Joe Kocur

Foundation For Children

Joe Kocur

Foundation For Children


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 Team Huron Valley is the largest Special Olympics team in Oakland County, allowing people of varying abilities to play sports and compete with others in manner that is inclusive, fair, and fun. Its mission is

to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for individuals eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the broader community.

With the steady support of the Joe Kocur Foundation for Children and other key contributors and volunteers over the years, Team Huron Valley has been able to grow its team roster from 40 athletes in 2008 to 146 at the start of 2024, making it possible for Team Huron Valley to send athletes to participate in more games in the state of Michigan and around the USA.

The Kocur Foundation’s support has also made it possible for the charity to operate year-round and expand access to a wider array of Olympic-style sports it offers from six to thirteen.

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FAR Therapeutic Arts & Therapy

FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation empowers thousands of area individuals and families to move FAR beyond the challenges their special needs present, welcoming all, regardless of their age or diagnosis. Founded in 1951, FAR works with clients of all ages, introducing them to new activities and experiences, helping them gain a deeper understanding of themselves, and showing them new ways to communicate and express themselves.

Through the dedication of our highly-trained therapists and the support of partners and collaborating organizations throughout Metro Detroit, FAR offers music, art, dance/movement and recreational therapy for children and adults with a variety of diagnoses. FAR Helps its clients discover and develop new avenues of expression which, in turn, improves how they relate and interact with their environments and others, by providing a safe, caring, inclusive community in which they can grow.

Through the years, The Joe Kocur Foundation for Children’s commitment has helped make it possible for FAR to fulfill its promise to not turn away any client due to financial hardship, as a major contributor to FAR’s scholarship fund. The time folks from both organizations spend together, engaged in activities that build community, has also deepened the sense that we’re all in this together. FAR could not ask for a better partner.


Wings Of Mercy

Wings of Mercy East Michigan Wings of Mercy East Michigan ( is a 501I(3) charitable corporation that provides medical patients who need but, cannot afford, air transportation to distant medical facilities for free with our team of volunteer pilots and aircraft owners.

These people donate their time, expertise, and aircraft to this task. For most of our pilots, the cost of aviation fuel for these flights is a significant financial burden. The Federal Aviation Administration allows volunteer charitable pilots to receive remuneration for some direct costs of the flight (i.e., aviation fuel). Without these funds, many of our volunteers could simply not afford to fly all the missions such patients need.

The support of the Joe Kocur Foundation has provided significant and consistent funding to Wings of Mercy East Michigan allowing us to fund more than 100 charitable flights to people young and old who needed our services.

The Shannon Gaber-Silverthorn Lakeland High School Public Service Scholarship

In 2009, a softball game was held to honor Shannon Gaber Silverthorn, a 911 dispatcher for the White Lake and Milford Township Police and Fire Departments, who tragically died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The event, organized by the White Lake Police Department and the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association, featured sports and entertainment celebrities and was highly successful.

This inaugural event inspired the creation of the Shannon Gaber Silverthorn Memorial Scholarship Fund, as well as the Joe Kocur Foundation for Children. In 2010, they collaborated on a larger event, with proceeds supporting the scholarship fund, which awards college scholarships to Lakeland High School students pursuing degrees in public safety.

While the Joe Kocur Foundation now supports various organizations, its partnership with the Shannon Gaber Silverthorn Memorial Scholarship Fund remains steadfast, being its longest- standing charity beneficiary. Together, they’ve expanded their impact, with the Foundation contributing $82,000 to the scholarship fund, benefiting 41 recipients, and counting.

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