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Vol. 80 • No. 1 Winter 2018

Alumni Spotlight: Ted Johnson Anger Management Is Helping My Child Legacy and Gratitude Donor Spotlight: Suzy and Larry Gill An Easy Way to Plan for Starr’s Future

Starr News

starr commonwealth leadership Officers

Board of Trustees

Elizabeth A. Carey President Chief Executive Officer

Craig Carrel, Chair (2008 – 2021) President and Partner Team 1 Plastics Albion, MI

Dudley N. Spade Chief of Staff Thomas F. Tate Chief Operating Officer

Honorable John Hallacy, Immediate Past Chair (2009 – 2019) Circuit Court Judge 37th District Court Battle Creek, MI Erick Stewart Vice Chair (2009 – 2018) President Stewart Industries LLC Battle Creek, MI Bruce Vande Vusse, Secretary (2009 – 2018) Attorney Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. Southfield, MI Stanley Allen (2014 – 2023) Configuration Engineering Wells Fargo & Company Des Moines, IA

Scott Bennett (2010 – 2019) Senior Vice President Wealth Management UBS Financial Services Birmingham, MI Doug Clark (2013 – 2022) Executive Director, Donor Mktg U.S. Office of Development Cru International Camano Island, WA George A. Goodman (2010 – 2019) Ypsilanti, MI Laura Koziarski (2013-2022) Child Advocate Battle Creek, MI Huilan Krenn (2017 – 2026) W.K. Kellogg Foundation Director of Learning & Impact Battle Creek, MI Randy Neumann (2013 – 2022) Vice President J.F. Daley, Inc. San Antonio, TX

Trustees Emeritus

President Emeritus

Michael J. Gable Human Resources Executive (Retired) Orlans Associates, PC Troy, MI

Martin L. Mitchell President Emeritus Coldwater, MI

George D. Goodman Executive Director (Retired) Michigan Municipal League Ann Arbor, MI Honorable Eugene A. Moore Chief Probate Judge (Retired) Oakland County Pontiac, MI William K. Stoffer Chairman and CEO (Retired) Albion Machine & Tool Co. Albion, MI

Arlin E. Ness President Emeritus Anthem, AZ *All Officers and Trustees can be reached at the following address and phone number: Starr Commonwealth 13725 Starr Commonwealth Road Albion, MI 49224 (517) 629-5591

Honorary Trustees Anne Willson Dupré Granddaughter of Floyd Starr Toronto, Canada Diana Starr Langley Montecito, CA

Starr is dedicated to the mission of creating positive environments where children and families flourish. Starr News Winter 2018 Volume 80 • No. 1 Starr Commonwealth is a nonprofit organization serving children and families regardless of race, religion, color or national origin. Starr Commonwealth is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. Founded in 1913, Starr is licensed by the state of Michigan. The Albion campus is a Michigan Historic Site. Starr Commonwealth receives funds from social agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals. 13725 Starr Commonwealth Rd. Albion, MI 49224-9525 800.837.5591

Table of Contents

President’s Letter 3 Alumni Spotlight: Ted Johnson 4 Anger Management Is Helping My Child 7 Legacy and Gratitude

Donor Spotlight: Suzy and Larry Gill 9 An Easy Way to Plan for Starr’s Future 10 Honor and Memorial Gifts




Winter 2018

president’s letter



hen D* arrived at Starr Commonwealth, he was not grateful. He was angry. He had been hurt and moved so many times and felt isolated and alone. He told me he knew if he did not stop ‘being bad’ he would be sent somewhere even worse. Bad? We do not believe in such a thing! Worse? We are a safe and open place for kids to heal and learn! These are not words we ever associate with a child or with our organization. These were his truths, told to him by others.

struggle. Through gratitude, I choose to raise up the goodness. At Starr Commonwealth, we open our arms, our spaces, and our minds to the hurt, troubled, and lost youth of our generation. We embrace showing gratitude for our young people, and teaching them to find it in the midst of their struggles.

We help them heal, find courage, build strength and This story is not from 1922, or 1956, but from 2018. ultimately to thrive. During our time with them, we Each morning, I open my eyes to a world for which show them beauty and kindness and love. We help I have learned to be deeply them give these same experiences appreciative. That even with pain, to others. For many, this is the loss, disappointment or worse, there first time they will feel and receive is beauty. There is stillness. There is someone else’s Gratitude. kindness and love. For these things, I am grateful. Focusing our work through a lens of strength and positivity means we Like most of you, I had to learn are also grateful for each child. For to feel gratitude. First by seeing their honesty, for their compassion, and feeling the goodness in my for their humor, for their resilience, life. I learned to be thankful for for their willingness to try. In someone who treated me kindly, addition, for their beauty. or for someone who helped me or took care of me. Then, I learned My life is enriched by the purpose to recognize that gratitude comes of Starr Commonwealth and I am from sources outside of myself. grateful. This Starr News focuses Moreover, that I could look for and on gratitude and its importance find many things and people in my in our lives. Join me in seeing life for which I was grateful. Every year, as I continue and appreciating the beauty around you. Join me to grow and mature, I am more grateful as I find more in supporting these kids. Join me in gratitude to ways to welcome beauty and kindness into my life. our Founder Floyd Starr for allowing all of us these

“We embrace showing gratitude for our young people, and teaching them to find it in the midst of their struggles.”

opportunities. Now, in reflection, was I grateful at 12 or 13? Not very often. In addition, if I had lived the experience of D*, Sincerely, my feelings would most likely mirror his. I see a world where we are struggling to be gracious, appreciative and even kind. Yet I continue to experience constant moments of goodness along with the moments of Elizabeth Carey, President and CEO


Ted Johnson and his mother circa 1948.

alumni spotlight ted johnson



“My introduction to Starr Commonwealth in 1953

Commonwealth have rough starts to

came by way of Macomb County’s juvenile placement

life: histories of emotional and physical

officer, Melvin Schurig. I was sincerely surprised

abuse as well as neglect are unfortunately common.

when we turned on to Starr Commonwealth’s campus






Ted Johnson’s story starts the same way, but through the intervention of Starr, he has been able to move on and give back to his community. “I’m very proud of having lived there and everything they did for all of us. Starr was the happiest place in the world for me, and it was the lynchpin that launched me on the road to maturity,” says Ted.


grounds early that afternoon. The

“And even today,

I continue giving credit

to Starr Commonwealth’s patience, perseverance,

and their reconstruction of a twelve year old kid.”

landscape was immaculate, tree’s trimmed, grass mowed, and a scattering of flowers here and there. As we drew closer to the administration building I saw Lake Montcalm, and spotted a group of boys fishing, and two other teenagers strolling along the shoreline, snatching up stones and skipping them across

alumni spotlight: Ted johnson

the waters. Despite the distance, I heard them kibitzing

Albion. “Two counselors came to our class room, ask-

back and forth and their echoing guffaws. What seemed

ing if anyone would like to race in the Soapbox Derby.

amiss was no adult supervisor, and no fence in sight. I

A pair of us raised our hands, and within the week,

was impressed.”

we began constructing our cars. Starr’s wood-shop teachers taught

Ted spent two years at Starr

us how to safely use the wood-

in Ingles Cottage, now named Mendelssohn.


working tools, taught us how to


fabricate our racers, while they

struck me right out of Walt

stood aside guiding us verbally.

Disney’s palace from the movie

I raced my car that summer, and

Cinderella. Minus the towers, it

though I didn’t win the heat, I felt

was stately and handsome to the

pride in what I had accomplished.

last brick,” remembers Ted.

Starr Commonwealth provided

From the beginning, Ted learned

the tools, guidance, a triple help-

from his classmates and from Uncle Floyd important lessons

Ted Johnson age 10

that he would carry with him forever. While working in the Central Kitchen, Ted recalls

ing of encouragement, which imparted within me a strong sense of

personal value.”

how Mrs. Tiedge, the head chef, rewarded him with

By 1955, the courts had decided that it was time for Ted

slices of pie or extra breaks when he finished his du-

to return to his parents. With that history of domes-

ties faster than the other boys. “Doing what she asked

tic abuse, though, Ted didn’t want to go back. “Uncle

quickly and correctly always provided a reward within

Floyd did all he could to get the judge to retract the or-

itself. That lesson in-

der but no dice.

stilled my focus, work



habits, my determina-



tion to always perform

grabbed me and

the best I can.”

took off north to

It was not always work


Michigan. I ran

on our campus, though.

away on my first

Ted told us a story


about participating in

and headed for

the Soapbox Derby in

Florida.” Ted with Starr boys in April of 1955


alumni spotlight: Ted johnson







him. “I support Starr because I knew

world, first with his own business,

what they did for me, taking me in and

and quickly moving on to train-

providing refuge, training, encourage-

ing managers at local restaurants.

ment, demonstrating to me that I was

He and his wife, Maria, ended up

a worthy person, and I want to help

moving to Texas when he became

other boys and girls.”

Vice President of Los Tios Mexican

“Floyd Starr – with God’s guidance –

Restaurants. Today, he and Maria

has contributed a major role in rerout-

operate a home for the mentally and

ing a disadvantaged kid into a blessed

physically handicapped in need of special care, which opened on April 1st,

Ted Johnson, his wife and three daughters.

life. And not only myself, but scores and scores of other kids who were, and


are, in desperate need of help. Though

Ted started giving back to Starr in 2003, and contin-

Uncle Floyd has passed on, his legend lives on, and I’m

ues to give regularly to the organization that changed

proud I came under his tutelage.” F

Trauma & Resilience Conferences 3 Conferences in 2018! O June 12-13 • Rockwall, Texas O July 10-13 • Clinton Township, MIchigan O September 25-28 • Austin, Texas For more information and to register go to: 6


is helping my child

One parent, Clarissa*, reached out to Kurt Lewis, a

grandiose temper tantrums which include kicking

Starr Intensive In-Home Counselor, to express her

and hitting fellow family members. Clarissa went

gratitude for the behavioral changes she has noticed in her son since starting the Anger Management group. Kurt shared her thoughts with our staff, and we would like to share them with you.

on to add that she usually will have little problem working with her son for three to four days following the group. Clarissa jokingly says she wishes we had anger management group multiple times a week due

“On one of my visits to a family I was discussing

to it keeping her son calm, relaxed and respectful for

the development of Clarissa’s son, who attends the

the entire week.”

anger management group each Monday afternoon. When discussing his progress, Clarissa shared that since her son has been coming to group she has noticed significant improvement in his behavior in the following areas; when her son arrives home she has noticed that he’s very calm. He then will tell his other brothers about what he learned from group and he’s excited when doing this. Clarissa then maintains that at the same time he is very respectful to her while talking about a situation instead of having

Our Anger Management group meets in Battle Creek every Monday, and serves clients who have been referred to us through Summit Pointe. If you would like to learn more about this programming, you can call Bob Shumaker at 269-968-9287. If you would like to support our behavioral health programs, you can make a donation online at www.starr. org/donate. F *Name changed to protect privacy.


Legacy & Gratitude The saying, “they don’t build things like they used to” is one I aspire to someday prove wrong. Until then, I will continue to marvel at the craftsmanship of individuals like my great-grandfather Harvey Haynes. I grew up surrounded by his work. Whether it was tackling a new drawing on one of his handcrafted desks or visiting my grandma Eva at the centennial farm he carefully built over a 17-year period, his art was always present in my life. When you see his work, you can still feel his patience and commitment to it. You can feel how important every turn, every cut, and every intricate piece of inlay was.

Maple, Pine, Curly Maple, Birdseye Maple.” Holding the note in my hand, I looked at it in astonishment. Who wrote it? How did it get here? Great-grandpa, is this it? Like any good amateur detective would do, I called an expert and friend – Amy Reimann, a long-time supporter and the former archivist for Starr Commonwealth. She too had heard of this possible connection, and was eager to begin the search. When speaking with her, I could tell there was a subtle sadness on the other end of the line when I asked her my questions. The note I held in my hand was not the end of her search, it was the beginning. My heart sank, but as I stood there in Gladsome Cottage, admiring its many layers of history and beauty, my hope did not. Nor did my gratitude, not only for a friend beginning the search for me, but also for the moment as a whole, for the place, and for the mission of Starr Commonwealth.

Prior to starting my new position at Starr Commonwealth, my family shared with me the rumor that great-grandpa Harvey was a friend of Floyd Starr. The story continued that Floyd - an appreciator of fine art, craftsmanship, and the many silent lessons embedded in the beauty of each - asked Harvey if he would be willing to share his talent with Starr and make a few pieces of furniture. It is a story I My sails were once again filled have always held dear, and one with energy, and as I looked forthat I hoped to someday confirm. ward, I thought about what my I could picture myself admiring personal contribution to Starr will a particular piece in Gladsome Ian Stewart and the cabinet his great-grandfather, be. I challenged myself to see if my Harvey Haynes, may have made for Starr. Cottage, the first of many cottages talents and creativity could create to house Floyd’s dream of serving a legacy that my great grandchildren would connect with children, and learning it was no romantic rumor after all; and celebrate someday. As I walked out of the cottage that it was true. day and thought about my great-grandpa, I knew what the answer was – it was yes. We all have unique gifts to share, Three months later, I found myself in that very setting. and I remain grateful for the opportunity to share mine Keeping great-grandpa Harvey in mind, I would open drawwith Starr and the many children and families we serve – ers here and there, peek under desks that caught my eye, all and along the way, to be reminded of the legacy of Harvey with the hope of stumbling upon his seal. Then, from the Haynes. dining room I heard, “Hey Ian, look at this.” I looked over at Elizabeth Carey, Starr President and CEO, and she was While the search for my great-grandpa’s work continues, pointing at an orange post-it note (of all things) sitting on a the value it holds for me remains as real and present as ever. beautiful china cabinet in the dining room. After all, we’re all craftsmen in our own right, and it’s on us to build something great. Could this be it? There it read, “Harvey Haynes, Cabinet Maker, Coldwater, 8

Let’s get to it!

Donor Spotlight Suzy and Larry Gill

People from all walks of life are drawn to support Starr Commonwealth and our mission. Some are former stu-

dents, looking to give back to the organization that helped them become who they are today. Some are local benefac-

tors who have heard about Starr and want to do what they can to help children flourish. And still others

teer experience, saying, “We have a group of kids come… for two hours each week to be tutored academically, participate in sharing a meal and play learning games. I fully recognize that two hours a week is not nearly enough to make an enormous impact on their lives, which is another reason why I am in awe of the facility at Starr. The fact that the children

come to us through more unusual circum-

can live there with full-time resources available

stances; thus is the story of Suzy and Larry

to them is amazing!”


Despite her admiration for our residential pro-

“In 1949, my Mom and Dad had a baby boy,

gram, the service that really speaks to her is

Christopher H. Southwick,” Suzy Gill told us

our in-home treatment. “As I know first-hand

when asked about how she got involved with

through my volunteer work, the home is the

Starr. “He ended up passing away after only two

most important piece for the child in the re-

months due to a medical issue no one knew

covery process. If they do not have the love and

he had. My grandparents, Howard and Jesse

support from their family in what they are trying

Southwick, were so devastated by his death that

to accomplish when they get home, invariably

they wanted to do something in remembrance

they will revert back to what got them in trouble

of his short life. They ended up purchasing a

in the first place. Family is the most important

stained-glass window in the Chapel-in-the-

thing to children and a loving, nurturing family

Woods and it is still there to this day.”

will make all the difference in the outcome of your teachings.” With the support of champions

After her parents passed away, Suzy began to learn more about Starr and the ways in which we help kids. “Starr’s mission and vision fully support my

like Suzy and Larry Gill, we are able to continue our work with children and creating positive environments

passion for working with children, especially children who are

where they can flourish. If you would like to become a donor

in a position where they need guidance and nurturing.” Suzy

like Suzy and Larry, you can go online at at

also compared Starr’s residential program to her own volun-

donate. F 9

An Easy Way to Plan for Starr’s Future Like many Americans, you are probably aware that the accumulation of assets in your retirement plan can be the basis for a financially secure future. To ensure that your retirement assets are put to good use after your lifetime, consider the benefits of using them for a charitable gift.

When you leave your retirement assets to charity at your death 100% of the funds go to charity– no taxes withheld. The simplest way to leave the balance of a retirement account to a charitable organization is to list them as your beneficiary. Be sure to discuss this option with your financial planner and with your family to make sure the decision is best for your situation.

It is also possible to list an organization as a contingent beneficiary, allowing funds to be donated if your spouse doesn’t survive you, or to designate a specific amount to be paid out before being divided among family members.

Using funds from your retirement plan account may be the most tax-effective means of making a charitable gift. Because the laws vary depending on when and how you make the gift, please seek guidance from an attorney or other professional who is thoroughly versed in this area of tax law. You can also contact us at 517-630-2317 to discuss donating your retirement assets to Starr. 10

Honor & Memorial gifts The gifts reflect the period from 10/27/2017-1/12/2018. Donors are listed below the name of the person in whose memory or honor they contributed. HONOR & MEMORIAL GIFTS are thoughtful ways to remember a special person or occasion, such as a birth, birthday, anniversary, graduation, Mother’s or Father’s Day, or as an enduring tribute to the memory of a friend or loved one. Extend a helping hand to the children of Starr by making your donation to Starr at In Honor of: CARRIE BARBER Mrs. Evelyne Jones SAMANTHA BARBER Mrs. Evelyne Jones LEONARD BEARD Mrs. Kathleen Beard LARRY K. BRENDTRO Mr. Donald L. Scott CALEB DONOVICK Dr. Valerie Perdue JOHN AND CARIN GRZELAK Dr. and Mrs. Arlin E. Ness

JULIE VOIGT Mr. and Mrs. David C. Dooley

JEANNE GABLE Mr. Michael J. Gable

KONNER AND GARRETT VOIGT Mr. and Mrs. Robert Voigt

ROBERT A. GRADY Ms. Dora Grady

RUSSELL G. MAWBY Dr. and Mrs. Henry J. Brown Dr. and Mrs. Arlin E. Ness Mr. and Mrs. Christopher L. Smith Mr. William K. Stoffer

DOROTHY C. GRANGER Miss Diane M. Granger

WILL AND SENIA MCCLAIN Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Givens

WAYNE L. HARTMAN Mrs. Carol Hartman

GEORGE MCDONNELL Mr. and Mrs. Verne Sutherland

AUNT MURIEL HEADING Mr. and Mrs. John W. Schram

ROBIN R. (THATCHER) MCKEE Ms. Sandra Thatcher

MARGARET HEIRMAN Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

ADA MEAD Mr. and Mrs. James P. Neuvirth

HARRY HELWIG Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

BR. BRADNER MEAD Ms. Pamela J. Davis

ALBERTA HENDERSON Rev. and Mrs. Kenneth T. Ponds

CORNELIA MILES Mrs. Linda Howard

JACK HONHART Ms. Anne Honhart

ASA MILES, JR. Mrs. Linda Howard


J. R. MORGAN Mrs. Nancy Morgan

CLAUDE E. KANTNER Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Kantner

WILLIAM MORSE Mrs. Verona l. Morse

VIRGINIA KANTNER Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Kantner

ERNEST MULLINGS Mrs. Deborah Watkis

GORDON G. KNAPP Mrs. Joan B. Knapp


DONALD H. LILJE Ms. Betty A. Lilje

MARGARET M. PETSCH Mrs. Marian M. Wood

JESSIE LONGHURST Dr. and Mrs. James E. Longhurst

FRANK PICHEL Mrs. Lynn Komasara

HAZEL MALDEGEN Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Maldegen

JAMES RICHARDS, JR. Mrs. Doris Richard

BERYL H. MARTIN Ms. Marilyn J. Heiling

SYLVIA STARR RICHEY Mr. and Mrs. Norman H. Knight Mr. Michael R. Weaver

In Memory of: WILLIAM MACKIE BLACK Mr. Darrell J. Black TERRY M. BOWMAN Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman SHERRY LEE BRUNER Mr. William Bruner

MARK HERING Mr. Raymond Opezzo

RALPH CAREY Mrs. Ruth Carey and Dr. James Crowfoot




DAVID DUNSHEE Mrs. Carel Dunshee


ARLENE A. EDWARDS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

CELESTE M. LEWIS Mrs. Convetta V. Ross

LLOYD S. EDWARDS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

MARCELLA MOOTZ Miss Anna Lee Teets Miss Sara Lou Teets

PHYLLIS EDWARDS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

DR. AND MRS. ARLIN E. NESS Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Sheridan PRISCILLA PETTENGILL Mr. Robert Pettengill JIM SECRETO Mr. Raymond Opezzo ADAM S. SZYMANSKI Ms. Sandy LaCross DUKE VAN DER ARK Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Benson

VIRGINIA EDWARDS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards PATRICIA L. ENDRESS Mr. Mark Endress JOHN S. EVANS Mr. and Mrs. Norman H. Knight CONCETTA FALCONE Mr. John Falcone KENNETH T. AND AILEEN V. FRENCH Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth M. French

DOUGLAS MARTIN Ms. Marilyn J. Heiling

GERALD D. ROBINSON Mrs. Mary Ann Davis Mr. and Mrs. Steven Sieracke MARION ROBINSON Mrs. Mary Ann Davis GERALD F. ROSS Mrs. Concetta V. Ross JACKIE ROUFOS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards JOHN ROUFOS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards LORETTA SCHOESSEL Mr. and Mrs. Carl A. Schoessel WIN SCHULER Mr. and Mrs. Hans Schuler ROSE ANN SMALL Mrs. Mary E. Mills “UNCLE” FLOYD STARR Mr. and Mrs. Ted F. Johnson ELTA HELEN ARBER STARR Mr. Michael R. Weaver EDDIE STOKES Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Mason BARBARA TOUSEY Mr. William H. Tousey DAVID TWISS Mr. David Twiss HARRIETT J. WAK Mr. Joseph Wak FRED WEBERLING Mrs. Fran Weberling OLIVE B. WHITE Mr. Robert G. White PAMELA WINGERTER Mr. and Mrs. Bob Rowbotham


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Giving Tuesday Results! As an international day of giving, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday has gotten more popular every year. At Starr Commonwealth, our goals for each year have increased exponentially, and our donors have continued to step up to the plate to meet them. For 2017, our overall goal was to reach $15,000. With a generous match donation from George Franklin for the first $5,000, we felt this goal was lofty, but attainable. Thanks to our amazing donors on Facebook and online, we were able to exceed our 2017 goal! With this support, we are able to continue to help children and families flourish through our in-home mental health services, residential facilities, Youth Assistance Program and our coaching that works to teach professionals across the country how to better help the children and teens that they serve. Thank you for caring about Starr and choosing to support our 105 year old organization. We truly have the best supporters, and we appreciate every kind word, social media post, and donation. If you missed out on Giving Tuesday but would still like to support Starr, you can make a donation online at

Starr News Winter 2018  

Read about how our Anger Management sessions are helping youth in Battle Creek, how you can help plan for Starr's future, and spotlights on...

Starr News Winter 2018  

Read about how our Anger Management sessions are helping youth in Battle Creek, how you can help plan for Starr's future, and spotlights on...