Michael A. Chirco has a compassionate heart for St. Louis Center.  He served his country in the U.S. Army from 1965-67 and went on to become one of the most successful home builders in Michigan. Mike grew up on the west side of Detroit where his father owned a market that sold chicken and fish, and during the 1967 Detroit riots, the rioters burned down their family store. His parents lost everything, so to help, he started working as a finish carpenter. He also began buying empty lots on which to build houses. He’s built on his successes and MJC Companies® is now one of the top five home builders in Michigan. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with six children and 12 grandchildren and were able to put all six of their children through college.

Mike first visited St. Louis Center over 25 years ago as part of an Italian American group from Macomb County who wanted to learn firsthand what St. Louis Center was all about. “That first visit opened my eyes for what you do there,” said Mike. “I looked at those kids with disabilities and at the people taking care of them and thought, ‘That’s a big job!’ So, as I was leaving, I took $500 out of my pocket and said, ‘Here, give this to St. Louis Center.’ I kept thinking about how lucky I am.”

four Italian men

Mike Chirco, Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC, Joe Maniaci and Sam Cottone

That donation was just the start. With the help of friends Joe Maniaci and Sam Cottone, they started the Dad and Lad Golf Outing in 1996. “The name came from the idea that God had blessed us all with healthy boys and we wanted to do something to give back,” said Mike. “We were just a bunch of friends getting together to go out and play golf, and it just kept growing and growing.” The outing has grown each year, with the largest ever taking place in 2019. “We were able to raise over $100,000,” said Mike. “And altogether, we’ve raised more than $1 million.”

Mike Chirco and Golf Outing committee

Mike Chirco (center) is surrounded by outing volunteers Dawn Rippy-Ivey, MJC Salesperson; Margie Moceri, MJC Assistant of Sales & Marketing; Mary Chirco, his wife; Kim Deloose, MJC Bookkeeper, Teresa Griffith, MJC Salesperson and Barbara Gates.

The outings have brought together hundreds of golfers who play during the day and enjoy a large Italian dinner afterward. St. Louis Center staff and residents are invited to the dinner each year, with SLC resident Sarah playing her recorder for the crowd. “When Sarah plays God Bless America, it opens up everybody’s heart,” said Mike. “What St. Louis Center does for the residents is a godsend. And the new homes in The Village are a great blessing.” Michael A. Chirco is also a great blessing…to St. Louis Center!

If this story moves you, please consider a donation of any amount in support of the Center’s Benevolent Care fund.

St. Louis Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Federal Tax ID: 38-6038121.

79% of donations received go to the care of the Center’s residents.

According to the 2020 audit, St. Louis Center administrative and overhead expenses were only 21%, in line with well-managed nonprofit best practices. You can be confident that your donation to the Center is going to good use.