Fifty-five community and business leaders gathered for the annual Leadership Oakland Day of Service on Saturday, April 23, in a Pontiac neighborhood. They traded their weekday business attire for jeans and work gloves as they took on constructing a greenhouse in one day. Leadership Oakland’s Cornerstone 26th class (LOXXVI) partnered with the nonprofit organization Micah 6 Community to bring this project to fruition. The greenhouse construction took place on the site of the former Webster Elementary School, 640 W. Huron St, which was recently purchased by Micah 6. The group also performed various clean-up projects in the neighborhood; planted trees and other vegetation and hosted a community picnic. Oakland County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson and Mayor Deirdre Waterman of Pontiac were in attendance to congratulate the group on a job well done.
“The commitment and perseverance of the class in planning and completing this project was truly inspiring,” said Nancy Maurer, Leadership Oakland Executive Director. “One of the goals of Leadership Oakland is to bring together strong leaders to collaboratively identify and take action on the issues facing our region. LOXXVI certainly exceeded expectations with this project. It will be remembered for years to come.”
Class members were proud to support the effort which will help boost the revitalization work Micah 6 has been doing in the northwest area of Pontiac. The class volunteers raised more than $20,000 in sponsorships and donations to help cover the costs. Major sponsors included: Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, HAP,
The Dobrusin Law Firm, Priority Health, Rochester Salvage & Supply, George W Auch Construction, Eastern Oil, Heat Treating Services and Ottawa Towers.
Cole Yoakum, the Founder of Micah 6 says, “The Day of Service and the projects it accomplished –a greenhouse, new garden beds, and fruit trees, will be a huge asset to our work in the community for years to come. Every day, people are stopping by to chat about what the greenhouse will do, how they can get involved and how great it will be for the community as a whole. I am very grateful for LO and all their hard work!”
Micah 6 started with Cole Yoakum and Dylan Pyeatt. In 2011, Cole and Dylan purchased a home and settled in Pontiac. They brought out a soccer ball and started playing in a park across the street from their house. It did not take long for neighborhood kids to play the game with them. Friendships were born and relationships established with the neighbors. They began working together to clean up their neighborhood and improve the quality of life. Today, Micah 6 Community manages 1.5 acres of community garden and green space. They renovated a nearby building and in 2014 opened the Sprout Fresh Food Store where residents can purchase the locally grown fresh produce at below market value all year long.