“Hold on to your helmet!”

Fantastic people who aren’t afraid to make a difference have made Norte possible from the get-go. Two of the kindest have been with us from the start, Bob and Laura Otwell. They lead by example and are always there when we need them. We even have an illustrious sustainer’s club named after them. Below, they share why they continue to support Norte—thank you, Bob and Laura. ❤

Being a part of Norte and watching it take shape and grow has been inspiring, uplifting, and hopeful. Watching a group of Norte kids biking past our home is priceless. Their smiles reveal their joy in each other and their growing independence. These are some of the reasons we are thrilled to be a part of Norte.

When asked to lend our name to the sustainer’s group, we felt honored and, at the same time, not deserving because we recognize that Norte is all about the greater community—it’s about all of us. We’ve been there from the early beginnings, but Norte is a source of great pride that we all can share and take pride in. It is all about community.

So we all take turns pitching in together and making it the best place possible. We sustain the effort as supportive donors and Business Champions, as schools and local governments prioritizing people, and as kids staying active, open-minded, and having fun. We also fuel success by volunteering our time and by reinforcing critical skills with encouragement as parents. We are all part of the mix for success.


We should all feel proud that it started here in Traverse City, right out our front window, and that communities around the region and state now embrace the spirit of happy, healthy, strong.

That Norte can-do confident attitude is infectious. It attracts staff, volunteers, and partners, who commit to the effort with enthusiasm, skill, and kindness. We come together for good because Norte is about connecting and caring for each other.

There is nothing status quo or stagnant about Norte. So hold on to your helmet; we’re in for a ride of a lifetime!

— Bob and Laura Otwell


If you’re interested in joining these fabulous luminaries as part of The Otwell Hub, we’d love to have you ➡️ The Otwell Hub