WOODHAVEN, Mich. - Kids from the Penrickton Center for Blind Children
are just like any kids – they love to go on field trips and need to
learn how to navigate their way through a complicated world.
But when they do venture out, Woodhaven Stamping Plant (WSP) team
members can be proud to know they helped make it a safe reality.
In April, the WSP -sponsored FrostBite Open Charity Golf Tournament
officially broke the $500,000 mark in donations to the Penrickton
Center. Since 1998, WSP has sponsored the fundraising event.
The donations directly helped to fund a customized Ford mini-bus to
be used for the children’s fieldtrips and the creation of dance and
movement therapy to help the children gain a better special awareness.
“Thanks to the donation of the FrostBite Open, the special children
we serve have made great progress,” said Kurt Sebaly, director,
Penrickton Center. “The mini-bus was designed from the ground-up for our
needs and it is, of course, a Ford. I’m always grateful and impressed
with how the men and women of Woodhaven Stamping Plant are able to
The Penrickton Center for Blind Children, located in Taylor, Mich.,
is a multi-faceted non-profit agency that provides an assortment of care
to blind and multi-disabled children with no charge to the families in
need. Sebaly said Penrickton operates 100 percent private donations,
making WSP a vital component to the organization.
When WSP welder repairmen Mike Kerekes and Dennis King – who is now
retired – founded a modest charity golf tournament in 1998, Kerekes
never thought it would grow to the size it is today.
“It started with eight guys going golfing in the spring. We first
gave Penrickton $5,500 in a coffee can,” Kerekes said. “This year we had
about 350 people, a combination of WSP and other Ford plants, come out
to play golf and we collected more than $40,000.”
The 2013 event, Kerekes said, was held at Fox Hills Golf and Banquet
Center in Plymouth., Mich. Teams of four could sign up for $600 per team
for an 18-hole game complete with a golf cart.
The donations are a combination of the golf event and two smaller WSP
raffles for employees to win a closer, reserved parking space at the
“I would just like to thank all the hourly and salary folks at WSP
because they’re really the ones who made this what it is today,” Kerekes
said. “If you’re blessed with good health and a good job, it only makes
sense to me to pay it forward. I’m just happy that I can help.”
While hitting the half-million mark of donations in just 16 years is
something Kerekes is very much happy with, he hopes to raise the bar in
the next few years.
“I would really, really love to see us hit $1 million before I retire
in 2020,” he said. “There’s a big possibility we’ll be partnering with
other Ford facilities to co-sponsor the FrostBite Open next year and I’m
confident we can continue to help the boys and girls of the Penrickton
For more information about the FrostBite Open, visit frostbiteopen.com. To learn more about the Penrickton Center for Blind Children, visit penrickton.com.
The custom Ford mini-bus was purchased largely with
funds raised by the WSP-sponsored FrostBite Open Golf Tournament. Photo
courtesy of the Penrickton Center.