October 30, 2020

Midland Daily News

Northwood University presented a check to Sharon Mortensen, president and CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation, in the amount of $13,051 to help with ongoing flood relief efforts in Midland County. Immediately following the historic 500-year event, Northwood University took action to begin fundraising to help rebuild the campus and community.

“We appreciate the kind support Northwood University is providing to help our community recover from the dam failure and resulting flooding,” said Mortensen. “We are thankful for Northwood’s commitment to Midland.”

“Northwood is proud to be located near beautiful downtown Midland and in Midland County. The flood caused extensive damage to our campus, and many families throughout the county experienced devastating loss. It was important for us to take responsibility for our campus clean-up, while supporting others in our community,” said Justin Marshall, vice president of advancement and business development.

Only a day after the flooding began, the Northwood-United and 989-United themed fundraising effort was launched. The campaign allowed donors to purchase apparel designed internally by Northwood staff and students. The proceeds of the sales were split between Northwood’s flood recovery efforts and the Flood Relief Fund at Midland Area Community Foundation, which is being used for flood recovery and rebuilding in Midland County. As a result, 932 people purchased gear with orders coming from nearly every state and Canada.

Many local partnerships emerged to support relief efforts. As part of the Northwood athletic flood relief campaign, Austin Deiters, a senior and member of the golf team, played 108 holes (six rounds) of golf in a single day at the Midland Country Club on June 8.

"Growing up in Midland and now finishing up my last year at Northwood this city means a lot to me,” said Deiters. “Seeing the devastation to the school and great people in town was heartbreaking, I felt this was an opportunity to show my appreciation and give back to the community that has done so much for me."

Individuals throughout the Midland community supported his effort with donations, including Downtown Restaurant Investments (DRI) and the Great Lakes Bay Regional Wellness Alliance (GLBRWA). Both organizations planned a sold out golf outing that was hosted at Currie golf course and thousands attended a virtual concert featuring the popular Grand Rapids music group, Domestic Problems.

“DRI and the GLBRWA is proud to have been able to contribute to the efforts supporting our community and we thank everyone involved with the rebuilding projects," said Dave Dittenber, CEO of DRI and chairperson for the Great Lakes Bay Regional Wellness Alliance.

“It was inspiring to see our global alumni network rally behind Northwood University and Midland County. For the many alumni that leave and begin lives in different locations throughout the world, they still think of Northwood and Midland as their home,” said Jeff Rekeweg, advancement officer with Northwood.