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.
Marion Vander Veen was born in Webberville, MI on January 21 in 1924. She then moved to various cities in Michigan, before meeting husband, Dick, in Muskegon, where they played opposite each other in their high school Christmas pageant. While Dick served in WWII, Marion graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a teaching degree. She served as a national officer of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, which presented her with its Mabel Lee Walton national leadership award, calling her “one of those unusual people who is as pretty as she is intelligent as she is charming.”
The couple married in 1946 and moved to Boston, where Marion taught grade school in Brookline while Dick attended Harvard Law School. In 1950, they settled in Grand Rapids, where they built their first home, and were active members of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
During her life, Marion accomplished many things including: helping with her husband’s campaign for congressman in 1974, active in the International Women’s Club, being appointed to Michigan’s Electoral College, and establishing the Vander Veen Center for the Book at the Grand Rapids Public Library.
Marion Vander Veen passed away on March 19, 2019. Her spirit of adventure matched her husband Dick’s, and her grace, liveliness, and love of beauty embroidered everything they did together. She was an accomplished water colorist, a gardener, a committed Democrat, and the encouraging mother of three skating, sailing, nature-loving boys. Marion’s civic commitment continued to the end of her life. In 2018 she established the Marion C. Vander Veen Great Lakes Education Fund to engage and educate young people to “protect our Great Lakes for future generations.”
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It’s Tuesday afternoon, and Vango’s is alive with friendly conversation and the warm smell of pizza dough. The Marquette restaurant has served as a gathering spot for the community for decades, in large part because of the generous and dedicated work of Michele Butler.
Michele O. Butler, co-owner and partner of Vango’s in Marquette, gives back beyond what she even admits to, through various donations and gifts to the community. Just one of these donations includes the popular Clark Lambros’ Beach Park, 10 acres of land along Lake Superior and Lakeshore Boulevard. She and her life-long partner Clark Lambros both knew they wanted the property to be accessible and shared with others.
Arriving to the United States from Greece originally, Clark Lambros, a longtime businessman, settled in Marquette. He loved the people and the natural beauty of Lake Superior. A true American story, Mr. Lambros opened his own business, Vango’s Pizza and Cocktail Lounge, and through generous local involvement, became a community philanthropist. Years later, when his son, Clark Lambros Jr., passed away in a car accident, he wanted to create a park for the community in his son’s memory. Unfortunately, Mr. Lambros himself became ill and passed away before he was able to.
Ms. Butler continued these efforts to donate and dedicate the park in memory of Clark Lambros Jr., as well as her partner Mr. Lambros. Ms. Butler donated the property and applied for a DNR Trust Fund grant, using those funds, along with her own personal contributions to reinvest into building the park. With the forward thinking of Bill Sanders, the project’s landscape architect and engineer, the park was designed with several amenities including picnic tables, barbecues, a paved parking lot, restroom facilities, handicap accessibility, and an accessible kayak launch on the Dead River.
The park, which opened in August of 2016, has become a popular place for all to enjoy.
“The outpour of people to say thank you has been phenomenal,” explains Ms. Butler.
“One of the reasons we committed to the city to have an endowment is we want the park to go on forever,” she adds.
Through the endowment set up through the Community Foundation of Marquette County, the park leaves a legacy that can be enjoyed for future generations. Upkeep and maintenance of the park is ensured through the Clark Lambros’ Beach Park Fund, an open fund that accepts all donations. Commenting on the fund, Ms. Butler hopes others learn the value of the Community Foundation, and the differences it makes.
“Especially when in business, when you have the opportunity to make a difference large or small, we owe it to the community to do whatever we can to make it a better place.”