The Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation’s board of directors, along with its Youth Advisory Committee, is pleased to announce recent grant awards totaling $288,340 in support of 41 organizations, schools and municipalities serving the people of Emmet County. Since 1992, the Community Foundation has connected generous donors with innovative nonprofits to improve the quality of life in Emmet County. One of the primary ways the Community Foundation makes these connections is through its twice-annual grant cycle.

“We are thrilled that this Fall 2019 cycle marks our largest grant distribution cycle to date,” said Jim Ford, chair of the Community Foundation’s Grant Distribution Committee. “Sending these grant dollars out into our community to help meet a variety of needs is at the core of our work as your community foundation.”

Grants were awarded in health and human services, environment, education, community and economic development, youth, arts and culture, and recreation, with health and human service needs making up almost 40 percent of the grant dollars. The grants support a variety of programs including education for women in addiction recovery, family crisis support, and stronger health services in our local schools.

“This wonderful community philanthropy is made possible by generous people who believe in our mission,” said David Jones, Executive Director. “Gifts to our endowed funds, including the Fund for the Community and Fund for Youth, are pooled to provide a lasting resource not only for this grant cycle but also for cycles well into the future”


Crooked Tree Arts Center
Keep arts education affordable for area families
Amount granted: $5,000
Crooked Tree Arts Center (CTAC) offers a variety of music, art, performance and dance classes for people of all ages. It strives to make arts education accessible and affordable for everyone, regardless of income. Currently about 35% of students enrolled in CTAC’s arts education programs receive some level of financial assistance through CTAC’s scholarship fund. An additional 25% of students are eligible for a scholarship but receive little or no support due to the limited availability of scholarship funding. A grant to this project will allow CTAC to offer additional scholarship support for up to 200 students.

Good Hart Artist Residency
Bring professional artists to Good Hart to hone their craft and engage with our community 
Amount granted: $6,000
Good Hart Artist Residency believes in the power of art to connect people from different backgrounds, which grows a more interesting and compassionate world. In 2020 the organization will host 10 professional artists from all over the world, for two- to four-week residencies in its studio. These artists come to Good Hart to ‘unplug’ from daily life and dedicate time to honing their craft. As part of their residency, each artist is required to give back to our community through public exhibitions, workshops, and partnering with a local nonprofit on a piece of artwork. A grant to this project will help Good Hart Artist Residency cover costs to host three artists.

Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra
Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a performance of his “Ode to Joy” Ninth Symphony 
Amount granted: $6,000
Since its first season in 2001-2002, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra has presented more than 125 full orchestra performances for over 20,000 music lovers throughout Northern Michigan.  In June 2020 the Orchestra will celebrate the 250th birthday of famed composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, with a special performance of his Ninth Symphony—including the iconic ‘Ode to Joy’ in the fourth movement. This piece of music is the most well-known of Beethoven’s works, and is his last completed symphony. A grant to this project will help cover concert production costs.

Harbor Springs Area Historical Society
Help residents more easily access our area’s rich history online
Amount granted: $5,174
The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society (HSAHS) seeks a comprehensive website overhaul to improve the presentation of the website’s content, build capacity for online registration for events such as the Blessing of the Fleet and monthly history talks, improve hosting of its newly expanded records collection and develop a secure access library. In addition, last year the HSAHS embarked on a capital campaign that includes restoration of the 1892 historic Shay House. The campaign itself and the acquisition of this building both require online visibility and infrastructure for promotional and programming needs. Its website is a vital tool in sharing our local history and promoting programs. As such, HSAHS envisions a website whereby patrons who search from their computers can get the same information as those who walk through the doors of the museum. A grant to this project will help HSAHS develop a complete overhaul of its website.

Little Traverse Choral Society
Help bring instrumentalists to the 30th anniversary holiday concert 
Amount granted: $2,500
The Little Traverse Choral Society (LTCS) performs distinct choral music to enrich cultural life in northern Michigan. As a non-auditioned choral group, they provide an opportunity for amateur singers to engage contemporary and classical works and enjoy the camaraderie of weekly rehearsals and twice yearly performances. In its 30th year of performing holiday concerts, the LTCS would like to hire a small chamber orchestra to accompany the vocalists in performing Schubert’s Mass in G. With an increase in the number of singers, increasing attendance at recent concerts, and two highly successful concerts this past season, LTCS believes the time is right to take on this presentation of the Mass in G. A grant to this project will allow LTCS to hire 12 instrumentalists to perform their 30th anniversary holiday concert.

Little Traverse Historical Society
Preserve and protect Little Traverse Bay historic materials
Amount granted: $5,023
Little Traverse Historical Society preserves and educates people on the history of the Little Traverse Bay area. It believes that understanding local history helps create a sense of place, contributes to a better quality of life, and promotes open dialog. The Little Traverse Historical Society is currently in the process of digitizing images in its collections and creating a searchable online database for researchers, teachers, students, history enthusiasts and others to explore. A grant to this project will help the Historical Society purchase a new laptop, scanner and other equipment to continue digitizing its images.

Voices Without Borders 
Supply sheet music for children who sing in local youth choirs
Amount granted: $1,755
Based in Petoskey, Voices Without Borders organizes choral music, dance and other arts activities for young people throughout northern Michigan. It is home to the Great Lakes Youth Choir (ages 7-20) and Great Lakes Treble Choir (ages 7-13). Research has shown that youth participation in choir decreases stress, depression and anxiety; widens social circles; and improves posture, confidence and mental alertness. In 2020 the choirs are scheduled to perform in Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Cross Village and Bay Harbor, and the Youth Choir was invited to give a special performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City. A grant to this project will help cover sheet music and binders for all the children in the Youth Choir and Treble Choir, for their performances in 2020.


Alanson Beautification Center
Replace worn and rotting garden stairway with distinctive stone steps
Amount granted: $15,000
Since 1982, the Alanson Beautification Center (ABC) has owned and maintained the garden area west of US 31 and south of Chicago Street in Alanson. The Hillside Gardens, as they’re known, are one of the many tourist attractions to Alanson. Not only is it a source of pride, it serves as a landmark when talking to people about the community. Unfortunately, the stairway at the south end of the gardens has surpassed its useful life. Constructed nearly 25 years ago, planks are rotting and the handrail has become unstable. As a safety precaution, the stairway has been blocked off for use and volunteers are in the process of removing it. A grant to this project will replace the rotting stairway with a functional, safe and distinctive stone staircase and new handrail.

City of Petoskey
Explore the feasibility of a solar array on Petoskey’s former landfill
Amount granted: $15,000
The City of Petoskey believes working toward a sustainable future is both responsible and achievable. Having recently set a goal to have all City utilities powered by renewable energy by 2035, the city is exploring the installation of a solar array on the former landfill site on Howard Road.  Conducting a feasibility study will help the city determine whether this site is the right location for investment in locally-generated renewable energy. It’s the first step in what could be a project that has a positive impact on the region for generations to come. While the City is committed to paying for this study through its Electric Fund, without additional support it may delay the city’s ability to move forward with the study. A grant to this project will help the City of Petoskey hire a consultant to conduct an environmental assessment and survey to inform potential future redevelopment of the former landfill site.

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities 
Support production and consumption of locally-grown food in our community
Amount granted: $9,050
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, formerly known as Michigan Land Use Institute, was established in 1985. One of its focus areas is on food and farming in northwest Michigan. A few years ago Groundwork expanded its food and farming work into Emmet County. Its staff works to support local farmers and increase access to locally-grown food at schools, farmers markets and other venues. A grant to this project will help Groundwork implement a variety of local food- and farm-related programming, such as filming ‘Harvest of the Month’ videos, leading school field trips to local farms, and organizing cooking classes and gardening activities.

Harbor Area Regional Board of Resources, Inc.  
Build awareness of need for “Homes for All” in Emmet County 
Amount granted: $12,000
The shortage of housing in Emmet County is well documented, and housing shortages affect residents of all income levels, but are particularly acute for middle- to low-income individuals and families. To address these constraints, a group of interested organizations and individuals has formed the Little Traverse Bay Housing Partnership to address: advocacy/education/awareness of the need for housing options; develop connections with area developers and builders to identify projects; and reduce financial barriers to workforce housing. A grant to this project would allow HARBOR, Inc. to provide administrative services for the Partnership and implement the education, advocacy and awareness objective of the Partnership’s action plan.


Petoskey District Library
Promote all the services offered by the Library 
Amount granted: $13,000
The Petoskey District Library recently completed a new strategic plan, after gathering community input via several focus groups and a survey. Through the planning process, the Library discovered a disconnect between the services it currently offers and what residents believe the Library offers. Approximately 20% of residents that gave their input asked the Library to start providing services that already exist—i.e. these residents were not fully aware of everything the Library currently does. To address this issue, the Library believes that it needs to become a better public communicator of its work. A grant to this project will help the Library create a logo, refresh its website and social media pages, and develop a communications plan for spreading the word on everything it offers our community.

Petoskey Public Schools – Cross Country
Build capacity for High School cross country to host regional meets 
Amount granted: $5,956
Thanks to support from the Community Foundation and other funders, Petoskey High School was able to make important renovations to its cross country course this past year. In particular, a larger starting area means Petoskey can now host large invitational meets. After completing the improvements it was discovered there were still some areas that needed to be addressed, including a course change that will allow for a better start. A grant to this project will help fund the additional course renovations, wayfinding and mileage markers on the course, and the purchase of a front-facing finish line camera to improve accuracy of times and places for runners. These modifications will benefit more than 130 Petoskey Middle and High School students who participate in cross country running, and will increase the capacity for Petoskey High School to host a regional meet in 2020 and beyond. The finish line technology will also be used by the track team and shared with other area events in cross country and track.

Petoskey Public Schools – DECA
Help Petoskey High School students participate in a DECA competition 
Amount granted: $10,000
DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Students who participate in DECA travel around the state and country to compete with other DECA programs. To help fund travel, DECA students hold fundraisers and operate a school store, but the cost of bussing, hotels, food, and conference expenses often requires students to pay their own way. In addition, thanks to its strong tradition, in recent years Petoskey DECA has qualified many more students than anticipated for the International Conference. Yet many students are unable to pay out-of-pocket to cover the extra expenses, and thus are unable to benefit from the experience. A grant to this project will help DECA provide funding for 20+ students to participate in the International Conference.

Petoskey Public Schools – Robotics
Replace worn equipment for the robotics team  
Amount granted: $4,110
The Petoskey Robotics program at Petoskey Public Schools aims to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders. Combining the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology, Petoskey Robotics is the ultimate sport for the mind. Team members call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense seven week build session, students are challenged to raise funds, hone leadership and teamwork skills, and create industrial-sized robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. A grant to this project will help Petoskey Robotics replace some worn equipment including laptop computers and tools used to build the robots.

Raven Hill Discovery Center
Connect ‘soft skills’ with ‘hard skills’ in elementary school classrooms

Amount granted: $5,000 
For more than 25 years, Raven Hill Discovery Center has fostered connections between science, history and art through its museum exhibits and classroom programming. Staff are currently designing a new classroom program called ‘STEM Plus.’ This program will encourage teachers and elementary students to connect the arts and humanities skills of communication, collaboration, problem-solving and creative thinking—so called ‘soft skills’—with the ‘hard skills’ of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) work. A grant to this project will allow Raven Hill to deliver the STEM Plus program at Emmet County elementary schools.


Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska and Emmet Cooperative Species Management Area
Control the invasion of Black Swallow-wort in the City of Petoskey
Amount granted: $9,000
The Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska and Emmet Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CAKE CISMA) aims to protect the natural resources, economy and human health in northern Lower Michigan through collaborative outreach and management of invasive species. The CAKE CISMA is cooperative dedicated to the education and control of harmful invasive species within its four-county service area. A species of serious concern is Black Swallow-wort, an invasive noxious vine. Black Swallow-wort’s roots are toxic to people and other mammals if ingested; it emits chemicals into the soil that inhibit growth of native plant species; and it is toxic to pollinators such as Monarch butterflies, which mistake the plant for Milkweed. Despite a limited distribution in northern Michigan, it has established itself in the City of Petoskey and has the capability of spreading beyond the city if left unchecked. CAKE CISMA has been treating the species for several years with limited funding. A grant to this effort will allow them to control Black Swallow-wort infestations on a larger scale to reduce populations and work to eradicate it from public parks in Petoskey and provide public education.

Emmet County Recycling 
Keep curbside recycling clean 
Amount granted: $5,760
In 2016, Emmet County Recycling (ECR) launched curbside recycling carts, with 7,200 households receiving new carts for recycling papers, boxes and bags. Residents retained the 18-gallon green totes for their other recyclable materials, and were given lids at no cost. ECR has distributed all the lids, yet still receives weekly phone calls from residents requesting lids. Providing tote lids helps ensure all the recylables stay in their given container, reducing the amount of litter blowing out of the totes and helps keep them clean and dry which means higher market value. As a result, Emmet County’s clean recylables typically sell for four times as much as single stream recyclables. Lids also help keep animals from getting into the totes, which prevents upset neighbors and curbside drivers from having to pick up messes. A grant to this project will allow ECR to purchase 1,000 lids for the 18-gallon totes for distribution to recycling subscribers.

Freshwater Future 
Better understand the extent of PFAS contamination in Emmet County 
Amount granted: $5,000
Freshwater Future is a passionate advocate for the waters of the Great Lakes region. The organization seeks to expand its work in Emmet County to address the emerging public health threat from a group of chemicals known as PFAS. For nearly eight decades, these chemicals were used extensively in fire retardants, nonstick cookware, clothing, food packaging and more. However, studies now suggest that exposure to PFAS—which does not break down in the environment and can accumulate in bodies—may be harmful to humans and may cause growth and learning problems in children. A grant to this project will help Freshwater Future conduct additional PFAS testing at 25 sites throughout Emmet County and also educate the public about PFAS in our area.

Little Traverse Bay Humane Society 
Offer affordable spay/neuter services for area pets 
Amount granted: $5,000
Little Traverse Bay Humane Society provides a temporary home to companion animals. As a ‘no-kill’ facility, it features a warm shelter, veterinary services and personal attention for all the animals in its care. The Humane Society also seeks to prevent pet overpopulation by providing affordable spay/neuter surgeries to locally-owned pets. First offered in 2000, the Humane Society estimates it has spayed/neutered more than 18,500 animals–which has significantly reduced the number of unwanted homeless animals in our region. A grant to this project will allow the Humane Society to spay/neuter approximately 60 local pets.

Little Traverse Conservancy
Build a new boardwalk at McCune Nature Preserve to improve hiker safety 
Amount granted: $2,822
Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) protects the diversity and beauty of northern Michigan by preserving natural spaces and connecting people to nature. Its McCune Nature Preserve, which averages 14 visits per day, is one of LTC’s most popular spaces for hiking.  Over the years, the ground at McCune Nature Preserve has become compacted and cedar roots are making the trail difficult to navigate. A grant to this project will help LTC construct a new boardwalk at McCune Nature Preserve, to increase safety at various points in the trail, as well as refurbish other existing boardwalks at the Preserve.

Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch
Establish a professional raptor watch organization 
Amount granted: $8,500
Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch (MSRW) began in 2014 as a group of dedicated volunteers whose main purpose was to conduct a seasonal hawk count in northern Emmet County. Since then, MSRW has gone on to organize an annual Raptor Fest attended by hundreds of raptor enthusiasts each spring, give dozens of other raptor presentations throughout northern Michigan, and even band owls in addition to counting hawks. MSRW also hired a part-time Executive Director in 2018 to continue growing the organization.  MSRW’s Executive Director and its board believe it’s time to take this organization to the next level by designing a new website and also by completing a 5-year strategic plan and 20-year vision. A grant to this project will help MSRW contract with a website designer and strategic planning consultant.


Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Mobilize school personnel, parents and healthcare workers to strengthen school health services
Amount granted: $7,000 
In 2017 a School Health Needs Assessment found that Emmet County schools were overwhelmed with the health needs of students and their families. Compelled to take deeper action, the committee that originally led the assessment has since transitioned into a formal School Health Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is staffed by the Health Department. It meets every four to six weeks to review school health needs and pursue feasible solutions. A grant to this project will allow the Health Department to continue staffing the Advisory Board and help it stay organized, focused, and solutions-oriented, as well as allow the Health Department to begin planning a 2020 School Health Needs Assessment.

Hospice of Northwest Michigan
Support education and advocacy for hospice care

Amount granted: $3,500 
Recently Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist went through a major transformation. It was previously known as Hospice of Northwest Michigan and it partnered with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan to provide in-home hospice care across Emmet and Charlevoix Counties. However, the organization is no longer in a position to provide direct care, and it has shifted its focus to hospice education and advocacy. Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist believes people confronting grave illness, death and grief must be supported through their unique experience and across their lifespan. The organization is committed to helping individuals process and reconcile these transitions, with an emphasis on bereavement due to loss of any kind. A grant to this project will help Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist produce new marketing materials and advertisements to explain its new services.

McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation
Help expand and renovate our region’s hospital

Amount granted: $15,000 
McLaren Northern Michigan is in the midst of a comprehensive expansion and renovation which will improve aging infrastructure, improve the ability to streamline clinical care, and enhance patient care. An improved physical environment will also help McLaren recruit and retain doctors, nurses and related staff within an increasingly competitive market for health care professionals. The project will generate more than 175,000 square feet of additional space, include creating 92 private inpatient rooms and 10 new operating rooms, and will integrate evidence-based design to promote healing, increased productivity, safety and efficiency. A grant to this project will support the expansion and renovation of our region’s hospital.

Northern Michigan Equine Therapy
Help a therapeutic horseback riding facility plan for its future

Amount granted: $7,500  
Northern Michigan Equine Therapy (NMET) is an outpatient rehabilitation facility where licensed therapists and professionals use the healing nature of horses as a therapeutic tool to enhance the independence, self-confidence, and quality of life of individuals living with physical and mental disabilities. The organization has grown considerably since it first began with one client back in 2011. It is now a year-round rehabilitation facility, and has experienced a 63% increase in therapy sessions since 2015. NMET believes now is the right time to plan for its future. A grant to this project will help NMET hire a strategic planning and fundraising consultant to ensure NMET can continue to meet the needs of physically and mentally disabled individuals in our community.


Bethany Christian Services
Keep Emmet County children safe during times of family crisis

Amount granted: $5,000 
Founded in 1944, Bethany Christian Services (BCS) is a global organization that brings families together and keeps families together. Services include adoption, foster care, pregnancy counseling and its signature Safe Families for Children program. Safe Families for Children provides short term respite care for children in host family homes, while BCS works with their immediate families to resolve crisis situations. The program helps reduce the number of children entering the child welfare system, and gives parents required time, services and education to get help for debilitating problems without fear of losing custody. A grant to this project will help BCS cover Safe Families for Children outreach and supplies to recruit more host families and volunteers in Emmet County.

Child & Family Services of Northwestern Michigan
Provide underserved youth service-learning and job training opportunities

Amount granted: $10,000  
Child and Family Services strives to ensure the well-being of children, youth, adults and families in times of crisis, challenge and life transition. Based on the Depression-era New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps, YouthWork provides vulnerable youth paid, service-based learning opportunities, job training, industry recognized certifications, independent living skills, adult mentors, and college education awards. Projects may include planting trees, building boardwalks, restoring stream banks, removing invasive species, and other activities that help build an appreciation for the natural and environmental assets of our communities. A grant to this project will support a YouthWork team in completing conservation and recreation projects in Emmet County.

Equip for Freedom
Help women in addiction recovery further their education

Amount granted: $6,000 
Equip for Freedom is a new nonprofit that operates a recovery residence for women. The organization was born out of recognition by its founder that there was a dearth of sober living in Emmet County for women who recently completed 30-90 days of treatment. Its mission is to empower women with the tools, resources and skills to equip them for a sustainable recovery. The organization opened its doors on September 2, 2019 and has had more than 30 applications from potential residents; the first individuals are currently residing in the home and it is at full capacity. A grant to this project will allow Equip for Freedom to provide education support to women to help them pursue a degree or certification beyond a high school diploma.

Friendship Centers of Emmet County
Provide a new soup and salad bar for senior citizens

Amount granted: $3,995 
The Friendship Centers of Emmet County (FCEC) offers senior citizens opportunities, information and services necessary to live healthy, safe and active lives in dignity. One of the services FCEC offers seniors is low-cost meals at its facility. Last year FCEC served 22,193 meals to a total of 1,017 diners. Some of its dining equipment, including a soup and salad bar, has worn out and needs to be replaced. A grant to this project will help FCEC purchase a new soup and salad bar for its dining area.

Manna Food Project
Provide nutrient-rich foods for adults and kids in need

Amount granted: $7,500
Families struggling financially to make ends meet are often forced to choose calorie-dense foods over nutrient-dense ones. Sometimes these choices are made because of lack of knowledge or access to healthy foods. Other times, food choices are made because of cost. That’s why Manna has made it a priority to continually improve the quality and nutritional value of the food it provides partner agencies and include in their Food 4 Kids backpacks. A grant to this project will allow Manna to: purchase approximately 50,000 pounds of fresh produce from local farms to distribute to Manna partner food pantries; add and/or substitute at least one new high-nutrient food item to each Food 4 Kids backpack; and expand its current nutrition education programming.

Nehemiah Project
Replace flooring to provide a clean, safe living space for homeless individuals

Amount granted: $6,845 
The Nehemiah Project offers shelter for our area’s men, women and children who are homeless. They operate three distinct living spaces: The Nehemiah House for men, the Mary Margaret House for women and children, and a transitional living space, the Grace House. Both the Mary Margaret House and the Grace House are in need of flooring repairs to ensure a comfortable, clean environment for guests to stay. Due to a water leak, the Grace House is in need of new linoleum in the upper apartment, which is currently bare subfloor. In the Mary Margaret House new flooring is needed in the dining room, kitchen and the Innkeepers room. In all areas the flooring is worn, stained and, in some areas, creating a safety hazard. A grant to this project will allow the Nehemiah Project to replace the flooring in the Grace House and Mary Margaret House and provide a clean, safe and well maintained environment for guests and volunteers.

Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity
Increase capacity to build safe, decent homes for our neighbors

Amount granted: $15,000
Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity (NMHFH) is committed to helping meet the near crisis level need for affordable housing in our region. They have made great strides increasing capacity from 1.5 homes built per year to four homes. Starting this past summer, NMHFH began two new projects with 2-3 more expected to start in spring 2020. In addition, through its critical home repair program, NMHFH hopes to complete 5-7 home repair projects this year. To meet these goals, the organization needs to increase its construction staff capacity. They have been searching since last winter for an additional construction manager, but due to the tight labor market for skilled workers, it has been difficult to compete. Habitat now has the opportunity to hire not one, but two additional skilled construction people. Hiring these two individuals will not only meet immediate needs but will offer a long-term solution as their current construction manager will be retiring in the next year or two. A grant to this project will help NMHFH hire two new skilled tradespeople to increase their construction capacity.

The Salvation Army
Provide heat, electricity and water for vulnerable families during cold winter months

Amount granted: $15,000 
The Salvation Army of Petoskey offers an Emergency Financial Assistance Program to low-income individuals struggling to meet basic needs. This funding is used to help cover utility bills, automotive repair, rent and other expenses to prevent crises from occurring in vulnerable families. For many years, Salvation Army has been able to offer utility bill assistance thanks to state funding from the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP). However, recently its MEAP funding has been cut even though the need for assistance has not. A grant to this project will help Salvation Army continue to provide utility bill assistance to Emmet County families.

Village of Hillside
Offer cooking classes and nutrition education for senior citizens

Amount granted: $11,850 
Located in Harbor Springs, The Village of Hillside is a senior living community and is also home to the Friendship Center of Harbor Springs. Both have a shared mission to enrich the quality of life for all older adults in our area. The Village of Hillside would like to upgrade the kitchen area of the Friendship Center, equipping it with a new sink and stove. With these upgrades the Friendship Center will feature fresher meals made with local produce, cooking classes and nutrition education for senior citizens. A grant to this project will help cover kitchen equipment expenses.


Camp Daggett
Improve shoreline accessibility for people with physical limitations and prevent erosion

Amount granted: $1,500
Camp Daggett provides quality character building experiences through educational and recreational programs in a safe, fun environment. In order to live out its mission to be an inclusive experience, Camp Daggett seeks to purchase a traffic mat (sometimes referred to as a mobility mat) for traversing the beach area. The mat will serve the dual purposes of providing safe access to the waterfront and docks for people with physical limitations and providing a space to launch and remove watercraft and equipment that protects the shoreline and prevents erosion. The goal of this project is to provide safe access to anyone who requires it, although the primary audience will be students who visit Camp Daggett from Char-Em Intermediate School District and the Transition Zone Camp for visually impaired. A grant to this project will allow Camp Daggett to purchase one mobility mat for its beach area.

Challenge Mountain
Offer summer camp experience to people with disabilities

Amount granted: $5,000 
Spirit Day Camp provides access to community recreation, cultural, and educational experiences in an inclusive environment for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Held over two weeks each summer, Spirit Day Camp offers opportunities to explore the history, beauty and adventure of northern Michigan and build friendships and experiences that will last a lifetime. Spirit Day Camp celebrates diversity, encourages kindness and makes a difference in the lives of individuals who participate in the program. A grant to this project will allow Challenge Mountain to provide 75 individuals the opportunity to participate in a week of Spirit Day Camp.

Crooked Lake Sailors
Replace equipment for youth sailing instruction

Amount granted: $5,500 
Crooked Lake Sailors provides area youth with an opportunity to learn to sail. Its instructors focus on high-quality, one-on-one sailing instruction and water safety skill development in a positive environment. In order to keep tuition low for its students, Crooked Lake Sailors has often relied on donated sailing equipment rather than purchasing brand-new items. However, the time has come to replace a motor on one of the coach boats, as it is over 40 years old and starting to fail. A grant to this project will help Crooked Lake Sailors purchase a new 25 horsepower motor for the coach boat.

North Emmet Little League
Help northern Emmet County enhance its Little League equipment

Amount granted: $2,500 
North Emmet Little League provides northern Emmet County youth the opportunity to play baseball and softball, many of whom are financially disadvantaged. The league accepts all players regardless of disability or financial ability to pay and keeping registration fees low is a top priority of the board. One of the biggest expenses for the league is to purchase balls for the season. In addition, the league wants to ensure every team has access to the necessary supplies for first aid when needed. Oftentimes, coaches are out of ice packs or bandages or don’t have them on hand. A grant to this project will help North Emmet Little League purchase balls for the spring 2020 season and install locked First Aid boxes stocked with supplies in every dugout.

Top of Michigan Trails Council
Produce bike route maps to allow visitors and residents to travel northern Michigan by bike

Amount granted: $3,000
The Top of Michigan Trails Council (TOMTC) advocates for and facilitates the development of a safe, multi-use, year-round recreational trail system in northern Michigan. Much progress has been made, with more than 300 miles of non-motorized trails in northern Michigan, of which 50 miles are in Emmet County. Through its Trail Town Action Plan, TOMTC has identified the need to provide trail system users with a comprehensive map of the routes and amenities that will allow them to travel by bike on safe, scenic and secure trails between our northern Michigan communities. A grant to this project will allow TOMTC to produce 6,000 maps for distribution in bike shops, hotels, visitor’s bureaus and local entities around the region.