ICYMI: Okemos Opens New Turf Athletic Field, Thanks to Generous Donor

Oct 3, 2018

Prior to the Grand Ledge at Okemos high school football game, the school held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a new turf field for Okemos Athletics.

OKEMOS, Mich. – It all started three years ago, as a simple conversation between Ira Childress, athletic director of Okemos High School, and Okemos community member Mick Grewal.

Grewal knew the athletic field needed some work, from watching his son play lacrosse until his graduation in 2015. After speaking with Childress, he went back to his family to see what could be done.

“I took that idea and went back to my dad (Dr. Virinder Singh),” Grewal, the founder and partner of Grewal Law, said. “My dad and I had a conversation, and took it to my brothers. Ira and I went back and forth for over three years to see what we could do and how we could do it.”

This led to a $500,000 donation from Grewal and his family, which was used for a new athletic turf field. The new field was revealed Sept. 21, before Okemos’ game versus Grand Ledge home football game. There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony at center field, honoring Grewal and his extended family, including his children, parents, brothers and their families.

Okemos athletic director Ira Childress with Mick Grewal (white collar shirt) and his family at ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Credit Denise Spann

The turf won’t only be used by the football team. It will be will be the home of lacrosse, soccer and marching band,  and used for most of Okemos’ outdoor sports.

Childress has big plans for this new turf, looking to host an MHSAA football semi-final, soccer semi-final and a lacrosse state championship for boys and girls.

“I think this is big for our district because a lot of different people can utilize it, and we’ll get a chance to host MHSAA events,” Childress said. “People will come here and get to play in these events and you look at our location … I feel like we’re in the best location because we’re right off 96, people can just come right here, hotels, everything you need to stay. We can host a lot of big events from MHSAA events to outside of MHSAA events.”

Childress described Grewal as a man who’s always trying to find ways to help the Okemos community. Grewal credits his parents for instilling community outreach within him and his brothers.

“You can be a silent person in the community, but if you give back to the community the community grows,” Grewal said. “Not just for the love of their grandkids and my kids, but for all the kids and students in the community. That’s what we wanted to do. We’re humbled and honored to be able to help with this.”

View of new athletic turf field during Okemos v. Grand Ledge.
Credit Denise Spann