Goorhouse Gives Back at Home

January 24, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Three traits have been key in making Holland Christian grad Mike Goorhouse nationally-recognized as a civic leader on the rise.

He’s a strong communicator, which comes in handy when coordinating support for causes all over the state.

He’s a relationship builder, allowing him to develop strong rapport as he explains how everyone can give something back to their communities.

Finally, Goorhouse is a philanthropist – not just in job, but in life. He is the vice president for donor development at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, where he works to raise support for nonprofit organizations. He also has served on the boards of directors/trustees for eight organizations, and he and his wife financially contribute to more than 15. 

But a fourth quality, nurtured during his tennis and soccer careers, has been an asset as well for the 2003-04 MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award winner.

“I always loved the competition side of sports. I talk to people who own companies, run companies, run shops. The reason they hire people who were involved in athletics is because of that drive,” said Goorhouse, 27, who was named in 2011 as one of the top 30 civic leaders nationally under the age of 30 by online networking site Splashlife. “Not everyone has that drive to succeed, to win, get a goal.

“Succeeding in the non-profit world looks a lot different. But it takes the same drive.”

Goorhouse was among scholar-athletes recognized during the winter of 2004 by the MHSAA and Farm Bureau Insurance, which continues to sponsor the Scholar-Athlete Award program that has grown to honor 32 recipients annually. In advance of this March’s 25th celebration, Second Half is catching up with some of the hundreds who have been recognized (see additional links at the bottom of this page).

Earning a Scholar-Athlete Award likely meant more to Goorhouse than many of the other 607 who have been recognized over the quarter century. His grandfather, father and brother all have served as MHSAA officials, and his dad and brother both coach as well.

Mike also is part of a third generation of Goorhouses who annually attend the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals, during which the Scholar-Athlete winners are recognized. He joined his dad and grandfather starting at 8 or 9 years old, and every year would read the bios of Scholar-Athlete Award winners in the Finals program and watch them line up on the court during halftime of the Class C championship game.

“Honestly, I wanted to be that,” Goorhouse said. “I had a lot of respect for the ability to balance academics and sports, and be good at both."

Goorhouse won the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 3 tennis title at No. 4 singles as a sophomore in 2002 and returned to the Finals at the No. 1 flight as a senior. He also played soccer at Holland Christian and then played tennis at Calvin College.

Tennis exposed Goorhouse to handling pressure on an individual basis while building mental toughness. Soccer was more about blending teammates’ skills and developing communication among the group.

“Everyone has his or her own version of the story, and that makes it more true; sports teaches a lot about leadership, and just about life and navigating the ups and downs, emotions, handling yourself under stress,” Goorhouse said. “I was in two way different sports, and it was fun to be able to see how those two things impacted me differently.”

As high school students begin focusing on college and potential occupations, professional giver probably isn’t an option many realize is possible. Goorhouse would’ve been counted in that group while at Holland Christian until becoming a member of the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council. That opportunity joined him with many of his sports opponents from around the Holland area as they assisted the foundation in grant making for youth causes.

The philanthropy bug stuck. After his freshman year at Calvin, Goorhouse interned with the statewide Council of Michigan Foundations, which then hired him parttime as a college sophomore and fulltime once he graduated.

He returned to the Community Foundation in 2012 and works with 1,500 donors who contribute to the Holland/Zeeland area.

As donations grow, so does the foundation’s ability to give grants. But it’s not all about money. An oft-quoted definition of philanthropy is the “giving of time, talent and treasure” – and Goorhouse, as he speaks to various groups, makes sure to emphasize “and” as the most important word of that statement while encouraging donors to give of themselves in all three ways. 

“It’s who I am as a person that fits this job so perfectly. It’s hardly work,” Goorhouse said. “When they’re thinking about giving back to the community, they’re at their best. I get to talk about what they care about.”

Goorhouse earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and then a master’s in public administration from Grand Valley State University. He’s able to take advantage of his relative youth in the professional world to connect with high school students and explain to them the opportunities to give back as part of the non-profit world. He serves on the boards of generationOn and Learning to Give, which both focus on integrating service into pre-college education.

While the national recognition in 2011 might’ve carried the most significance among honors Goorhouse has received, another he earned in 2009 has been his most meaningful on a personal level.

He was honored with the inaugural Young Philanthropist of the Year award by the Community Foundation. He didn't begin work for that organization until three years later, but giving back in his hometown always has been close to his heart.

“I love this place. It’s not that I can only do this work here, but it’s extra special to do the work you love in the place that you love,” Goorhouse said. “I could’ve lived anywhere because I would be on the road regardless. But to come home where my family and friends are, to the community I know best, it’s special.”

Click to read the series' first installments: 

PHOTO: Mike Goorhouse sends a volley while playing tennis for Holland Christian. He won an MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award in 2004. VIDEO: Goorhouse speaks in 2004 about playing for his high school tennis coach John Knoester.

Crowley, Lintner & Smelis Named 2022 Bush Award Recipients

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

August 11, 2022

Lowell’s Deanne Crowley, Owosso’s Dallas Lintner and Fenton’s Mitch Smelis all have provided more than two decades of service to Michigan educational athletics, Crowley as a highly-regarded coach and administrator, Lintner also as an administrator and educational leader and Smelis as an athletic trainer and prominent voice in the sports medicine community especially in its service to school sports.

To recognize their significant and continued contributions to educational athletics, Crowley, Lintner and Smelis have been named recipients of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Allen W. Bush Award for 2022.

Al Bush served as executive director of the MHSAA for 10 years. The award honors individuals for past and continuing service to school athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media. The award was developed to bring recognition to people who are giving and serving without a lot of attention. This is the 31st year of the award, with selections made by the MHSAA's Representative Council.

Crowley began her coaching career at Lake Odessa Lakewood in 1987 with subvarsity basketball, and she took over Lowell’s girls varsity program in 2000 after previously beginning her teaching career there in 1998. She remained the Red Arrows’ coach through 2006, that season leading her team to the Class A Semifinals – and she also was named Class A Coach of Year in 2004 by The Associated Press. Crowley became an assistant principal at Lowell in 2010 and the high school’s athletic director in 2013.

Deanne CrowleyShe earned her certified athletic administrator designation from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) in 2018 and was named Region 4 Athletic Director of the Year this past school year by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA). Previously, she was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Michigan Wrestling Association for the 2018-19 school year and by the West Michigan Officials Association in 2021. Crowley also is a significant contributor to Lowell’s nationally-recognized Pink Arrow Pride program that raises funds annually for cancer awareness, education and support within the Lowell community; she organizes and coordinates the education program, which among other goals provides scholarships for Lowell graduates pursuing careers in medicine. She also was a co-founder in 2000 of the Lady Arrows Varsity Club, which provides leadership training for female student-athletes who have earned a varsity letter.

Crowley graduated from Lakewood High School in 1983 and earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Western Michigan University in 1997 and a master’s in educational administration from Michigan State University in 2002.

“I have known Dee for over 20 years, and she has always been incredibly dedicated to finding opportunities for all students, especially female student-athletes,” Uyl said. “Her years as a coach and administrator have shown a solid record of finding ways for kids to compete.”

Lintner is returning to Owosso High School as principal this fall after finishing the second half of 2021-22 as interim athletic director at Fenton High School. He first joined the staff at Owosso as a teacher in 2001-02, went to Linden as athletic director for two years beginning with fall of 2008, then returned to Owosso as athletic director and assistant principal from 2010 through the 2020-21 school year. He served as principal at Owosso Lincoln High School last school year until leaving for Fenton.

Dallas LintnerEducation has been a focus of Lintner’s work, and he received a doctorate in educational leadership from University of Michigan-Flint in 2017. He has a certified master athletic administrator designation and has served as a leadership training instructor for the NIAAA since 2015. He also has served as a facilitator for the Love and Logic parenting program.

Lintner has been an active participant with the MIAAA as well, serving as its constitution committee chairperson since 2009. He was a member of the executive board from 2015-20, including serving as president during the 2018-19 school year. As athletic director, he was a frequent host of MHSAA postseason events and a contributor to various committees, and he previously was an MHSAA registered official for track & field and coach in multiple sports. Prior to earning his doctorate, Lintner graduated from Vassar High School in 1995, then earned a bachelor's degree in education from Saginaw Valley State University in 2000 and a master’s in athletic administration from Central Michigan University in 2005.

“Dallas has provided years of solid leadership in Owosso,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “This consistent approach has led to numerous improvements, and during his tenure as athletic director his school won its first state championship, with the softball program (in 2021).”

Smelis has served as an athletic trainer for 25 years with Fenton Area Public Schools, for the last decade through NovaCare Rehabilitation. He was named High School Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society (MATS) in 2017 and serves as co-chairperson of its Secondary School Committee.

Mitch SmelisAlso a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) and Great Lakes Athletic Trainers Association (GLATA), Smelis has become a key connection between the training community and MHSAA. He has contributed as a MATS liaison on multiple MHSAA sport committees, and serves on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and as an instructor for the MHSAA’s Coaches Advancement Program (CAP). He also has presented at the MIAAA’s annual and summer conferences on a variety of physical health and safety and mental health topics.

Smelis graduated from Imlay City High School in 1991 and earned a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Central Michigan University in 1997. He is a certified American Heart Association instructor for CPR, first aid and basic life support and has served as lead instructor in CPR and first aid for Fenton’s coaches and staff.

“Mitch has been incredibly dedicated to keeping kids safe while playing all sports,” Uyl said. “He also has been responsible for further strengthening the good relationship between the MHSAA and Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society, and he continues to provide valuable insight as part of our coaches education efforts.”