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      Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital honors Manistique native

      A great man from a great town. That was the sentiment as Manistique welcomed home Alan W. Ott to be honored with a special dedication.

      Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital's Rural Health Clinic has been named the Alan W. Ott Rural Health Clinic. The decision to name the new clinic after Mr. Ott was made by the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, along with a $500,000 gift.

      The dedication ceremony took place on the grounds of Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital. Manistique Mayor David Peterson and Michigan dignitaries were in attendance to honor the man liked by so many.

      A 1950 graduate of Manistique High School, Alan W. Ott began working as a part-time bookkeeper while he was still a student there. The job launched a banking career that spanned 50 years. Mr. Ott eventually became President and CEO of Chemical Bank in Midland, Michigan in 1972. He became chairman in 1986. He also held the same position with Chemical Financial Corporation. In 2003, the Michigan Bankers Association named Mr. Ott its Banker of the Year.

      Mr. Ott and his wife, Jean, were together with their daughter, Amy, her husband, Jonathan, the Ott's son, Jeff, and his wife Maryann, and their son, Alex, when Mr. Ott received the award which names the hospital's Rural Health Clinic in his namesake.

      Manistique Mayor David Peterson, Manistique Area Schools Superintendent Kathleen McDonough, Senator Carl Levin, Senator Tom Casperson, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Congressman Dan Benishek, and State of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette were in attendance to honor Mr. Ott.

      "Any issue of philanthropy, economic development, education, business and growth in the Midland area would not have happened but for this man," said Attorney General Bill Schuette.

      Spending many years in downstate Midland, Ott said, "I haven't been here in about four years, so it's very nice to be back." Of the new clinic, he said, "We need a good hospital to service the community and to be able to grow. If you don't have a good hospital, you don't have much of a community."