Major Exhibit Showcases Community History

MIO-Storefront Event Image FinalManufacturing made Owosso, just like many towns in Michigan that were settled in the 19th century and boomed in the 20th century.  This important history is the subject of a current exhibit being put on by the Owosso Historical Commission and the Shiawassee Arts Council.  Major financial support for the exhibit comes from the Cook Family Foundation.

In four different venues along the Shiawassee River, the exhibit showcases photographs, historic documents, and actual products from a number of companies that made furniture, food stuffs, records, sleighs, printing supplies, automotive components, and a range of other goods.  Most of these items can be found in the Shiawassee Arts Center and Curwood Castle.  Comstock Cabin, an historic early structure, contains information about the people who participated in the founding of Owosso in 1836.  The Woodard Paymaster Building tells the story of Lyman Woodard, who established the furniture company that still bears the family name.

The exhibit will be on display and open to the public free of charge through September 16.  A series of events will be held throughout the summer that highlight the historical and cultural assets of several partner organizations.  A calendar, along with background information, can be found at the exhibit’s website

Many of the businesses that were started in the previous century are now gone from Owosso.  However, the influence they had on the design, growth, and development of Owosso are still felt.  So too, the charity of individuals and families that started businesses has shaped the lives of many in the community and has served as a legacy to these entrepreneurs.  Wolverine Sign Works, founded 100 years ago, generated the wealth that led to the creation of the Cook Family Foundation. We are proud to be part of the history, and future, of Owosso.  (Go here to see a video about the benefactor of the Foundation).

Foundation pledges $150,000 to support Memorial Healthcare Foundation

Owosso, MI — A primary purpose of the Cook Family Foundation is to strengthen the organizations that serve our community, and Memorial Healthcare has embarked on a major initiative to expand the capacity of its Emergency Department, the “front door” of the hospital.  To be a part of the Going to a Higher Level Campaign, the Cook Family Foundation has made a commitment of up to $150,000 to Memorial Healthcare Foundation.

Print“It is a pleasure to partner with Memorial Healthcare, the Foundation and its donors, and physician leaders to invest in our emergency department – a vital asset for a healthy community,” said Tom Cook, executive director of the family’s Foundation.

The Going to a Higher Level Campaign is an effort to raise funds to renovate and redesign the Emergency Department at Memorial Healthcare – the only emergency department in Shiawassee County. A primary mission of Memorial Healthcare is providing the highest quality emergency medical care and the planned investment is expected to improve the quality of care and experience of each patient. The Cook Family Foundation commitment is to match the amount of physician contributions to the campaign, up to a maximum award of $150,000.  The grant will be awarded over several years.

“We are grateful for The Cook Family Foundation and for its recognition of all that our medical staff does for the health and safety of the community,” said Ronald Bishop, DO, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Memorial Healthcare. “We would love to maximize their generous matching gift with $150,000, or more, in support from our medical staff.”

Foundation new logowhitemiddlewithtagMemorial Healthcare Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation governed by an independent board of directors. The Foundation provides continuing financial support for the development and improvement of Memorial Healthcare’s programs, services, technology and facilities.


Cook Family Announces Scholarship Winners

Twenty-seven of the leaders and best from the greater Shiawassee area have been awarded scholarships to attend the University of Michigan.  While all of the students have outstanding academic records, two students received special scholarships.  Mitchell Lawrence, valedictorian of Byron High School was awarded the Bruce & Jacqueline Cook Scholarship and Mary Basso, valedictorian of Owosso High School, was awarded the Donald Cook scholarship.

Mitchell Lawrence, son of Jon and Christina Lawrence, has been admitted to the Taubman College of Architecture and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Mitchell is the president of the student council and national honor society at Byron High School, and he has been dual-enrolled this past year at Lansing Community College taking upper level classes in Japanese, calculus and other subjects.  The Bruce & Jacqueline Cook Scholarship, funded by the namesakes, is four-year full tuition scholarship.

Mary Basso, daughter of Daniel and Tamara Basso, will be attending the Residential College at the University of Michigan studying French and looking for opportunities in international studies.  Mary serves as the president of several organizations: key club, environmental club, quiz bowl, and the student body.  She has taken an impressive 13 AP classes in her high school career.  The Donald Cook Scholarship, named after the founder of the Cook Family Foundation, provides $5,000 a year for four years. 

Full list of scholarship winners.  The Cook Family Foundation provides a scholarship to every student from the greater Shiawassee County region that attends the University of Michigan.  This year, award winners were from Byron Area High School:  Kaila Daley, Grant Floto, and Mitchell Lawrence; from Chesaning Union High School:  Ryan Brian, Cameron Cross, and Anthony Edgar; from Corunna High School: Alexander Backus, Brooke Brandt, Nicholas Mars, Arionna Stockinger, and Conner Svrcek; from Durand Area High School:  Jason Cottrell and Tatianna Fraley; from Laingsburg High School:  Katrina Granger and Tristan Merchant; from New Lothrop High School:  Harrison Miller and Hannah Thomas; from Ovid-Elsie High School:  Clayton Alaga, Conner Applebee, Addison Hymer, and Emma Phillipson; from Owosso High School:  Mary Basso, Rebecca Huska, and Valentina Larrivey; and from Perry High School:  Breanna Bixler, Micah Johnson, and Robert Massie.
In addition, the University of Michigan provides financial aid to all students from Michigan to meet their financial need above their expected family contribution.  You can learn more about the application process, scholarships and financial aid on our website (click here).