Glen H. Peters Principal Jennifer Shelton, left, helps Julia Schweiger, 7, go through a book. The Friends of Macomb Township donated $4,000 to the school, which helps students with cognitive impairments.

Glen H. Peters Principal Jennifer Shelton, left, helps Julia Schweiger, 7, go through a book. The Friends of Macomb Township donated $4,000 to the school, which helps students with cognitive impairments.

Photo by Brandy Baker


Friends of Macomb Township donates money for scholarships, alternative education

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 2, 2018

 Speech pathologist Eve Ratliff, left, and Nicholas Holmquist, 10, play a game at Glen H. Peters School. The school has students between the ages of three and 26.

Speech pathologist Eve Ratliff, left, and Nicholas Holmquist, 10, play a game at Glen H. Peters School. The school has students between the ages of three and 26.

Photo by Brandy Baker

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Friends of Macomb Township organization has donated a combined $10,000 to local students and a school as part of the community group’s yearly fundraising.

Gary Cynowa, secretary and scholarship chair for the Friends of Macomb Township, said the group is made up of people from the the community and local businesses and they focus on enhancing educational, recreational and environmental aspects in the community.

This year, they awarded six $1,000 scholarships to Macomb Township students. The students have to live in Macomb Township and have had graduated in the spring, but don’t need to attend a school in the community.

This year’s recipients were Morgan Jensen and Maxwell Wittwer, of Eisenhower High School; Anthony Mastronardi, Michala Messing and Gabriella Pitingaro, from Dakota High School; and Cruz Schroeder, from L’Anse Creuse North High School.

The money for the scholarships was raised through a golf outing last August at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, 48787 North Ave., in Macomb Township. The event included foursome play with a lunch and dinner. Cynowa said the event is “pretty much a wash,” as the money they bring in covers the cost of the event and the scholarships.

Students had to submit an application by the end of February to be eligible for the scholarship, a portion of which was an essay. The five-judge panel also looks at grade point averages, school and community involvement and two letters of reference.

The students are judged on a 100-point scoring sheet, and the top six received the scholarship. Cynowa said the goal is to help students achieve as much as possible.

“We are talking about the people who we hope will be future leaders of our community, state and, hopefully, the country,” Cynowa said. “We have students who have interesting stories and have to overcome special challenges.”

The Friends of Macomb Township also raised and donated $4,000 to Glen H. Peters School, 46650 Heydenreich Road, which is part of the Macomb Intermediate School District and serves students with cognitive impairments from ages three to 26.

The organization held a pasta dinner and raffle in April at St. Isidore Catholic Church, 18201 23 Mile Road. Cynowa said the church loans the facilities, including the social hall and kitchen, to the Friends for the event.

“We feel every kid deserves an opportunity to be as good as they can be and succeed in life,” Cynowa said. “All of those kids have some skills and they are working on developing them in these programs and with teachers who are specially trained to help them succeed. They are so positive and we are thrilled to work with them.”

Glen H. Peters School also received $500 of games and prizes recently from a local Girl Scouts troop.

Peters School Principal Jennifer Shelton said the money from the Friends group will be used for outdoor play equipment, as well as some supplies for the speech department. In the past two years, Shelton said they have used donations to help take the students on field trips, as well as buy an interior swing for students.

Shelton said the Friends group asks the school to promote the fundraising dinner and raffle with the parents and community, which they are happy to do.

“They are welcoming and open to the families and we have quite a few students who go to the fundraiser, because it is a nice evening for them in a safe environment,” Shelton said. “It has been wonderful to be in a partnership with the Friends. They allow us to provide the extra things for our students.”