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News & Announcements


$10,000 donated by Michigan State Fair

January 2023: The Michigan State Fair, LLC donated $10,000 to the Novi Parks Foundation for Jessica's Splashpad. Their total contribution to the splashpad is now $25,000. Thank you to Blair Bowman and family and to the entire Michigan State Fair and Suburban Collection Showplace teams!

$75,000 donated by ITC Holdings Corp.

A huge thank you to ITC Holdings Corp. for its $75,000 donation to support youth scholarships, construction of Jessica's Splashpad, and energy initiatives at ITC Community Sports Park!

The Novi Parks Foundation is pleased to announce their newest board member, Ryan Joseph.

Ryan joined the Foundation at the March 1 meeting and was voted in; he is also a Parks & Recreation commissioner which makes this a great fit. Ryan and his family have lived in Novi for the past twenty years and love to visit the parks and enjoys the recreation programs. He would like to help to keep and maintain and expand the wonderful park system we are so fortunate to have in the City of Novi. Ryan is a finance professional with extensive project management, budgetary, and expense experience.

Novi Parks Foundation welcomes Adam Czap and Sheel Desai

Adam Czap joined the Novi Parks Foundation board in 2018. Adam is the owner of Ascension Brewery in Novi and is a well-known community member. Adam is married and feels that his children are the ones that will benefit from achievements by the Foundation and that motivated him to help to make the Foundation grow. Adam has been involved in many events at his brewery and wanted to help with fundraisers and special events; especially Pour on the Shore. Adam has lived in Novi for 10 years and likes to be involved.

Sheel Desai joined the Foundation in May 2019. Sheel has lived in Michigan his entire life; the last 17 in Novi. Sheel has replaced Karen Tarracks as Treasurer when Karen’s term ended. Sheel is married with two children and works in the financial services industry, which will benefit the Foundation with his expertise. Sheel and his family enjoy the many recreation programs offered to the community and the arts.

The Novi Parks Foundation is pleased to announce new board member, Julie Garavaglia.

Julie currently works at ITC and mainly works with community engagement, charitable organizations and is very involved in the philanthropic arena. She brings many of her resources, experience and relationships to the board. Julie has also been a Cornerstone Partner for 10 years and works with students from first grade through eighth grade. She also manages ITC’s Cornerstone student interns and has for the last six years. Julie has been with the Parks Foundation through sponsorships and events since working at ITC and is excited to expand her relationships and bring her knowledge of charitable organization to the board. Welcome Julie to the Novi Parks Foundation!

$5,000 donation given by the Dresner Foundation to Novi Parks Foundation

Novi, Mich., Jan. 19, 2018 – The Novi Parks Foundation (NPF) is pleased to announce the donation of $5,000 from the Dresner Foundation. The main objective of the Dresner Foundation is to carry on the legacy of Joseph and Vera Dresner by aiding groups and organizations that support their main area of focus. It was their mission that their foundation would provide a channel to improve lives of people and animals in their community. The Dresner Foundation offers two types of support: project and capital. Project support allows the development of new programs or expansions of existing programs and capital allows equipment purchase, acquisition, construction and/or renovation of facilities.

The Novi Parks Foundation will utilize the donation in the funding and development of an artist-in-residence program to be started in 2018 at the City of Novi’s Villa Barr Art Park. This program would allow for a professional artist to live and work at the property. Using the property and surrounding areas as inspiration, the artist would create a piece of art to be on loan with the City of Novi and host educational and cultural programs and classes at the park.

“The Novi Parks Foundation is delighted to receive the support of the Dresner Foundation as we both continue our efforts to improve the lives of the people in our community,” said David Landry, Novi Parks Foundation president. “The support of the Dresner Foundation will benefit all those in the Novi community and those who visit the City of Novi Villa Barr Art Park.”

In 2013, the City of Novi purchased the 4-acre property of David Barr and Beth Dwaihy-Barr with the vision of creating a cultural hub in Novi and to showcase the life and art of internationally-famed artist David Barr. Since David Barr’s passing in 2016, the City of Novi has worked toward opening the park to the public, with plans for parking, pathways and informational displays on the sculptures and the history of Villa Barr. A Villa Barr Art Park grand opening celebration will take place in fall 2018, once work is completed.

Novi Parks Foundation Announces Additional Board Members

Jennifer Degen

Jennifer Degen is a full time - full service real estate professional in the Novi area. She is known for her energy, constant communication and knowledge of the Novi real estate market. She believes that real estate is a personal service business -“it's about people and the dream they have about a place called home.” Jennifer and her husband have 2 children and have called Novi home for over 5 years. From the first time you meet Jennifer, you will feel at ease with her professional and personable working style and confident in her ability to represent the best interest in the Novi community.

“It is my mission as a board member to aid in the efforts to provide the Novi community quality leisure service programs and open park space reflective of the changing community in a clean, courteous, efficient and safe environment.” We welcome Jennifer as a Board member to the Novi Parks Foundation!

Karen Taracks

Karen was born and raised in Michigan and has lived at Fox Run in Novi since 2011. Her BA was from U of M and her MBA was from EMU. Her professional background is finance, both as a college instructor, and as a financial analyst. Most of her career was in auditing and she has Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Information Systems Auditor designations. She has been a board member for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Ypsilanti Thrift Shop. Karen retired in 2002 and she currently teaches tai chi and line dancing at Fox Run.

We welcome Karen to the Novi Parks Foundation in the position of Treasurer. Welcome Karen!

Novi Parks Foundation Names David Landry as President

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The Novi Parks Foundation (NPF) is pleased to announce that David Landry has been named president. As president, Landry will lead the board of directors in gaining funding, recommending projects, and overseeing the executive director to enhance the recreational and cultural programs and facilities in the City of Novi.

Landry will replace Linda Blair as president. During Blair’s tenure, the Novi Parks Foundation contributed to many projects including ITC Corridor Pathway planning, the inclusive design playground installation at Power Park, the development of Pavilion Shore Park with the installation of the Fate of Empires sculpture, numerous soccer field improvements, and the inaugural Pour on the Shore fundraising event.
David Landry served as Novi’s mayor from 2005 to 2011. Prior to be elected mayor, Landry was a City Council member. He also served as a member of the Planning Commission. Landry is a graduate of the University of Detroit Law School and a partner in the Landry, Mazzeo & Dembinski PC law firm. In addition to his involvement with the Novi Parks Foundation, he is a member of the Novi Police and Fire Benevolent Association.

“It is an honor to serve the people of Novi in this manner and to work with volunteers on the Board and businesses in the Novi community to make Novi an even better place for all,” said Landry. We all owe a debt of gratitude to outgoing President Linda Blair for her tireless volunteer efforts and her leadership of the Parks Foundation.”

The Novi Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a board of directors comprised of business leaders and community members with a volunteer spirit.
Current members include Linda Blair, Randy Balconi, Kim Capello, and Charley Stabb. Hideki “Harry” Torimoto and Gerald Jewel serve as liaisons to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Commission.

Novi Parks Foundation Welcomes Brian Adams

The Novi Parks Foundation is pleased to announce Brian Adams will be joining the Foundation Board. Brian has lived in Novi for the past eleven years with his wife and young family. Brian owns and operates Adams Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy in Novi. Brian brings to the Novi Parks Foundation communication and interpersonal skills along with a strong love of the outdoors.

Mr. Adams states: "As an active member in the Novi Community with a family that loves the outdoors, the future and vitality of the Novi Parks system is a keen interest of mine. It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve our community as a board member of the Novi Parks Foundation."

The Novi Parks Foundation is looking forward to working with Brian and believe he will make an excellent addition to the Board.

Linda Blair Steps Down

Linda Blair, past Novi Parks Foundation President, stepped down from her position In January 2016. During Blair’s tenure with the Novi Parks Foundation she assisted with contributions to many projects including ITC Corridor Pathway planning, the inclusive design playground installation at Power Park, the development of Pavilion Shore Park with the installation of the Fate of Empires sculpture, numerous soccer field improvements, and the inaugural Pour on the Shore fundraising event. The Foundation wishes Linda well and certainly an enormous “thank you” for a job well done.