2023 Catalyst Award Recipients Announced

2023 Catalyst Award Recipients Announced

The Community Foundation of Marquette County held their annual celebration on September 6th, 2023.  This year CFMC celebrated their 35th year of impact as a foundation providing vital support to programs, projects, and initiatives across the entire county.  Each year as a part of the celebration, the foundation recognizes individuals, businesses, and service organizations who go above and beyond to make a difference in their community and inspire others to do the same.

These catalyst awards are given in different categories based on nominations that have been made to the Community Foundation of Marquette County’s Board of Trustees.  Catalyst award recipients have demonstrated a commitment to the Marquette County community through their gifts of time, talent, and treasure to help make life better for the people of Marquette County. They have had a positive impact over a period of time, demonstrate humility in their efforts to improve the Marquette community and serve to inspire others by their example.

The Community Foundation of Marquette County’s five 2023 Catalyst Honorees are: 

After teaching for 5 years in Flint, Don and his wife Barb moved to the Upper Peninsula. Don served his last 11 of 30 additional years in education administration as the Negaunee Superintendent of Schools. When asked, “What do you love most about your community and living in Marquette County,” Don had this to say: “Small towns offer such a great environment for raising kids: Safe, amicable, caring and abounding with opportunities through organizations and schools that are the ideal size.” His own amicable and caring nature is evident in his many years of service to various organizations in our community, including our very own Community Foundation of Marquette County and Negaunee Area Community Fund. Don was instrumental in growing the Community Foundation affiliate funds and served on the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation and is currently an Honorary Board Trustee.  Don has been an active and dedicated visionary community leader, volunteering with Negaunee Lions Club and was recently inducted to the Negaunee Public Schools Hall of Fame for his contributions to the legacy of Negaunee Public Schools.

INDIVIDUA YOUTH AWARD – Allyana Grochowski 
Allie has served on the Ishpeming Youth Advisory Committee for 5 years where she served her community in many ways. With Allie’s assistance, the YAC created personal hygiene Kits for local students, volunteered at local Community Dinners, made blankets and hats for the St. Vincent de Paul Cheer Club, picked up litter at parks and along roadsides, and so much more. Allie is a 2023 Westwood High School graduate, and she was in Key Club, Student Council, Band, Business Professionals of America, and the High School Bowl. She continues to give her time to the community by being a Fire Fighter for Michigamme-Spurr Fire Department, and she is in the process of earning her EMT license as well. Allie is attending Michigan Tech.

This year the Community Foundation was honored to present a posthumous award to Susan Maynard in memory of her husband Jerry Maynard. Jerry was an environmental attorney from Chicago, retiring to Marquette in 2009.  But retire, he did not.  With his spirit of volunteerism handed down to him from his family and two years in the Peace Corps, Jerry could not simply live for himself.  Many know him as co-founder of the Raptor Center but he was also a mediator for Marquette Alger Resolution Services and a volunteer for North Country Trail and Trout Unlimited.
Jerry was also a board member of the Superior Watershed Partnership. When Rio Tinto came to the Superior Watershed Partnership with the idea of funding an independent monitoring program at Eagle Mine, Jerry was there every step of the way offering his environmental legal expertise crafting the fund agreements.
Because of his work, the success and longevity of this globally unprecedented environmental monitoring program, involving Lundin Mining, the Community Foundation of Marquette County, the Superior Watershed Partnership, and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, continues 13 years later. As a board member of the Superior Watershed Partnership, Jerry demonstrated his commitment to our Marquette community.
Jerry passed away just one year ago but his volunteer spirit and tireless, unselfish efforts will be felt well into the future and serve to inspire all of us.  It was a great honor to present this catalyst award to Susan Maynard.

SERVICE ORGANIZATION – Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Conservancy
In its journey, the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) has evolved to protect not only the environment but also the well-being of our watershed’s residents. This connection between environmental care and human welfare was evident during crises like the Father’s Day flood, the COVID-19 response, and the fight against climate change.
A standout initiative, the Great Lakes Climate Corps, epitomizes SWP’s commitment to both environmental and social causes. Each summer, they employ 40 young individuals, maintaining gender balance. These dedicated workers make a lasting impact on our region.
SWP operates entirely on grants, showcasing their ability to secure resources for community-benefiting projects. Their management of the Michigan Energy Assistance Fund (MEAP), aiding with energy costs and home weatherization, underscores their unwavering assistance to those in need.
Furthermore, SWP serves as a land conservancy, protecting 1,250 acres in the Upper Peninsula near vital water resources.
Under SWP’s leadership, we’ve seen a substantial reduction in Lake Superior mercury levels, removal of hazardous waste, and preservation of fish populations. They’ve also planted thousands of trees, enhancing our environment.
SWP’s collaborative spirit is evident in their partnership with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and educational initiatives within our watershed.
Their mission is clear: protect the Great Lakes, assist our communities, and help our people. As they celebrate 23 years of service, we extend our gratitude to SWP’s founder and Executive Director, Carl Lindquist, for his unwavering leadership.

Eagle Mine is a shining example of corporate responsibility and community engagement. They measure success not in ore tons, but in safety, environmental protection, and community betterment. Over two decades, they’ve enriched our region by $4.3 billion, yet their impact transcends figures.
Eagle Mine invests in local youth via the Technical Middle College program, offering hope to at-risk and economically disadvantaged students while meeting employment needs with a $190,000 annual contribution. Initiatives like the Eagle Emerging Entrepreneur Fund and Accelerate U.P. have spurred 300 jobs and $14 million in capital investment.
During COVID-19, Eagle supported small businesses with $100,000 through the Love on Local program. They’ve united stakeholders to form the Trail Sustainability Coalition, vital for community well-being and growth.
Their dedication to the environment is remarkable. The Community Environmental Monitoring Program, in partnership with the Community Foundation, Superior Watershed Partnership and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, has invested $3.6 million in monitoring environmental impacts, showcasing transparency and stewardship.
Eagle Mine’s story is one of conscientious corporate citizenship, leaving a legacy of progress, partnership, and environmental responsibility.

Youth Advisory Committees Organize Volunteer Projects, Support Local Nonprofits with Grants

Youth Advisory Committees Organize Volunteer Projects, Support Local Nonprofits with Grants

The Youth Advisory Committees (YAC) of the Community Foundation of Marquette County are proud to announce the distribution of 18 grants to nonprofits to support youth programming. There are three YAC groups in the county, including the Ishpeming, Marquette, and Negaunee areas, with members from local middle and high schools.

Despite the restrictions and hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the groups have volunteered on several community projects and continue supporting local nonprofits with grants. As part of the $17,500 in grants awarded by YAC in 2020, a total of $4,000 directly involved funding for COVID-19 relief for nonprofits to purchase personal protective gear.

The groups also remain involved in community projects, volunteering time and efforts in several areas. Last fall, the Marquette YAC adopted a portion of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail that they help maintain throughout the year. The Greater Ishpeming YAC collected items to assemble hygiene packs that were distributed to 150 students from Ishpeming and NICE Community Schools. Program Associate and Marquette Area YAC Advisor Emma Schultz says the student members in YAC gain valuable experience as part of their involvement:

“The opportunity to learn leadership skills and network with nonprofits and community leaders is not only a great resume builder for young people, but it also shows them the importance of giving back to their communities. YAC is a unique program allowing students, sometimes from different schools, to come together and learn team building while being a part of something positive for the places where they live.”

Over 30 years ago, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation sponsored the Youth Challenge for Community Foundations program, encouraging the establishment and growth of youth endowment funds. Since then, funds have been used exclusively for grants allocated by youth advisory committees for youth programming through local nonprofits. Since being established, YAC has had over 100 students involved in various projects and grantmaking in Marquette County.

All of the YAC groups are currently looking for more student members to get involved. Students in grades 6-12 in Marquette County are eligible to apply. For more information or an application, please contact Emma Schultz at program@cfofmc.org or 906-226-7666.

YAC Packs

Members of the Ishpeming Youth Advisory Committee help pack 150 hygiene packs for the local Ishpeming & NICE Community Schools.



Packing Catpacks: an organization that supplies food to children who are facing food insecurities over weekends and holidays during the school year.

Just Believe

Just Believe

Delight Hill, with Just Believe, stopped by to discuss her work with sun safety programs in the community and to make ultraviolet detecting bead bracelets.

YAC Hats!

Amanda Matznick, Owen Morton, Levi Giroux, Spencer Giroux and Myah McNabe help make and

deliver winter hats to the local Salvation Army.