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Vol. 76 • No. 1 Winter 2017

Employee Giving Starr Scholarships Generosity and the Circle of Courage® Starr Alumni Association Addressing Trauma & Loss with Brave Bart

Starr News

starr commonwealth leadership Officers

Board of Trustees

Elizabeth A. Carey President Chief Executive Officer

Honorable John Hallacy, Chair (2009 – 2018) Circuit Court Judge 37th District Court Battle Creek, MI

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

Craig Carrel, Vice Chair (2008 – 2017) President and Partner Team 1 Plastics Albion, MI Lawrence Givens, Secretary (2010 – 2019) Blackmond and Givens, Inc. 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 Marketing U.S. U.S. Office of Development Cru International Mill Creek, WA

George A. Goodman (2010 – 2019) Ypsilanti, MI Laura Koziarski (2013-2022) Child Advocate Battle Creek, MI

Trustees Emeritus

President Emeritus

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

Dr. Martin L. Mitchell President Emeritus Coldwater, MI

George D. Goodman Executive Director (Retired) Michigan Municipal League Ann Arbor, MI

Randy Neumann (2013 – 2022) Vice President J.F. Daley, Inc. San Antonio, TX

Dr. Russell G. Mawby Chairman Emeritus W.K. Kellogg Foundation Battle Creek, MI

Mary E. Rutan (2013 – 2022) Human Resources Director (Retired) Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

Honorable Eugene A. Moore Chief Probate Judge (Retired) Oakland County Pontiac, MI

Erick Stewart (2009 – 2018) President Stewart Industries LLC Battle Creek, MI

William K. Stoffer Chairman and CEO (Retired) Albion Machine & Tool Co. Albion, MI

Bruce Vande Vusse (2009 – 2018) Attorney Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. Southfield, MI

Honorary Trustees

Dr. 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

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 2017 Volume 76 • 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 Employee Giving


Starr Scholarships 6 Generosity and the Circle of Courage® Starr Alumni Association Addressing Trauma & Loss with Brave Bart



8 9 10

Winter 2017

president’s letter Love. Achievement. Freedom. Purpose.


s a child, young adult, and now as a parent

and professional, I have felt these words as living, breathing goals that if attained meant I had a full life. I’ve worked towards

them for myself and for the people I love realizing the

older I get that they really are all I need. That when I am loved and love others, when I experience success, when I have choices and when I know I am helping others,

then I am truly living and my life is full. What a joy to find that what I felt in my heart was also the time tested

universal needs of Starr’s Circle of Courage treatment philosophy: Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity.

For me, as well as for most of us, our path towards these goals is not a straight line. It is filled with twists, interruptions, loss, pain, confusion and joy. Abuse, neglect, mental health and substance abuse issues, violence, poverty… all create barriers and blockades to successful lives. At Starr Commonwealth, we believe in the inherent goodness of children and families. Floyd Starr created our organization on his belief “There is no such thing as a bad boy,” and we have proven it for over 100 years. With support, love, opportunity and healing, the barriers can be lifted and the path will straighten. That even given the adverse experiences - trauma - that have impacted you, me and our sisters and brothers, that we can love, achieve, live and give! And we need your help to make this happen. Every year the knowledge regarding the impact of trauma on our future lives increases. Evidence continues to support that where we live, how we are treated, and what opportunities we have in our childhood CAN dictate our

dysfunctions and difficulties we have experienced. But,



knows that we can interrupt and disconnect these negative life outcomes and build resilience and health. With interventions and treatment focused on identifying and healing past trauma and pain, health, wellness and recovery can be achieved. And the earlier we intervene, the faster we can help straighten the life path to love, achievement, freedom and purpose.

We give teachers tools that make their classrooms calmer and less stressful. We teach parents and youth coping skills and steps to improve mental well-being and reduce anger and hurtful behavior. We empower troubled teens to see their strengths, improve their choices and to genuinely want the best for others. We engage directly with people to show them love, build their skills, support their goals and model true generosity. Through these actions, teachers, parents, social workers, even you and I, can help straighten the path to fulfillment for our children. With support and opportunity, children will flourish, regardless of their beginnings. Join us in a revolution to demand opportunity to health and wellness and healing. Support our efforts to share our knowledge and expertise with anyone who needs it. GIVE – be generous – of your time, your spirit, your resources… for there is greatness in all of us. And together, we will allow it to flourish. Sincerely,

future life outcomes. As a society, we can predict higher incidences of physical and mental health problems such as obesity, stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, heart

Elizabeth Carey, President and CEO

disease, drug use and alcoholism based on the number of


Employee Giving

Starr Battle Creek staff and the gifts for the local family they adopted for Christmas.


s a mission-driven nonprofit organization, we know that giving is important; not just money, but time, clothes, food, and any number of things that we as humans can use to help. For 2016, every single Starr employee showed that they knew the true meaning of generosity by taking the time to give back to their community. Each Starr location chose a local way to help this holiday season and to model generosity. When the opportunity arises in the future, those who have received help can and will help others.


ALBION Staff worked together to create baskets for the students on campus. Our team was able to fill baskets for each cottage with movies, treats, socks, card games, board games, fruit, puzzles and more! These were given to the kids at the holiday luncheon on campus, and were a smash hit! Students really appreciated the thought that went into each basket, as well as the opportunity they had to have a little fun in their free time. They made cards, saying, “Thank you for the basket and the luncheon. The food was

employee giving

wonderful and we greatly appreciate it. Thanks for all

for her kids. In less than a week, our team had bags

you do.�

and boxes full of food, clothing, toys, linens, toiletries, cleaning supplies, hats, gloves, and gift cards for this

Battle Creek Staff adopted a local family and worked to provide everything they needed for a happy holiday. Every team member brought in items to ensure the family had clothes, games, food, and more this Christmas. Before the holidays, staff wrapped and delivered the donated gifts to their adopted family so they could have a truly merry Christmas.

family! These items were wrapped up and delivered to the family before Christmas, ensuring that the kids had presents to open and warm clothes to get them through the winter. With these donations, Starr employees were able to make a huge difference in the lives of children and families that need it the most. Knowing that we were

Detroit Staff adopted a family in their area – a single mother

able to make such a difference in 2016 was the greatest

who was looking for help to make Christmas special

gift of all. F Gifts for their adopted family in Battle Creek.

Baskets for cottages in Albion.

Gifts for their adopted family in Detroit.




any people know how Starr Commonwealth helps kids who are in our programs, whether they are in need of behavioral health, residential, or youth assistance services. What you may not know is how Starr helps these young people after they leave us – through scholarships provided by our donors. At Starr, we believe that education is important. That is why every person who has been in a Starr program, no matter the length of time, is eligible to apply for a scholarship. These scholarships can be used for any manner of furthering their education, including:

• 2- and 4-year colleges • GED completion programs • adult education • police academy • truck driving school • nursing school • cosmetology school • professional development courses • and more!

Many Starr alumni have a specific goal in mind when thinking about their education. They want to be nurses, mechanics, and police officers to name a few. They have a passion, and they are motivated by what they learned in our programs to go back to school and achieve their goals. Meet *Lynette, Jayla, Tony and Armand: Lynette Lynette is studying to be a nurse, and is on track to graduate next year. She has worked very hard to achieve her dream of becoming a registered nurse, but with a daughter to support, sometimes hard work


Scholarships is not enough. With her Starr scholarship, though, Lynette is able to afford her textbooks and classes, making her life a little easier as she works towards fulfilling her passion. jayla Other former Starr students learned important skills while in our programs that, along with their scholarships, have helped them succeed. Jayla is a junior in college, and working towards becoming a special education teacher. Starr taught her that when you are responsible for yourself and are reaching for success, self-care and self-advocacy are very important. These lessons have helped her maintain a high GPA, and will be important skills for Jayla to pass on to her future students. Tony Tony has also utilized the tools he learned while at Starr to flourish. Tony learned how to deal with stressful situations with grace and professionalism, and he is working to transfer those skills into running his own auto body shop. He needs an education to be successful, though, and with his Starr scholarship, Tony is able to work towards getting his Auto Body and Business Management degrees.

to his community and the organizations that helped him become who he is today. These are just a few examples of what Starr has always hoped to achieve with our scholarship program: to give students a chance at a better life. We are very proud of the students who receive our scholarships, and we hope they will pay it forward when they get the opportunity. In 2016, Starr awarded over $77,000 in scholarships to deserving students. If you are a former Starr student who is looking to further your education, please visit our website at Deadlines are July 15 for 4-year colleges or universities and August 1 for 2-year colleges or vocational programs, so make sure to get your application in! F *Names have been changed.

Armand Many scholarship recipients have also written to us about how they want to return to Starr to pass on the tools that they learned. Armand is a senior pursuing a business degree who wants to help others. He will be using his education to start his own business as a fitness trainer, and one day he hopes to return to Starr to work with the current students in business, health, and personal development. Thanks to his continued scholarships from Starr, Armand is able to give back


Generosity and the Circle of Courage® GEN ER




Going Green!


With Generosity, the idea is not just to teach children to give back; the goal is to teach them the importance of being unselfish. In the words of a Lakota Elder, “You should be able to give away your most cherished possession without your heart beating faster.” We teach this lesson first by showing Generosity to students, and then by showing them how to be generous themselves.

When working with children and teens who have experienced trauma, Generosity can look a little bit different. While we teach them that giving back and volunteering is important, we are also teaching them that they have BEL something to offer the world. We ON are showing them this value within themselves that helps them build self-confidence and emotional stability. In helping others, these youth create their own proof of worthiness: they make a positive contribution to another human life. NG GI

In order to better serve the children in our care, Starr utilizes a model called the Circle of Courage®, which was developed from the cultural wisdom of the Lakota people and the expertise of former Starr President Dr. Larry Brendtro and Y his colleagues. With this model, we IT OS create positive youth development based on the principal that to be emotionally healthy, everyone needs a sense of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

Understanding this helps students grow through their trauma, and gives them a new outlook on helping others. Where before they may not have given others a second thought, now they are going out of their way to encourage and assist each other. These growing signs of Generosity indicate the beginnings of an emotionally healthy student. F

One of our most well-known quotes from founder Floyd Starr is “beauty is a silent teacher.” He used this phrase to explain why he chose the lakeside plot of land in Albion on which to start his organization; he wanted a beautiful place to reflect the inherent beauty of his kids. Born out of this dedication to keeping our planet beautiful, Starr is going more green in 2017. We will publish two beautiful printed editions of the Starr News in 2017 and all four issues this year will be available on our website, social media, and via email! We here at Starr care about our planet, and we truly believe that keeping it healthy for future generations is important. If you would like to receive Starr News through email, please sign up at To read past issues of Starr News, please visit


Starr Alumni Association


n November, the Starr Alumni Association donated several cakes for the cottages on our Albion campus to help make Thanksgiving special for the children who would not be able to be with their families this year.

In December, they did it again; this time, with cookies. The Alumni Association wanted to make sure the students had a happy holiday season, and the kids in the cottages were thrilled to have someone thinking about them. “We just wanted to do something nice for the kids to let them know that someone was thinking about them this Christmas,” said Stanley Allen, the president of the Starr Alumni Association. “They need to know that Starr will care for them while they are here, and the Alumni Association will be there for them when they leave.” Having been the recipients of donations in the past, these former Starr students know what it feels like to have someone you don’t know care about your well-being. The members of the Starr Alumni Association are looking forward to more opportunities in 2017 to give back to the children and families in our care. If you would like to connect with the Starr Alumni Association, please join the Starr Alumni Association group on Facebook at groups/StarrAlumniAssociation or call Amy Reimann at 800.837.5591. F


Addressing Trauma & Loss with Brave Bart

“Brave Bart: A Story for Traumatized and Grieving Children” is about a kitten, Bart, who has had something very bad, sad and scary happen to him. It is designed to help children cope with trauma and grief reactions by identifying with Bart, who despite the trauma he experienced, survives and thrives.

One of the most popular books from the National Institute of Trauma and Loss in Children, a program of the Starr Global Learning Network, is “Brave Bart: A Story for Traumatized and Grieving Children.” Through this book, children who have experienced trauma and loss can begin to heal and move past their hurt. Last year, we sent out a request: help us give this book to places that need them. Our goal was to give a copy to as many local police and fire departments, ambulance services, hospital emergency room staff and other professionals who work with at-risk children as we could, in order to provide them with the tools to help heal. The response we received was deeply appreciated. Because of our donors, we are able to provide books to local emergency teams, who will be able to help hundreds of children who have experienced home fires, family deaths, serious illness, and more. On behalf of the children who experience loss and trauma, thank you for helping them say, “I feel better now!” If you would like to purchase a copy of Brave Bart for your local emergency department or a family member, please visit


Honor & Memorial gifts The gifts reflect the period from 10/18/2016 - 1/31/2017. 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. Evelyn Jones LEONARD BEARD Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Beard LARRY K. BRENDTRO Mr. and Mrs. Christopher L. Smith SHARON BRENNAN Dr. Caelan K. Soma THOMAS COOMBS Ms. Karen Dunholter CALEB DONOVICK Dr. Valerie Perdue DINAH DURUSSEL Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Benson CARIN GRZELAK Dr. and Mrs. Arlin E. Ness AL GUTIERREZ Mr. Raymond Opezzo RACHAEL HARLA Mr. Raymond Opezzo

CAELAN K. SOMA Mr. and Mrs. Michael McElroy Mr. and Mrs. Christopher L. Smith KONNER AND GARRETT VOIGT Mr. and Mrs. Robert Voigt THE STARR AND FORMER MONTCALM STAFF Dr. Joel Weinthal

In Memory of: FLOYD BENEKER Mr. and Mrs. Dallas F. Seiler HELEN BERRY Mr. and Mrs. Walter Fisher EDWARD S. COE Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Pettengill EDWIN COTTRELL Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. DesJardins MARGERY DOLBY Mr. Rex Dolby

MR. AND MRS. MILES JONES Mrs. Evelyne Jones

DAVID DUNSHEE Mrs. Carel Dunshee Ms. Katherine Dunshee

MR. AND MRS. RONALD JONES Mrs. Evelyne Jones

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

HAZEL MALDEGEN Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Maldegen

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

MARTIN AND SHIRLEE MITCHELL Mr. and Mrs. Christopher L. Smith

PHYLLIS EDWARDS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

MARCELLA MOOTZ Miss Anna Lee Teets Miss Sara Lou Teets

VIRGINIA EDWARDS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

VERONA L. MORSE Mr. David Morse Ms. Sarah Morse ARLIN AND BARBARA NESS Mr. and Mrs. Christopher L. Smith GREG RICHEY Ms. Gisela Munoz MADELINE I. SHAW-NAJARIAN Dr. and Mrs. Brian Shaw CHRISTOPHER L. SMITH Mr. Thomas L. Bosserd Mr. and Mrs. Robert R. Dunn Halderman Farm Management Service Mr. and Mrs. Louis Morel Dr. Paul Rizzo and Ms. Mary E. Rutan

PATRICIA L. ENDRESS Mr. Richard B. Endress CONCETTA FALCONE Mr. John Falcone EUGENE FALL Mr. Ivan B. Fall JANIE FLAIG Mr. George G. Flaig J. BRUCE GRIBBELL Mr. and Mrs. James K. Walser WAYNE L. HARTMAN Mrs. Carol Hartman MARGARET HEIRMAN Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

HARRY HELWIG Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

JACKIE ROUFOS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

WILLIAM F. HERMANN Mrs. Dorothy Hermann

JOHN ROUFOS Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

JACK HONHART Ms. Anne Honhart

WIN SCHULER Mr. and Mrs. Hans Schuler

IRVIN JAMESON Mrs. Donna Jameson

ROSE MARIE SECRETI Mr. and Mrs. John J. Secreti, Jr.

JOLAN LENKEY Mr. and Mrs. Peter P. Lenkey

LARRY SIMPSON Mr. and Mrs. Art Kumpf

DONALD H. LILJE Ms. Betty A. Lilje

STEVEN SMITH Mr. Edward Morain

JESSIE LONGHURST Dr. and Mrs. James E. Longhurst


JOANNE FELLOW MILBURN Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Tate


GEORGE MCDONNELL Mr. and Mrs. Verne Sutherland

ROY AND ANITA TALO Mr. Raymond Opezzo

FRANCIS R. MCKEE Ms. Patricia A. McKee


R. BRADNER MEAD Ms. Pamela J. Davis

JIM THOMAS Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Thomas

GEORGIA MESSERLEY Mr. and Mrs. Paul R. Edwards

LARRY THOMAS Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Thomas

ASA MILES, JR. Mrs. Linda Howard

VIVIAN VOREACOS Ms. Eugenia E. Roelofs

PHYLLIS MITCHELL Mr. and Mrs. Paul Suprenant

HARRIETT J. WAK Mr. Joseph Wak

R. GARTH PEWS Ms. Barbara M. Church Damsels of Dolphin Cay Mrs. Suzanne L. Pews Ms. Lisa A. Pinson

FRED WEBERLING Mrs. Fran Weberling

DONALD E. POTRAFKA Mr. Darrell Spicer Warren Baptist Church

PAMELA WINGERTER Mr. and Mrs. Bob Rowbotham

JOAN STAUDT PRACY Dr. and Mrs. Robert M. Failing

MARVIN O. WEISS Mrs. Barbara Weiss

HAZEL YOBSKE Mr. and Mrs. Walter Sweitzer

SYLVIA STARR RICHEY Mr. and Mrs. Norman H. Knight Mr. Michael R. Weaver GERALD D. ROBINSON Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Cass Mrs. Mary Ann Davis MARION ROBINSON Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Cass 11

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID Permit #975 Lansing, MI 13725 Starr Commonwealth Rd. Albion, Michigan 49224

Duplicate mailing? Call (800) 837-5591 Change service requested

Because of you, our donors, our end of year campaign has been a SUCCESS! Thank you again for continuing to care about children! Slowly and steadily we raised over $50,000, which will go toward the window replacement for both Besser Cottage and Allen Cottage to help keep our kids warm this winter. Because of your help, more money was raised than what it costs to replace the windows. The remainder of the money will be used to do much needed repairs and projects in the cottages. We are so grateful that we can continue to count on the generosity of good friends like you as our children work hard to overcome painful pasts and to become successful in their lives with a sense of belonging. Your gift means so much, not only to us but to the children and families we serve. THANK YOU!

Thank you!

Without you this successful campaign would not have been possible. Thank you for your kindness and generosity to the children and families we serve.

Give today at

Starr News Winter 2017  

Read about how Starr employees gave back around the holidays, our Starr scholarship program, the importance of Generosity in the Circle of C...

Starr News Winter 2017  

Read about how Starr employees gave back around the holidays, our Starr scholarship program, the importance of Generosity in the Circle of C...