Flewelling honored posthumously for community service; Hardman Construction, North Star Chiropractic win business awards.  

September 30, 2021

Flewelling honored posthumously for community service; Hardman Construction, North Star Chiropractic win business awards.  

Hardman Construction was named Business of the Year during the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards virtual presentation Thursday evening. NorthStar Chiropractic & Fitness was named Small Business of the Year.

The winners were recognized in a virtual presentation on Facebook live.

In the community service category, Will Flewelling was honored posthumously for his work benefiting the local Childhood Cancer Campaign.

Business of the Year

Hardman Construction was selected Business of the Year as an example of how local companies can make a difference in their community. Hardman Construction goes above and beyond in many different areas: quality engineering and construction, good wages and benefits to reward their hard-working employees, and the company’s commitment to stay in Ludington and contribute to the local economy. The company has also partnered with local nonprofits and has demonstrated a commitment to assist and encourage local students to strive for careers in construction. 

Hardman Construction approached Sandcastles Children’s Museum in the winter of 2018 with an idea to partner with the museum to create a workforce outreach program to introduce students in the community to the possibilities of careers in construction. Throughout the following year, Sandcastles established a working relationship with Hardman to design and build an interactive and educational exhibit called, “Building Foundations with Hardman Construction.” The exhibit features a child-sized crane with an operational auger, a bridge that can be built by following blueprints, a magnetic worksite with moveable workers and equipment, and a large digging area complete with every type of earth moving equipment, and a sand conveyor. The exhibit opened in the spring of 2019 and has been extremely popular with children who visit Sandcastles. 

Hardman Construction was also instrumental in the Ludington Splash Pad project, which opened in 2020 at Copeyon Park, free of charge for both local and visiting children. Hardman completed all of the excavation and construction of the $80,000 water-play structure and donated both materials and time to the project for the benefit of the greater community.

Other organizations have additionally benefited from Hardman’s commitment to community. The business supports Habitat for Humanity, West Shore ESD’s CTE Construction Trades program, MDOT’s Adopt a Highway, G2S Academy, and West Shore Community College. 

The Business of the Year award was judged on the business’ ability to demonstrate excellence in business practices through sales, quality of service, customer service, leadership and/or community involvement. Other finalists for Business of the Year were Consumers Energy, Ludington Bay Brewing Company and Safe Harbor Credit Union.

Small Business of the Year

NorthStar Chiropractic & Fitness was named Small Business of the Year for establishing a health and fitness community in the Ludington area, where athletes of all sizes and experience levels are welcomed and encouraged. Dr. Jacob and his wife, Sara Seng, opened 10 years ago with a vision to be a home for like-minded individuals to pursue their goals and connect with others. The gym offers CrossFit-style workouts, Pilates and yoga, and age-specific classes for young and senior athletes alike.

In 2020, the team at NorthStar Fitness created at-home workout options while gyms were closed due to the pandemic. A video was posted each day by a coach on staff — and some were even done by the Sengs’ son, Tommy. These workouts helped carry a lot of people who normally rely on physical activity as a stress-reliever through a difficult time.  

NorthStar Fitness has also supported other community businesses, partnering with sister business, NorthStar Chiropractic, to raise money for the Ludington Area Parent Teacher Committee by hosting a pumpkin patch. NorthStar has made generous donations to Rotary’s annual auction (which benefits STRIVE), held food drives to benefit area food pantries, and used the annual Memorial Day workout, “Murph,” to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. The Seng family is always looking for ways to be active, supportive community members and have never wavered from that commitment to the greater community through their business. 

The Small Business of the Year Award was judged on innovation over the years and especially in 2020. The business must provide a quality product or service and conduct business with professionalism and integrity. Others considered for Small Business of the Year were finalists Keeper’s Fish Shack, Riemer Dermatology and Star Safety Shield.

Community Service

The late Will Flewelling, who recently passed away due to cancer at the young age of 20, was celebrated with the Community Service Award. He was an individual who made a significant difference in the community by raising money for the Childhood Cancer Fund, a charity for local families fighting cancer. Flewelling went above and beyond for the Ludington community. He wanted to give back to the organization that helped him, so he opened fundraising lemonade stands, donating all proceeds to the local cancer campaign. 

Flewelling also had the idea to hold a local soccer tournament to raise money for the charity. As his health failed, his cousin, Kyle Gurzynski, took the helm and saw the tournament to fruition. Over 350 teams signed up for the tournament, and with raffle ticket and t-shirt sales, the #WillStrong Soccer Tournament Fundraiser garnered over $40,000 for the cancer fund. A scholarship from the Childhood Cancer Campaign will now be awarded to a local high school senior in Will’s name. 

Will Flewelling will always be a shining light in our community for giving of himself to help others fighting the same battle with cancer. He was an amazing young man who is an inspiration to so many, his nomination stated.

Other finalists in the community service category were Sawyer Hendrickson and Kathy Surd. 

Future Five

During the Chamber awards ceremony, the 2019 and 2021 Future Five classes were also recognized. The 2019 class included Melissa Alvarado, Mitch Foster, Katie Miller, Ben Nickelson and Annie O’Connor. The 2021 class honorees are Juliana Anderson, Micah Butler, Derek Kowatch, Caleb Visscher and Jeremy Vronko.

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