Written by TRICIA CARZOLI
Photography Courtesy of BUNKER HILL FARMS
People are at the core of what both Bunker Hill Charities and Doomis Custom Builders do.
The two have collaborated for over a decade, creating one of-a-kind experiences for small groups and high-profile guests as well as large, stadium-worthy concerts for 2,500 people hidden in the heartland of McHenry County. “At the heart of all of what we do is people,” Bunker Hill Charities Founder and Chairman of the Board Mike Domek explained.
Domek purchased a 150-acre property in unincorporated Woodstock in 2005 adjacent to property the Domeks would also purchase that once housed a dairy farm in the 1950s—when McHenry County was a leader in the dairy industry. Just three years later, planning and excavation began on the land—but the finished project would be years in the making.
In 2011, Domek was introduced to Mike Doomis, co-owner of Doomis Custom Builders through his brother’s architect. “[Doomis’] attention to detail, high quality, and care make him the only person I trust [with my construction],” Domek explained. “They are our go-to for our own home as well as for the entire Bunker Hill Farm property. Doomis Custom Builders is a family-owned construction company with a plan to make every project unique since 1973. Mike, his brother Tom, and his nephew Jon are heavily involved in each and every project.
“We feel like our customers are family,” Doomis said. “We are so honored that we have customers return to us—and their children use us, and they refer friends to us. People put their trust in us, and we are honored that they do.” Domek is one of those returning customers. “Mike, Tom, Jon, and his team truly care about you,” Domek said. “They want to make sure you will like the end product…They really are incredible.”
Since the two began collaborating—working in conjunction with architect Stan Leonard, Stan Leonard Designs and Harry Vignocchi, ILT Vignocchi Landscape Architects & Contractors—the Bunker Hill property has grown from a largely undeveloped landscape to a sprawling resort complete with an 18-hole, championship-caliber golf course, a 7,300
square-foot lodge, a cottage, a skeet shooting range, a ski/sledding hill, and a spa with the property now spanning 450 acres.
“The spa is one of the unique features on the property,” Domek explained. “The original dairy farm homestead had long since burned down. In the foundation of that house, we created a rose garden with a water feature and seating which was designed by Vignocchi, but next to it is a silo. I had an idea, and Mike [Doomis] built a spa at the top of the silo.” Doomis had never built a structure atop a silo, and suspects he won’t again, however, he saw the challenge and made Domek’s dream a reality. “It may be the most unique thing I’ve done,” Doomis explained. “I don’t know that I’ll ever do another.”
The most challenging part of that project was how to build something that begins 40 feet in the air.” In the spa, glass floor panels overlook the rose garden, giving massage clients the luxurious experience of massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures, amidst the
scenic surround of nature. A wrap-around balcony surrounds three sides, and the 600 square-foot spa can be reached via a circular wrought-iron staircase or a glass elevator leading to the treetop silo spa. “Something that makes Doomis Custom Builders unique is that we actively seek the right materials to do the job,” Doomis said. “The glass elevator was one of those things. We looked everywhere for a glass elevator to make the vision become the reality.” Similarly, when the pump house was being built to cover the well pump that supplies irrigation for the golf course, Domek wanted the look of reclaimed wood.
“Sometimes more than half of the life of that wood is gone when you use reclaimed wood,” Doomis explained. “We found a company in Oregon that manufactured new product designed to mimic the look of reclaimed wood.” What transpired what a sturdy construction that fits the rustic look Bunker Hill Farms was looking for. Doomis Custom Builders have been involved with Bunker Hill since its inception—and they have built almost every building on the property. Doomis said that he enjoys the relationship his company has built with Bunker Hill Farms. “It has been one of those projects that I love coming back to,” Doomis said. “Mike and his team have become like family to me.”
The Lodge has a rustic feel from the outside that follows through on the inside. Doomis Custom Builders created a cozy, inviting space through the use of dark hardwood flooring, rich cabinetry, and plentiful space to gather both indoors and outdoors. A jacuzzi sits just outside the Lodge, and 7,500 square feet of stone patio space or screened in porches provide the ultimate cabin experience for intimate, private groups.
The Cottage offers a luxurious farmhouse feel with all the amenities of a five-star resort. A fitness center, a terrace with a fire pit, a full country kitchen and a simple but spacious layout make this a perfect fit for business retreats or small gatherings. Stone masonry, light woodworking, and ample, large windows add to the open feel of this cottage in the country. A large granite countertop is one of the features caterers and guests alike enjoy about the cottage. Domek said that it is used for sprawling buffets, food preparation areas, and a gathering space for those who stay at Bunker Hill and support Bunker Hill Charities.
The organization has quietly donated over 2 million dollars to local and semi-local charities since its inception in 2015, Kayla Forschler, Bunker Hill Charities Director of Inside Sales, said. “It started when a friend approached me and asked if I would donate a golf outing to help a children’s hospital,” Domek said. “Of course, I said yes, but it raised $9,000, and he sold two outings…That was the genesis of our philanthropic vision.”
Since then, the organization has hosted annual events that began with 400 attendees at an intimate Cheap Trick concert to Steven Tyler, Old Dominion, this year’s REO Speedwagon and Tesla event that sold out with 2,500 tickets. “We donate $200,000 to local charities from this event alone,” Domek said. Those charities are directly involved with the event, volunteering with ticket sales, food sales, and event coordinating among other things. “I invest in people,” Domek explained. “When the people from the charities are involved in the process, it means something.”
In addition to charitable donations to organizations, Bunker Hill Charities also makes both a financial donation as well as a time commitment to Incubator programs throughout McHenry County. “I love working with students who have great ideas,” Domek said. “I coach them on all of the things I didn’t know when I was starting out, and I get excited to see the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Domek said that mentorship is something he is passionate about. Bunker Hill Charities believes in and provides grants for Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Break, and various private schools in the area. “I am also very passionate about mental health,” Domek explained. “So we put a lot of effort in supporting that area as well.” Together, Mike Domek and Mike Doomis have created a sanctuary that offers a home away from home, an ideal corporate retreat location, a private overnight retreat, a luncheon or dinner, a mega concert, or an exclusive getaway to the stars.
In return, Domek and Bunker Hill Charities have changed the course of several nonprofit organizations through its generous support. The property, the amenities, and the landscape, enhanced by Doomis Custom Builders’ craftsmanship and quality, create an opulent home-away-from-home experience that makes a difference through each and every stay. “All of the property use enables us to donate to charities around McHenry County primarily and beyond,” Domek said. “We invest in the community because the future is here.”