Kids get new backpacks in K.I. Sawyer

About 50 kids got free new backpacks Wednesday evening at the St. Francis Connection Center in K.I. Sawyer. The kids, who were all grade schoolers and middle schoolers, were able to select the backpack of their choice once their number was drawn by one of the center’s leaders, Father Al Mott.

“Today was about getting kids excited about going back to school and helping parents to do that,” Father Mott said.

It certainly worked on Scott McConnell. The Gwinn Middle School 7th grader was proudly showing off his backpack, which was camouflage.

“It does actually bring out the school spirit in me,” he said. “Go Gwinn!”

McConnell says getting enthused about returning to school can be a challenge for both students and teachers.

“Sometimes school can actually be hard on the student and the teacher,” he said. “Therefore, it makes it harder for both to actually get happy to go back to school.”

The backpacks were made possible by donations from parishioners and the American Legion, as well as a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Marquette County. All in all, Father Mott feels the mission of the event was accomplished.

“Well, it was great, we had lots of volunteers, and we had good food, and root beer floats, which everybody seemed to love,” Mott said, laughing. “So it was a great success.”

Let’s Build Together this Summer!

Birds in Palmer had some new spots to nest Monday evening, July 17th. About 50 kids spent the day making birdhouses at the Richmond Township Library.

With some help from parents, kids attached wooden parts, sanded rough corners and decorated their finished birdhouses. The birdhouses didn’t come with any specific kind of mounting, so the kids could choose where to put them.

“Some of them want to put them in their bedroom as decoration,” Library Director Jan St. Germain said. “Some of them are going to take them out. You can put them on a pod, like a tripod, if you want. They can hang them in a tree, whatever they want. They can put their personal touch on how they hang them.”

The library funded the event with a $1,000 grant from the Negaunee Area Community Fund, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Marquette County. The grant also covers the library’s entire summer reading program.

Spring Grant Distribution – June 5, 2017

On Monday, June 5th, 2017 at 6 pm the Community Foundation of Marquette County will announce the recipients of the 2017 competitive grant cycle at the Kaufman Auditorium. Community funds generated through a multitude of local donor gifts invested over the last 28 years produced funds for Big Bay, Gwinn, Ishpeming, Negaunee and Marquette and will be distributed for a number of varied projects.

North Star Academy students receive winter recreation lesson from Noquemanon Trail Network

The Noquemanon Trail Network partnered up with North Star Academy for a day of winter recreation for their students. This was a reward for North Star students for good behavior in class. Lessons were given in snow shoeing and cross country skiing with a bonfire available to warm up.

“It’s nice to get these students out here who don’t normally — who won’t normally participate in these winter outdoor recreation activities,” said JJ Ferrington, Trailhead Host Coordinator. “It gives them the skill to get out here and enjoy the trails and the nature that our winter — that our area provides.” The day was made possible through a grant from the Community Foundation of Marquette County.

Community rises to UPAWS challenge, surpasses year-end goal

Community rises to UPAWS challenge, surpasses year-end goal

At its sold-out annual fundraising gala, the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter announced the public kick-off for the Imagine the PAWSibilites: Campaign for an Animal Community Center. The kick-off included a $100,000 challenge match from the Troudt Fund at the Community Foundation of Marquette County. From October 22 through December 31 every dollar given to the capital campaign would be matched.

UPAWS reached $100,000 in gifts on December 29th; at that time Mark and Christine Troudt pledged another $10,000 to match any gift received or postmarked before the end of the year. At the completion of the challenge, UPAWS is excited to announce that approximately $120,000 was given in honor of the Troudt Challenge and will now receive the full $110,000 challenge gift. These gifts came from over 250 individual donors, businesses, and foundations. The board, staff, and volunteers of UPAWS are honored to have such amazing support from the community.