Celebrate Community Together!

Celebrate Community Together!

You’re invited to the Community Foundation of Marquette County’s 2022 Annual Celebration on Wednesday, September 14 at 5:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Northern Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University.

The evening will be a celebration of the Community Foundation’s philanthropic impact on Marquette County and the work we do together as a community. We’ll share stories of our collective positive impact, including the Catalyst Awards presentation, which will honor local people, organizations, and businesses who’ve made a big difference in Marquette County. We’ll also share an exciting update on Kid’s Cove, Marquette’s Playground for All, which is in the home stretch of its campaign. And of course, we’ll enjoy delicious food and drink while listening to live music.

Join us for an inspiring evening!

A Community of Belonging – Making Playgrounds Accessible for All

A Community of Belonging – Making Playgrounds Accessible for All

Thanks to Make it Marquette for “A Community of Belonging – Making Playgrounds Accessible for All, ” — a wonderful article by John Schiebe about Kids Cove and other local efforts and organizations that are making space and creating opportunities for inclusive, accessible play in our area. Featured is an interview with Nneena Ittner, leader of the Playground for All Committee, which is now in the home stretch of fund-raising for this amazing project.
“…When there’s a space for everyone – where there’s a mutually accessible platform where play and genuine human interaction can be provided every day – that’s the kind of lasting legacy that’s larger than just Marquette.” 🤸‍ 😃 👨🏽‍🦽

Year-end charitable giving

As you work with your advisors on year-end planning, consider some of these giving strategies that will allow you to support the Community Foundation and charitable causes important to you while accomplishing tax savings.

Claim an Above-the Line Deduction in 2021

  • For single filers and married taxpayers filing separately, you can deduct up to $300 (or up to $600 for married taxpayers filing jointly) for cash contributions made to qualifying charities during 2021. Donor advised funds and supporting organizations do not qualify.

Bundle Your Gifts

  • If you plan to donate more than $600 to charity in 2021 and customarily take the standard deduction, consider a bundling strategy – making large gifts less frequently than regular annual gifts – and claim an itemized deduction in 2021. Bundling works well with a donor advised fund. You can bundle multiple years of gifts into a fund this year, take the itemized deduction, and make annual gifts to your favorite charities in the future from the fund.
  • Donating property that has appreciated can be a win-win for you: Not only will you be entitled to a charitable deduction at the fair market value at the date of the gift, you will avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciation.

Consider a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) with Retirement Assets

  • IRA owners who are aged 70½ or older can transfer up to $100,000 per year directly from their IRA to an eligible charity or charities, tax-free. For married couples, each spouse can make QCDs up to the $100,000 limit for a potential total gift to charity of $200,000, tax-free. If you are over 72, the QCD counts toward your required minimum distribution for the year.

Cash Gifts in 2021

  • For 2021 only, gifts of cash to qualified charities are deductible up to 100% of adjusted gross income (AGI). If you have significant assets, cash on hand, and low AGI, this may be a way to significantly reduce federal tax owed for 2021. The deduction available for a gift of cash to a donor advised fund remains at 60% of AGI.
Eslinger and Gonstead join Board of Trustees

Eslinger and Gonstead join Board of Trustees

The Community Foundation of Marquette County is honored to announce that Robert Eslinger and Marcia Gonstead have joined its Board of Trustees for three-year terms.

Eslinger recently retired from Northern Michigan University where he served as the Dean of the College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, Associate Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development, and co-founded the idea incubator Invent@NMU. He has been active in the Marquette County and Upper Peninsula workforce and economic development issues for more than two decades.

“I am passionate about our community and the Upper Peninsula, and I know firsthand how non-profit organizations together with public and private institutions contribute to community development,” Eslinger said. “We’re in this together.”


Gonstead has been an active volunteer in the Upper Peninsula for more than 20 years, and has served on the boards of the Noquemanon Trail Network and the Yellow Dog Watershed, and on the marketing committee of the Big Bay Stewardship Council. She and her husband Sven launched the Big Bay summer concert series in 2018 in Powell Township. She also devotes her time to the Big Bay Fall Fest, the Big Bay Pathway, the Honey Bear Classic, and other causes and organizations.

“After years of serving on boards and volunteering one realizes the vast web of resources needed by each and every organization.” Gonstead said. “I am honored to have a seat on the Foundation Board of Trustees that brings those resources together because ‘together’ is the way we can make the most impact.”

Shiras Institute supports Playground For All

Shiras Institute supports Playground For All

On Wednesday, October 20, representatives from the Shiras Institute presented a check to the Marquette Playground for All Committee for $15,000.  This donation will help fund the playground that will be built as an enhanced replacement of the current Kids Cove playground in Mattson Lower Harbor Park.

Playgrounds for All is raising money for an all-inclusive playground at Mattson Lower Harbor Park called Kids Cove, a playground for all. The committee is looking to raise an additional $850k to reach their fundraising goal of $1.3M. They’ve been collecting public input and detailed designs are being worked on now, which will be available in November.

“This community is pretty amazing, I’ve been in fundraising pretty much all my adult life here and I am blown away with how kind people are and when a community comes together each individual benefits,” said Nheena Weyer Ittner, Chair of the Playgrounds for All Committee.

Construction on the playground is anticipated to begin in the spring and be finished in summer of 2022. The Playground for All Committee and City of Marquette have partnered with the Community Foundation of Marquette County to raise funds for this project. The Community Foundation of Marquette County is the fiscal agent for this project.

For more information visit kidscovemqt.com

Left to right: Ward Rantala, Andrew Wallner, Laura Katers Reilly, Jim Reevs, Cheryl Hill (all board members of the Shiras Institute) Nheena Weyer Ittner, Rick Orr, Zosia Eppensteiner (CFMC CEO), Jon Swenson (City of Marquette), Alice Reynolds, Susan Anderson and Bob Chapman, members of the Playground for All committee. Photo taken by Michaela Zuzula from the LSCP.