The Zacchaeus Fund Distributes $180,000 to Local Nonprofits Working to Fight Homelessness and Assist People in Recovery 

The Zacchaeus Fund Distributes $180,000 to Local Nonprofits Working to Fight Homelessness and Assist People in Recovery 

Every person deserves a safe place to fall asleep at night.  With frigid weather blanketing the area, this reality is pushed to the forefront, and we are thankful for local nonprofit organizations working to address homelessness and provide recovery support and safety for vulnerable individuals seeking emergency and transitional housing.  The Community Foundation of Marquette County (CFMC), on behalf of the Zacchaeus Fund, is pleased to announce the distribution of $180,000 in grants to nonprofits across Marquette County to support the important work of fighting homelessness and assisting people in recovery.  The Zacchaeus Fund recipients include Great Lakes Recovery Centers for $50,000, The Women’s Center of Marquette for $40,000, Janzen House $30,000, the Room at the Inn $30,000 and Superior Connections RCO $30,000.

“This generosity is of great significance.” shares Zosia Eppensteiner, CFMC CEO, “The Community Foundation of Marquette County feels humbled and grateful to partner with anonymous donors who have established The Zacchaeus Fund to support local nonprofits who work to address the issues of homelessness and recovery.”

Jennine Frazier, Executive Director at the Women’s Center stated, “From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to the Community Foundation who helped establish a fund where caring community members can make a real and impactful difference in the lives of survivors of domestic and sexual violence.  The donors who are part of this fund understand the critical needs in our community.”

The Zacchaeus Fund was established to address the cycle of addiction and homelessness and support vulnerable populations toward recovery and stable housing.  In partnership with the Community Foundation of Marquette County, The Zacchaeus Fund has provided invaluable support for these nonprofits and their missions both with this immediate grant funding and the goal of growing this fund to support these issues in the long-term.


left to right Brent Clark, Director, Janzen House; Zosia Eppensteiner, CEO, Community Foundation of Marquette County; Susan Payant, President, Janzen House; and Robert Kulisheck, Vice President, Janzen House. 

Honoring Sharon: A Special Conversation

Honoring Sharon: A Special Conversation

In 2021, the Jumpstart a Heart campaign was organized by the Marquette County Law Enforcement Administrators and Association (MCLEAA) and the Community Foundation of Marquette County to replace the automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) for law enforcement units across the county. The successful effort, which raised more than $107,000 to purchase 43 new AEDs and two trainer units, was supported by many individuals, businesses and funders. The campaign not only addressed the immediate need for equipment replacement, but also established an endowed fund to support the need in the future.

Patti Tourville, Chief Ryan Grim and Officer Jeff Czarny with an AED purchased
through the Jumpstart a Heart Campaign, which Patti and her family helped support.

Some donors, including Patti Tourville, were inspired to give to Jumpstart a Heart because someone they loved experienced a heart attack and they wanted to help save people’s lives in the future. Earlier this year, Tourville approached the Community Foundation with a very special request. She asked to meet with some local officers who would be using the AEDs funded through the campaign, including the one funded by her in memory of her sister-in-law Sharon Rose Parish.

On April 13, Tourville met with City of Marquette Police Chief Ryan Grim and Officer Jeff Czarny for coffee at their office. Tourville shared that in 2006, Sharon was working out at a gym with her husband when she suffered a heart attack and later died.

After sharing her sister-in-law’s story with them, Tourville reflected, “Sharon was a teacher. She made an impact on a lot of people. She would have wanted this to be a teachable moment.”

Both men shared how essential AEDs are in their work, noting that every time a squad car goes out, there’s an AED in it. Chief Grim said, “The donation of these AEDs is so helpful to us.”

Officer Czarny told Tourville, “I can tell you personally that the AED you donated is on the road every day. If something were to come up, it is needed and it is there. These machines are invaluable.”

Chief Grim shared that Marquette County officers are trained once every year in the use of AEDs. He commented, “If you have people who can understand how to use the equipment, you can save lives. When we show up on a scene, people expect us to know what to do. It’s our job to know what to do. These AEDs make our lives a lot easier. They give guidance to us as we hook them up and walk us through [the process].”

Every AED funded in the campaign has a small plaque with the donors’ names, including the Tourville Family’s. Chief Grim commented, “We live in a small town, and we recognize the names [on the plaques] sometimes. I like the plaques. They’re a good reminder to the officers how important the AEDs are and that they mean something to somebody.”

“We strongly believe in supporting our community,” Tourville responded. “Thank you for letting me come and talk. Today would mean a lot to Sharon.”

Expressing the Department’s gratitude, Chief Grim told her, “A lot of people don’t reach out to us like this. This is the first time I’ve had a conversation with someone who’s a donor.” This conversation clearly meant something to everyone in the room.

Six Feet Over Recognizes Suicide Survivors Fund as Model

Six Feet Over Recognizes Suicide Survivors Fund as Model

Katie Hardy, executive director, Six Feet Over; Zosia Eppensteiner, CEO, CFMC;
and Dave Aro, who established the Marquette County Suicide Survivors Support Fund.

Six Feet Over, a nonprofit based in Detroit that provides suicide support and prevention services, recently acknowledged the Community Foundation of Marquette County for its role in establishing the Suicide Survivors Fund in a 2022 newsletter (article shared below):

“Six Feet Over wants to give special recognition to the folks in Marquette County who have set up an incredible fund to support suicide loss survivors in their county, now called the Suicide Survivors Fund.

Dave Aro, the founder of the project, saw a need in his community after the loss of a friend and neighbor. Dave worked with Zosia Eppensteiner, the CEO of the Community Foundation of Marquette County, to create this fund, which provides financial assistance for families in Marquette County to cover after-death costs, including emergency clean-up costs.

Six Feet Over has had the honor of collaborating with these fine folks through our Lemon Aid program to provide additional assistance and supports for those impacted by suicide in Marquette County. Many thanks to the efforts of Dave, Zosia and the entire advisory board, as well as donors to the fund, for helping to support suicide loss survivors!

If you’re interested in discussing how you might be able to bring a similar program to your community, please reach out to and include “community fund” in the subject line.”

We Remember: Charles P. “Snook” Smith and June Schaefer

We Remember: Charles P. “Snook” Smith and June Schaefer

The Community Foundation would like to remember Charles P. “Snook” Smith, a longtime Ishpeming resident who passed away on December 27, 2022 at the age of 94. A husband, dad, grandpa and great grandpa,
Charles leaves behind “a legacy of songs, stories, memories and love.”
He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and as a postal carrier in the U.S. Postal Service.

Charles graduated from Ishpeming High School in 1945 and was a lifelong Hematite fan. A talented athlete, Charles played basketball for the Republic Shooting Stars. He exercised every day and enjoyed hunting, skiing, and riding his bike into his 90s. In 2006, Charles and his wife Lois established the Charles and Lois Smith IHS Sports Endowment at the Community Foundation to support the sports program at Ishpeming High School.

The Community Foundation also remembers June Marie Schaefer, 77,
who passed away in December 2022, in Escanaba. June grew up on a farm in Arnheim (Baraga County) and lived in the Upper Peninsula most of her life. She was an educator “who excelled in her profession and
made a difference in so many lives.” One of her notable achievements was founding the U.P. Special Olympics in 1970, driven by her belief that all children have a desire for healthy competition.

June’s career focused on serving students with special needs. She
served as the Director of Special Education for the Marquette-Alger ISD from 1974-1995, and oversaw services for students with special needs in
12 local districts. June was also the Superintendent of the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (Maresa)from 1995 through 2007. She later taught graduate level classes as an assistant professor in the School of Education at Northern Michigan University. June received many honors, including being inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame in 1997, and being recognized as the Michigan Association of School Administrator’s Superintendent of the Year in 2007.

The Community Foundation administers the Fred & June Schaefer Legacy Fund for Persons with Special Needs, established in 2001.

New Fund News: The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum Endowment Fund

New Fund News: The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum Endowment Fund

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum in Ishpeming, Michigan

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum (HOF) is the only nonprofit that honors and celebrates the athletes, pioneers and visionaries from the United States who have significantly enriched the international sports of skiing and snowboarding, and showcases their stories and historic memorabilia in a national museum located in the birthplace of organized skiing: Ishpeming, Michigan. HOF has recently partnered with the Community Foundation of Marquette County to establish the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum Endowment Fund. HOF approached the Community Foundation earlier this year about launching an agency endowment designed to provide long-term financial stability for the organization, helping the museum sustain its archives, charter and goals for future generations to enjoy. HOF board members, Chair Brian Fairbank and Dave Holli, were the first two donors to make a financial commitment to the fund. “The endowment will be generating an annual revenue stream for the Hall, and also provide a little more security by having an investment there in the event larger projects need to be done, [including building maintenance],” said HOF’s Executive Director Justin Koski.Zosia Eppensteiner, CFMC’s CEO said, “The Community Foundation is pleased to be the home for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame’s new endowment fund. We are honored to be a resource for many local nonprofits who are working to ensure that their organizations and programs will be there for the community in the future.”