Fall 2017 Grants Awarded

This season Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation is proud to award $206,083 to 37 nonprofit organizations working to enhance quality of life in Emmet County. Congratulations to all recipients! A description of each organization’s project, and the grant amount awarded, is described below.

Our grantmaking is only possible through our generous donors. Thank you to all who contribute to our Fund for the Community, Fund for Youth, field of interest funds and/or donor advised funds. Your gifts help us address needs and advance opportunities throughout Emmet County.

If you would like to learn more about the Community Foundation, and how we can help you give back to this special region, please call us at 231-348-5820, email info@phsacf.org, or stop by our office at 616 Petoskey Street, Suite 203, Petoskey, MI.


Crooked Tree Arts Center
Expand music education in our community

Amount granted: $5,000
For several years, Crooked Tree Arts Center (CTAC) offered music education exclusively to elementary school students. CTAC provided string instruction (violin, viola, cello and bass) to third and fourth graders in local schools. While many appreciated this offering, CTAC repeatedly received requests to expand its music education to include adults as well, and to include other instruments and genres of music. CTAC decided to answer this call in the spring of 2017. The organization rearranged its music education program to include adult group lessons, youth jazz and rock group instruction, ukulele classes and more. This grant will help CTAC purchase supplies for its new music classes and underwrite instruction costs to keep classes affordable for people.

Great Lakes Center for the Arts
Bring the world-class Joffrey Ballet to Northern Michigan

Amount granted: $10,000
The Joffrey Ballet, a world-class, Chicago-based ballet company and dance education organization, is scheduled to perform at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in July 2018. As with performing arts centers nationwide who present high caliber, diverse performing arts at an affordable ticket price, ticket sales provide less than one-half of operating expenses. This grant will help underwrite the artist fees, transportation, food and lodging, as well as provide the opportunity for 30 regional ballet students who would benefit from this experience to attend a world-class ballet performance.

Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra
Give our chamber orchestra a media “makeover”

Amount granted: $8,000
The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (GLCO) delights classical music lovers with a dozen concerts and recitals each year. Recently GLCO took a deep look at how it advertises itself. The board and staff decided that if GLCO wants to continue its strong presence in the community, then it needs to refresh its public image and “cast a wider net” among music fans. This grant will help GLCO update its logo, website and print materials—with an aim to modernize GLCO’s appearance; attract new musicians, concertgoers, donors and volunteers; and reinforce its presence as an artistic mainstay in our region.

Harbor Springs Area Historical Society
Take physical inventory of historical archives

Amount granted: $3,000
During a recent archives assessment, a need was identified to establish better controls over the varied collections of the Historical Society. A physical inventory is like a check-up for the collections, which involves locating and assessing each item that has been entrusted to the Historical Society and documenting the overall health of the collection. For some items, this will be the first time a detailed assessment of their condition has been taken since they were donated to the Society. Items with preservation concerns will be logged and plans for their stabilization or conservation can be created. This grant will allow the Historical Society to conduct a full physical inventory of its collection (which includes photographs, documents, three-dimensional artifacts, oral histories, ephemera and more.)

Petoskey District Library
Help children and adults hone their crafting skills

Amount granted: $3,500
The Petoskey District Library aspires to be “a pathway to a world of ideas.” It boasts an incredible collection of free resources — books, music, computers, classes, special events and more — for people of all ages to fall in love with learning over and over again. Recently the Library launched a new resource called the ‘Makerspace.’ It’s a special area in the Library that houses crafting supplies (a sewing machine, button makers, 3D printers, slide- and VHS-converters, etc.), which Library visitors may use for onsite crafting. This grant will allow the Library to purchase additional Makerspace supplies, such as a laser cutter, laminator and 3D pens.

Thunder Bay Theatre
Bring educational theatre to local students

Amount granted: $3,000
Thunder Bay Theatre is producing an educational tour for students in grades K-12. Following the success of the tour in 2017, the 2018 tour will include three productions: 3 Billy Goats Gruff (K-5), Goldilocks and the 3 Bears (K-5), and Binge the Bard (6-12). Each performance is 45 minutes long and is accompanied by an interactive workshop that gets students on their feet, working with one another and the professional teaching artists. The performances make professional theatre accessible to all children in our communities. According to a study from the Educational Theatre Association, the performing arts have a positive impact on a student’s scholastic performance, yet the arts are often of the first things reduced or eliminated from school budgets. This grant will allow Thunder Bay Theatre to bring six performances to schools and libraries across Emmet County.

Voices Without Borders
Produce a youth choir concert exploring British heritage

Amount granted: $1,000
Voices Without Borders (VWB) organizes choral music performance, dance and other related activities for young people in northern Michigan. True to its name, VWB also facilitates cultural exchange by inviting youth choirs from around the world to participate in select VWB activities. The organization is currently preparing a new choral and dance performance called “Our Americana,” which will debut next summer at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. “Our Americana” will feature music and dance brought to America from the British Isles. It explores Irish, Welsh, English and Scottish cultures and how they manifested themselves into the artistic fabric of their adopted country. This grant will help cover “Our Americana” production expenses, such as sheet music, costumes, etc.

Zion Lutheran Church
Produce a monthly concert series that celebrates local musicians
Amount granted: $2,000
Zion Lutheran Church believes people gathering purely for the appreciation of local music is a rare occurrence these days. Local musicians often play in bars or restaurants where the audience is only partially engaged, if at all. In response to this, the church decided to organize a monthly concert series whose mission is to spotlight local musicians. Concerts are free, open to the public, and strictly secular—the church does not promote its religious doctrine. Additionally, all musicians are paid for their time. Each concert features three to five diverse acts. A typical night might include French Romantic chamber music, bluegrass, traditional Irish, Dixieland swing and contemporary piano. This grant will underwrite a portion of concert production costs, such as sound engineering and musician fees.


Emmet County Workforce Housing Partnership
Address Emmet County’s workforce housing needs

Amount granted: $2,800
A recent survey by the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce of businesses in Emmet and Charlevoix Counties identified housing shortages among the most significant constraints faced by businesses. Housing shortages affect area residents of all income levels, but are particularly acute for middle- to low-income employees. A number of local organizations and individuals have come together to form the Emmet County Workforce Housing Partnership Steering Committee with the goal to develop concrete action to address housing shortages in our area. This grant will allow the committee to obtain technical assistance and convene a series of working sessions to identify specific properties and develop a specific implementation plan that results in one or two multi-family, multi-income new housing projects that would each add approximately 50 units in the greater Petoskey-Harbor Springs area.

Build Emmet County’s capacity to attract and support remote office/home office workers

Amount granted: $5,000
Broadband Internet connection has become an increasingly important tool for Michigan residents and a key economic opportunity for the state to promote ‘teleworking’ in its realm. ‘Teleworking’ is when people, via access to broadband, are able to work remotely for a business–be it from their homes or from anyplace with a solid Internet connection. Teleworking empowers Michigan employees to work for businesses across town or across the globe, while remaining in their home community. Recognizing this, HARBOR, Inc. recently launched The Loft in downtown Harbor Springs. It’s a dedicated office for teleworkers who desire a more professional space to do their work, lack a strong Internet connection at home, and/or want to connect with other teleworkers–working remotely for a company can be isolating at times. This grant will help cover marketing and supplies for The Loft.


Harbor Light Christian School
Enhance digital-literacy with one-to-one computer technology

Amount granted: $5,180
In recent years, Harbor Light has worked to bring the technology at the school up to date and increase the number of computers to which students have access. While students do have access to technology through the library computer lab, comprised of 19 desktop computers and a check-out Chromebook lab with 25 laptops, there are only 43 total computers for a student body of 140 students. Classes have to get on a schedule to use the library computers, recently causing one elementary classroom to delay its project by two weeks. Some teachers use online resources, including online textbooks, and have to carefully coordinate their schedules to allow students to have daily access to computers to complete their work. This grant will allow the school to purchase an additional 21 Chromebook computers. Through additional funding, the school hopes to accomplish its goal of one-to-one technology for students in the next two to three years.

NCMC Foundation
Enhance student learning experiences with technology upgrades

Amount granted: $10,000
Physical facilities continue to play an essential role as education’s primary gathering place for learning. Well-designed and equipped classrooms, conference rooms and laboratories support the face-to-face engagement of students with their peers and faculty in an arena of ideas and thinking. This might mean, for example, enhanced wireless networks supported by “podded” tables, allowing students to more easily work in small groups and share work across networked screens, enabling the instructor — now more a facilitator — to engage all students around a concept that has emerged in a smaller group. This grant will support North Central Michigan College’s capital campaign and make possible upgrades to the Administration/Classroom Building to increase collaboration and problem-solving skills that meet the challenges of a dynamic, digital, collaborative world and position students for success.


Camp Daggett
Increase energy efficiency during summer camp and beyond

Amount granted: $1,750
Situated along the picturesque shores of Walloon Lake, Camp Daggett has delighted children and teens with quintessential summer camp experiences since 1925. Its mission is to provide quality character-building through educational and recreational programs in a safe, fun setting. One aspect of character-building is respect and care for the environment. Camp Daggett board and staff have been taking a closer look at the Camp’s own environmental impact, adjusting operations as needed. For example, the Camp now composts its food scraps and also provides more recycling bins throughout the property. Recently Camp Daggett has been focused on its energy efficiency. This grant will allow the Camp to replace hundreds of fluorescent bulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Conservation Resource Alliance
Restore the Maple River to a more natural and free-flowing state

Amount granted: $10,000
Established in 1968, Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) promotes sensible natural resource management throughout a 15-country region in northwest Michigan. One of CRA’s recent projects focuses on the Maple River, a high-quality, predominantly cold water stream that flows roughly 23 miles across Emmet County, into Burt Lake and the Cheboygan River watershed. Unfortunately, the river is blocked by a dam near Pellston and also has several culverts, both of which are degrading the Maple River habitat and preventing the movement of aquatic species to and from the river. This grant will help CRA remove the dam and convert one culvert into a timber bridge.

Emmet County Recycling
Continue food scrap drop-off and expand educational outreach
Amount granted: $4,500
Following a successful initial phase of its food scrap recycling program, Emmet County Recycling looks to build on the momentum by continuing to offer residents convenient drop-off locations for food scraps and expand the educational outreach to local schools and events. Specifically, this grant will allow them to continue to provide staffed drop-off locations at the indoor markets through fall and winter. Due to contamination concerns, unstaffed drop-off locations are not feasible at this time. Additionally, this grant will support outreach in local schools and at community events to educate residents and students on the importance of food waste reduction and the impacts of reducing food waste going to the landfill.

Raven Hill Discovery Center
Upgrade the outdated furnace and water heater
Amount granted: $5,000
Since 1991, exhibits at Raven Hill Discovery Center have fostered connections between science, history and art. Roughly 10,000 people visit the Center annually. A great deal of maintenance is required to operate a museum like Raven Hill. Care and attention must be paid not only to the animals and artifacts it houses, but also to the building itself. Raven Hill’s furnace and water heater are both 25-years old, and are due for replacement. Upgrading these appliances will ensure the Center continues to operate year-round, provide a comfortable environment for guests, and a stable climate for its animals and artifacts. This grant will help Raven Hill purchase a new, energy-efficient furnace and water heater.

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
Convene a climate change coastal resiliency summit

Amount granted: $8,500
Impacts from warmer temperatures, including the spread of invasive species and more impactful storms, are already affecting the Great Lakes region. In the Little Traverse Bay Watershed and surrounding areas, local governments and citizens will need to learn what to expect and how to adapt. This grant will allow Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council to convene a summit of practitioners and professionals to specify local impacts and plan for how to educate government and citizens so they can implement steps to make our coastal cities resilient to the changing climate. Specifically, the goal is to address stormwater impacts, the spread of invasive species, wetland protection, and shoreline integrity, among other things. Following the summit, the Watershed Council will prepare a coastal resiliency plan using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) five-steps to resilience toolkit to guide preparedness in the Little Traverse Bay region.


Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Encourage our residents to be safe in the sun

Amount granted: $7,500
In 2015, the Health Department identified a real need for skin cancer education in Emmet County, after discovering Emmet County has the highest rate of melanoma (skin cancer) occurrence in Michigan. They were awarded a state grant to launch their Sun Smarts Program, curriculum designed for K-2 students in Emmet County schools. Through the grant they also installed sunscreen dispensers in various green spaces and ran a media campaign. Unfortunately they did not receive renewed state funding to continue this work. This grant will help the Health Department continue its Sun Smarts Program in local elementary schools, install sunscreen dispensers in an additional six public spaces, and do broad skin cancer prevention outreach via billboards and other media outlets.

Northern Michigan Equine Therapy
Treat children with physical, mental and emotional challenges through equine therapy

Amount granted: $7,000
Northern Michigan Equine Therapy is an outpatient rehabilitation facility where licensed therapists use the natural movement and demeanor of a horse to help individuals with physical and mental disabilities. From treating autism, depression and anxiety, to spinal cord injuries and strokes, their promise is simple: “Horses Heal Humans.” At this time, equine therapy is considered an alternative medicine practice and often isn’t covered by health insurance plans — making it difficult for low-income families, or those who have exhausted other treatment options, to access this powerful and potentially life-changing therapy. This grant will provide scholarships for children in Emmet County to receive equine therapy at a substantially reduced rate.

St. Michael Academy
Provide clean and odor free drinking water for students and staff
Amount granted: $2,960
St. Michael Academy is in need of a water softener and purifier for its drinking water. While the water has been tested and is safe to drink, it has an unpleasant taste and odor, making it undesirable for students, and leaving large rust-colored stains on the fixtures. Currently students and staff are not drinking as much water as is recommended and often get headaches due to lack of hydration. This grant will allow St. Michael Academy to install a water softener at the point where the water comes into the building and a taste and odor purifier on the drinking fountain.


Child & Family Services of Northwestern Michigan
Provide counseling for low-income children facing significant trauma

Amount granted: $10,023
Since 1937, Child & Family Services of Northwestern Michigan (CFS) has provided foster care and adoption services to northern Michigan. Over the years CFS has grown to respond to our community’s changing needs, adding trauma assessments, counseling, suicide prevention and more to its roster of programs. This grant will help CFS provide counseling to Emmet County children who have experienced significant trauma or are at a point of crisis, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. CFS believes trauma-informed counseling has proven successful in reducing problem behaviors, allowing kids to improve their health and wellness and reach for their full potential.

Friendship Centers of Emmet County
Upgrade the technology used to provide services to senior citizens

Amount granted: $7,810
This mission of Friendship Centers of Emmet County (FCEC) is to ensure all senior citizens have opportunities, information and services necessary to live healthy, safe and active lives in dignity. To execute its work, FCEC keeps detailed records of clients served. However, FCEC needs to upgrade its database to collect and store even more detailed records that will help it better serve clients. This grant will allow FCEC to purchase upgraded database software and two laptop computers. To understand this technology in action: for some FCEC clients, their Meals on Wheels driver may be the only person they see on a given day. The driver might notice a change in the client’s status, and will record that change onsite, using the new laptop computer with the database installed on it. This update will then be accessible to other FCEC staff, who might use that information to adjust other in-home services they provide to this client.

Great Start Collaborative
Help expectant mothers build resiliency

Amount granted: $3,500
The Great Start Collaborative, in partnership with the Great Start Parent Coalition, assembled a task force to generate ideas of how to best support the goal that children are born healthy. The taskforce developed a practical, research-based list of items to comprise the Strong Mama Resiliency Totes to engage pregnant mothers in learning more about the importance of building resilience, positive social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, and gaining access to necessary resources related to having a health pregnancy, birth, and child. By partnering with Bay View Obstetrics and Gynecology and Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital, the project was piloted in late summer to a group of 125 expectant mothers during their first prenatal visit; 175 more will be distributed throughout the fall. Providers indicated the totes were well received and provided a valuable opportunity for education and discussion about risk factors in pregnancy, resiliency, and self-care for pregnant women. This grant will allow an additional 225 totes to be distributed to low-income and high-risk women in Emmet County.

Manna Food Project
Provide residents with access to fresh, local produce

Amount granted: $6,000
The Manna Food Project currently rescues over 600,000 pounds of discontinued or perishable food each year. Unfortunately, the produce is often on its “last legs” and rather undesirable in appearance. To ensure clients have access to fresh produce, Manna is proposing a pilot program looking ahead to next growing season. This grant will allow Manna to contract with two local growers in Emmet County to designate a portion of their 2018 crops specifically for Manna distribution. This will ensure Manna has access to a variety of high-quality, farm-fresh produce at or below wholesale prices, with the added benefit of supporting local growers.

Northern Community Mediation
Advertise mediation as a way to resolve conflict without going to court

Amount granted: $2,470
Northern Community Mediation (NCM) helps people resolve conflicts in Emmet and Charlevoix Counties, without the use of litigation — which can be costly both financially and emotionally for all parties involved. Mediation provides an alternative means of resolving conflict, one that is less confrontational and less of a burden on court systems. In 2018 NCM will celebrate its 25th anniversary. It believes this milestone is a wonderful opportunity to widely advertise its services and attract more residents to mediation to resolve their conflicts. As such, NCM board and staff are planning a year-long celebration that will include several events, exhibits, media coverage and more. This grant will help NCM cover costs for this year-long programming.

Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity
Help low-income households make critical home repairs

Amount granted: $5,000
Often, financial limitations inhibit the ability of residents to properly maintain their homes and address needed repairs. The Critical Home Repair Program assists homeowners who are at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program prioritizes applicants based on financial need as well as the nature and gravity of the repair as it relates to the household’s immediate safety, health and wellness. Homes are given a thorough inspection and analysis performed by a qualified expert and a scope of work is identified that accomplishes the most vital repairs first. Clients are also given access to financial and homeownership counseling, and receive referrals to community services. Clients contribute to the repair expenses on a sliding scale and those payments help sustain program services in future years. This grant will allow Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity to double its current service capacity and serve between eight and 16 households over the next 12 months.

Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation
Make reliable transportation and other services available for senior citizens

Amount granted: $15,000
Presbyterian Villages of Michigan is working to launch Bay Connect, a senior citizen service provider network based at its Village of Hillside in Harbor Springs. Bay Connect will link existing service providers for deeper collaboration and coordination as they provide legal and financial planning, meal preparation, care management, caregiver relief and other services for senior citizens. The intent of this work is to streamline how seniors access services, hopefully minimizing barriers and unnecessary added steps. Additionally, Bay Connect plans to launch a senior-focused transportation service that will offer both group shuttle and individual rides to seniors in Emmet County.  This grant will support Bay Connect’s startup costs.

Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan
Provide shelter and comfort for families with sick children

Amount granted: $2,500
The Ronald McDonald House provides a “home away from home” for families traveling to Grand Rapids for critical medical and mental health treatment for their children. Families receive comfortable living accommodations at no cost, along with other supportive services such as shuttle service to and from medical treatment facilities, grocery store and pharmacies; personal care items; wireless Internet; children’s toys; free admission to various local attractions and more. On average Ronald McDonald House serves 11 Emmet County families per year, totaling 51 nights of service. This grant will help underwrite housing costs for those families.

The Salvation Army
Offer fellowship through community and addiction recovery support dinners

Amount granted: $10,000
While there are many hot lunches offered in our community for those in need, there are a limited number of dinners. The Friday Night Live Community Dinner started as a pilot program that has grown rapidly from approximately 35 people, to an average of 60+ people every week. The primary attendees are lonely individuals, homeless, low-income families, and a large population of seniors who are offered transportation from low-income apartment communities. For some, the dinner is the only hot, prepared, nutritious meal they eat all week. The Salvation Army also opens its food pantry during the meals and distributes food boxes to those in need. In addition, approximately 45 people attend the Addiction Recovery Support Dinners each month, providing support for those recovering from addiction. This grant will support the purchase of catered food to serve at the weekly dinners.


Challenge Mountain of Walloon Hills
Provide inclusive experiences for people with developmental disabilities: SPIRIT Day Camp

Amount granted: $5,500
For more than 30 years, SPIRIT Day Camp has provided community recreation, cultural and education experiences in an inclusive environment for children and adults with developmental disabilities. In 2018, SPIRIT Day camp participants will have the opportunity to benefit from a variety of experiences in the community, which could include a visit to Mackinac Island, swimming, bowling and dance, among others. Participation involves skills necessary for community participation, life time leisure skills, social vocational behavior, employability skills, and skills necessary for home living. They will explore the history, beauty and adventure of northern Michigan and build friendships and experiences that will last a lifetime. This grant will provide all participants the opportunity to benefit from SPIRIT Day Camp with no expectation of payment, breaking down a potential barrier to take part in valuable life experiences.

Emmet Sportsmen’s Foundation
Teach youth about firearm and hunter safety

Amount granted: $1,660
The Emmet Sportsmen’s Foundation, together with the Harbor Springs Outdoors Club and the Emmet County Sheriff’s Department, teaches approximately 120-200 adults and youth each year about firearms and hunting safety. These courses are offered free to residents, and any person who wishes to hunt must complete a hunter safety education course to obtain a hunting license. All testing requires practical exercises, which require ammunition, rifles, arrows and bolts. This grant will be used to purchase the equipment necessary to conduct hunter safety education courses for youth in Emmet County.

Harbor Light Christian School
Provide a safe and professional scoring table for high school sports

Amount granted: $3,180
Harbor Light Christian School seeks to purchase a new scoring table for junior high and high school volleyball and basketball. The scoring table is used by those who record statistics as well as the person who runs the clock and scoreboard for games. This table is only a few feet from the game floor and very close to active athletes. Currently, the school uses a pair of folding tables, which are not stable and have exposed metal folding legs that may cause injury to an athlete or referee. This grant will allow them to purchase a new, more secure scoring table equipped with sufficient padding as well as new padded chairs for coaches and athletes on the sidelines to provide a safer environment for athletes, coaches, and referees.

Little Traverse Conservancy
Improve the parking area at a popular nature preserve

Amount granted: $5,000
The McCune Nature Preserve is one of Little Traverse Conservancy’s most popular preserves during all four seasons and is frequently used by school groups in the environmental education program. There are two parking areas available for guests to access the preserve; one on Berger Road that was built in 2015 and a second one on Maxwell Road that was built soon after the preserve was established in 1984. The parking area on Maxwell Road is in need of substantial improvement to make it safer, more user friendly, and more durable. Currently, the parking area is closed in winter due to safety concerns and Little Traverse Conservancy would like to re-open the area for year-round use. Additionally, the upgraded parking area would provide a safe parking area for the public interested in exploring the new Tanton Family Working Forest Reserve. This grant will support physical improvements to the Maxwell Road parking area.

Pellston Public Schools
Launch a school wrestling club in Pellston

Amount granted: $8,000
Volunteers want to expand the athletic opportunities offered at Pellston Public Schools. Last school year, these volunteers worked with Pellston’s athletic director to launch a youth wrestling club. Borrowing unused wrestling equipment from Harbor Springs Public Schools, they recruited about 20 students to participate—both male and female—hailing from 3rd through 8th grade. The experience went well and they are now attracting interest from additional students, including 15-20 high school athletes who want to start a high school-level wrestling club too. Because of this interest, the school would like to return the borrowed equipment to Harbor Springs and purchase its own wrestling equipment, in Pellston’s school colors, as well as purchase other safety/sanitation supplies to formalize wrestling as an athletic program. The volunteers believe wrestling can teach students many things, including mental toughness, determination, physical conditioning, sportsmanship and more. This grant will help purchase a tournament mat, head gear and other supplies.

Petoskey Youth Soccer Association
Replace worn-out goals at the community’s soccer fields on Click Road

Amount granted: $5,000
Petoskey Youth Soccer Association began as a small consortium of volunteer parents looking to facilitate the game of soccer in Petoskey in the late 1980s. Nearly 30 years later, it has grown into one of the largest youth organizations in Northern Michigan. It boasts more than 250 active members (players), ranging in age from 8-18. Members play soccer at the volunteer-run Click Road Soccer Complex, home to 11 soccer fields of various sizes. This grant will replace worn-out soccer goals. The Association intends to replace goals on all fields over the next few years.

Social Responsibility Foundation
Give wounded veterans a deep water fishing experience

Amount granted: $5,000
It is not uncommon for wounded veterans to suffer physical and mental ailments as they reintegrate into civilian life. Often, these veterans suffer in silence. Working with Operation Injured Soldier’s Brave Heart Estates in Pellston, the Reel Liberty fishing excursions aim to provide 50 wounded soldiers a charter-style deep water salmon and trout fishing experience on Lake Michigan that will improve communication, and enhance the veterans’ access to resources to expand their network. The goals of the program are two-fold: to honor the men and women who have defended our country, and to help people who are suffering find healing and peace in their life through the development of a new skill. This grant will provide the fuel and equipment necessary to take 50 wounded veterans fishing on Lake Michigan.

Top of Michigan Trails Council
Get 4th graders biking and learning on our trails
Amount granted: $4,750
This past spring Top of Michigan Trails Council successfully launched its “Kids Biking Club,” which organizes educational, eight-mile bike rides for 4th grade classes in Emmet County. Each ride begins with tutorials on bike safety, maintenance and map reading skills. Then the kids pedal on a trail to an educational site, explore the site as a group, and pedal back to the Trails Council office. Based on the overwhelming success of its inaugural year, the Trails Council wants to build on current momentum and offer the experience to area schools again. This grant will help cover costs to continue and expand this program.