GFA 2017 Director's Champion for Health Finalists

Chuck Block

Chuck is a retired cross country coach from Lansing Community College and an avid runner himself.  In 1998, he started the Michigan Running Foundation with the sole intent to give back to the sport of running.  Chuck times races professionally and works with thousands of non-profits in the state.  He realized that organizations were putting on road races as fundraisers for local charities, but noticed that not much of the money raised went back into supporting the sport.  Chuck began donating money each year to youth track clubs, schools and booster clubs thru the proceeds of timing races.  In 2016, the Michigan Running Foundation donated $75,000 in grants.  The Foundation is set up as an endowment fund with assets over $200,000 generating dividends to support the mission.  It is Chuck’s goal to have a million dollars in assets and to be able to support youth running in Michigan for many years. Interestingly enough, Chuck raises funds solely thru timing races, without large sponsors or a staff.  He does it all with help from his daughter Michelle and his son Rob.  Click here for video

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Vicki Caine

Vicki took it upon herself to start a baseball team for children with special needs.  She was coaching the team and working as a physical therapist at Sparrow Medical Center in Lansing.  What was once a small team playing on a rough, dirt field has grown into an opportunity for 100 athletes with cognitive and physical disabilities to be active, social and embrace diversity.  The Miracle League of Mid-Michigan was formed and supported by the Case Federal Credit Union.  Through their support, the League has been able to fundraise for an accessible baseball field in Dewitt Township.  There are plans for two more accessible parks in the works, one located at Potter Park Zoo.  Once you have witnessed a Miracle League game, you realize the power of this organization.  The volunteers, coaches, parents and athletes are all unified, cheering and supporting one another.  Click here for video

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Dr. Sushma Reddy

Dr. Reddy became frustrated with only treating the increasing numbers of diabetics coming into her office.  She realized that prevention would have a much larger impact and that environmental factors were playing a huge role in the growing numbers and adverse outcomes that she was seeing. She believes that a community can work together to foster a culture of health. Dr. Reddy has developed several community programs with an emphasis on prevention and community engagement. She has brought together hospital executives, community non-profit leaders and many others who have found her direct and tireless approach to be the spark needed for collaborative success. Dr. Reddy has inserted health into the strategic plans of many organizations.  She has connected the dots for our leadership regarding health, poverty and the built environment.  Click here for video