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Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative

The Grass Lake community has been chosen to be a part of the 5 Healthy Towns 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 (517-867-5544).
Wellness Initiative Announcements
Fitness Room Closing for the Summer
The Grass Lake High School's Fitness Room will be available to community members through Thursday, June 8, 6:00-7:30 AM, and 6:00-9:00 PM. It will then be closed to the community for the summer, but it will re-open for its regular hours on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, on all days when school is in session.
"Yoga By The Lake" Begins June 3
GLCWI's Hard Work Reaps State-Wide Recognition
Grass Lake Township and the Village of Grass Lake were honored with the 2017 Active Community Award on April 20 at the Governor's Fitness Awards ceremony in Detroit. Community members Joe DeBoe, Jim Stormont, and Dawn Cuddie represented Grass Lake at the awards banquet and were accompanied by Matt Pegouskie and Amy Heydlauff of the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation. Well done Grass Lake!
Grass Lake Farmers Market & Music in the Park Opening Soon

We are excited to bring back to Grass Lake the 5th Annual Music in the Park series.
Location: Whistle Stop Park (Downtown Grass Lake)
2017 Farmers Market will be every Wednesday starting May 10 and then every Wednesday through September 27. Time: 4P.M. - 7P.M.
Grass Lake is: A Great Place to Call Home!
2017 Music in the Park - 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the Month May 3rd through September 21st. 6 P.M. - 8 P.M. Act (Sponsor)
May – 3 ABC Sisters (State Farm Insurance / Susan Cobb-Starrett)
May – 17 MoJo Lite (JD Industrial Supply)
June - 7 Steve Berkemeier (Coppernoll's Hardware)
June – 21 Ian Stewart (Grass Lake Community Pharmacy)
July – 5 Kyle Neely (Cevins Collision)
July – 19 Bickel Brothers (Paul & Dan) (B & G Landscape Creations)
Aug – 2 Kevin Nichols (April Scott Photo)
Aug - 16 Double Down – Acoustic Duo (Rob & Curt) (Designs By Judy)
Sept – 6 Jason Peak (The Ballooney Bin)
Sept – 21 Paul Schmitt - "The Piano Guy " (Apple Creek Campground & R.V. Park)
Event Sponsors for 2017 Music in the Park: Ghostrider D.J. Services, 5Healthy Towns Foundation, Grass Lake Village DDA, Grass Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, Whistle Stop Park Association, Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative.
Many Prescription Pain Killers Can Have the Same Addictive Results as Heroin
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

GLCWI Co-Founder Mike Hirst on State-Wide Task Force
Grass Lake's Mike Hirst has long been an educator about the ravages of drug abuse and the culture behind it. His efforts include, in large part, educating the general public about how today's prescribed pain relievers, such as Vicodin and Oxycodone, are chemically the same thing as heroin, and are just as addictive. Mike is a part of Governor Snyder's state-wide task force on opioid abuse. In the video link included Mike joins others is sharing information. Mike can be seen at 20:00 in the video. Also, in the video the Governor speaks of having appropriate locations to dispose of unused or expired drugs. Grass Lake has a secure location at the Grass Lake Village Hall located at the bottom of the outdoor stairs that is available 24 hours per day.
GLCWI Going Strong in 5th Year
If you are curious as to what the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative coalition folks are working on this year, go to Thanks to the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation for their guidance and financial support, and to our Grass Lake volunteers who work so hard to improve our community offerings in the interest of health and wellness. If you would like to learn more about the GLCWI, or you would like to be added to the e-mail contact list for updates, contact Doug Moeckel at
5 Healthy Towns Foundation Makes Announcement -

Recently, the Village of Grass Lake and Grass Lake Charter Township were named finalists for the Governor’s Fitness Active Communities Award. They will be recognized at the Governor’s Fitness Awards on April 20, 2017. Only through the support and hard work of community volunteers and the guidance of our 5 Healthy Towns Foundation staff members could this recognition be achieved. Please see the media release from Matt Pegouskie of the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation.

Opioid Addiction Awareness - Causes and Outcomes
This Facebook video depicts a final deadly scenario of opioid addiction. Please remember that heroin use and addiction is most commonly found after very innocent, prescribed use of opioid pain killers, such as Vicodin. Everyone should be very careful when using these substances, and be very careful to properly dispose of unused or expired pharmaceuticals of any kind. Grass Lake has a secure disposal receptacle located at the Grass Lake Village Offices at the bottom of the exterior stairs that lead to the 2nd floor. Only dry pills are accepted there and they must be removed from their original container and put into a sealed plastic bag when disposing of them.
Thank You!
This is message to individuals who have shown interest in the advancement of wellness interventions through the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation and the Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative.
Last night we had our year ending celebration for the hard work so many of you did toward bringing $75,000 worth of healthy interventions into the Grass Lake area for the new year. Your work is truly appreciated while our entire community benefits from it. Matt and Ashley - your leadership and support is priceless. Thank you
We appreciate all of the goodies that were brought into our meeting last night and enjoyed the conversations with our friends and colleagues.
A reminder that we will not hold a coalition meeting in December, but will kick off Year 5 of our plan at our January 18, 2017, meeting, which will begin at 6:00 PM at the Grass Lake Township Hall/Senior Center. (By the way, we are very fortunate and grateful to have such a wonderful venue for our meetings. Thank you!)
A reminder to anyone who may want to join our meetings in the future; they are open to anyone in the community who has an interest in our objectives of moving more, eating better, avoiding unhealthy substances, and making positive social connections. We meet on the third Monday of every month, except December.
We wish everyone a safe, healthful, and happy holiday season and we look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
Doug Moeckel
Chairperson, Grass Lake Community Wellness Initiative
Grass Lake High School Fitness Room Hours
Once again the Grass Lake High School Fitness Room is open to community members from 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM, and 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, on days when school is in session. The cost is $1 per visit up to a maximum of $10 per calendar month. A drop box for money is located on the wall in the room. Individuals under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. There is no charge for GLCS students.
Pre-Diabetes Workshop Announced
We are launching a diabetes prevention workshop, "My Choice, My Health" in Grass Lake soon and we need participants! It is a proven weight loss program and it's FREE!

The program is 8 weekly sessions, followed by 8 every-other-week sessions, then 6-8 monthly sessions= one year commitment. It is for people who have prediabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes. Persons who qualify for this free workshop must be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

There is a screening test, "Are you at Risk for Diabetes?", found on the American Diabetes Association website. Go to for more details.

Safe Routes to School Work Continues
Through the support of the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, Grass Lake community members are continuing to develop a proposal to enhance and improve the walking/biking areas around our community. Click here for an update on the progress.
5HF Announced as Winner of Wellness Award
This year the Governor’s Fitness Council selected the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF) as their 2016 Promoting Active Community Award winner. The award recognizes work in promoting infrastructure improvements, policies and programs that encourage active lifestyles. 5 Healthy Towns is the first Foundation to be honored with a Promoting Active Community Award. Go to for the complete press release. The 5HF sponsors and supports the Grass Lake Community Wellness Foundation in it efforts to promote eating better, moving more, avoiding unhealthy substances, and promoting positive healthy connections in the Grass Lake community.
5-Year Grass Lake Recreation Plan Unveiled
Thank you to Jim Stormont and our Recreation Committee for finalizing our next 5-Year Grass Lake Recreation Plan.
Grass Lake's Mike Hirst Named "Citizen of the Year"
Congratulations Mike Hirst on your fight against opiate abuse. You earned this Citizen of Year award for all your hard work and we are all so very proud of you.
Drug Summit 2015
Here is the video from the Drug Summit where Mike Hirst was a keynote speaker. There are also many other amazing speakers! Our program sponsored Dr. Waller and the Michigan Center High School students were there to talk about their wonderful work in helping educate the students at their school. Go to for the video. Great job Mike Hirst and Chris Risner!

Two Basketball Courts Projected at Recreation Park
The Grass Lake Sports & Trails Recreation Park on Willis Road is expected to see two new basketball courts built in the near future as funding for the courts are being provided from Consumers Energy and American Tower, as well as grants from the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation. See the link for more information. ​
Drug Depository Now Available

The misuse of prescription drugs is a main cause of drug addiction for our children. Regrettably this misuse occurs when dangerous prescription opiates, such as Vicaden, are not secured properly during use and after they have expired or are no long needed, leaving them accessible to our children.

Grass Lake now has a depository for unused or expired controlled substance prescription drugs that we are asking everyone to take advantage of. It is located at the Grass Lake Village Hall near the outside steps that lead to the 2nd story offices. It is available 24 hours per day. Help keep these drugs out of the hands of those they are not prescribed for.

Farmers Market/Music in the Park Plans Moving Ahead
Fundraising continues toward expanding Grass Lake community areas. ​

2014-2015 Approved GLCWI Intervention List
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 867-5544, or at
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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