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NSR CEO Wins Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award

In recognition of his passion and vision to bring life-changing, cost-free camp experiences to children with serious health challenges, North Star Reach founder and CEO Doug Armstrong has been named Entrepreneur of the Year for the Michigan/Northwest Ohio region by the global accounting and professional services firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young). Doug was announced as the winner at a special gala black-tie event on June 21 at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

The camp brings to fruition his dream of helping generations of kids with serious health challenges leave a world of worry behind “Our goal is spectacularly average — we want our young campers to feel normal,” Armstrong said.

“Doug started something big not only for our campers and their families, but something big for our entire region. He is an inspiration to everyone who meets him,” said North Star Reach Board Chairman Steven Berger. “We’re immensely proud of Doug, and we’re thrilled to see that his dedication and compassion is receiving broad recognition.”

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® (EOY) awards program was created in the United States in a single Midwestern city by EY (then Ernst & Young) in 1986 to honor entrepreneurs whose ingenuity and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures.

Since then, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program has expanded to more than 140 cities in more than 60 countries with awards presented annually to over 900 of the world’s most successful and innovative entrepreneurs, including individuals who have built some of business’s most recognizable names.


North Star Reach opened in the summer of 2016 and welcomed 200 kids with serious health challenges in its first summer camp season, along with nearly 200 family members during Fall Family Camp, with a vision of expanding to serve more than 1,500 campers and families by 2019. A needs assessment conducted in 2008 confirmed that there are more than 75,000 children in the Great Lakes Region with serious and life-threatening health challenges – including cardiology, gastroenterology, blood disorders, cancer, and organ transplants – who will be eligible to attend North Star Reach. Learn more about our groundbreaking first summer season, including a gallery of great video.

In 2007, Armstrong walked away from a career as director of clinical research for the University of Michigan Health System’s Transplant Center in order to pursue his dream of building a year-round, medically-sound camp to support the special needs of pediatric patients. Read more about Doug’s journey building North Star Reach here.

Read more news about the award at DBusiness.

Celebrating Our New Canoe & Kayak Fleet

We recently celebrated the addition of nearly two dozen new canoes and kayaks for our waterfront program which our campers will enjoy for many summers to come.

We are grateful to Klave’s Marina and Char Schiller for initiating the “Build the Fleet” campaign. Our donor honor roll for the fleet is listed below.


Along with generous individual sponsors, we are grateful to the following local organizations  for their contributions: Pinckney, Putnam, Hamburg, Hell Chamber of Commerce; the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce; and AZ Pools, Spas & Land Architects.

Individual boat donor recognition includes:

Aquarius (canoe) | Bill Connaughton
Taurus (canoe) | Amanda Burns Connaughton
Pisces (canoe) | Mallory Brincat
Cancer (canoe) | Rodger & Michael Asbury
Capricorn (canoe) | Chase Stockton
Virgo (canoe) | Norma & Scott Dentler
Pegasus (canoe) | Friends of Hi-Land Lake
Scorpio (canoe) | Norma Dentler & Kerry Klave
Sagittarius (canoe) |Char Schiller
Aries (kayak) |Anita Wamsley in honor of Kelly Rea
Leo (kayak) |Shelly & Stewart Rea in honor of Kelly Rea
Gemini 1 (kayak) | Kennedy Industries
Gemini 2 (kayak) | Cheryl & Brian Dehmlow
Orion (twister) | John Dinkel
Libra (twister) | Gary & Linda Locher
Lyra (twister) | First National Bank of Howell
Pyxis (twister) | Rick Beaudin ReMax Realty
Draco (twister) | Klave’s Marina in honor of Norman Klave

(A special thanks to Kelly Parkinson, of Allegra Printing, for helping us to create our fleet signage.)

Enjoy one more view: This one features another recent donation, our new waterfront benches, given by one of our youngest donors, Noa. Read the inspiring story behind her gift.