“What are the major problems and challenges the community faces, what would you like to accomplish in your community, and if money was no object, what would your dream be,” asked Gail Anthony, CEO of the Community Foundation of Marquette County. The Community Foundation secured a grant through the Council of Michigan Foundations to help facilitate development in the county. The grant helps find funding from across the state that will then go to projects in the community. “So while there are no dollars that are being expended right now, the plan is in the future to really see where the community foundation should be placing their dollars,” said CEDAM executive director Jamie Schriner. Community members at the focus groups consisted of city officials, service providers, business owners, and youth and educational professionals. The most common issues brought up by the groups were blight issues, education, a need for community pride, and above all else, housing.
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 $ 76,192.65 was distributed. Following the wishes of the donor, the fund supported eighteen organizations this year, including: Bethany Lutheran Church, Michigan Education Association, National Education Association Foundation, National Planned Parenthood, Ishpeming High School, Ishpeming Skiers Training Facilities, Inc., Bark River Harris School District, The American Civil Liberties Union, WNMU FM 90 Radio, National Public Radio, American Cancer Society, National Alzheimer’s Association, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp, Salvation Army & Salvation Army – Ishpeming, and American Red Cross.
Amanda Rasner, Camp Director at Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp, had the following to say: “Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp is honored to receive money through the disbursement from the Paul F. Blewett Fund through the Community Foundation of Marquette County. These funds have been earmarked for a Young Adult Retreat emphasizing self-care that will take place in February of 2022 at Fortune Lake…. The main hurdle for hosting this event had been funding, as young adults may not have the financial resources to attend a full weekend retreat. With the reception of the Blewett funds, this hurdle has been removed, and we can continue to prepare for what we hope will be a first annual retreat. The money will provide sponsorships for up to 23 young adult participants from throughout the U. P. and Northern WI.”
Born in Ishpeming in 1940, Paul Blewett 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 2009, leaving behind his legacy of giving back to the community and organizations he loved and respected.
Community Foundation of Marquette County provides funding to support the maintenance of the Big Bay Pathway Ski Trail
Three component funds of the Community Foundation came together on June 5, 2018 to support the Powell Township Recreation Network. Health and Wellness Fund, Community Advised Big Bay Fund and the Robert Cowell and Kathleen Olivier Donor Advised Fund provided $500.00 grant each for a total of $1,500.00. The grant proposal was submitted to the Marquette Spring Program 2018.
Powell Township is reinvigorating its activities in relation to trail development after 8 years of development of two parks in the township– Thomas’ Rock Scenic Overlook and Burns Landing. The investment in used equipment is necessary to move forward to maintain existing trails and to create an access trail for the youth from Powell Township School.
Pictured: Bob Cowell (Community Advised Big Bay Fund and Robert Cowell and Kathleen Olivier Donor Advised Fund) presents the grant to Lucy Wilcox (Parks and Rec Committee) and Sven Gonstead
Healthy living will continue in Marquette County schools, preschools and day cares this year all thanks to a 100,000 grant from The Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA), and The Superior Health Foundation and the Community Foundation will be using the money to ensure the continuation of the PE-Nut Expansion Project (P.E.P).
The program is targeted at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity of students in nine local elementary school and Early Childhood Programs in Marquette and Alger Counties.
As part of an in classroom component of the program a health educator visits the schools several times a year to ensure simple consistent messaging to motivate students. Students also get the chance to build their own healthy meals in those classroom settings.
The foundation’s CEO, Gail Anthony, is confident the lessons will provide a unique spin on health education.
“They introduce them in a fun way, hands-on activities, it is increasing the use of healthy foods in the home,” said Anthony. “It’s a fun activity and it’s a good outcome for the families.”
A new feature of P.E.P. is the addition of a new target audience of four-year-olds and their parents, along with an increased role for area grocers and produce departments. They are calling it the “Healthy Heroes” component of the grant. Pre-schools will start distributing punch cards that entitles each child to one free fresh fruit or vegetable per month for six months at participating grocers.
Families of the pre-schoolers will have access to a P.E.P. web page that links the fruit or vegetable of the month with recipes, resources and fitness/activity ideas. Cards will be punched for all 6 months and turned in for one of five “Healthy Heroes” grocery store gift certificates in the amount of $100.00.
Five major grocers have committed to partnering with MARESA. Participating grocers include Tadych’s Econofoods, Marquette, Super One, Negaunee, Jubilee Foods, Ishpeming, Larry’s Foods, Gwinn and Family Fare Supermarket, in Munising.