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Community Foundation News


Fall 2016
Essential Needs Fund Established
Whether you believe the economy is improving or not, there is no denying that many of our neighbors in Emmet County are still struggling to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are several of our nonprofit partners working hard to support them. For the past few years we have been providing annual funding to five of those nonprofit partners in the health and human services sector so they can establish and maintain 'essential need' dollars for those times when their clients need important and urgent assistance. Last month our Board of Trustees took a leadership role and established a permanent endowment fund at the Community Foundation - the "Essential Needs Fund" - that will provide annual grant dollars to continue this important assistance and even expand it over time. Essential Needs dollars help in some of the following ways:

A single father of three received assistance to prevent electricity shut off;
An abuse survivor was assisted with taxi fare to get to the Safe Home;
A senior without dental insurance was able to receive care to prevent infection.

If you would like to contribute to the new Essential Needs endowment, click here. After you enter your donation amount pull up the Field of Interest field and then select Essential Needs.



Spring 2016

YAC Corner

By Claire Fleming
[Claire is a senior at Harbor Springs High School. She has served on the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) for five years; the state-wide YAC for three years; attended three (soon to be four) YAC summer leadership conferences; and in the summer of 2014 she was an intern in our office.]
YAC members may not actually be the furry mammals that our name implies. But like yaks, our Youth Advisory Committee is indeed a herd of versatile, friendly and hardworking individuals. We are currently doing our best to review the needs of our region as a whole. And we are excited to report that in the Fall 2015 grant cycle we supported projects and programs in nearly every school district within Emmet County and many other organizations county-wide. In fact, for the calendar year 2015 we awarded over $85,000 in grants. In addition to grant support, we were so lucky to be able to provide volunteer time with some wonderful nonprofit programs too.
As committee members, we have learned not to take lightly the responsibility of allocating thousands of community dollars, and we get to see firsthand how our decisions impact the lives of our friends, family, teammates, and peers from all over the county and beyond.  This process gives YAC members tremendous confidence in making our own life decisions and allows youth to have a voice in our community.
Thank you to all of you who support the Fund for Youth. Stay tuned to see what we’re up to next! The Spring 2016 grant cycle is underway. We can’t wait to share with you what your grant dollars will do!

Supporting the Next Gen and Our Natural Resources
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. 

January, 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.

Momma Always Said Good Grooming is Important
The Little Traverse Conservancy evaluated the usage of their preserves and trails and discovered that certain preserves could see a dramatic increase in winter use if the Conservancy could expand their grooming capabilities. A snowmobile purchase made possible in part with funding from the Community Foundation and Chemical Bank has opened up more trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking. These FREE recreational opportunities are available thanks to a strong nonprofit organization, caring and generous individuals and corporations, and a permanent source of charitable dollars under a community foundation. Momma would be very proud.