help with the trails. The remainder of the $44,600 bid was donated by the contractor on the job, Bailey Sand and Gravel. Click here to see a slideshow exhibiting different areas of the path. (This is a large file. Use the "down" key to scroll through it.) This slideshow also includes an aerial view of the park indicating the trail routes. Thank you to Jim Stormont for preparing this slideshow. The public is invited to enjoy this valuable resource.

Kettlebell Exercises - What They Can Do For You
If you've eyed the cast-iron kettlebells at your gym and couldn't imagine a use for them beyond doorstop, keep reading. Researchers found that people who did a 20-minute kettlebell workout torched almost 300 calories—and that's just for starters. When you factor in the muscle-sculpting impact (the calories burned after you exercise as your body repairs its muscle fibers), the total expenditure could increase by up to 50 percent. Kettlebell workouts have become a popular way to tone your body and increase flexibility. Click here for a 10-minute instructional video.
Parents! Are you looking for valid information about the dangers of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription and OTC drugs?

Children across the country are being bombarded with choices that we wish they would never have to make. But the reality is that some of the most dangerous drugs are readily available in our own medicine cabinets in our own homes. Parents need to know about the items available to their children in their homes, as well as the homes of others. Take a look at the website at for more information about the dangers of these substances and tips for children and parents toward avoiding the substances effectively without straining interpersonal relationships.

Dangerous Synthetic Drugs on the Market - Parents Beware
There are synthetic drugs that are marketed and sold as herbal incense across the United States, including Michigan, Jackson County, and online. They are being touted as “legal pot” or “fake weed”. They are carrying product names such as K2, Spice, Blaze, and Black Mamba. They were not intended for human consumption, but have found their way onto the market because kids can use them to get high and they are very difficult to detect in typical drug tests. Even though they are now illegal in Michigan, marketers continue to create new forms of the drug. Parents need to become familiar with the dangers these drugs present to their children. Click here to understand where the drug came from, how it is marketed, and what is being done to prevent its distribution. This is a large file. If you have problems opening it, call 522-5544 or e-mail and a copy will be sent to you.
"Most Teens Don't" Making Positive Impact in Jackson County
Most Teens Don't is a social norming campaign for Jackson County created by the JCISD, the Jackson County United Way, high school students, and other community partners. The program is now being run by the United Way of Jakson County and the Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. The concept of the campaign is to let students and their parents know that "Most Teens Don't" take part in risky teen behaviors -- alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, sex, bullying. Thus, in order to "fit in" or be popular,with the "majority" of their peers, teenagers do not need to take part in such behaviors.Click here to go to their website.

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is cause for great concern.
As of 2008, teens cite prescription drugs as the second most accessible drugs available to them, after marijuana. Teens also view the drugs as 'safe' highs. Prescription drugs are medications that should only be used as prescribed. The addictive potential of prescription drugs is the same as that of illegal drugs -- such as cocaine or heroin -- and the consequences of use can be severe. Opioid (analgesic/narcotic pain relievers) drugs are the most commonly misused of prescription drugs. Click here to see more information about the dangers of misused and abused prescription drugs.

5 Healthy Towns Mentioned as Best Practice by Gov. Snyder
In the Governor's special message on health and wellness he mentioned the efforts of the 5H coalition as being a best practice. His comments included, "Community-based foundations and non-profit organizations can play an important role in improving the wellness of Michiganders. A best practice is the work being done by the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation, which has instituted the Five Healthy Towns Project (5H) with the goal of making Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Grass Lake and Stockbridge the five healthiest towns in the Midwest. The 5H is a comprehensive, community-based project designed to expand wellness programs, infrastructure, and policies that spotlight wellness issues, foster collaboration, and close wellness gaps." Our efforts are not only beneficial to our communities, but they are being noticed by a widening circle of observers. Great Job!! Click here to see the Governor's full report.

Healthy Cookbook Offered
The Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation recommends The Farmers Market Cookbook - Great recipes for using those tasty fresh fruits and vegetables! Click here to access the cookbook as a PDF file.
Addiction a brain disorder, not just bad behavior
Addiction isn't just about willpower. It's a chronic brain disease, says a new definition aimed at helping families and their doctors better understand the challenges of treating it. Like other chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, treating addiction and preventing relapse is a long-term endeavor. Click here to see the USA Today article. (This article was found on the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation's Facebook page.)
Exercising just 15 minutes a day can add years to your life
Exercising just 15 minutes a day can add three years to your life, according to a study measuring the health benefits of low levels of activity. The large-scale study by Taiwanese researchers found people who averaged 90 minutes a week of moderate exercise had a 14 percent lower risk of dying after eight years, compared with those who were inactive. And their life expectancy was three years longer. Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise lowered the risk another 4 percent -- and the risk of dying from cancer dropped by 1 percent.Click here to see the entire MLive article.

Healthy Foods A Success at Summer Youth League Concession Stand
GLCWI Nutrition Sub-Committee Chair Lisa Lutchka shares that volunteer Heather Davidson reports that healthy food options at the Grass Lake Summer Youth League concession stand were a great success this summer. We hope to build on this success through the end of the baseball/softball season and into the fall sports seasons, PTO activities, and other venues where our children can be exposed to healthy options that taste good. Click here to see Lisa's complete remarks. Thank you to Heather and Lisa for your efforts toward this important outcome.
The Chelsea Wellness Center is Offering Programs to the Public
The Chelsea Wellness Center is starting the 10,000 Step Challenge on July 11th. The event runs for four weeks and participants receive a pedometer, log sheet, journal and a weekly scheduled walked. For more information, call 734.214.0220.
The Wellness Center is also offering free yoga to the public on Thursday nights at 8:30 pm in front of the SRSLY Cinema movie screen, which is behind the clock tower on Main St. in downtown Chelsea. Then after yoga, you can stay for free outdoor movies, starting at dusk, and offered by SRSLY! Also open to the public.
Kids who play competitive sports need nutritious food before games
Detroit News columnist Terry Foster details a day of youth soccer and the positive effects of nutritious meals for his daughter's team. Click here to read the Detroit New article.
Am I having a heart attack? The tell-tale signs are not always there
Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, according to the American Heart Association, but it isn’t always easy to tell if you’re having a heart attack. Typically, a heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks the blood flow to the heart, according to the Mayo Clinic. This blockage usually happens when one or more coronary arteries narrow due to unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercise or high stress, to name a few. Symptoms typical of a heart attack include sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, anxiety and nausea. The most prominent symptom is a squeezing chest pain, that can extend into the neck or down to the left or right arm and last a few minutes at a time. However, chest pain isn’t always the most prominent symptom among women. Click here to see the Citizen Patriot story to see symptoms of heart attacks and ways to avoid them.
Allegiance's Health Improvement Organization Launches Step by Step Community Wellness Initiative
Step by Step is a community wellness campaign developed by the Health Improvement Organization (HIO) to address some of the largest health issues facing Jackson County: nutrition, exercise, smoking and stress. The HIO wanted to launch Step by Step in Jackson County to help people understand what the issues are, and more importantly what they can do about them, using local resources to live healthier. Step by Step is all about helping community members with small steps everyone can take to live healthy so that we can all help make Jackson a healthier, more vibrant place to live, work and play.

Strength Training Aids in Maintaining Fitness
Muscle mass and strength start to decline at age 25 at about one-half pound a year, according to the American Council on Exercise. It becomes more noticeable about age 50. This loss of muscle mass due to aging is called sarcopenia. Troy Thielen, a fitness assistant at Allegiance Health, says strength training doesn’t have to be a full-time effort. But consistency is a key, he says. Click here for the full story from the Citizen Patriot.
8 Simple Stretches
Stretching keeps muscles and joints limber. It’s also an excellent way to relax yourself and release tension. suggests a program that combines simple stretching exercises with modified yoga poses. The series of stretches is designed to be done in sequence. But if any exercise feels too difficult or uncomfortable, skip it and go on to the next. Click here to see how to do these 8 simple stretches.
Small lifestyle changes can shed pounds
From the Citizen Patriot - It’s well-known that diet and exercise are the keys to losing weight. But for many of us, it’s difficult to spare the time it takes to work out or plan healthier meals. Because of our busy schedules, we turn to convenient meals that are often loaded with calories. This article explains a proven process that you help you reach your goals.
Calorie Burning Advice from Men's Health Magazine for Men AND Women
If you’ve looked into the mirror recently and didn’t recognize the person staring back, there is good news. Men's Health magazine has developed a list of the five biggest fitness blunders—along with the fixes you need for the results you want. Click here to read tips that are directed at men AND women.
Can we be healthy? Experts urge Jackson community to make health a priority
Jackson County has health issues. The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports that the health statistics are gloomy for Jackson County residents, and until people are ready to quit offering excuses about having no time to cook or exercise, three area experts say it will only get worse. Giving up bad habits, everything from smoking to over-eating, is hard. Perhaps in this “feel good” era, experts said we need to give ourselves a regular dose of tough love to get started and stay on a healthy path. Click here to see the Cit Pat story.
"Bath Salts" - New Dangerous Drug Available
What are “bath salts”? “Bath salts” is a “designer drug” that has been recently become available. This is a powerful drug that causes severe side effects. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the New Orleans area has confirmed that much of the supply is coming in from China and is distributed to head shops, convenience stores and through the Internet. This drug is not useful as a bath product. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) reports a surge of cases across the state related to the recreational use “bath salts.” Emergency departments have reported cases over the past four weeks, with one suspected death. Most were young adults in their 20’s to 30’s. Click here for more information.
Avoiding Common Gym Mistakes
Jim Scott, Ph.D., professor of health and physical fitness at Jackson Community College, says too often people try to fit workouts around other obligations, when exercise should be scheduled first. “Make it a priority,” he says. Click here for the details.

YMCA Trainer Bob Moles Promotes Effectiveness of Push-Ups
Bob Moles, YMCA Trainer, was recently quoted in the Citizen Patriot suggesting that push-ups are the very best exercise for the upper body. Click here to read the article that explains the benefits of this exercise and the proper techniques for completing it.
Wellness Initiative Files
 Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Materials
If you would like more information about our Coalition, please contact Kelsey Haynes at (517) 796‑5133 or

 Contacts for Illegal Drug Activity and Tips for Parents.pdf
Here is helpful contact information if you suspect illegal drug activity, and also helpful information if you have children in your home when prescription drugs are accessible.
 EPIDEMIC - Responding to America's Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis.pdf
A report on the latest Monitoring the Future study showing that prescription drugs are the second most-abused category of drugs after marijuana and how we can battle this crisis.
 Facts About Prescription Drugs.pdf
Prescription drugs that are accessible to our children at home can be extremely dangerous if not stored securely. This document tells you why.
 Int'l Watchdog Warns on Designer Drugs.pdf
New designer drugs are being manufactured and then marketed to our youth with names that do not sound alarms. Use this article to become more informed of what you should be listening for.
 Substance Abuse Community Resource List.pdf
Substance Abuse Community Resource List from the Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
 The Marriage Creed.pdf
An Anti-Heroin Poem
 University Region Bike Trail Maps.pdf
Bike Trail Maps for the Counties of Jackson, Hillsdale, Lenawee, Monroe, and Washtenaw. (Large PDF File)
 Walk Michigan! Coordinator Package.pdf
Walk Michigan! is a program that can be done in anywhere, whether in parks, community centers, trails, or city streets. Because Michigan ranks second in the nation in the number of overweight people, it is important that we as health and fitness promoters address this ever-pressing issue. Physical activity makes people stronger and more energetic, prevents weight gain, and helps to lower anxiety and stress.
+ Lissa Cole
+ Mike Hirst
Click on name to see details.

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