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Community Foundation News

December 20, 2016
"Don't Delay Year-End Giving"
As the year draws to a close, you are probably looking for ways to reduce your taxes on this year’s return. The good news is you still have time to make a charitable gift that will lower your taxable income, preserving more cash for you and your family.
Regardless of the intended nonprofit(s) for your year-end giving, your Community Foundation reminds you to please keep in mind that you should not wait until the last minute! According to the IRS, you make a contribution at the time of its unconditional delivery. Here are some tips regarding the timing of your charitable giving:

  • CHECKS - A check you mail to a charity is considered delivered on the date you mail it. This can be a little tricky if you want to argue when you exactly dropped it in the mailbox and the only real proof anyone is going to have is the official postmark on the envelope. So get to the post office before they close! If you hand-deliver a check you should plan on doing so by Friday, December 30th but contact the organization to make sure someone is there to receive it. NOTE: Just because you put December 31, 2016 as the date on the check does not mean it counts! If you mail it or hand-deliver it in early January it should be counted as a gift in 2017. Please don't expect your favorite nonprofit to ignore IRS rules!
  • STOCK - A gift of stock or mutual fund can take several days to process so don't delay. A properly endorsed stock certificate is considered delivered on the date of mailing or other delivery to the charity or to the charity's agent. However, if you give a stock certificate to your agent or to the issuing corporation for transfer to the name of the charity, your contribution isn't delivered until the date the stock is transferred on the books of the corporation. Transfers of mutual funds will also be counted on the date the mutual fund is transferred on the books of the corporation. Some gifts of mutual funds can be tricky and take longer so don't delay! 
  • CREDIT CARDS - Contributions charged on your bank credit card are deductible in the year you make the charge.

From your friends at the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, we wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!
This information is not intended as legal, tax or financial advice. Please consult your tax advisor, financial advisor or legal counsel for professional assistance.

December 6, 2016
Giving a Helping Hand
As winter weather arrives, we are grateful for nonprofit partners that help protect vulnerable Emmet County residents from freezing temperatures and other seasonal hazards.  One such partner is The Nehemiah Project, which has provided emergency shelter for homeless individuals since 1988. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation last autumn, The Nehemiah Project completed construction of Hope Hall. This multipurpose building serves as a warming area during winter months, and also offers homeless guests access to computers, life skills classes and more. Before Hope Hall, homeless individuals struggled to find a welcoming and comfortable space during inclement weather – often seeking refuge in libraries and downtown businesses.
Nehemiah Project staff were overwhelmed by the support for Hope Hall, including their Community Foundation grant. They wrote in their final report to us, “[T]his grant encourages us, it tells us that as an organization we do not walk alone as we serve the homeless, it says together as a community we can make a difference, we care, and we want to help.”

September 13, 2016
Community Foundation Funding is Out of this World
We recently made a small but important grant to Raven Hill Discovery Center to help them bring a fantastic NASA program to our area. In August, Raven Hill served as the only site in Michigan to host the NASA in the Neighborhood, Technical Explorations and Challenges (TEC) Day. Raven Hill’s TEC Day drew nearly 350 people and provided area families with opportunities to explore engineering careers and collaborate to solve real-world science and technology challenges, encouraging student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and strengthening the nation's future workforce. The event gave people of all ages the opportunity to learn and take part in hands-on scientific activities, including homemade glider airplanes to explore lift and drag, and an egg drop experiment whereby young people packaged raw eggs dropped from an airplane 1,000 feet in the air. The experiment simulated dropping delicate instruments on another planet.

July 12, 2016
Local Food Takes Root For All Ages
In May, the Community Foundation made a $800 grant from our Good Food Initiative dollars to support Ottawa Elementary School in Petoskey. They approached us looking for funding to build an "Outdoor Living Laboratory Garden". This sustainable school garden will become part of their curriculum for all students. It will teach students where food comes from, support outdoor hands-on learning, promote awareness of nature, help students choose nutritious food and to try new foods. We thought it deserved to be on our menu of great local food initiatives.

June 7, 2016
Sailing Into Summer
During our spring grant cycle the Fund for Youth and a donor advised fund provided $2,900 to Little Traverse Sailors to help purchase three used instruction sail boats for their program. Little Traverse Sailors has been providing sailing instruction to youth in the Harbor Springs area for over forty years. For the last two years they have been working on a complete makeover of their programs, facility and equipment. The three 420 sailboats will help improve the level of instruction given to the youth this summer.

May 17, 2016
When it Comes to Child Development it is Never Too Early

The nice thank you sign sums it up. "I'm getting a Great Start! Thanks to a preschool scholarship funded by the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation."

Since 2012, the Fund for the Community, Fund for Youth and several of our Donor Advised Funds have provided $34,680 towards the Great Start Collaborative's preschool scholarship program. The grant this spring was the largest yet for $12,180. The purpose of the project is to engage economically disadvantaged three to five year-olds who are at risk of not achieving school success. Thanks to the many services provided by the Great Start Collaborative, families also receive resources and referral assistance. And the childcare centers benefit from valuable best practices support from Great Start. It really is a win-win-win!!

May 10, 2016
Food Remains an Urgent Need for Many Families
Our Youth Advisory Committee made another grant this spring to the Manna Food Project for their popular "Food 4 Kids Backpack" program.  This program began in 2011 to address hunger in preschool and elementary school children.  The Backpack Program provides shelf-stable, nutritious food for the weekend to children who otherwise may not have enough to eat.  Students are eligible for the Backpack Program if the school determines that they qualify for the free or reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program.  Manna delivers over 1,975 backpacks to participating schools and staff or volunteers distribute the food prior to each weekend. Manna works to balance nutritional needs of children with the cost of food in each bag in order to sustainably provide this resource to children and families who need it.

May 3, 2016
A Fond Farewell to Our Senior Youth Philanthropists
On Sunday we held our annual year-end party for the Youth Advisory Committee members, their families and other friends. The First Tee of Northern Michigan was kind enough to host the event at Boyne Highlands. We had a blast chipping into the mouth of the giant hippo! We bid a fond farewell to Max Meyerson, Claire Fleming, Zoey Bezilla and Mikayla Cerrudo. Also graduating but not able to attend, are Sarah Williams and Dennis Sanche. A heartfelt thank you to these young leaders for their years of service!

April 19, 2016
Keeping the Music Playing in Downtown Harbor Springs
When the Street Musique organizers in Harbor Springs applied for a grant last spring to expand the program so they could include young and emerging musicians, two of our donor advised funds jumped right in and provided grant funding to the 'tune' of $3,500 to make it happen. The Community Foundation played a role almost ten years ago to help the Street Musique program get started and it has been a growing success ever since. Each summer from late June to Labor Day visitors to downtown Harbor Springs on Thursday evenings enjoy the entertainment of live, outdoor music in selected locations along the streets and waterfront. This grant expanded the program from four locations to five and allowed the addition of young, emerging artists. 

April 12, 2016
Wings of Wonder Event Soared Above Expectations
A $4,000 grant from the Fund for the Community helped the Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch group advance public education on the important role hawks, owls and eagles play in our ecology and our history and culture. Part of the event activities last week included a free live raptor program at Camp Daggett. The goal was to have 80 people attend the Camp Daggett demonstration. They had over 200 show up! That's a real feather in the cap of the Raptor Watch group. 

April 5, 2016
Water Water Everywhere Nor Any Drop to Drink
A $3,000 grant from our Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) to Pellston Public Schools has fixed an important problem. Recently a committee of Pellston students surveyed 244 of their peers and found that only 35% were drinking the water at school due to taste. This grant helped install five new drinking fountains with filtration systems and two of them included water bottle filling stations like the one in the photo. The results of a follow up survey were astonishing. The student committee promoted the improved water through announcements and posters. Several months later, 81% of the students surveyed were drinking the water at school and 90% feel the taste has significantly improved. (Note, the Health Department did determine that the water was safe to drink but the presence of minerals like iron likely contributed to the unpleasant taste of the water.)

March 15, 2016
Supporting the Next Generation
If the next generation does not have knowledge of, and appreciation for, our natural resources, who will? Your Community Foundation was proud to support a pilot project created by the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council called the Watershed Academy. Five school districts participated, involving ninety 9th and 10th grade biology students. The purpose of the Academy is to provide students with the tools and knowledge to translate small-scale stewardship projects such as stream monitoring, into a long-term regional stewardship ethic and to cultivate the next generation of water resource stewards.
 Each school successfully monitored their respective stream and presented the results to the community at the Summit, hosted at NCMC.  Also, the Harbor Springs group presented their final product at the Watershed Council's annual membership meeting, which was a great learning experience for them.  

March 8, 2016
A Different Kind of Time Out for Parents
Let's face it, parenting is hard work. And many times being a foster parent is even harder. That is why your Community Foundation has supported Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan's "Foster Family Respite and Retention" programs. Last year it was the Fund for Youth and a donor advised fund that provided $7,552 for activities - including a trip to Mackinac Island - that offer foster families a chance to enjoy time together, meet other foster families, and feel appreciated. An average of 95 children/family members participated in each event. Other events included a farm dance, and a holiday celebration. Providing these respite and retention activities helps the foster families feel connected to Child and Family Services, builds connections with other families and ultimately allows the foster parents to provide care that is most beneficial to the children. That's a good use of a time out!

March 1, 2016

Driving Community Benefit to New Heights
The Meals on Wheels program in Emmet County is run by the Friendship Centers of Emmet County. A recent $6,000 grant from the Community Foundation helped purchase a new vehicle for their fleet. Meals on Wheels promotes the health, dignity, and independence of elderly adults in our area by providing home-bound seniors a hot, nutritious meal and well-being check five days a week, as well as frozen meals for weekends and holidays. It is an important service with double digit growth. They now serve over 300 seniors and 43,170 meals a year. Other wonderful funding partners for this program included Oleson Foundation, Great Lakes Energy Peoples Fund, Women's Club and Char-Em United Way.

February 23, 2016
Welding Philanthropy and Career Development Together

What does a line burner, a plasma cutter, and an arc gouger have in common? A $5,750 grant from the Community Foundation's Fund for Youth and a donor advised fund! Students at Pellston Public Schools are benefiting from the purchase of these tools to enhance their learning in the Career and Technical Education Welding and Brazing Program. Currently 17 students are enrolled. According to the final report from the grant, "this program exposed students to hands on welding and brazing, visits to a variety of local industries, and job skill expectations such as promptness, peer collaboration, and personal pride in job quality."

February 9, 2016
Grant Support  Helps Preschoolers and Their Families

The Great Start Collaborative of Charlevoix, Emmet and northern Antrim counties is made up of community leaders and organizations who know that 'Early Childhood Investment' pays dividends for years to come. A $7,500 grant from the Community Foundation's Fund for the Community and three Donor Advised Funds provided 11 valuable scholarships and helped reduce the number of children on the waitlist.

February 2, 2016
Dorothy Scott Fund for Senior Citizens Supports FCEC Needs
Dorothy Scott passed away in 2001, but she recently purchased a much-needed new tractor for the Friendship Centers of Emmet County (FCEC). Demonstrating the value of good estate planning, the Dorothy Scott Fund for Senior Citizens supports worthwhile projects and programs for seniors, especially through the FCEC. Last year the Center had an urgent need to replace a very important tractor used to maintain the outside of the facility all year long. The Scott Fund came to the rescue with a $6,346 grant to purchase a tractor and snow removal attachments as well. Dorothy Scott's estate plans established a charitable remainder trust for her two sisters. Following the death of the last sister in 2010, a percentage of the remainder came to the Community Foundation to establish the endowment fund, Dorothy Scott Fund for Senior Citizens.

January 26, 2016
Spotlight on Emmet - Shedding Light on  Community Life
It's alive!! This fantastic, web-based resource is now available for you, for our nonprofit partners, for anyone who has ever asked us "what are the needs in the community", and it is available for everyone who has an interest in this wonderful community. The Spotlight on Emmet website offers quality of life indicators on all sectors of the community. Along with the data, you will find links to the source so you can dig deeper if you wish. We are very proud to be the resource for philanthropy and this website is a great example. We also know it is just a start. We hope you will offer input and this resource will continue to grow and evolve over time. Visit the site now and let us know what you think. Spotlight on Emmet

January 19, 2016
Petoskey Robotics - Building Robots and Future Leaders

The Petoskey Middle School's robotics team is growing and needed a third robot kit so all the students could continue to benefit from this hands-on experience. Each participating team is required to purchase a robot kit, which they will build and program. The team already raised enough to purchase two kits, but with 26 students on the middle school team, they needed to purchase a third. A $2,500 grant from the Baiardi Family Foundation Fund and the Fund for Youth allowed the team to make that needed purchase.

December 29, 2015
A Community Icon is Rebuilt
The "Shayground" may be a piece of Harbor Springs Public Schools and Shay Elementary, but we all know it is a 'community playground'. With a grant of $11,800 from our Fund for Youth and several donor advised funds, the playground will soon receive additional pieces specifically selected to meet the needs of all students, including greater access for individuals with disabilities. When the former structure had to be torn down during the 2014-2015 school year due to arsenic levels in the lumber, the Harbor Springs Public Schools knew they needed to replace it fast and they did. But other elements to the playground beyond the school budget were needed. Through a process of community and student input, the school determined to replace the Shayground with a new structure. The school district was able to spend $350,000 to purchase the main structure. Their grant request to the Community Foundation was for stand alone options not connected to the main structure. When installed, these structures will provide an enhanced experience for everyone.

December 22, 2015
Growing Young Minds in Alanson with Agriscience
Our Youth Advisory Committee made a $5,000 grant last year to Alanson Public Schools to purchase a greenhouse and provide important educational opportunities for the entire K-12 population. The agriscience class is offering opportunities for students to explore careers in the horticultural fields and strives to provide leadership training, and community involvement. The class now works in a greenhouse classroom located on school grounds. The greenhouse incorporates green technology, like a wind turbine and solar panels, along with gutters and rain barrels. We hope we have planted a seed for the future.

December 15, 2015

Cutler's Supports Community Foundation During Petoskey Open House

In celebration of the holiday season and their store's 50th anniversary, Bill and Jutta Cutler and their daughter, Carrie Farley, wanted to give back to the community. They chose to donate a portion of the sales during Petoskey's Downtown Open House to the Community Foundation. With a broad range of charitable interests and the desire to take some time to discuss community needs, these smart business owners turned to the Community Foundation.

Cutler's has been in business since 1965. They started out in Harbor Springs and then moved to Petoskey and expanded to two locations - a gift and kitchen store and a women's clothing store.

“Cutler’s has partnered with the Foundation in the past with a portion of their Holiday Open House proceeds,” shared David Jones, executive director of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation.  “We are so thankful for their continued support and celebrate with them on this milestone anniversary.”

November 17, 2015
Playing Well Together 
We can all learn from each other. Our Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) certainly believes that. This month we hosted a regional YAC training with our friends from Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, Leelanau Township Community Foundation, and Otsego County Community Foundation. They brainstormed about essential elements of grant proposals, compared youth grantmaking across the community foundations, and participated in a strengths-based assessment. There is no limit to what youth grantmakers can accomplish when they learn from each other.

November 10, 2015

Even Preserves Need Preserving
The McCune Nature Preserve, a jewel in the crown of Little Traverse Conservancy's collection of land preserves, needed a makeover.  A $10,000 grant from your Community Foundation and a collaborative effort between LTC and the Home Builders Association of Northern Michigan resulted in better year-round access. The project included additional parking; an additional 1.5 miles of trail; 80 feet of new boardwalk; and a new 85-foot bridge.

November 3, 2015
Building Bridges for a Better Community
Maple River is a better habitat today than it was a year ago thanks, in part, to a $8,000 grant from the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. The grant came from our Fund for the Community and two donor advised funds. The new, beautiful timber bridge replaced two undersized and failing culverts that were creating roadside sediment along the streambank. The natural flow of the Maple River has been restored and the surrounding habitat is back to normal. Now the project is just "water under the bridge" and that's a good thing.

October 27, 2015

The Resource for Philanthropy
Looking for a unique gift? Supporting local nonprofit organizations is the perfect way to 'buy' meaningful 'gifts' for loved ones. The Char-Em Alternative Gifts
raises awareness of needs in our community, provides financial support to address those needs, and offers a meaningful option for those who wish to make a difference with their holiday shopping dollars. Organizations participating this year include, Char-Em United Way, Friendship Centers of Emmet County, Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity, Hospice of Northwest Michigan, Manna Food Project, and Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan. Visit the website to learn more and participate. Char-Em Alternative Gifts.

October 20, 2015

Hope Truly Does Spring Eternal
While we might be hopeful that our economy is gradually improving, the real hope belongs to generous donors, hardworking staff, and dedicated volunteers that spend every day - and at Nehemiah, every night - helping individuals and families get back on their feet. The three houses along Bridge Street in Petoskey that are "the Nehemiah Project" accommodate up to 32 guests, depending on the number and ages of children. Unfortunately, the numbers they serve continue to rise.  Hope Hall is a multipurpose building, which will provide on-site space for the winter warm room, shared meals, bible study, computer kiosks for online job applications, educational and life skill classes, office space, additional storage and emergency shelter beds. With funds from our Fund for the Community and several donor advised funds, the Community Foundation has provided just over $24,000 toward Hope Hall.

October 13, 2015
Community Foundation Plants a Seed
The board of trustees recently approved a $75,000 grant over three years to help support a local food and farming coordinator position in this region. The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (formerly Michigan Land Use Institute) will hire the position but the person will be located somewhere in our area. A local steering committee has been formed to provide input on hiring and guidance on the strategic plan. Since 2010, the Community Foundation has been actively supporting local food and farming activities in partnership with nonprofit organizations, such as the "Farm to Frame" photography contest with Crooked Tree Arts Center; Small Farm Guilds to grow a network among farmers with the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art and Natural Design (ISLAND); Farm-to-Senior program at the Friendship Centers of Emmet County to bring local produce to their cafeteria. The new position should be up and running by the spring of 2016. 

October 6, 2015

Too Cool for School
The "Fab Lab" from North Central Michigan College will be rolling into Pellston this school year thanks to a $8,300 Fund for Youth grant by the Youth Advisory Committee.  The grant to Northern Lakes Economic Alliance will provide financial assistance so up to 12 Pellston High School students can take advantage of the computer assisted manufacturing class. The students will achieve 6 credit hours of manufacturing technology high school/college credit that will make them employable immediately upon high school graduation. In the Fall of 2013, we made a grant of $6,500 from our Fund for the Community to NCMC to purchase the laptop computers in the Fab Lab.  Click here to read the Pellston story by Matt Mikus. 

September 29, 2015
Youth Advisory Committee Kicks Off Another Year
The YAC met recently at Camp Daggett to start their year of youth philanthropy in our community. They are a remarkable group of young people from around Emmet County. They have a couple of adult advisors but the committee truly is led by the youth. Watching them run the orientation for the new members was a real treat.

September 15, 2015

Hornet Health Center Takes the Sting Out of Healthcare
Our $3,000 grant last year - from our Youth Advisory Committee and a Donor Advised Fund - supported infrastructure changes necessary to expand and improve clinic operations at the Health Department of NW Michigan's child and adolescent health center (Hornet Health Center) on the campus of Pellston Public Schools.  In part, the grant helped open a satellite Hornet Health Center office in the Pellston Elementary School.  Thanks to this project more young people are receiving health services on site, which means they are missing less school, and parents are pleased to reduce time off work and missed income.

Since 2009, the community foundation has provided funding for this collaborative initiative between the Health Department of NW Michigan and Pellston Public Schools. The Hornet Health Center has been located on the school campus in the Pellston High/Middle school building with a focus on preventive health and reduction of risk behaviors, removing barriers to students' academic success, and promoting overall wellness now and in the future.

August 11, 2015
2015 Annual Meeting Was a Big Success

Thank you one and all who could attend our annual meeting last Thursday.  We could not have ordered better weather up on the hill at Little Traverse Bay Golf Club.  To demonstrate our annual report theme this year of "Why Add When We Can Multiply", we put together a human equation with some very helpful audience volunteers (photos of the equation next week).  If you have not received our annual report, please contact us today!

July 21, 2015
Wellness and Recreation At The Petoskey Club Are Important

Tucked in quietly next to Johan's Bakery in Petoskey, the Petoskey Club has been a resource for individuals with mental health needs since 1994.  The Community Foundation recently made a grant for wellness and recreation activities.  

While donuts might be next door, part of the program included these raised gardens placed outside the Club House's kitchen so Petoskey Club members can enjoy fresh and healthy meals.

On site activities at the Club House include art supplies and even working with a professional painter; and yoga classes with a yoga instructor.  Off site activities include bowling; trips to an art museum; and even the opportunity to attend Blissfest. Thanks to this grant funding devoted to wellness and recreation, the Petoskey Club has been able to give their members access to a wide variety of healthy activities.

June 23, 2015
Welcome to Our Summer Intern - Sarah Williams
We are pleased to offer a summer internship to a current member of our Youth Advisory Committee (YAC). In addition to what our local youth are learning about philanthropy by serving on the YAC, this internship is meant to give one YAC member each summer a deeper dive into how a community foundation works and nonprofits in general.  Sarah is going to be a senior this fall in Alanson and she has served on the YAC since 2012.

June 9, 2015
History Comes to Life on The Page

The Community Foundation was pleased to provide $3,000 in grant funding during our recent spring grant cycle for this four-part series on the history of Emmet County.  Emmet County Communications Director, Beth Anne Eckerle, and several area partners formed the Essence of Emmet group.  Beth launched the "Essence of Emmet" historical magazine series and approached us to help with funding for part III.  The fourth and final part of the series should be out by 2017.  
A community that honors and celebrates its history and culture will remain a strong and vibrant community.  Emmet County is living proof of that.     

June 2, 2015
Fresh Food

It is that time of year, when the farmers markets get going and we start thinking about food coming right from the local farm to our table.  The Community Foundation is once again pleased to support "Senior Project Fresh" with the Friendship Centers of Emmet County.  This program provides vouchers to income-eligible seniors in Emmet County that can be redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables at area farmers markets.  The program also includes a series of nutrition classes for those enrolled in the program.

May 26, 2015
A Legacy to Celebrate

Ann Smith was a role model from whom we all could learn.  Her entire life was about service to others.  She truly epitomized 'servant leader' before that was even a concept.  She was also a behind the scenes leader when it came to her philanthropy.  In 2009 Ann established a Charitable Gift Annuity with the Community Foundation.  During her life she received regular payments from the Community Foundation.  She set up her CGA to some day benefit the Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan, Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan, and the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation.  Now the Ann Smith Charitable Fund will annually support these three organizations in her name.  Now, that's a legacy worth celebrating! 

April 28, 2015
Spring Grant Cycle Results

The Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation recently awarded $197,814 to local organizations through their spring responsive cycle.  Pooling resources from the Fund for the Community, the Fund for Youth, and the Strategic Initiatives Fund along with dollars from named unrestricted and donor advised funds, the Community Foundation was able to help meet needs and advance opportunities in Emmet County.

"We saw a jump in the number of funding requests this cycle," noted Jim Ford, Grant Distribution Committee chair.  "And the grant requests, in some cases, were for some significant dollars - higher than in the past.  As a committee, it is always a challenge to assess where our available grant dollars will have the greatest impact for our community.  A challenge, but a very rewarding one," Ford said.  Through this cycle, larger projects were supported, including the Petoskey Community tennis courts, an upgrade to the Petoskey District Library's technology, and renovation plans for Crooked Tree Arts Center's kitchen. 

"We are always so thankful to the many people who have helped make this impactful grantmaking possible," shared David Jones, executive director.  "Whether it was the seven donor advised funds that participated in this cycle, the loyal supporters of the Community Foundation who established named unrestricted funds over the years, or faithful contributors who make regular gifts to our responsive grantmaking funds, we know we could not do it without them," said Jones. 
The Fund for Youth, a field of interest fund overseen by local teens who serve on the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), accounted for just over $48,000 of the total.  The YAC reviewed fifteen funding requests for programs targeted for children and youth within Emmet County.

April 21, 2015
Afterschool is Cool
Numerous studies highlight how critical the afterschool hours of 3pm to 6pm are to the health, development and safety of our K-12 kids.  Last spring, Harbor Springs Public Schools wanted to create an "extraordinary" program that would also be available year 'round.  The "Harborage" is just that, and the Community Foundation was pleased to offer important seed money to make it a space within the school that didn't seem like just another classroom.  The Fund for Youth, Fund for the Community, Tom and Susie Carruthers Fund, and Marana Webber Tost Charitable Fund pulled together $9,500 in grant funding to provide paint, furniture, games, athletic equipment, books, a reading loft and other supplies.  Enrollment in the program continues to grow and the students attending are receiving the attention they need to do homework and just ‘be kids’ in a safe, afterschool environment. 
You know you have hit the mark when the state licensing agent for the northern Michigan area says you have “the coolest, nicest facility and program that he inspects”.  Kudos to the folks at the Harborage and thank you for making afterschool a positive experience.  

March 17, 2015
A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

Harbor Hall's outpatient services treat more than 450 individual clients each year to achieve abstinence from substance use while integrating the development of behavioral and cognitive skills to promote long-term recovery from substance abuse and addiction.   Attendance at frequent and consistent treatment sessions, including individual, group, and family therapy sessions, is integral to recovery, yet the co-pay required at each session can create barriers for clients.

A $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation to Harbor Hall last spring for their Project Co-Pay has made a huge difference and offered a hand up when needed most.

In one example of success, Project Co-Pay Relief was able to eliminate the financial burden to one outstanding client.  “This client was a Native-American veteran of the Iraq war.  He was, for various factors, unable to adequately obtain services to address his substance use disorder through traditional funding streams and presented as a client who had ‘fallen through the cracks’.  Stretched by financial obligations related to his substance abuse, legal problems and parental responsibilities, Harbor Hall was able to assist the client in securing funding and also, eliminate the co-pay fees through this project.  This client remains an active and productive participant in treatment, is employed on a full-time basis, has successfully maintained his abstinence from alcohol and substance use, is seeking reinstatement of his driver’s license and has maintained full compliance with the court system.”

March 10, 2015
Piranha Girls Hockey - Checking in to Self Esteem
In the fall of 2013, the Community Foundation's Youth Advisory Committee and two donor advised funds provided $7,345 in grant support to give this new 14u girls hockey club a boost they needed.  Under the Petoskey Area Hockey Association, this new club has given our area girls the ability to continue with a sport they love.  While the girls play with the boys with 'no checking' rules until the age of 13, after that it becomes unsafe for the boys and girls to play in the same league.
A father's testimonial sums it up best.  “The growth I have seen from my daughter through this game has been nothing short of incredible. Self confidence, emotional and physical strength, leadership skills, and community awareness to name a few. To see this develop in the girls at the ages of 12 -14, when far too many are being knocked down at this age, is more than my wife and I could ever hope for. Raising a daughter who questions her worth every day because of pressure at school, boys, media, etc. is a scary thought for a father.”
“My daughter will be competing in the DECA (marketing, entrepreneurship, finance club) State Finals next week as a freshmen and fully intends to make a great showing there. This is a direct result of the strength she has gained from her team and her knowledge that hard work does pay off. Two years ago this would have been too scary and intimidating, but not today. I could go through each young lady on the Piranha Hockey team and mention accomplishments their parents say are the direct result of this team/family.”
February 24, 2015
Little Traverse Bay Protection and Restoration Fund Makes Grants
The Little Traverse Bay Protection and Restoration Fund was established in 2010 thanks to a $500,000 commitment from CMS Land and a great partnership with CMS Land, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.? Just this month the advisory committee for this wonderful field of interest fund awarded two grants that will provide funding to ensure the health of Little Traverse Bay.

The Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy will receive $11,705 to conduct a natural features inventory of priority lands in the Walloon Lake watershed. The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council will receive $35,000 over two years to make upgrades to the "Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan".

February 3, 2015
Spirit Day Camp received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation's YAC
The Youth Advisory Committee grant from last spring helped support transportation, community - based activities, and recreation supplies.? Goals for the camp included enrolling 70-90 participants (they averaged 82 for the week though each day varied) and providing a diverse selection of activities like Young Americans, Kilwin's Factory Tour, Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, movies at Petoskey Cinema, Pond Hill Farm, and outdoor activities like swimming, rafting, kayaking, and tubing. Goals for participants included the demonstration of appropriate public behaviors like sharing, cooperating, and respecting rules; demonstrating the ability to follow verbal directions by listening carefully and completing tasks; and resolving conflicts appropriately. According to George Armstrong, longtime leader of this annual opportunity, "Spirit Day Camp's most significant contribution is the opportunity for individuals with limited access as a result of transportation, financial, and social barriers, to engage peers and to experience community resources and events together". A camper named Aaron shared that "It is my favorite time of year when I get together with my friends for a week of SPIRIT Day Camp".

January 30, 2015
Road Stream Crossing Inventory and Planning Project
The Watershed Council completed a thorough road/stream crossing inventory, including
121 sites, to identify sediment pollution entering the Bay. These results were compiled into the Great Lakes Road/Stream Crossing database, a centralized online source for road/stream crossing information in Northern Michigan.? Watershed Council staff also analyzed the results of the survey and ranked the priority sites for future repair. Funding for this project was leveraged to include a grant from a local family foundation as well as a significant contribution from the Watershed Council due to greater than expected staff time. This project will result in measureable improvements in the water quality of the Bay.

December 30, 2014
Reflections on 20 Years of Youth Philanthropy
Jennifer Zeisler served on the Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee from 1994 to 1998. She is a 1998 graduate of Alanson Public Schools and currently resides in New York City where she works at the Clinton Global Initiative.

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have gone by since the Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation launched the Youth Advisory Committee. I still remember the first meeting I attended during the summer of 1994. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school, I sat quietly in the private dining room in the Petoskey Big Boy and listened to Maureen Nicholson teach us words like philanthropy and grantmaking.

Little did I know that for the next four years I’d be assessing the needs of my peers across Emmet County, making grants to deserving local organizations, volunteering my time and talent to serve the community, and helping the staff to raise funds for our endowment. I’d also be interacting with teens from other schools and towns, developing relationships with adults outside the classroom, and learning professional skills that still pay off to this day. Of course, it wasn’t all serious all the time – the icebreakers and snacks helped keep things lively and fun.

While some may think it is crazy to give teens the responsibility to allocate thousands of dollars each year entrusted to them by community donors, we have proven that young people have the ability to think critically about the opportunities and challenges facing their peers and the capacity to act strategically to impact the community. This model, which empowers young people and views them as experts on youth, is replicated in communities across Michigan, in other parts of the country, and around the world.

Since that day I sat in the Big Boy restaurant in 1994, more than 130 teens have given away more than $1 million to address youth needs in Emmet County. Each grant approved by the Youth Advisory Committee supports local organizations carrying out programs that provide vital enrichment, education, recreation, and services for youth.

I am reminded of what the former CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Dr. Russell G. Mawby said when he launched the initiative to engage young people in philanthropy. “Working with youth will be like a stone thrown into a pond; the ripples keep expanding far beyond our time and place, far beyond our ability to measure or perhaps even envision."

Dr. Mawby’s words couldn’t be more poignant as we celebrate the good work our young people have already done in Emmet County and wait with anticipation for that which we can’t yet even imagine.

Link to Jenny's letter in the Harbor Light Newspaper

November 25, 2014
Giving the Gift of Giving
This year the Community Foundation is providing support for the “Char-Em Alternative Gifts”. Char-Em Alternative Gifts aims to raise awareness of needs in our community, to provide
financial support to address those needs, and to offer a meaningful option for those who wish to make a difference with their holiday shopping dollars.

November 18, 2014
Building a Future Worth Living In
A Community Foundation grant last fall of $5,095 to Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity, which included funds from our Community Endowment Fund and two generous Donor Advised Funds, helped support the engineering and legal components of a multi-phased infrastructure project to develop a donated parcel in Alanson.? The development has been named "Lantern Walk" and Habitat is now preparing to build the first of eight homes in 2015.
The community of Alanson has been energized by this neighborhood development and Habitat describes an increased level of expectation and hope felt by the residents. The Village of Alanson has even shown a renewed interest in finding ways to fund improvements in the area. A project of this scale has sparked an enthusiasm for possibilities.

November 11, 2014
Pellston Public Schools- Raising the Curtain on School Pride
A Community Foundation grant last fall of $4,718 from the Youth Fund allowed for the final curtain to be purchased and installed in the Pellston High School auditorium. The total project was over $15,000 and took two years to accomplish. It also took the help of a couple other Community Foundation Funds - the Petoskey Rotary Park Fund and the Baiardi Family Foundation Fund. The teacher who leads the drama club reports increased school pride and enthusiasm for performing in the space. "This was a really big project, which would have taken years to complete without the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation." The single most important outcome of this effort is "the joy I see when kids are singing and dancing on the stage...I love the pride they take in the auditorium now."

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