Long-time benefactors provide transformational gift to Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families


A sculpture unveiled at the Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families in Dearborn will celebrate life and diversity as well as the contributions and legacy of two generous community benefactors.

Named ‘Life’s Unique Journey,’ the interactive sculpture encapsulates the philosophy of Donald and Mary Kosch and their family. A story of hope and perseverance is depicted in ceramic tiles in the sculpture, which also features colorful beads, playful chimes and the inscription: “Our life’s gift is to live beyond ourselves, in what we can do for those who cannot do for themselves.” It was unveiled during a special celebration on Sept. 24.

“I give because it does good and it feels good,” Donald Kocsh said at the event.

For more than five decades, the Kosch family has built a legacy through commitment to quality and service with their family business, The Dearborn Sausage Company, and they are equally dedicated to the Dearborn community in which they live. Donald and Mary Kosch have been long-time supporters of the Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families (CEF) and recently made a generous donation to support a multidisciplinary specialty clinic for children with complex disabilities. The transformational gift will secure the future of clinic, according to Carla O’Malley, executive director and president of the Oakwood Healthcare Foundation.

“This endowment gift to sustain the newly named Donald and Mary Kosch Multidisciplinary Clinic is an inspiration for anyone who is touched by a child with special needs,” she said. “We are privileged to have the support and friendship of Don and Mary.”

The CEF provides comprehensive medical and rehabilitation care for thousands of local children and their families who depend on specialized health care services. The regularly scheduled multidisciplinary clinic brings up to 12 physicians and specialists together under one roof so children of all ages have their needs addressed in a single visit, rather than five or six separate trips to different specialists throughout the metropolitan Detroit area. The gift will ensure that children and families who benefit from the unique approach at CEF will have access to coordinated and specialized care for years to come, according to Susan Youngs, MD, the founder and medical director of the Center for Exceptional Families.

“The Kosch Multidisciplinary Clinic, which has been in existence for almost fifteen years, is our keystone program and because of the Kosch’s generosity it is the very first endowed program at the Center for Exceptional Families,” she said.

“It continues to remain the single best thing, of many great things, that we do at the Center,” she added. “Our interdisciplinary team functions with the most authentic collaboration with families, school programs and community agencies to best serve our most complex children with special needs.”

Mary Kosch is more than just a donor to the Center. She has served on the CEF Board of Trustees and as a hands-on volunteer for the Annual Holiday Giving Campaign to help more than 100 families celebrate Christmas. Mary and her daughter, Abigail, spent an entire day volunteering at the annual Family Fun Day, in the pouring rain and sideways winds, serving more than 650 patients and family members to help make a fantastic event despite the storm. Both Donald and Mary are champions on behalf of the Center, helping to recruit support for families.

CUTLINE: An interactive sculpture was unveiled at the Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families recently to honor long-time benefactors Donald and Mary Kosch. the multidisciplinary clinic at the Center was recently named in their honor, too.
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