Edwardsburg man honored for decades of serving the community

Published 3:48 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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CASS COUNTY – An Edwardsburg man was honored last week for serving the Cass County community for decades.

Dr. Tom Rea was honored Thursday, May 30 with a plaque expressing appreciation for more than 50 years of service in the field of mental health. Dr. Rea was an initial Board member when community mental health was first established in Cass County.

After retiring from Woodlands’ board, Rea was recruited to serve on the newly formed Cass County Mental Health Foundation Board of Directors by its Founder, Dr. Jerry Wilson, a past C.E.O. of Woodlands. Dr. Rea served more than 30 years on the Foundation Board as its President. During that time, the Foundation, with leadership from Wilson and Rea, acquired two commercial buildings that house the base of behavioral health services provided by Woodlands and three homes that are operated by Living Adult Services to provide care for Developmentally Disabled Cass County residents.

Dr. Rea indicated there had been help from the County Board of Commissioners and a sizable contribution from Phil and Pat Beardslee. Additionally, the Foundation has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy and has established an investment portfolio of about $2 million. The earnings from this portfolio can provide mental health grants in perpetuity.

The Plaque was presented to Dr. Rea by Jerry Wilson and John Mahan, C.E.O. of the Foundation until now. The Foundation is currently under new leadership. Drs. Rea and Wilson wish the new leadership well and hope they will be good shepherds of the legacy and assets of the Mental Health Foundation.