Surrounded by Skyline campers and staff, 100 Businesses Who Care representatives Carrie Schochet and Amy Whipple present a mock check for $44,500 to Skyline Executive Director Matt Henry on Wednesday. photo by Tom Wearing.
June 19, 2019ALMONT — The Skyline Camp & Retreat Center, located at 5650 Sandhill Road, was the beneficiary this week of a $44,500 check from the "100 Businesses Who Care" (BWC) organization.
Representatives from 100-BWC visited the campground on Wednesday, June 12, to present the award to Skyline Executive Director, Matt Henry, and wife, Shannon, during a summer camp session.
Henry, who has been employed at Skyline since 1996, said the bulk of the financial windfall will be directed toward Skyline's ongoing "capital campaign."
He explained that BWC members meet twice a year for the purpose of networking and pooling their resources—$500 per member—to benefit a worthy local charity.
During those meetings, three BWC members are randomly selected to advocate for a specific charity of their choice. The advocates are required to make presentations, followed by Q&A sessions from the audience.
Following the presentations, the membership votes for the charity and cause they believe most deserving of their support.
At the BWC's most recent gathering, Aryn Zwierzchowski of Birmingham-based "Logicalis," advocated on behalf of the campground, resulting in Skyline's selection as the beneficiary of the organization's generosity.
The parent of two children who camp at Skyline, Henry said it was Zwierzchowski's personal story that convinced BWC's membership of the campground's worthiness.
"I can bring my own kids here for a week and know they are safe and in good hands," said Zwierzchowski. "The people here always go the extra mile for the kids.
"I have trust and confidence that Matt and the Skyline staff will make these dollars go as far as they can; to make the best use of this donation."
Following an impromptu sing-along that featured Henry on guitar and about 40 special needs campers dancing and clapping along, all assembled on the grounds for the check presentation.
Doing the honors was BWC representative, Amy Whipple, co-founder and vice president of Purple Squirrel Advisors of Troy.
Having never visited Skyline before, Whipple described the feeling she had when first pulling into the 156-acre grounds Wednesday morning.
"This is truly a beautiful and magical place," Whipple opined. "I could feel it when we pulled in. I'm feeling uplifted to be here as a guest.
"And there are a lot of beautiful people," she continued. "To be with all of you this morning has been a perfect way to start my day."
After thanking Whipple and 100 Businesses Who Care for their kindness and generosity, Henry outlined more specifically how the money will be used.
"This donation is a huge boost for us," said Henry. "We are in the midst of a moderate capital improvement campaign and these funds are much needed.
"We've increased our registration every year since 2011, and more than tripled our number of campers since then," Henry said. "As we increase our capacity we need to make repairs and improvements to accommodate that growth.
"We'll be directing these funds towards small capital projects, like new cabins, additional staff housing, a new crafts facility, updating mattresses and other projects."
In accordance with its Christian values, Skyline's mission is to encourage in its campers a sense of compassion, respect for creation, while embracing creativity, fairness, kindness, beauty, diversity and generosity.
Skyline's intentions are that (1) every camper has fun, feels safe and is supported in exploring new activities and adventures; (2) that every camper experiences unconditional love and acceptance; and (3) that every camper experiences a positive sense of the natural world, of community, and of self.
For further information about Skyline Camp & Retreat Center, or to make a donation, call 810-798-8240, 248-830-5654 or email to: email@example.com. Or visit the website at www.campskyline.org
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.