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Celebrate making a difference

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

My first experience with McLaren Greater Lansing involved a late-night encounter with a bat and a series of rabies shots. Fortunately, this was not my last experience with the hospital or even my most memorable to date, but it did pave the way for my role as Special Events Coordinator for McLaren Greater Lansing Foundation.

After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in Hospitality Business, I began my career as a Sales Manager for Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and quickly learned that while I loved celebrating the happy moments in people’s lives also wanted to find a way to make a difference at the same time, and now I get to do it all!

My role as Special Events Coordinator has evolved in the last five years from simply handling event logistics to now really getting to know our donors on a personal level. I feel lucky that I get to celebrate happy moments through four amazing events while raising money to help us provide outstanding care. Just like the care I received at McLaren Greater Lansing, not just the first time, but also when having a baby in September of 2018 (oh and I’m expecting my second in June!). #boymom

I was able to experience first-hand the wireless baby monitors that the Foundation helped to fund while delivering my son. It was a full-circle moment because contrary to popular belief planning and executing events is not easy. It’s a lot of work, and I loved getting to experience that hard work paying off and only hope that every other Mom who delivers at McLaren Greater Lansing has been able to experience the freedom those monitors bring.

From hearing whispers years ago about building a brand-new hospital to being part of the team that is raising $10 million to support it, I am so proud of my role with the Foundation. This has been a hard year for everyone, and events have had to pivot (not to use the most overheard word of 2020), but the community has stepped up and it’s been fun to re-imagine events and have success.

When I graduated from MSU in 2009 we were in the heart of one of the hardest financial times that we had ever seen, and it was scary. I was fortunate to find a path and mentors that lead me to where I am today, doing what I love, with a team that I love. 2020 has put a spotlight on the importance of our hospitals and the caregivers who work so hard for us, I am honored to work hard for them too.

While my job is fun (I mean I have literally hired jugglers) it can be tiring (just ask my feet after a Gala) but it’s worth it because what we do at McLaren Greater Lansing Foundation matters and I know I will never take that for granted.

You can reach Rachel Turek, Special Events Coordinator at

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