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 info@sixftover.org and include “community fund” in the subject line.”

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.” 🤸‍ 😃 👨🏽‍🦽
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.

2021 Annual Celebration Honors Community Who Make a Difference

2021 Annual Celebration Honors Community Who Make a Difference

The 2021 Annual Celebration took place at NMU on Wednesday, September 22. The evening included Catalyst Awards presentations, prize drawings from Donckers and the Delft, the first Range Bank Clean Energy Grant award, and a special announcement for the Jumpstart a Heart project.

“The Annual Celebration is a way for the Community Foundation staff and Board of Trustees to say thank you,” says CEO Zosia Eppensteiner. “We thank the donors, businesses and funders who invest in our community, and the people and organizations who work tirelessly to make Marquette County a place that helps all citizens thrive.”

Each year, the Board of Trustees nominate individuals, organizations, and businesses to receive Catalyst Awards. These awards recognize the efforts of those that help build community through volunteerism or philanthropy and inspire others to do the same. Four awards were presented at this year’s Annual Celebration.

The Range Bank Clean Energy grant, which was established this year to assist non-profits with investing in energy saving projects and education, was presented to Lake Superior Lifecare & Hospice. The grant will help the organization complete an energy saving insulation project. Range Bank President and CEO Roxanne Daust presented the grant to Lake Superior Lifecare & Hospice CEO Jennifer Voegtline.

Earlier this year, the Community Foundation partnered with the Marquette County Law Enforcement Administrator’s Association (MCLEAA) with the goal to raise over $81,000 to replace outdated lifesaving equipment carried by law enforcement. The effort, called Jumpstart a Heart, will allow MCLEAA to purchase 38 Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) for law enforcement across the county.

Thanks to the many generous donors that included several individuals and businesses, the fundraising goal was met. Grants from West End Health Foundation, Frazier Fund, Ray and Peg Hirvonen Foundation, Superior Health Foundation, Negaunee Area Community Fund, and Marquette Area Community Fund made a major impact helping the project reach its goal. Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt and Corporal Jennifer Best represented MCLEAA at the Annual Celebration to accept the grant.