WMMI’s “Hammer Award” presented by Hammer Restoration! Vote Now!


Just as Hammer Restoration hammers out our problems on the home front the My 1043 Hammer award presented by Hammer Restoration wants to honor those on the front lines hammering out the problems we face every day in Mid-Michigan!

From volunteers, firefighters, coaches, teachers, or anyone who just gets things done in our community.  It may be that persons job, but those who go above and beyond the duty deserve some extra recognition.

We all have that friend or relative in Mid Michigan that deserves credit for their hard work, so nominate those you think deserve some extra kudos…and some awesome prizes!  Find our nomination form below and every month Tina, Shawn, and Chris pick their favorite to win that months hammer award!!

The winner of the Hammer Award will win a sweet trophy from JNR Engraving, some love one the radio and an extra classy prize package!  So check back every month, every week, or everyday to recognize those in our community that Hammer our the problems Mid Michiganders face every day with the Hammer Award with Hammer Restoration.

Have any damage to your home? Hammer Restoration is the only name you need to know; where they respond, recover, and rebuild.

Honor Hammer Restoration with your business just as they honor our great community  members with the Hammer Award!

Vote for your favorite out of this month’s nominees:


Damon Brown nominated by Chris:  Damon is a big part of the Mid Michigan community in several ways.  His day job is at CMU as the director of Student Activities and Involvement, he also the Head Coach of Sacred Heart Academy girls basketball program.  He is also the Executive Director of The Angel Wings Fund in honor of his late wife Keisha.

In Mid-Michigan Damon hammers out leading our you while helping families affected by cancer.  In his job at CMU he is heavily involved with around 400 student organizations, while also being a hub on campus for fraternities and sororities.  Damon helps provide Central Michigan University students with opportunities geared to make their time at CMU the best it can be.

That alone makes Mid Michigan a great place to live, but add on top of that his coaching efforts and what he does with the Angel Wings Fund, Damon is a true pillar in our community.  His teams have been a perennial powerhouse in girls basketball, but more than his teams records is the mentoring he provides to our communities youth.  After losing last year in the State Semi finals last year he said it best surrounded by his 5 seniors; “This is just a game, what we have here is more important than any score.”

Jon Bevier, My1043’s color commentator and Mt Pleasant Freshmen football coach had this to say about Damon:  “As a young coach Damon exemplifies what it means to be a coach.  Every sport is simply a game, but what the game means to everyone is different.  Some student athletes play for the love of competition, developing teamwork and communication skills, and/or for deeply rooted emotional reasons.  Damon encompasses all three of these reasons mentoring his athletes to be better off the court than on the court”

At Angel Wings Damon and his daughter Angel look to make a difference for individuals and families dealing with cancer in honor of his late wife Keisha.  His wife Keisha during her fight showed that no matter what cancer was doing on the inside of you, it doesn’t have to change what you do on the outside. And most of all, she wanted to ensure that it doesn’t change the dreams a family has for its children.  Throughout the year Damon, his friends, and family raise money to help that has allowed for endowed scholarships at Alma College, Central Michigan University, Sacred Heart Academy and the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation.


Shawn’s nominee Aaron Mills:  Aaron leads the way with Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI), as the Senior Director of Marketing & Communications!  Aaron has been with SO for the past 6 years, and “hammers out” the misconceptions of intellectual & physical disabilities. His passion is being the “bullhorn” who shares with everyone the individual stories of those who are active with SOMI…from the athletes who participate in the Summer Games, to the really cool fundraising opportunities, and so forth…such as the “Mid-Michigan Polar Plunge!”


He loves cementing the gap between those with intellectual disabilities with the rest of the world, and by this is making this planet a better place to live, for everyone!


Amy Powell nominated by Tina: Amy earned her Bachelor degree from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, and worked for Old Kent Bank, Aquinas College and the Otsego County Commission on Aging. She moved to Mount Pleasant in 2003 to attend graduate school at CMU, and worked in various CMU departments before joining Art Reach in 2016. Amy is active in the community, serving on multiple committees at Immanuel Lutheran Church, volunteering for many community organizations and her children’s school. She’s also active with Rotary in Mt. Pleasant. Amy is passionate about human rights, and eliminating social injustices.

Amy’s quote: Romans 12:12, Let your hopes keep you joyful, be patient with your troubles and pray at all times

Congrats to our latest winner!!


Chris’ Nominee Explore Chiropractic–  Explore Chiropractic in Mt Pleasant provides great service to those with back pain in Mid Michigan with a specialty in pediatric and Pregnancy health care.  However, Explore believes in a cause bigger than themselves, and that’s community.  That is why you will find them at every kids event in Mid Michigan, like Play it Safe Kids Day, Boo Bash, Kids Expo, The Isabella County 4h Fair and many others. This holiday season Explore Chiropractic is benefiting the care store in Mt Pleasant with their giving tree, last year the proceeds helped 4 local families have a happy holiday! The Undy 500; collecting diapers and underwear for those in need was a fantastic charitable effort that was lead by Explore Chiropractic. This past year they also allowed “local gems”(local artists and locally owned businesses) to display items in their waiting room.

Explore Chiropractic’s Quote: We believe in a cause greater than ourselves


Congrats to Lois Breidnetstein as she bested all of her kids in the voting!

My1043 has been honored to nominate individuals and last month organizations that benefit kids here in Mid Michigan; these individuals and organizations make Mid Michigan a great place to live, but sometimes it’s a family affair!  That’s why this month My1043 and Hammer Restoration are proud to nominate the Breidenstein family!  Ask Chris, Tina, or Shawn and they will tell you that the Breidenstein family is what Mid Michigan is all about.  Whether caring for others, volunteering with non-profits, making Mid Michiganders beautiful, or providing locals with great food and great times… The Breidenstein family makes Mid Michigan a great place to call home, and I haven’t even brought up their charity work that they do in Mid Michigan that benefits among other charities the Isabella County Child Advocacy Center..So this month go ahead and pick your favorite Breidenstein (or Blizzard), as they all deserve the Hammer Award!


Congrats to our previous winners:

PEAK-Nominated by Chris-  PEAK is an After School and Summer Camp that serves the youth and their families in Mt. Pleasant and surrounding towns. They work in partnership with Mt. Pleasant Public Schools, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, and United Way to provide a safe, educational, and enriching environment for our youth during out of school time. We provide an After School program in each of our public schools in Mt. Pleasant and turn the schools into ‘recreational learning centers’ in the summer months.

This past year they have put an emphasis on teaching our kids to give back and take an active role in the community. We raised over $750 to donate to United Way through our ‘Penny Wars’ this summer. We have also worked with a local nursing home and our Vowles Kindergartners have become pen pals with their residents, we were lucky enough to take a field trip and meet our pen pals in person at the end of the school year last year! We also had a very successful food drive and collected over 1,100 items to donate this past summer.

Not only are the kids in PEAK in a safe, enriching environment, but they also LOVE to go! PEAK is so much fun and such a wonderful program, and they are so happy to be nominated for this amazing award!

Thanks to Mary LaChance for her write up on PEAK, and thanks to PEAK for hammering out out of school education in Mid Michigan!

Chris’ Nominee (Per Jay Gross) Shelia Barnaby: Shelia is a Shepherd High graduate, with a Bachelors Degree in Human resource management and small business management from Davenport University. Shelia currently works as  Executive Director of the Mid Michigan Foster and Adoptive Coalition- the organization that runs the Gratiot County foster closet.

At the foster closet, they provide new and like new clothing items to foster families. In addition to clothing, they offer items to pre-Adoptive families that are working to get licensed, provide essentials to foster families, including foster/Adoptive specific books and other resources to families. They are continually adding resources and connections within the community for current and previous foster families.

Shelia has also been the Human Resource Generalist for Clover Technologies Group in Ithaca for 6 years. She was Awarded Child Advocate of the Year by Child Advocacy for 2018, is on the board of Directors for the Women’s Resource Center and the Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Council for Gratiot County. She is the adoptive mother to 4 year old twin boys, she has been a licensed foster parent for 3 years.

Shelia’s Quote:  “Be who you needed when you were young”


Mike Evans director at Odyssey Middle High School- Mike has been working at Odyssey for several years now, returning as director after having completed his student teaching there several years before, he also serves as the local student homeless liaison.  Mike has dedicated his career to helping at risk youth.  He grew up in Harrison, attended CMU, and has been working in the education field, now going on his 8th year of working in alternative education.  He has a total of 12 years of working with at risk youth.

Mike is hammering out alternative education in Mid Michigan, and providing young kids with the guidance and opportunities to graduate high school.  Mike along with his great staff provide a hands on learning environment focused on environmental and experiential learning.  At Odyssey kids take the normal classes, but are also building things (miles of trails and a disc golf course for example).  This hands on approach  helps promote responsible thinking and provides a student centered educational experience.

Brian Dufort teacher at Odyssey says of Mike, “Mike is always looking for new ideas that we can use to make Odyssey a place that better suits the wide variety of our students needs.  The question, what is best for his students is what guides his decision making.”

Mike’s quote- “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not” -The Lorax

Here is July/August winner!

Tina’s nominee Kara Bouman:  Kara grew up in Shepherd and has made Mid-Michigan a great place to live since she was a kid. Kara call Mt Pleasant home with her husband Brent and their two children. Kara is the Director of Marketing for the Laurels of Mt Pleasant.  It is hard to believe that she has a job, considering all that she does for our community.  Just as the hammer award is intended…Kara hammers out problems we face every day in Mid-Michigan

Kara works with CARE, VANNIC, Mt Pleasant Jaycees, Mt Pleasant Craft Beer Festival, Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival, the Shepherd Chamber of Commerce, along with others.  If there is a community event raising money for a good cause…there is a good chance Kara is doing some work behind the scenes.  That is all on top of her job at The Laurels of Mt Pleasant.

Through her volunteer work with the Jaycees Kara plans events like memberships drives, social outings, and the Foster Closet Christmas Party!  With the Shepherd Chamber Kara organizes their golf outing, helps with the outdoor movie nights, and more!  IN the little free time that Kara has she enjoys crafting, boating, and anything that includes her family!

Kara truly makes Mid Michigan a great place to live through her volunteer work and positive attitude that she carries everyday…If you know Kare you without a doubt know that smile.  If you don’t know that smile…Start volunteering!

Here is June/July winner!

Dalis Hitchcock

Dalis Hitchcock has surrounded herself with creatures of all shapes & sizes, since she was a little girl. She has a passion for animals, which inspired her to open up “Dalis to the Rescue” in St. Louis, next to her pet grooming business. She’s totally honored to be a nominee for this months Hammer Award with MY1043.

The thing she loves about animals is that they don’t lie, cheat or steal.  She believes people are complicated & that animals are “pure!”

Dalis dedicates (7) days a week, (365) days a year, to all of her furry little friends! Dalis is the daughter of (2) pet shop owners & loves “hammering” out animal abandonment here in Mid-Michigan.

Although she tries to show as much affection as possible to her furry creatures, she refrains from naming them so she doesn’t get “too” attached.  Her sacrifice of time, space & pocketbook, are all worth it for her.

Dalis’ quote: when Dalis talks about spaying and neutering she wants people to “be part of the solution not the problem.”


Congrats to Jay B Gross our first Hammer Award winner!!!

Jay Gross

Jay B Gross English Teacher Shepherd High School; nominated by My1043’s Chris Spachman

If Mr Gross was your teacher at Shepherd High School chances are you still talk to him, whether your 22, 32, or even 42.  He becomes a mentor for life after being your teacher.  Jay is graduate of Central Michigan University and is finishing his 27th year of teaching at Shepherd!

Along with teaching Jay also speaks at various functions all over the country with words of wisdom, courage, and positivity.  In sports it is said that the great players make those around them better, well Jay Gross is a great player in life, and betters the lives of those around him.

Jay is currently hammering out adolescent turmoil in Mid Michigan.  From teaching at Shepherd, speaking to kids at other local schools, and being there for any former student. Jay makes Mid Michigan a great place to live by mentoring thousands in our area.

Jay also has a heart of gold when it comes to animals, if you see a lost dog post in our area, there’s no doubt he has shared it on Facebook and with his reach those dogs most always find there way home…Did I mention he has 7 rescues himself!

Jay not only hammers away at adolescent turmoil in Mid Michigan, he helps everyone he meets hammer away at life!  His quote is one that I have heard since my days in high school; it’s simple, but says it all “No Excuses.  Period.”


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