2016-11-10 / Front Page

Groovers Are Community Champions

Library, Spring Lodge Also Honored With Les Cheneaux Annual Awards
By Erich T. Doerr


Dr. Clinton and Barb Groover of Pickford were named the Les Cheneaux Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Community Champions. The couple operates the Pickford Veterinary Hospital and was recognized for their ongoing work to keep area animal healthy in addition to the other ways they help out in the community. (Photograph courtesy of Amy Polk) Dr. Clinton and Barb Groover of Pickford were named the Les Cheneaux Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Community Champions. The couple operates the Pickford Veterinary Hospital and was recognized for their ongoing work to keep area animal healthy in addition to the other ways they help out in the community. (Photograph courtesy of Amy Polk) Dr. Clinton and Barb Groover were named the 2016 Community Champions at the Les Cheneaux Chamber of Commerce annual dinner and awards ceremony Wednesday, November 2. The Pickford couple have operated the Pickford Veterinary Hospital for years and done everything from researching animal health to donating vegetables in their efforts to make life in the area better for all its residents.

“This is quite an honor,” Mrs. Groover said. “We feel a tremendous responsibility to keep on trying our best.”

The Groovers, longtime members of the Chamber, are originally from Virginia. Dr. Groover studied at Virginia Tech and Michigan State University. They have operated their practice in Pickford for 26 years.

The clinic is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and the Groovers set aside Wednesday to make calls related to large animals. A large number of calls Wednesday, November 2, prevented them from being able to attend the Chamber dinner at the Hessel School House to receive their award in person.

The Groovers’ clinic cares for creatures great and small, and about 70% of its business deals with small companion animals while the other 30% covers large farm animals. Dr. Groover no longer sees horses.

The Groovers have developed many close friendships with their clients throughout the years and said this award reinforces their ongoing efforts, noting they know the community has always appreciated them and their work. The pair cannot do all their work at the clinic alone and are assisted by a staff including six part-time and full-time employees. Veterinary Assistant Craig Groover, their son, and office manager Jen Dyer, who has worked with them for 20 years, are among those who work at the office. The clinic is a family operation with the Groovers’ young grandchildren, Garrett and Morgan Groover, already starting to pitch in.

“It takes a whole team (to do what we do), that’s for sure,” Mrs. Groover said.

Dr. Groover’s work to keep the animals healthy includes treating comment ailments such as lungworm in dogs and cats, and blastomycosis, an infection caused by some local soils. The disease affects both local animals and sometimes ones that have visited the area, and the Groovers have received calls from all over the country to help consult with other vets about the issue.

Dr. Groover has worked with scientists from Sault Ste. Marie’s Lake Superior State University and other experts when research has been done on the disease. Blastomycosis is a constantly evolving infection, so the medicines used to treat it must also continue to change as veterinarians work to stay on top of the issue. The chamber credited the Groovers’ work as saving dozens, if not hundreds, of pets’ lives.

Dr. Groover greatly enjoys gardening, finding it a very relaxing hobby. He has a large half-acre personal garden. It once covered a three-acre area before he scaled it back in recent years.

Dr. Groover’s garden may have gotten smaller, but it still grows more vegetables than they can eat on their own. Some of the excess vegetables have made their way into local food pantries and restaurants, but most have gone to others that the Groovers have allowed to pick them.

Each year the Chamber selects at least one individual to honor as its community champion. Recent winners include Dan Izzard, Michelle Sheckler, and Bonnie Mikkelsen. The Groovers selection marks just the second time it has been awarded to two people in the same year after Paul and Moira “Pat” Wilson received the honor in 2012. The chamber selected the Groovers for the honor citing their “tireless and constant care of animals” as going above and beyond the call of duty while quietly helping all, praising their humility.

Return to top

Great people and well

Great people and well deserved award!

Click here for digital edition
2016-11-10 digital edition