Spring 2021 Grants Awarded

The Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation is awarding nearly $330,000 in grants as part of its Spring 2021 cycle. A total of 44 grants were recently awarded to organizations serving the people of Emmet County.

These grant awards will provide funding for a wide variety of programming and capital  improvements for nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and municipalities serving Emmet County. Highlights of this cycle’s awards include STEM programming for children, environmental education, substance abuse treatment for women, along with broader work in food security, housing, and the environment.

“This was the largest grant cycle since I joined the committee,” said Jenni Attie, chair of the foundation’s Grant Distribution Committee. “Not only did we have more applications, but the requests for funding were larger, on average.”

As part of the overall awards, the foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) recommended nearly $55,000 in grants from the Fund for Youth, after conducting virtual interviews with 13 applicants.

Support for the grant cycle came from a variety of funds held at the Community Foundation including field of interest funds addressing specific topics like foster care, health, housing, and conservation. Support also came from donor advised funds, which are created by individuals and families to carry out their charitable giving.

“In order for us to meet the requests, it really does take a village,” said Attie. “This was a challenging cycle which was supported not only by the foundation’s dedicated grantmaking dollars but also by our donor advisors whose support made up one quarter of the total grants awarded.”

These grant awards are made possible through the generosity and support of community-minded individuals. Together we can do more. 

ARTS & CULTURE

Blissfest Music Organization
Open a new campground on the Blissfest festival property

Amount granted: $10,550
Blissfest Music Organization’s mission is to preserve traditions and promote innovators of American and world music, arts & crafts, and sustainable living skills through performance, education, and community participation. Its 202-acre festival farm is home to Blissfest’s annual folk and roots music festival and other programming. Blissfest is currently preparing to open a permanent campground on the festival farm property. The campground has 35 primitive sites, resort cabins, and domes.  It will be open April through November,  with an occupancy rate of up to 200 overnight. Blissfest intends to offer periodic campground programming like campfire songs,  North Country Trail hikes, Night Sky stories with Mary Adams and more. Blissfest is excited to open its new campground, as it will improve the festival property, create an additional revenue stream, and provide an eco-cultural resource for our community. A grant to this project will help Blissfest design and install wayfinding signage and kiosks on the new campground.

Crooked Tree Arts Center
Share Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians culture and community through arts and crafts exhibit
Amount granted: $10,000
Crooked Tree Arts Center (CTAC) inspires and enriches lives through the arts. Prior to the pandemic, CTAC had begun working on the development and execution of educational outreach programming for the new and unique exhibition, Kindred: Traditional Arts of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Developed in partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands (LTBB), this exhibit examines the complexities of preserving culture and community through LTBB arts and crafts. Historic and contemporary examples of Odawa quill boxes, basketry, beadwork, regalia, and more will be included. Exceptional pieces from private and public collections from across the state will be on display, providing a rare opportunity for the public to see these items displayed together in the homeland of the Odawa people. Now, CTAC is preparing to execute this exhibit, allowing visitors to learn about the Odawa people, Michigan’s rich history, and our ever-changing environment. A grant to this project will support the development and execution of the Kindred exhibit and outreach programming.

Good Hart Artist Residency
Hire staff to support a growing artist-in-residence program

Amount granted: $3,000
Good Hart Artist Residency (GHAR) believes in the power of art to connect people from different backgrounds, which grows a more interesting and compassionate world.  Artists from all over the world come to Good Hart for a brief residency, 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. Since 2014, GHAR has hosted thirty artists and writers. It plans to host an additional 14 residents in 2021. GHAR is currently an all volunteer-run program. It has grown significantly over the past 7 years to the point where it would benefit from a part-time staff person to coordinate all the residencies and associated programing. A grant to this project will help GHAR hire its first staff person. 

Great Lakes Center for the Arts
Bring Grammy-winning opera musician to northern Michigan audiences

Amount granted: $3,500
Great Lakes Center for the Arts (GLCFA) inspires, educates, entertains and serves northern Michigan audienes through the performing arts and by providing educational opportunities. This fall, GLCFA aims to bring Ana Maria Martinez, an internationally acclaimed, Grammy award-winning operatic soprano, to northern Michigan this fall. Not only does Martinez’s career span the world’s most important opera houses and concert halls, but she also strives to give back to the community by nurturing young people’s passion for vocal music. As such, GLCFA plans to provide free tickets to area vocal students and to faciliate a post-show Q&A for students. A grant to this project will allow GLCFA to present a public concert with Ana Maria Martinez, and increase access to premier vocal artistry in northern Michigan.

Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra
Enjoy an Americana-themed concert in Bay View this summer

Amount granted: $9,000
The mission of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (GLCO) is to produce live orchestral performances, providing entertainment, education, and inspiration for our northern Michigan community. Established in 2001, the GLCO has performed over 150 full orchestra concerts for over 30,000 people.The GLCO is currently preparing to offer an ‘Americana’ concert in Bay View in June. The intentional programming of this concert will push the boundaries of classical orchestral programming. It will incorporate a wide variety of American music from well-loved traditional classical composers, Bernstein and Copeland; established living composers, Gwyneth Walker and Kenji Bunch; contemporary Black composers, Tre Bryant and Jessie Montgomery; local Emmy award winning composer/producer Roger Tallman’s new piece, Constraints; and a community collaborative project composed for the GLCO (world premiere) that will also incorporate pictures and video clips from community members reflecting on the challenges of the past year. A grant to this project will help cover the Americana concert production costs.

Harbor Springs Area Historical Society
Display the historic “Aha” in Shay Park

Amount granted: $4,000
Harbor Springs Area Historical Society (HSAHS) enriches the cultural, social and educational lives of residents and visitors to Emmet County through programs and exhibits. Sharing the heritage and traditions of our area helps cultivate a sense of place and belonging. The Historical Society has collaborated with the Industrial Arts Institute in Onaway to preserve the Aha, a historic 1893 all-steel boat built by inventor Ephraim Shay on the site that is now called Shay Park and owned by the City of Harbor Springs. The completion of this project returns the Aha to its birthplace where it will be the center of educational programs. A grant to this project will allow the Historical Society to transport the Aha to Shay Park as well as create and install interpretive signs highlighting the history of the Aha and the preservation process.

Harbor Springs Festival of the Book
Purchase Festival author books for students and classrooms

Amount granted: $5,250
The Harbor Springs Festival of the Book inspires reading in all ages and celebrates the culture of books. A key part of the annual Festival is the distribution of books to area students. Studies show that books in a home is a significant marker of educational success. Yet many students do not have home libraries.  Since its inception, the Festival has purchased the books of the presenters to give to students and classrooms. With the exception of 2020, due to the pandemic, authors visit the classrooms to talk about their craft and read with the students. If the Festival is unable to provide a book to each individual student visited by a presenter, they will purchase classroom sets and library copies. Also, if any presenter’s work is a resource for teachers, copies will be purchased for teachers. A grant to this project will purchase books for students in Emmet County schools.

Mackinaw Area Public Library
Give the Pellston library branch a much-needed makeover

Amount granted: $5,900
The Mackinaw Area Public Library has a library branch in Pellston, serving residents that live in northern Emmet County. The Pellston branch is a vital resource for the area, offering information, entertainment, educational enrichment and research—completely free of charge for patrons. The Pellston library needs to be refreshed and improved in order to provide easier access to its resources in a pleasing environment. In particular the Pellston branch seeks new shelving to allow for more social distancing and also better visibiity of the materials. It also seeks new furniture to support a more-open floor plan. A grant to this project would help cover the shelving and furniture costs.

Raven Hill Discovery Center
Build an outdoor walking trail that features interactive learning stations

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. Over the last year, Raven Hill’s indoor facilities have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Center’s grounds have been open at no charge. Raven Hill plans to re-open in mid-April 2021 if the pandemic allows. Much thought has been given on how to do this safely. Raven Hill has decided to create an outdoor exhibit called the Connections Trail, which will bring some of its indoor exhibits and learning activities to the outdoors, where they may be enjoyed in a safer environment for patrons during this time. The half-mile Connections Trail is designed for walking or jogging. It will feature 40 ‘learning stations’ that provide interactive science, history and art learning opportunities along the way for visitors of all ages. The spacing of stations will allow guests to spread out and proceed safely from one learning station to the next, where they can perform the activities. A grant to this project will help cover excavation and mulch for the trail.

COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

HARBOR, Inc.
Improve security and member access at The Loft Co-working Space

Amount granted: $3,325
The Loft Co-working space is a common area in Harbor Springs where remote and home-office workers can access office space and shared office equipment away from the distractions of home and unreliable Internet. The past year has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people working remotely. With varying schedules and inflexible childcare, it has become apparent that the workforce can no longer be limited to the traditional 8-5 work schedule. HARBOR, Inc. seeks to offer its members 24/7 access while maintaining a safe work environment. A grant to this project will allow HARBOR, Inc. to install new electronic keypads, providing members safe, secure access 24/7. The keypads will also allow HARBOR, Inc. to track use of The Loft and remotely secure the building should the need arise. 

Village of Alanson
Expand the Village of Alanson holiday light show at Hillside Garden

Amount granted: $4,738
The Village of Alanson, seeks to expand the Village of Alanson/Hillside Garden holiday light show. In 2016, village residents donated $10,000 to the Hillside Garden club in loving memory of their parents. This donation was to provide the funding necessary to conduct a holiday light show on the Hillside Garden. After several attempts, the first light show was deployed in 2019. The show was successful and received praise from around the area. The show continued in 2020 to similar fanfare. While the bones of the show are in place, this project seeks to expand the size of the show by integrating more props so that the footprint of the show can be expanded across the Hillside Garden. A grant to this project will allow the Village of Alanson to expand its holiday lightshow to provide residents and visitors alike a safe, free option for holiday entertainment.

EDUCATION

Farming for Our Future
Teach children entrepreneurship at the Harbor Springs farmers market

Amount granted: $1,000
The mission of Farming for Our Future is to foster people’s connection to what they eat—to understand where and how their food is grown, and how their food choices affect the health of themselves, their community and the planet. One of the organization’s programs – the Young Entrepreneur Program — provides young entrepreneurs ages 5-18 with free space at the Harbor Springs farmers market to bring their big ideas to life. Past examples include children who sold microgreens, growing kits, and catnip bunches. Other products featured included non-agricultural items like hand painted stones, cork key chains, Michigan stamped bottles, tie dyed accessories, and handmade ‘birds of Michigan’ greeting cards. The Young Entrepreneur Program provides children experience in product development, customer relations, marketing, responsibility, sales, and finances. They are mentored by the seasoned market vendors, volunteers, and their peers. A grant to this project will help cover program costs.

Great Start Collaborative
Ensure quality preschool experiences for all children

Amount granted: $8,500
Great Start Collaborative is a partnership of more than 30 organizations working to strengthen families and improve outcomes for children in Charlevoix, Emmet and northern Antrim Counties. Many families in our region are forced to choose between providing their child a much-needed preschool experience or meeting their basic needs of living. Two government programs offer free preschool for children based on financial need, but they reach capacity quickly and leave 65+ children wait-listed for a preschool spot. The Great Start Readiness Scholarship Fund allows these children to attend an available tuition-based program. A grant to this project will provide scholarships to children of highest need to attend high quality, tuition-based preschools in our area.

Harbor Springs Public Schools
Help students build balance, fitness for life

Amount granted: $5,076
Harbor Springs Public Schools’ (HSPS) physical education program provides students opportunities to expand their fitness abilities and develop the building blocks needed to be fit for life. The pandemic has forced teachers to deliver instruction in new and innovative ways, and to rethink their curriculum. With this challenge also came opportunity. It pushed the school’s physical education teacher to find  activities to get students outside. Inspired by other early biking initiatives around the country, and wanting to build a strong foundation for the annual 3rd-5th grade triathlon and 4th grade biking initiative, they seek to teach students balance and bicycle safety beginning in grades K-2. The program aims to get kids excited to learn or improve their biking skills and encourage students to choose healthy movements for life. A grant to this project would allow Harbor Springs Public Schools to purchase 22 Strider balance bikes and 22 adjustable helmets.

Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes
Introduce students to career and education opportunities

Amount granted: $5,000
Junior Achievement (JA) inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. Through this project, JA will help teachers and CTE (Career Tech Education/trades) instructors in Emmet County schools build a pilot career-readiness program during the 2021-2022 school year. The program will bring volunteers from an array of different professions into the classroom to give students real insight into their career journey and a look at the day-to-day of different jobs. Initially the program will work with educators at Petoskey High School, but JA plans to expand to other schools in time. The goal is to evolve the pilot into a comprehensive work readiness program that will help support job shadowing and co-op program efforts at schools in Emmet County. The program will help students gain practical real-life work experiences and introduce them to an array of career and education opportunities. The pilot will start virtually and will transition to in-person programming as the situation regarding COVID-19 allows. A grant to this project will support the development of pilot programming for this initiative.

North Central Michigan College Foundation
Establish a new Career Services Center for students

Amount granted: $15,000
North Central Michigan College’s Building Tomorrow Together campaign is a three-part plan that will grow its scholarships and student success resources, significantly renovate and expand the main classroom building, and establish a new technology and innovation fund. As part of the renovation of the 50-year-old Administration Classroom Building , NCMC is launching new career services. They plan to establish a new Career Services Center in the new student services wing to allow greater student accessibility and visibility. The relocation of the Career Services Center will provide a greater number of students access to career guidance, job search tools, and resume/cover letter and interview preparation, giving them the support necessary to make informed decisions about their future career options. A grant to this project will support the construction of a new Career Services Center.

Pellston Public Schools
Improve access to healthy food and provide hands-on learning experiences for children

Amount granted: $3,500
In recent years, the Pellston community, including the school district, has worked to increase access to healthy, high quality foods. In 2020, Pellston alumni and local farmer, Calvin Gillett teamed with FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Member, Casey Haggerty, to successfully raise funds to construct a 30-foot x 72-foot hoop house. Their fundraising efforts were fueled by a vision of establishing a space where food is grown to be incorporated into healthy school meals and where students can participate in meaningful, hands-on learning experiences, leading to development of a deep understanding of the food they eat. While the structure is currently standing strong alongside the Pellston elementary building, it is empty. A grant to this project will allow Pellston Public Schools to purchase essential supplies like simple hand tools and an irrigation system to begin growing projects within the hoop house.

Power Book Bags
Provide early literacy tools to young children in need

Amount granted: $1,500
The vision of PoWeR! Book Bags is that all children in northern lower Michigan will have the materials needed to develop fluent language, literacy and human interactions for life success. Engaging children from birth paves the road to the cognitive development and language skills necessary to become proficient readers and experience long-term economic success. In 2016, PoWeR! Book Bags began providing books and literacy materials to low-income children in the 5 county area around Grand Traverse County. With strong community support, over the past 5 years they have expanded their reach and in July 2020, brought books and bags to Emmet County through Women’s Resource Center and WIC. A grant to this project will allow PoWeR! Book Bags to reach more children in Emmet County with evidence-based books and tools that are proven to increase literacy and language skills. 

St. Michael Academy
Upgrade the computers for students and school staff
Amount granted: $7,579
St. Michael Academy is a private Catholic school in Emmet County. Its mission is to nurture and elevate a new generation of joyful leaders, educated in the classical tradition and the truth of the Catholic faith. Students learn how Western Civilization is evolving, the importance of history, and the need to think and to question. They are expected to use what they learn to create a stronger and more equitable society based on the innate dignity of all human beings. The school currently uses older, refurbished computers that are not Zoom-compatible or conducive to online testing. St. Michael Academy wants to upgrade its onsite technology so it may meet current and future technological challenges. The computers will also be used for extracurricular activities like Coding Club, Robotics and Quiz Bowl. A grant to this project will help the school purchase new computers.

YMCA of Northern Michigan
Teach children science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills
Amount granted: $12,250
YMCA of Northern Michigan strives to nurture the mind, body and spirit of all. STEM activities help introduce youth to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The world is changing rapidly and children today will eventually land jobs that may not even exist yet. YMCA believes it is critical to develop the STEM skills necessary to compete in a fast-paced dynamic economy. To that end, YMCA would like to introduce the ‘Girls Who Code’ (GWC) program to our area. Girls Who Code is free curriculum designed to promote STEM skills for girls, but it can be modified for boys and co-ed classes too. YMCA would use this curriculum in a range of program including, Girls Who Code, summer camp, Host after school programming, First Lego League, and more. The Y would offer these programs at a low cost and, in some cases, no cost. A grant to this project will help cover program expenses.

ENVIRONMENT

Conservation Resource Alliance
Devise plans to restore the East Branch of the Maple River

Amount granted: $10,000
Conservation Resource Alliance’s (CRA) goal is to completely restore and revitalize all the northwest Michigan watersheds. It has been working in Emmet County for over 20 years, and has converted many crumbling road crossings into attractive, ecologically-friendly timber bridges. Crumbling road crossings limit the natural, healthy passage of fish and other aquatic animals. Severe erosion concerns put the river and stream banks at substantial risk for every day that passes without a proper solution. Currently CRA is working on solutions for the final two problematic road crossings in Emmet County — Douglas Lake Road and Robinson Road, both over the East Branch of the Maple River. Currently, the crossings consist of undersized culverts that function more like dams due to debris blockage and are velocity barriers to aquatic species. The new design for the crossings will be full-channel-spanning timber bridges, which will restore the natural flow. The embankments will be stabilized, and the road runoff managed to reduce sedimentation. A grant to this project will help cover initial engineering and permitting costs.

Little Traverse Bay Humane Society
Expand the animal shelter area for an improved adoption process

Amount granted: $15,000
Little Traverse Bay Humane Society is a no-kill animal shelter that offers a temporary home to companion animals. It is dedicated to providing animals the tender, loving care and attention they need to become adoptable companions. In 2018 the Humane Society changed its protocol in regard to the amount of time new animals are placed in quarantine prior to being ready for adoption. Dogs are now required to be on quarantine for seven days. This is done to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and parasites that are sometimes present in new arrivals. While dogs are in quarantine, it greatly reduces the space available for animals available for adoption. To address this issue, the Humane Society has decided to build a new, separate ‘intake facility’ on its property. This will free up more space in the main shelter and allow the Humane Society to have more animals for adoption at any given time. A grant to this project will help cover construction costs.

Little Traverse Conservancy
Purchase snowshoes to enhance environmental education programs

Amount granted: $4,000
Little Traverse Conservancy’s (LTC) Environment Education department offers a variety of programming free of charge to their five-county service area. Their outdoor educational programs promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. During the winter months, the most popular programs are “Winter Tracks and Signs” as well as “Snowshoeing Adventure.” Currently LTC is using snowshoes acquired in 2009. During that time, the snowshoes have been used by over 14,000 students! These snowshoes have also been used for countless LTC community field trips, Scouting events and by our local Friendship Center and are tattered, worn, and have become uncomfortable for users to wear. This grant would enable LTC to purchase 30 new pairs of snowshoes.

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
Purchase a vehicle for water quality monitoring work

Amount granted: $10,000
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is dedicated to protecting our lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater through respected advocacy, innovative education, technically sound water quality monitoring, and restoration actions. The Watershed Council would like to purchase a new vehicle to haul its water quality monitoring boat, trailer of kayaks and canoes for survey work, and its Mobile Boat Washing (MOBO) station. Its current truck—a 2006 Chevrolet Colorado with nearly 200,0000 miles—is old and not big enough to haul and launch its needed equipment. A new vehicle will ensure continued field work. The MOBO project in particular helps to reduce the spread of dangerous aquatic invasive species between water bodies and allows the Watershed Council to educate hundreds of boaters about their role in reducing the impact of invasive species. A grant to this project will help purchase a new truck.

Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy
Update the directory of Walloon Lake nature preserves

Amount granted: $3,000
The Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy’s (WLAC) mission is to conserve, care for and enhance the connection of people to Walloon Lake. The WLAC seeks to update a beloved community publication—its Preserve Field Guide (PFG). The PFG is a compendium of publicly accessible nature preserves located in the Walloon Lake watershed. It is a pocket-size, waterproof booklet that helps people discover nature and escape to the beauty of the great outdoors in the Walloon Lake watershed. The WLAC is also in the process of updating its website and will include a web page featuring a virtual PFG. A grant to this project will help cover printing costs and web page design.

HEALTH

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities
Help food distribution sites reduce barriers to providing healthy, local food

Amount granted: $11,912
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities focuses on solutions that improve daily life and build community health through food, energy, transportation and economy. The Building Resilient Communities (BRC) pilot will make nutritious choices easier in order to address diet-related disease while also strengthening ties between the community and local farms. BRC aims to help partner sites, which include food pantries, vending, concession, retail, cafeterias, farms, youth/senior centers, and congregate meals locations, break down barriers to offering more healthy, local food for clients, such as buying a cooler to store fresh food or supplies to lead cooking classes for clients. Sites will receive a stipend and support from Groundwork before, during, and after BRC. A grant to this project will allow Groundwork to implement this pilot in two Emmet County communities: Alanson and Pellston.

Harbor Hall Foundation
Expand access to substance abuse treatment for women

Amount granted: $15,000
Harbor Hall strives to promote a higher quality of life for individuals experiencing problems related to substance use. Because of extraordinary need for increased mental health and substance use treatment in our community, Harbor Hall is undergoing a large expansion and renovation project of Harbor Hall facilities, including two new buildings on the Harbor Hall recovery campus. With the addition of two new buildings, as well as a remodel and reconfiguration of the existing facility, Harbor Hall will nearly double its capacity and expand its services on campus. A grant to this project will be used toward construction expenses to renovate and expand Harbor Hall facilities and will more than double the number of residential treatment beds for women.

McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation
Update northern Michigan’s Family Birthplace Center

Amount granted: $15,000
Each year, approximately 150 Emmet County moms-to-be deliver their babies at McLaren Northern Michigan. Advancing the high quality of care provided at the Family Birthplace Center requires the replacement of outdated maternal/fetal heart monitors used in labor and delivery as well as furnishings within postpartum rooms. This project aims to provide safe, comfortable and high-quality care for moms and newborns by helping to purchasing 6 maternal/fetal heart monitors and carts, 15 infant bassinets, and 15 high-back motion chairs and ottomans. A grant to this project will contribute to important upgrades to the Family Birthplace Center at McLaren Northern Michigan.

Planned Parenthood of Michigan
Provide health care and education to promote reproductive health

Amount granted: $6,500
Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI) works to ensure that people are able to take care of their sexual health across their lifespan. PPMI strives to reduce the stigma around sexually transmitted infections (STIs), encourages regular testing for STIs/HIV, and promotes condom use and various methods of birth control to prevent unintended pregnancy and/or STIs and HIV. In PPMI’s Petoskey office, the Sexual Health Outreach and Prevention Education Project will serve at least 800 community members this year. PPMI staff provide comprehensive sexual health education, information and resources to people of all ages, including those with substance use disorder. Resources distributed include feminine hygiene kits, condoms, and informational materials. A grant to this project will help cover outreach and education costs.

HUMAN SERVICES

Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan
Recruit and retain Emmet County foster homes

Amount granted: $7,000
Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan aims to ensure the safety and well-being of children, youth, adults and families in times of crisis, challenge and life transition. Emmet County is an important service area for Child & Family Services of Northwest Michigan. Over the years, they have worked with dozens of Emmet County foster families and children. As foster families adopt or close their foster care licenses for other reasons, those homes must be replaced so that new placements of children into care can be made. Qualified homes in the area where children already live are ideal–so that children are not uprooted from their home community and school. A grant to this project will support recruitment and retention activities for Emmet County foster homes.

Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan
Share newborn infant supplies with families in need

Amount granted: $5,000
The mission of the Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan (CCSNM) is to serve the needs of infants and children in Northern Michigan without prejudice. Founded in 1983, CCSNM’s signature philanthropic effort is the Layette Project. This project seeks to support low-income families with newborn infants. Each layette includes a new diaper bag, hand knit items, blankets, a book, towels, socks, newborn cap, burp cloths, onesies, infant thermometer, nail clippers, finger brushes, clothing, educational materials and a Halo Swaddle Sleepsack. Layettes are distributed through the Northwest Michigan Health Department’s office in Emmet County.

Community Recovery Alliance
Hire staff to help people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction

Amount granted: $5,000
The mission of Community Recovery Alliance (CRA) is to serve as a resource for individuals impacted by substance use disorders (SUD). According to the data shared by the Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Office, two-thirds of Michigan families are negatively impacted by at least one family member who suffers from a substance use disorder. Those who suffer most severely often lose their jobs, lose their families and perhaps most damaging, lose their sense of self-respect.  Community Recovery Alliance is committed to supporting those individuals who choose to enter long-term recovery and change their lives for the better. To date the organization has served more than 100 individuals by helping many of them to find safe shelter, jobs, transportation to and from medical appointments and/or work and by introducing them to other local organizations that can help. Community Recovery Alliance has experienced tremendous growth in the past two years, to the point where it feels ready to grow from one staff person to two. A grant to this project will help CRA purchase a computer and office equipment for its second employee.

Manna Food Project
Purchase a refrigerated truck to transport perishable food to people facing hunger

Amount granted: $10,000
The mission of Manna Food Project is to help feed the hungry in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties. Manna operates a food rescue program, a food bank (distribution center), a weekly food pantry, and the “Food 4 Kids” backpack program. Manna works with 57 partner pantries, meal sites, and agencies to provide supplemental  and emergency food to over 40,000 families each year. Manna is in critical need of replacing its 2006 high-mileage cargo van with a new refrigerated truck to increase its capacity to procure, rescue, and distribute food items requiring “cold-chain” transportation. This spring, Manna plans to resume its “Food Rescue Program” (suspended due to COVID-19) and begin picking up fresh produce from local farms and distributing it to partner agencies. A new vehicle will enable Manna to fulfill these obligations and consider emerging opportunities. A grant to this project will help cover the cost of the new refrigerated truck.

Northern Community Mediation
Train mediation staff on using social media
Amount granted: $2,800
Northern Community Mediation (NCM) helps people meaningfully resolve conflicts in Charlevoix and Emmet Counties. While the organization has a website to advertise its services, staff have identified a need to expand NCM’s reach to social media as well. NCM believes social media could help increase awareness of mediation for conflict resolution, as well as present the organization as being polished and modern. However, none of the NCM staff are properly trained on social media usage. A grant to this project will help NCM hire a communications consultant to train them on social media and establish their social media accounts.

Northern Michigan Equine Therapy
Promote equine therapy to individuals through a new website

Amount granted: $1,500
Northern Michigan Equine Therapy (NMET) is an outpatient rehabilitation facility that harnesses the healing power of horses to improve lives. NMET is dedicated to using the healing nature of horses as a therapeutic tool to enhance independence, self-confidence, and quality of life of individuals living with physical and mental disabilities. Since last March, NMET has noticed increased traffic on its website and increased questions about NMET’s programs and services. While mental health needs were prevalent before the COVID-19 pandemic, the need has definitely increased since then. NMET believes an update to its website is necessary to better serve potential clients and educate the public about its services. A grant to this project will help cover website redesign costs.

Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity
Build an affordable home for an Emmet County family

Amount granted: $15,000
In 2020, Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity introduced its new Home Ready Program designed to more quickly meet affordable housing needs, serving below-median income, mortgage-ready households. Even in the midst of COVID-19, NMHFH was able to complete a home in Pellston, start a home in Alanson, and make significant progress on a four-parcel development on Luce Street in Oden. Currently, this site consists of a deep renovation of an existing, severely distressed home, a modular home that was delivered in January, and a second modular home delivered in February. These three projects are slated for completion this spring. Development for the remaining project site will begin in Summer 2021 with construction of a third modular home. Due to the topography of the lot, this home will require a walkout basement and could therefore be finished to accommodate a larger household. A grant to this effort will support the construction and site preparation of a 4-bedroom home and will complete the transformation of the four-lot project in Oden.

Pellston Area Food Pantry
Renovate a food pantry kitchen to prepare and serve hot meals in Pellston

Amount granted: $15,000
Since the Pellston Area Food Pantry first started, it has been the organizers’ desire to not only distribute food and goods to the Pellston community, but also to go the extra mile with a personal touch of preparing and serving a hot meal to them. A local church used to provide this service, and it was very well received and appreciated by the community. Unfortunately, the Pellston Area Food Pantry’s kitchen does not meet current Health Department regulations for preparing and serving hot food. To remedy this, the Pantry would like to remodel and expand its kitchen. A grant to this project will help cover remodeling costs.

The Friendship Center of Harbor Springs
Provide nutrition to area seniors

Amount granted: $6,200
The Friendship Center of Harbor Springs enriches the quality of life and supports the independence and vitality for older adults. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Friendship Center of Harbor Springs to suspend its congregate lunch program for senior citizens at the Village of Hillside and greater Harbor Springs area for nine months in 2020. Now, the Center is anxious to begin resuming meal service for clients. This grant request will serve as a bridge toward re-starting the program.  It is designed to enable the Center to begin the program as soon as safety conditions allow, and it will serve as a transition back to regular, in-person congregate meals. A grant to this project will allow The Friendship Center to purchase healthy meals from local food distribution providers and restaurants that are either ready-made or that can be easily prepared at the Center.

Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan
Improve security for women and children seeking services in Petoskey
Amount granted: $11,117
The Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) is committed to equality, justice and the well-being of women. Its main building located on Porter Street in Petoskey houses WRCNM’s administrative staff, counseling program, the Children’s Learning Center (CLC) and Project FREE. Following an assessment by local security expert Steve Keck, MEP of the United States Coast Guard, WRCNM identified gaps in security that currently exist at the Porter Street building. Improved security will protect children in educational programs, survivors receiving supportive services, teaching staff, administrative staff, and trained therapists that provide essential trauma-informed counseling and advocacy. WRCNM prioritizes the safety and well-being of all individuals at every agency location, and this project will expand the agency’s capacity to protect community members. A grant to this project will help cover security upgrades, such as ballistic film on windows and enhanced door locks.

RECREATION

Challenge Mountain
Improve parking area and manage storm water run-off at the Resale Store

Amount granted: $15,000
Challenge Mountain (CM) enriches lives and empowers individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation, art and cultural activities. To support its programs, Challenge Mountain operates a resale store. The impact of storm water run-off in both paved and unpaved parking areas creates an unsafe environment for customers, volunteers and staff navigating his/her way into the building. Currently, storm water run-off from a steep dirt road serving uphill businesses and residences floods the paved easement road and main parking areas resulting in large standing pools of water or ice. The existing pavement is cracked and uneven in part due to the flood/freeze cycle. Run-off from snow melt or heavy rain also seeps into a rear corner of the building which is at a lower grade. The unimproved dirt parking area behind the building used for overflow customer, volunteer and staff parking floods during heavy rains or snow melts making the parking area hazardous to walking. A grant to this project will help Challenge Mountain address storm water run-off in parking areas and on the easement road at the CM Resale Store.

Charlevoix Area Community Pool
Repave parking lot at Charlevoix Area Community Pool

Amount granted: $5,000
The Charlevoix Area Community Pool provides a wide range of aquatic and fitness programming to residents in Charlevoix and Emmet Counties. The pool was built in 1997 on sandy and swampy ground. While the pool building is in good shape with no settling, the parking lot is in significant need of repaving after 24 years of use. Currently, water pools in many places on the parking lot and is not running off where it should. A buried tubular culvert at the entrance off US 31 has caused a large bump on the driveway and the asphalt is breaking up in many places. The parking lot has started to slope towards our building causing water to pool at the entrance, which makes it hazardous for people entering our building in winter as water turns to ice. Resurfacing would only last 5-7 years, so the board has opted to totally repave the parking lot in 2021 for a 25-year solution. A grant to this project will support the complete rebuilding and repaving of the parking lot.

First Tee – Northern Michigan
Replace obsolete donor database to enhance fundraising capacity

Amount granted: $3,800
First Tee-Northern Michigan is a youth development organization that teaches core values and life skills through the game of golf. A donor database is the most fundamental tool of fundraising best practices. As a non-profit organization, First Tee raises over 90% of its annual operating budget from the charitable support of our community. Adherence to fundraising best practices is essential to the success of our business model. Due to a series of corporate takeovers in the tech industry, our current donor database has developed such severe software issues that it has become unusable. Technical support has evaporated. This funding will be used to replace First Tee’s current system with a new database from Network For Good that was developed specifically for small non-profits. A portion of the money will be used to fund intensive training for the first three months of the first year’s subscription to make sure they are using the system correctly and maximizing its benefits.

Little Traverse Sailors
Offer sailing lessons to Emmet County children

Amount granted: $2,000
The mission of Little Traverse Sailors (LTS) is to build lifelong sailors by providing a safe and fun learning environment. LTS has a 75-year history on the Harbor Springs waterfront and has operated as a nonprofit organization since 1972, yet it predominantly serves children and families who are summer residents of the area.  There is not strong participation by families who reside in Emmet County year-round.  LTS  would like to evolve itself into an organization that feels accessible to all area youth. To that end, Little Traverse Sailors plans to expand its scholarship program so that local children may participate regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Most scholarships would cover one week of sailing lessons and related sailing gear. A grant to this project would provide scholarships for Emmet County children.

Top of Michigan Trails Council
Research the usage and economic impact of our recreational trails

Amount granted: $10,000
Top of Michigan Trails Council (TOMTC) stewards a 325-mile trail network stretching from Emmet County to Alpena, covering the eight ‘Tip of the Mitt’ counties. Back in 2014 TOMTC partnered with the Michigan State University, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Emmet County to assess use and users on the Little Traverse Wheelway, North Western State Trail, and North Central State Trail. Data collected demonstrated significant economic impact and community quality of life benefits for Emmet County and the surrounding region, but there has been no ongoing assessment or tracking of trail users since the initial study. TOMTC plans to update this trail user survey in summer 2021, to better understand how recreational trail use has changed in the last several years. In 2020 in particular, trail use exploded as people sought safer, outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic. A grant to this project will help cover trail user survey costs.