The Community Foundation of Marquette County, including four affiliate funds – Negaunee, Greater Ishpeming, Marquette, and Gwinn Area – recently granted over $100,000 as part of the annual competitive grant cycle.
Of the total grant funding, over $25,000 was awarded to programs related to human services. Over $21,000 was awarded to environment and recreation. Over $17,000 was awarded to arts, culture, and music. Over $15,000 was awarded to youth and education. Over $14,000 was awarded to health. Over $5,000 was awarded to community improvement. This grant cycle included funds from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support nonprofits that continue to navigate organizational and operational needs from ongoing pandemic response.
2021 grantees included Willow Farm Therapeutic Riding program, which received funds to replace expired helmets for youth involved in the program. The grant was made possible by the Stephen Blondeau Memorial Fund, which was established at the Community Foundation in 1996 to support projects related to youth safety in the Upper Peninsula.
Willow Farm Therapeutic Riding volunteer Luanne Peterson said, “As an affiliate program of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, horseback riding helmets are a safety requirement that we continue to adhere to. PATH International requires all participants to wear protective headgear that is American Society for Testing and Materials – Safety Equipment Institute (ASTM-SEI) certified. Depending on the amount of use, riding helmets hold the ASTM-SEI certification for 3 – 5 years after they are purchased. This grant will allow the program to provide required safety gear for youth and continue to follow PATH International’s protocols for safety.”
Volunteers from each of the Community Foundation’s affiliate fund form committees to review applications and recommend grants to the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Grant distribution events were recently held for the Ishpeming, Negaunee and Marquette affiliates to celebrate the grantees making an impact on residents of Marquette County. A final grant distribution event will be held on July 4 in Gwinn at The Up North Lodge. This event is part of the popular Bike Night event series and is a fundraiser for the Gwinn Area Community Fund.
The COVID-19 Community Response Fund, a collaboration of the Community Foundation of Marquette County and United Way of Marquette County, recently granted over $35,000 to twenty-three Marquette County nonprofits. These grants were given as “phase two” of the fund, supporting operational expenses for local nonprofits.
The COVID-19 Community Response Fund volunteer committee met weekly and biweekly since March 2020 to establish the fund, review applications, and quickly disperse grants as part of phase one. The fund distributed over $88,000 in grants in phase one, supporting basic needs such as food for children and seniors and protective equipment for front-line workers and volunteers, among many other requests.
The committee met in January to review phase two applications, providing operational support for nonprofits. These organizations have been affected by decreases in funding typically provided by fundraising events and admission or program fees. The committee awarded $35,620 in phase two grants to help offset these losses – the complete list of phase two awardees is below.
In the last ten months, the COVID-19 Community Response Fund has awarded over $124,000 in phase one and phase two grants to Marquette County nonprofits and charitable causes.
COVID-19 Community Response Fund Phase Two Grant Recipients
906 Community Church
Bay Cliff Health Camp
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marquette and Alger Counties, Inc.
Cancer Care of Marquette County
Forsyth Township Police
Hope Free Lutheran Church
Ishpeming Historical Society
Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly
Marquette Alger Resolution Services
Marquette Regional History Center
Moosewood Nature Center
Negaunee Senior Center
NICE Community Schools
Room at the Inn
St. Anthony’s Catholic Parish
Superior Children’s Advocacy
Superior Housing Solutions
The Salvation Army – Marquette and Ishpeming
UP Children’s Museum
The Community Foundation of Marquette County, on behalf of the Huron Mountain Club Fund, is pleased to announce $56,000 in grants and awards to nonprofits in Marquette County. Several Big Bay organizations received support as well as other local nonprofits, including Bay Cliff Health Camp, Powell Township Elementary, Powell Township EMT, Powell Township Fire Department, Peter White Public Library, Yellow Dog Watershed Partnership, and Trillium House.
Clare Lutgen, Executive Director of Bay Cliff Health Camp expressed the importance of the funding from the Huron Mountain Club Fund, particularly right now: “The rapid development and delivery of Bay Cliff Virtual Camp 2020 demonstrated Bay Cliff Health Camp’s resilience and commitment to service. The Bay Cliff staff is currently hard at work developing robust 2021 programming options that can be adapted to any situation while keeping therapy central to our work. Support from the Huron Mountain Club and the Community Foundation will help us ensure that children living with a disability will receive life-changing, individualized therapy within a community composed of their peers and caring adults.”
Jill Bevins, Superintendent of Powell Township Schools also noted the importance of the support from the fund, especially this year: “Powell Township School has benefited tremendously over the years because of the generous donations from the Huron Mountain Club. We have been able to provide a variety of enrichment activities, ranging from school/community dramatic productions to ski outings for our student population. Currently, the funds have helped us through the COVID pandemic by providing enhancements for internet connectivity for distance learning for our staff and students. Ongoing support from the Huron Mountain Club and the Community Foundation will enable us to continue to provide the best possible education for all our students. We are very grateful for the impact this fund has made on our school and community.”
Huron Mountain Club members conduct an annual solicitation of their membership that results in their ability to contribute annually to these nonprofits. Since being established in 1999, the Huron Mountain Club Advisory Committee has given back over $1,000,000 in support to area nonprofits.
After eight years of service as CEO of the Community Foundation of Marquette County, Gail Anthony is retiring December 31, 2020.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the communities of Marquette County,” said Anthony. “Getting to know and work with the individuals, businesses and nonprofits who share a passion for making our community better for everyone has been incredibly rewarding. I am proud of the work our team has accomplished during my time here, from our special initiatives to expanding our grant programs to developing a professional staff that will continue to deliver on our mission.”
During Anthony’s tenure, the Community Foundation has grown to almost $20 million in assets and has awarded over $6 million in grants and scholarships in Marquette County. These grants serve the community through 170 funds that support community improvement, health, education and scholarships, the environment, recreation, animal well-being, and arts and culture. Most recently, the Foundation, in collaboration with United Way of Marquette County, established the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund that has provided over $72,000 in immediate aid to Marquette County non-profits and charities.
The Community Foundation, under Anthony’s leadership, has led several community initiatives including the Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP), with the Superior Watershed Partnership and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, to conduct environmental monitoring related to mining operations at Eagle Mine. In collaboration with the Council on Michigan Foundations, the Foundation has led community growth and clean energy projects. The Our Common Future initiative brought communities together in Ishpeming and KI Sawyer to re-envision their futures. The Clean Energy initiative, with educational outreach and solar demonstration sites, has helped establish Marquette County as an ideal solar energy site despite a northern climate. These forward-thinking initiatives have established the Community Foundation as a trusted leader boldly addressing pressing community needs.
Anthony’s service extends beyond the Foundation with service on several local boards including Embers Credit Union and Salvation Army. Anthony has also been involved with the Zonta Club of Marquette, Marquette Beautification Committee, and the Climate Adaptation Task Force. She served on the Community Foundation board and Public Policy committee with the Council on Michigan Foundations.
Last week the Board of Trustees celebrated Anthony as part of the virtual annual meeting, where they announced the establishment of the Gail Anthony Endowment Fund. The fund is supported by the Board of Trustees, affiliate committees, local business partners, nonprofits and individual friends and family to recognize Anthony’s years of service to Marquette County and the Foundation. The fund will support unrestricted grantmaking in Marquette County in perpetuity.
Board of Trustees Chair Anne Giroux said, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees I want to thank Gail Anthony for her leadership for the past eight years. Her genuine compassion for this community and the people in it has energized our Board of Trustees, inspired our donors and engaged the community. As a result of her leadership, the Foundation has grown in so many ways and the people of Marquette County are the true beneficiaries. Gail has built a strong team that I am confident will foster continued growth. We all wish her the very best in her retirement.”
Anthony will remain in her position through the end of 2020 to support the transition to new leadership. She plans to stay in Marquette County with her family after retirement.
The Paul F. Blewett Legacy Funds were established at the Community Foundation of Marquette County in 2010, to provide support to multiple local and regional organizations that Paul cared most about. This year, a total of $128,409.37 was distributed. Following the wishes of the donor, the fund granted to a total of twenty-one organizations this year, including: Ishpeming Ski Club, Salvation Army of Ishpeming, Ishpeming Blue Notes, City of Ishpeming Fireworks, Ishpeming High School Scholarships, Bethany Lutheran Church, Salvation Army of Escanaba, Fortune Lake Bible Camp, Bark River Harris School Scholarships, PBS television at WNMU, Michigan Education Association, American Diabetes Association, National Red Cross, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, National Planned Parenthood, National Education Association, The American Civil Liberties Union, NPR Radio, and National Alzheimer’s Association. For more information regarding this fund, please visit www.cfofmc.org.
Born in Ishpeming in 1940, Paul studied at Michigan Technological University and Northern Michigan University, where he received a master’s degree in mathematics. He enjoyed a nearly 43-year career as a math teacher at Bark River-Harris High school. He also gave back as a volunteer and officer in many different education associations, most notably as a member of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Education Association for 24 years. His biggest fulfillment came from seeing the students he taught excel at school and in life. Paul was a lifetime member of the Bethany Lutheran Church in Ishpeming, where he enjoyed taking photographs for weddings and church functions. He died in Marquette in 2009, leaving behind his legacy of giving back to the community and organizations he loved and respected.
The Community Foundation of Marquette County, including four affiliate funds – Negaunee, Greater Ishpeming, Marquette, and Gwinn Area – granted a total of $58,334 this year in the annual competitive grant
Forty-one percent ($24,000) was awarded to programs that involved Youth and Education, including: Forsyth Township Public Library for a summer reading program, Big Brothers Big Sisters for the Big Neighbors program, Girl Scouts Leadership Experience, and Lake Superior Village’s summer programming, among others.
A quarter of granted funds ($15,300) were awarded to programs related to human services, including: Feeding America’s food pantries, Lake Superior Hospice Association’s bereavement program, SAIL’s steppingstones to housing independence program, and emergency needs for the Women’s Center, among others.
Eleven percent (over $6,000) was awarded to health programs, including: resident care equipment for Trillium House, CPR and first aid training for the Caregiver Incentive Project, and patient care services for Cancer Care of Marquette County, among others.
Eight percent of funding ($4,825) went toward environmental and recreation programs, including: Marquette Senior Center’s Senior Sampler, Courage Inc.’s 2020 Summer Adventure Season, U.P. Land Conservancy’s Peshekee Headwaters Nature Preserve Partnership Trail, and Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve’s Community Forest Trail Improvement and Stream Bank, among others.
Eight percent ($4,700) funded community improvement programs, including: Ishpeming’s Hematite Art Park, United Way’s Service Leaders, Marquette Beautification Committee’s Project Sparkle, and the Michigamme Township DDA to install handicap accessibility in their library, among others.
Six percent ($3,325) was granted to programs that involve art, culture, and music, including: Marquette Regional History Center for an archaeology heritage program, Superior Arts Youth Theater for 2021 winter program, and Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum to open a gift shop, among others.
In addition, $10,000 was awarded to MAPS Education Foundation for the 1st to Finish Childhood Savings Accounts Program from the Marquette Area Community Fund. Each affiliate fund also granted funds to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund for efforts in their area.