Leaders and Best of Shiawassee County


Elizabeth Hoornstra, of Chesaning, with Bruce and Jacqueline Cook

Again, the Cook Family Foundation is providing a scholarship to every high school senior from the greater Shiawassee County region attending the University of Michigan.  This fall, 19 young men and women from nine area high schools will enroll at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The future Wolverines were recognized at a dinner on May 8.  Special guest at the event was Andrew Martin, Dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LS&A) at the University of Michigan.  Noting the talented scholarship recipients, the Dean said that “all of the students we admit to the University of Michigan bring a unique combination of talent, goals, ambitions, personality and passion.”

At the dinner, Elizabeth Hoornstra, the valedictorian of Chesaning Union High School, was awarded the Bruce & Jacqueline Cook Scholarship.  This four-year, full tuition scholarship is funded separately from the Foundation by its namesakes.  Elizabeth is the daughter of John and Jennifer Hoornstra, and plans to pursue a major in the social sciences, public health, or some other field where she can “create a difference in someone’s life.”


Hunter Glew, of Corunna, and Andrew Martin, Dean of LS&A

Hunter Glew, the valedictorian of Corunna High School, is the recipient of the Donald Cook Scholarship.  She intends to pursue research at the University of Michigan and major in neuroscience or psychology.  She is the daughter of Matthew and Cynthia Glew.

The Donald Cook Scholarship is awarded by the University of Michigan to a student
attending the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.  It has been financially supported by the Cook Family Foundation in recognition of the Foundation’s founder.  In 2017, the Foundation entered a multi-year funding agreement to endow the scholarship in perpetuity at the University.

Of the 19 scholarship recipients, seven of them are valedictorians.  In addition to Hoornstra and Glew, the co-valedictorians of Owosso High School (Usman Kahn and Sarah Landes) and the valedictorians of Perry (Jessica Beattie), Byron (Jordan Goodrich), and Laingsburg (Paden Graham) were all admitted to the University of Michigan.

Other scholarship winners were, from Chesaning, Sarah Minnis, Noah Moeggenberg, and Riley Russel; from Corunna, Kaylynn Crawford and Charity Cummings; from New Lothrop, Lauryn Bishop, Brayden Bitterman, Matthew Mignault, and Tyler Ruddy; from Owosso, Dalton Brown; and from Perry, Bradley Cronk and Destiny Crusan.

For more information on the Foundation’s scholarships, visit this page



Helping Local NonProfits Have an Impact


Executive Directors from Shiawassee-based nonprofits gather at Foster Coffee

The Cook Family Foundation believes that community change occurs when locally-based nonprofits have the motivation, the support, and the capacity to have an impact.  For several years we have worked with Shiawassee-based nonprofits to help improve their governance, strengthen their operations, and grow through strategic investments.  Ten of those nonprofits have been recognized as Partners for their commitment to capacity building (see a list of all the nonprofits we work with).

In order to help local nonprofits take the next step in their growth, the Cook Family Foundation announces the Innovation and Impact Grant program.  This intensive capacity building endeavor helps an organization take a stretch to realize a dream, review  internal structure, establish new partnerships, and invest in sustainable growth.  The grant process is competitive, and the first round of participants will be selected in April this year.

The NonProfit Capacity Building Program will continue to provide coaching, peer networking, and educational workshops for executive directors and board members.  Information and registration for upcoming sessions can be found on our Events Page.

If you are a board member of a local nonprofit, contact your executive director for information.  The requirements for organizational participation in the NonProfit Capacity Building Program are defined here.  For more information or assistance, please contact us.

Joint Effort to Improve James Miner Trail


Representatives of Caledonia Township, the City of Corunna, and the City of Owosso gather at the James Miner trailhead to receive a contribution from Tom Cook, Executive Director of the Cook Family Foundation.

The Cook Family Foundation believes that we can accomplish more in our community when we work together.  In support of this value of collaboration, the Foundation recently made a $5,000 grant to help make improvements to the James Miner Trail along five miles of the Shiawassee River.  In the last year, four jurisdictions–Caledonia Township, the City of Corunna, the City of Owosso, and the Shiawassee Airport Board–established a Joint Trail Authority to legally share responsibility for the maintenance and improvement of this environmental and recreational resource. 

“The James Miner Trail serves the entire Shiawassee County area, and we are proud to be part of a community-wide, multi-jurisdictional effort to keep up the trail,” said Thomas Cook, Executive Director of the Cook Family Foundation.

The James Miner Trail was developed in the 1970’s through the efforts of local attorney James Miner with the participation of many organizations.  The trail has been maintained for decades by volunteer efforts.  In addition, personal contributions for trail improvements  have been made for several years as part of the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk first organized by Donna and Chuck Kerridge of Corunna.

Local governments have helped keep up the trail, but they recently decided to create a more formal structure for joint management of the trail.  Through a new Joint Powers Committee, a legal entity allowed by State law, the four jurisdictions are now contributing funds, staff time and other resources to the trail.  The Foundation’s grant matches the investments made by several units of government.

The Cook Family Foundation is committed to supporting collaborative efforts that bring together local governments, nonprofit organizations, school districts, service clubs and community groups.  Read more about our thoughts on Collective Impact (click here).