Woodside senior pastor Doug Schmidt shares this anecdote from his time golfing with Mike Fezzey, a local business leader who died a year ago after suffering a heart attack.
“When we reached the green, Mike would look at my ball and concede the putt, telling me it was within his love zone. As the day went on, his love zone kept getting bigger.”
“While the love zone was a phrase Mike coined on the golf course, it grew to become his life mission statement,” said Suzy Fezzey, Mike’s wife. “He was a natural leader and manager, but it was the way he built relationships that made him unique. He believed in putting people in a place of favor, grace and forgiveness.”
Fezzey’s love zone extended way beyond the golf course. He loved people and was especially interested in helping people in Pontiac. When he learned that the Dream Centers of Michigan was launching the Dream Center of Pontiac, he jumped at the opportunity to help.
He was instrumental in making a connection with the Moroun family that owned prime property next to Woodside’s Pontiac campus. The family ended up donating 88 acres to be developed into the Dream Park, a place where families can enjoy outdoor recreation.
“When Mike saw the opportunity, he immediately said, ‘wouldn’t it be great if there was a park there? Let’s do something about this. Let’s attach ourselves to something that will bring families together.’ He was a doer. He lived that way,” said Suzy Fezzey.
Friends of the Fezzey family supported Mike’s legacy with the launch the Mike Fezzey Memorial Golf Tournament, which took place on May 16 at Indianwood Golf Course & Country Club in Lake Orion. Proceeds will go toward the development of the Dream Center of Pontiac.
“By honoring Mike, his friends are honoring his passion,” said Suzy Fezzey. “Mike would not be interested in a golf tournament to memorialize him. But the Dream Center is worthy of this attention as a conduit to unite the community. Mike would be all about it.”
The par-three tournament featured hole-in-one prizes, a reception, Dream Center presentation, dinner and a live auction. Foursomes and sponsorships sold out. A “shoot-out” followed the tournament featuring the 18 golfers who were closest to the hole during the tournament.