Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation

For good. For ever.

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by holding and attracting permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on key community issues.

Community Foundation Receives National Recognition

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation (MPACF) recently received accreditation with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence. National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere.

“Meeting the National Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process,” said Randy Royster, Chair of the Community Foundations National Standards Board. “This accreditation is a significant accomplishment that indicates the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation demonstrates a commitment to transparency, quality, integrity, and accountability as it carries out its mission.”

The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program requires community foundations to document their procedures for donor services, investments, grantmaking, administration, and community leadership. MPACF submitted policy documents and other samples to a rigorous review of 41 National Standards in six key areas of community foundation operations. With over 500 community foundations accredited nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors.

“Our accreditation provides assurance that we have sound policies and practices in place,” said Terrie Zitzelsberger, MPACF President. “When people make a charitable bequest or establish an endowment fund, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely and honor their charitable wishes. The National Standards accreditation says our house is in order.”

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation works to meet critical community needs and support local causes, including human services, education, health, sports and recreation, volunteerism, community and economic development, and others. MPACF offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the accreditation validates MPACF’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.

“National Standards is a promise to our community that we’ll continue to do this good work together,” said Amanda Schafer, Executive Director. National Standards is not mandatory. “We choose to go above and beyond,” Schafer added. “It’s important that our community members know we meet the highest standards for local philanthropy, and that we are able to meet the unique, changing needs of Isabella County.”

Founded in 1990, the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that seeks to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by attracting and holding permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on key community issues. To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit www.mpacf.org.

Isabella County YAC Welcomes Eleven New Members

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) recently welcomed eleven new youth members. Started in 1991, the YAC includes students (7-12 grade) from schools throughout Isabella County, and serves as a pivotal agent in the empowerment of youth and in the development of young leaders. YAC members learn about philanthropy, volunteerism, and community leadership.

The YAC advises the Foundation's Board of Trustees on the awarding of grants from the Kellogg Youth Fund, an endowment fund which supports charitable projects that benefit the young people of Isabella County. Since 1992, the Community Foundation has offered youth focused mini-grants up to $300, as well as larger grants. In total, 391 grants have been awarded to date from the Kellogg Youth Fund totaling $546,763.38.

The YAC meets once per month to review grant applications, to receive leadership and philanthropy training, and to plan community service projects. Every three years, the YAC surveys 8th and 10th graders in Isabella County to help identify the greatest needs and problems facing youth in our community. YAC members participate in numerous service activities, like the Lion’s Chicken Barbeque and Christmas Outreach. Finally, YAC members work to grow the Kellogg Youth Fund, participating in many fundraisers throughout the year, like their annual flamingo flocking in August.

2017-2018 Youth Advisory Committee members include:

Beal City Public Schools: Aidan Mindel (9), Jack Schafer (10), Seth Schafer (10), Ty Schafer (10)

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools: Kayden Weekley (7), Alex DeMattei (8), Maggie Brockman (9), Kaitlin Otteman (9), Salma Abdelgawad (10), Wyatt Cook (12)

Renaissance PSA: Elizebeth Tarrant (8)

Sacred Heart Academy: Autumn Malinowski (8), Emma Yonker (8), Matthew Kinney (9), Sammy McDonald (10)

Shepherd Public Schools: Connor Bendele (8), Grace Wolf (8), Andersen Griffin-Strand (9), Maggie Bryant (11)

Adult Members: Bill Chilman, Erica Davis, Sarah Fiorillo, Erin Smith-Gaken (advisor), Nancy Wheeler (staff)

“Our goals for the YAC are twofold: to help the Foundation address the needs of youth through grants to local programs and projects, and to support youth as leaders in our region,” said Erin Smith-Gaken, Foundation Trustee and YAC Advisor. ”Committee members learn a great deal about the needs in our community and have the opportunity to make a positive impact on Isabella County.”

In addition to welcoming the new members, six graduating seniors were honored by the YAC during their annual meeting: Nate Horsley (BCHS), Haley McMullen (BCHS), Grace Rau (BCHS), Erica Davis (MPHS), Gabby Driessnack (MPHS), and Cristina Guytingco (SHA).

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that seeks to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by attracting and holding permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making, and providing leadership on key community issues. To learn more about the Community Foundation and the Youth Advisory Committee, visit www.mpacf.org.

Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation Awards 2017 Scholarships

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation (MPACF) will award 91 scholarships totaling more than $87,000 to local students during a Scholarship Reception on May 23, 2017. Established by individuals, businesses, and organizations wanting to help local students achieve their educational goals, most scholarships support high school students planning to attend an accredited college, university or trade school in the fall. Each scholarship is unique and reflects the values and interests of those who established it.

For more information or to support any one of these scholarships, contact Brittany Sherrill, Program Officer, at (989) 773-7322 or visit www.mpacf.org.

The 2017 Community Foundation Scholarship Recipients are:

Community Foundation Grants More Than $91,000

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees recently awarded $91,232.52 in grants to organizations impacting Isabella County.

  • Art Reach of Mid Michigan received $848.45 from the W. Sidney and Judith French Smith Community Fund to support Art Walk Central 2017, an annual art competition and an art infusion that will take place August 3 - August 31, 2017.
  • Art Reach of Mid Michigan received $7,215 from the Jane McNamara and Louise Williams Fund to purchase a multi-function copier/printer.
  • Beal City Public Schools received $2,535.47 from the Beal City Education Fund to provide scholarships and enrichment grants.
  • Beal City Junior High Football received $1,564.16 from the Rocket Football Operating Fund to support low-income participants.
  • Beal City Public Schools received $3,500 from the Community Impact Fund and $700 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to replace six aging classroom data projectors with more efficient models.
  • Chippewa River District Library received $4,000 from the Access to Recreation Fund to purchase two barrier free picnic tables for the north courtyard at Veterans Memorial Library.
  • Chippewa River District Library received $741 from the Eckersley Library Endowment Fund to update DEG, ASVAB, SAT, and ACT test preparation materials available to patrons.
  • Christian Counseling of Mid Michigan received $2,500 from the Fabiano Family Fund and $2,500 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to provide counseling at a reduced rate to Isabella County families. This grant will target families with children and teens who could not otherwise afford counseling services. Many of these children and teens are from broken or merged family units. This grant will address mental health issues proactively by offering solutions through on-going counseling at reduced rates.
  • Christmas Outreach of Isabella County received $2,000 from the Hersee Family Fund, $1,000 from the John Neyer Family Fund, and $3,000 from the Women's Initiative Fund to purchase boots and coats during the sale season.
  • City of Mt. Pleasant received $1,526 from the Access to Recreation Fund to replace vandalized glass panels on the Mary Ellen Brandell Bridge on the Access to Adventure Trail.
  • Clothing, Inc. received $560 from the Staples Family Fund and $1,764 from the Weisenburger Family Fund to purchase storage containers and a computer.
  • Community Compassion Network received $969.22 from the David B. and Susan K. Keilitz Family Fund and $4,030.78 from the Mt. Pleasant Oil Industry Food Pantry Fund to provide 250 families with supplemental food assistance through the Mobile Food Pantry.
  • Community Compassion Network received $600 from the Kimber and Judy DeWitt Family Fund, $900 from the John P. and Ann S. Jensen Community Impact Fund, and $1,500 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to provide summer weekday lunches to elementary students who receive supplemental food through the Nutrition Club.
  • Community Compassion Network received $1,452.87 from the William Ellis Brockman Infant Assistance Fund to purchase diapers at wholesale prices to be distributed by the William Ellis Brockman Infant Pantry.
  • Foster Closet of Michigan received $1,000 from the Kellogg Youth Fund and $1,000 from the Women's Initiative Fund to provide more than 25 teen girls with new clothing.
  • Isabella County Parks and Recreation received $6,000 from the Access to Recreation Fund to provide ADA accessible beach equipment for Herrick and Coldwater Parks.
  • Isabella County Restoration House received $3,066.38 from the Denison Unrestricted Fund and $2,933.62 from the Kay Smith Family Fund to provide guest transportation for two seasons. This grant will pay for buses to transport guests to participating churches from the intake center each evening and from the churches to the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen the following morning, as well as to shower facilities several times each week. In 2016, 90 individuals were served through the ICRH.
  • McLaren Central Michigan Hospital received $10,000 from the John R. and Constance M. Harkins Community Fund to support emergency room renovations.
  • Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $300 from the Kellogg Youth Fund mini-grant program to purchase a cup stacking kit that will be incorporated into the physical education curriculum.
  • Mt. Pleasant Youth Football received $3,188.48 from the Rocket Football Operating Fund to support low-income participants.
  • Sacred Heart Academy received $700 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to bring in Janie Lynn Panagopoulos, a nationally known author of children’s historical fiction books, to speak to students about the importance of reading, writing, and history.
  • Shepherd Public Schools received $1,000 from the Shepherd Community Fund in Honor of Robert Bates to provide a safe and fun alternative for students after the 2017 prom.
  • Shepherd Public Schools received $1,309 from the Kellogg Youth Fund and $1,250 from the Shepherd Community Fund in Honor of Robert Bates to purchase a washer and dryer for the elementary school nurse’s office. This will benefit students who have bathroom accidents, become ill, or are otherwise in need of clean clothes or outerwear.
  • Shepherd Youth Football received $1,263.36 from the Rocket Football Operating Fund to support low income participants.
  • Special Olympics Michigan received $1,538.47 from the Special Olympics Michigan Fund to support the 2017 Summer Games.
  • St. Joseph the Worker received $2,900 from the Community Impact Fund, $6,800 from the Kellogg Youth Fund, and $3,000 from the Lon Morey Family Fund to purchase twenty laptops and a laptop charging cart for 90 students.
  • United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties received $3,549.15 from the United Way of Isabella County Fund and $3,155.06 from the Volunteer Center of Isabella County Fund to purchase software to support database conversion necessary with the merger of operations for the two counties.

Applications for the next competitive grant cycle are due May 24, 2017. For more information on grant eligibility, and ways to support the endowed funds that make these grants possible, visit www.mpacf.org.

Feight Family Endows Community Improvement Fund

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the establishment of the Feight Family Community Improvement Fund, a permanent endowment that will prioritize grantmaking for community beautification projects.

In 2011, a small committee of community members led by Keith and Kurt Feight sought the assistance of the Community Foundation to raise funds to paint the High Street Bridge - a gateway into the Mt. Pleasant community. The charitable purpose of this effort was to make more visually appealing an arrival and departure point to create a greater sense of community and a welcoming environment for those visiting. From 2012-2014, more than $60,000 was contributed to this special project fund at the Community Foundation. In total, 153 gifts of various sizes were made.

Only a few companies in the state of Michigan are qualified and licensed to perform this type of work, and the Bridge Committee was able to coordinate with MDOT and the Great Lakes Central Railroad Company to get the project done on time and under budget. A partnership with the City of Mt. Pleasant was established to contract for the removal and environmental containment of the old lead-based paint covering the bridge, and the project was completed in August, 2013 with graffiti-resistant paint and high-quality vinyl lettering.

 “The difference is remarkable,” said Kurt Feight. “The bridge has become a point of pride for our community.” The City, the Chamber of Commerce, and multiple local businesses have used images of the bridge to promote Mt. Pleasant.

After paying the expenses associated with the High Street Bridge, there remained a small balance. Inspired by the success of the project, the Feight Family decided they wanted a way to continue their involvement with projects like this one. The Feight Community Improvement Fund will prioritize grantmaking to maintain the High Street Bridge and support similar community beautification projects in the future. Gifts to the newly established endowment fund can be made at www.mpacf.org.

MPACF Awarded Grant from Consumers Energy Foundation in Support of Shepherd to Mt. Pleasant Pathway

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation today accepted a $25,000 grant from Consumers Energy Foundation to support the next phase of the Mid-Michigan Community Pathway (MMCP).

The 6.8 mile paved, non-motorized trail will connect the communities of Shepherd and Mt. Pleasant as part of a larger project to ultimately run north/south from Clare to Ithaca. The Village of Shepherd will bid the project this spring and construction will take place over the summer months. Starting at the intersection of Deerfield and South Mission in Mt. Pleasant, the trail will head south along Mission until Blanchard Road. Then the trail will travel east on Blanchard Road until connecting to an existing trail in Shepherd. This section of the pathway is scheduled to be complete by October.

The Mid-Michigan Community Pathways (MMCP) Group is comprised of community members from Clare, Isabella, and Gratiot counties. “The first section of the trail opened this past fall in Gratiot County,” said President Steve Davidson. “So many have come together to make this project happen.” Large grants from the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Saginaw WIN, Charter Township of Union, and Village of Shepherd make up most of the $2.2 million needed for this phase of construction. The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation has worked with the MMCP Group to raise much of the rest, with grants from the Shepherd Community Fund and Community Impact Fund, as well as the Gerstacker Foundation and today’s gift from the Consumers Energy Foundation.  “Several individual donors from our community also contributed to this project through the Community Foundation,” said Executive Director Amanda Schafer. “There is a great deal of excitement about breaking ground on this portion of the pathway.”

A new group has formed, calling themselves the Isabella County Friends of the Mid-Michigan Community Pathway. They will focus on trail maintenance and repairs, promotion, and overall care. “We can’t wait to hold events on the pathway,” said President Wendy Oswald. “Local cross country kids can practice on the trail, families can ride their bikes; there are endless possibilities.”

The Isabella County Friends of the MMCP will hold their first ever fundraiser this spring in anticipation of the new trail. Ales for Trails will take place April 28-29th in downtown Shepherd. The beer tent will be open from 5:30-11:30 pm each night and local favorite Jedi Mind Trip will provide entertainment Saturday. Learn more about the event as it takes shape by visiting Mid-Michigan Community Pathways page on Facebook.

Additional information about the pathways project can be found at midmichpathways.org or by visiting the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation website at mpacf.org.

Community Foundation Welcomes Two New Trustees

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation welcomes Rick McGuirk and Linda Morey to its Board of Trustees.

Born in Isabella County, Linda Morey has spent most of her life here. She raised four daughters (Terra, Krista, Gina and Laura) and returned to Central Michigan University in pursuit of classes for enrichment. In 2004, Linda obtained a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree with a major in photography, and a minor in art history. She has served on the Art Reach Board of Directors and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees, the Gallery Committee, and the Let’s Do Lunch Committee. Linda began volunteering at the Community Foundation in 2011 as a Reception Ambassador. In addition to spending lots of time with her five grandchildren, she serves as a member of the Women’s Initiative Committee, the Women’s Initiative Fund Advisory Board, and the Scholarship Committee. She will chair the Grant Review Committee this year.

“Serving on the Grant Review Committee since 2012 has given me more insight, and made me more aware of the special needs and issues that exist in our community,” Linda said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees, and look forward to being a good steward and advocate for the community, sharing my time and talents to make a positive impact in our community!”

A graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School and Central Michigan University, Rick McGuirk is the Operations Manager for United Apartments. He serves on the Development Board at CMU, the City of Mt. Pleasant’s TIFA/DDA Board, and Union Township’s Planning Commission. Rick has been a member of the Community Foundation’s Grant Review Committee since 2002, and his wife Julie serves on the Women’s Initiative Committee. Together, they have four children (Tom, Trevor, Tyler and Taryn) who keep them very busy.

“I’m so impressed with the work of the Community Foundation and how many parts of community life are touched by it,” said Rick. “I look forward to working with the other board members and staff to continue to grow the organization and improve our local community.”

Morey and McGuirk join twenty-two other community members who serve as Trustees representing a wide range of professional expertise and organizational experience. The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that seeks to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by holding and attracting permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on key community issues. To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit www.mpacf.org.

More than 100 Scholarships Available

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation is now accepting applications for more than one hundred scholarships. Most are available to local students who will be completing their senior year of high school or GED this spring. There are also a dozen scholarship opportunities for students already enrolled in, or planning to return to, some form of higher education.  Frequently asked questions and a link to the online application system can be found under the Scholarship Tab. The application deadline is Friday, March 3, 2017.

Since 1990, the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation has transformed the unique charitable dreams of individuals, families, and businesses into the reality of permanently endowed charitable funds that support a wide range of worthy causes in the community. One-third of the permanently endowed funds held by MPACF provide scholarships, making the Community Foundation a leader in awarding scholarships to deserving students in the local area. Last year, MPACF awarded 93 scholarships totally more than $94,000 to students in and around Isabella County. 

2016 MPACF Scholarship Reception

2016 MPACF Scholarship Reception

Isabella County Youth Learn How to be Victimproof

“When you give bullies the worst of yourself, they usually end up getting the best of you too. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.” This message is the driving force behind youth motivational speaker, Tom Thelen, whose anti-bullying message is told from a fresh perspective.  The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation invited Tom to Isabella County earlier this month to spread his message to more than 2,700 students from Beal City Jr. and Sr. High Schools, West Intermediate, Mt. Pleasant High School, Sacred Heart Academy, and Shepherd Jr. and Sr. High Schools.

Students who attended the Victimproof program learned how to recognize bullying, when to stand up, when to walk away and talk to a trusted adult, practical steps for building self-esteem and developing resiliency, how to prevent bullying through peer leadership, and how to “be the change” within their own school. This message is even more important today because of the prevalence of bullying during after school hours in the form of cyber-bullying. Tom’s Victimproof program was created as a way to give students the tools to overcome bullying and change their school culture.

The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) includes 7th-12th grade students from all schools in Isabella County, and serves as a pivotal agent in the empowerment of youth and in the development of young leaders. The YAC advises the Community Foundation's Board of Trustees on the awarding of grants from the Kellogg Youth Fund, which supports charitable projects that benefit the young people of Isabella County. In addition to their grant making, the YAC surveys Isabella County 8th and 10th graders every three years to help identify what they see as the greatest needs and problems facing youth in our community.

YAC Vice President, Erica Davis, said of bringing Tom to Isabella County, “The YAC aims to help youth in our community, and knowing that bullying is one of the biggest issues kids face, Tom’s message was exactly what we needed. He focused on how to be victimproof, instead of the usual ‘don’t be a bully’ message, which hopefully gave students a new perspective.”

Tom wrote Victimproof – The Student’s Guide to End Bullying after he was bullied and did not know how to break out of the cycle, until one teacher stepped in and made a difference in his life. He hopes to inspire students, teachers, community members, and parents to be that one person who can step in and make a difference for someone.

Community Foundation Grants Exceed $560,000 in 2016

MT. PLEASANT, MI - The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees recently awarded more than $105,000 in grants to organizations impacting Isabella County, making the total awarded in 2016 more than $560,000.

Art Reach of Mid Michigan received $1,356.00 from the Russ Herron Poetry Fund for the Wellspring Literary Series.

Central Michigan District Health Department received $5,303.51 from the Breast and Cervical Cancer Fund to support a computer upgrade for electronic medical records.

Character Programs received $6,500.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund for Anti-Bullying Speaker Tom Thelan, who will present to Isabella County 7-12 grade students about how to respond to bullying.

Christmas Outreach received $900.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund, $2,256.34 from the Women's Initiative Fund, $2,700.00 from the Hersee Family Fund, $1,600.00 from the David B. and Susan K. Keilitz Family Fund, and $543.66 from the Sullivan Family Fund to purchase children’s books and winter coats.  

City of Mt. Pleasant received $10,000.00 from the Community Impact Fund, $8,500.00 from the Jane McNamara and Louise Williams Fund, $1,000.00 from the Optimist Club of Mt. Pleasant Fund, and $5,500.00 from the Kay Smith Family Fund, to support Timber Town 2.0, replacing the playscape in Island Park.

Community Compassion Network received $1,113.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund, $1,287.00 from the Elizabeth Z. Miller & Bruce H. LaPointe Community Needs Fund, $1,600.00 from the Michael D. and Dianne C. Morey Community Needs Fund, and $1,000.00 from the Dr. Leonard E. and Louise A. Plachta Unrestricted Fund to provide supplemental food assistance.

Community Compassion Network received $3,000.00 from the Women's Initiative Fund to purchase diapers for the William Ellis Brockman Infant Pantry.

EightCAP received $1,500.00 from the Continuum Homelessness Grant Fund to cover costs of emergency shelter when other homeless resources are not an option.

Friends of the Broadway received $6,480.00 from the Community Impact Fund for capacity building in the areas of strategic planning and fund development.

Friends of the Library received $2,238.19 from the Friends of the Library Fund for upgrades so that guests can download movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks to computers, smart phones, and tablets.

Gratiot-Isabella RESD received $1,950.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund, $850.00 from the Staples Family Fund, and $1,100.00 from the Theunissen Family Fund to enroll 150 children in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program.

Great Lakes Bay Foundation received $6,400.00 from the Denison Unrestricted Fund, $2,400.00 from the G. Charles and Janice L. Hubscher Fund, $3,000.00 from the Morey Foundation Donor Advised Fund, and $3,200.00 from the W. Sidney Smith and Judith French Smith Family Fund to provide Isabella County Middle School math students with STEM curriculum tailored for each classroom.

Habitat for Humanity received $1,500.00 from the Lon Morey Family Fund, $500.00 from the John Neyer Family Fund, and $3,000.00 from the Weisenburger Family Fund for an exterior home preservation program that helps low-income homeowners.

Isabella Citizens for Health received $693.00 from the Isabella Bank Director Memorial Fund for a sharps disposal education program.

Lincoln Township of Isabella County received $1,500.00 from the Brewster Family Access to Recreation Fund and $1,000.00 from the Janet Maar Strickler Access to Recreation Fund to provide a handicap accessible sidewalk from the picnic pavilion to the Lincoln Township Hall.

Listening Ear Crisis Center received $2,000.00 from the Listening Ear Consumer Needs and Dreams Fund for medical needs of consumers as well as a consumer led micro-enterprise business.

Montabella Community Schools received $493.00 from the Montabella Community Schools Education Fund for startup art supplies for a new elective class at the elementary school.

Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum received $1,300.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund and $3,200.00 from the Community Impact Fund to install a new Light Room Exploration exhibit.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $300.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund for support of the Junie B. Jones Play Production that toured Isabella County elementary schools.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $300.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund for “Students of Promise,” a project that provides homeless youth with tokens to launder their clothes at a local laundry mat.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools Education Foundation received $2,500.00 from the John R. and Constance M. Harkins Community Fund to further grow their endowment for the future.

Shepherd Public Schools received $1,000.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to provide food assistance for students in need during extended school breaks.

Shepherd Railroad Museum Association received $546.00 from the Shepherd Community Fund in Honor of Robert Bates to replace the windows in the Shepherd Caboose.

Village of Shepherd received $2,162.00 from the Shepherd Community Fund in Honor of Robert Bates to decorate Downtown Shepherd with garland this holiday season.

Applications for the next competitive grant cycle are due January 25, 2017. For more information on grant eligibility, and ways to support the endowed funds that make these grants possible, visit www.mpacf.org.

Women’s Initiative Celebrates Isabella County Women and Girls

Three grants were awarded from the Women’s Initiative Fund during the annual Look Who’s Talking Speaker Series luncheon today. Mid-Michigan Community College received $5,000 to provide busing, lunch, and motivational materials to girls participating in the Isabella County 8th Grade Girls Luncheon CHAT (Character, Heart, Ambition, and Talent). Christmas Outreach of Isabella County received $2,256.34 to purchase women’s winter coats. Community Compassion Network received $3,000 to provide diapers for the William Ellis Brockman Infant Pantry.

The 2016 Look Who’s Talking luncheon featured keynote speaker Cherry Hamrick. Born on a cherry farm in Northern Michigan, Cherry taught ballet for 20 years while raising her two children. At the age of 50, Cherry earned her Master’s degree in Library Science. In 2003 she became the Director of the Delta Township District Library. An avid runner, Cherry started the Jingle Bell 5k Run and Walk for Women as a fun event to raise awareness of the library, and aid in her quest to add a special room with materials “for, by, and about women.” Cherry recently fulfilled a lifelong dream to run a marathon in Antarctica. She shared her experiences during the luncheon, encouraging 300+ local women to try new things. McLaren Central Michigan and Mercantile Bank of Michigan sponsored this year’s speaker.

The Women’s Initiative Fund was established at the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation in 2003 to address the needs of women and girls in Isabella County. This permanent endowment fund provides women with the opportunity to be acknowledged as philanthropists in their own right. More than 200 women have made pledges to the Women’s Initiative Fund, and nearly 2,100 individual gifts have been made to date. Including those recognized today, thirty-three grants have been awarded to local nonprofits and programs serving women and girls, all while maintaining the value of every gift given to the permanent endowment fund.

The annual Look Who’s Talking Speaker Series continues as a legacy of women helping women and girls of Isabella County, now and for generations to come.

Community Foundation Seeks Isabella County Photos for New Website

Mt. Pleasant, Mich. – The Mt. Pleasant Area Community recently launched a new website at www.mpacf.org. The new site features an updated format for easy reading and sharing, and is now compatible with all mobile devices.

“More than 50 percent of those accessing our website are doing so from their mobile devices,” said Executive Director Amanda Schafer. “We’ve made the new site mobile responsive.”

The same great content can be found on the website, but is now easier to access. “It’s really easy to search the new site for stories of philanthropy in our community and the impact made by their efforts,” said Schafer.

The site features the latest news, and information on how to apply for grants and scholarships. Links to grant spotlights and the Foundation’s Annual Report The Legacy can be found on the home page, along with a tool to search for any endowment fund held by the Foundation. A personal touch has been added to the site as well--a photograph featuring downtown Mt. Pleasant serves as the site’s initial background.

The Foundation is looking to the public for other images to display as the background image on the site. Original images (not altered in any way) taken in and representing Isabella County may be submitted. All images must be in .jpg format and must be 2,500 x 3,000 pixels or larger. Interested community members may submit their name and photos to info@mpacf.org for consideration. Each image submitted should be accompanied by a brief description of the location and date the photograph was taken. Image submission grants the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation permission to use the photograph on the website and in other media. Photos selected for use will be credited to the submitter.

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The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation seeks to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by holding and attracting permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on key community issues.

Community Foundation Grants $140,329.83

MT. PLEASANT, MI - The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees recently awarded more than $140,000.00 in grants to organizations impacting Isabella County.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midland County received $1,000.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to facilitate field trips and $1,000.00 from the Ralph and Sonja Baumgarth Family Fund to support site-based one-to-one mentoring.

Central Michigan University received $3,000.00 from the Coyne Family Fund for CMU Mobile Recreation: Play on the Way supplies and equipment.

City of Mt. Pleasant received $2,794.10 from the Healthy Youth Healthy Seniors Fund, $1,100.00 from the Ranck Family Fund and $663.90 from the Rapaport Family Fund to purchase automated external defibrillators to be installed in four city parks: Island Park, Sunnyside Park, Horizon Park, and Yost Park.

Coe Township received $3,334.00 from the Access to Recreation Fund and $1,500.00 from the Shepherd Community Fund in Honor of Robert Bates to purchase and install universally accessible picnic tables at Coe Township’s Federal Road Park.

Community Compassion Network received $1,306.28 from the William Ellis Brockman Infant Assistance Fund to purchase products that can be shared with struggling Isabella County families with infants and toddlers.

Cultural & Recreational Commission of Isabella County received $2,473.78 from the Richard Brandell and Joseph Sweeney Recreation Fund to sustain and develop youth programs at Morey Courts Recreation Center and the I.C.E. Arena.

The Dictionary Project received $1,800.00 from the Kiwanis Club of Mt. Pleasant Fund to provide a dictionary to all 3rd graders in Isabella County.

Friends of the Broadway received $660.15 from the Friends of the Broadway Fund to offset costs for the Louisell Family Band which played for the Beverly Hillbillies production. 

Gratiot County Parks and Recreation Program received $9,800.00 from the Mid-Michigan Community Pathways Fund to reimburse Gratiot County for funds spent on the design of Phase II of the Mid-Michigan Community Pathway.

Hopewell Ranch received $1,000.00 from the Access to Recreation Fund in support of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Certification.

Hospice of Central Michigan received $5,867.62 from the Dick and Mary Ellen Brandell Family Hospice House Fund, $1,236.02 from the Bob and Jeanne Long Hospice House Fund, $2,320.67 from the Lon Morey Family Hospice House Fund, $5,113.85 from the Bill and Dolores Myler Hospice House Fund, $1,003.85 from the Dennis and Sandra Olson Hospice House Fund, $902.27 from the Jim and Naomi Stark Hospice House Fund, $825.14 from the Bill and Janet Maar Strickler Hospice House Fund and $19,722.78 from the Hospice of Central Michigan Fund. This funding will support benevolent care.

Isabella Citizens for Health received $475.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to provide a safe and educational waiting room including easy to sanitize educational books and children’s seating.

Isabella County 911 & Emergency Management received $5,000.00 from the Fabiano Family Fund, $3,324.00 from the Bandit Industries Community Fund and $11,000 from the Community Impact Fund to upgrade radio consoles and improve radio communication.

Listening Ear Crisis Center received $20,000.00 from the Listening Ear Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Fund for the treatment of child sexual abuse in Isabella County.

Mid Michigan Community College received $5,000.00 from the Women’s Initiative Fund to host an 8th grade girls’ luncheon to emphasize options and opportunities in post-secondary education, with a focus on STEM.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $663.15 from the MPPS Esther Kraus Peacemaking Fund that celebrated 184 kindergarten through high school students during the annual Peacemaking Ceremony.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $1,414.00 from the LaBelle Family Fund to provide updates and improvements to the baseball complex.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $1,350.00 from the Mt. Pleasant Business Professionals of America Fund to assist chapter members who competed at the BPA National Leadership Conference in Boston, MA in May.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $1,500.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund and 1,500.00 from the Jerry M. and Marilyn A. Morey Community Fund to partner with Michigan Reading Corps for one-on-one tutoring for K-2 students.

Mt. Pleasant Youth Football received $1,104.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund and $1,335.00 from the Lon Morey Family Fund for new shoulder pads for 3rd and 4th grade athletes.

Museum of Cultural and Natural History at CMU received $10,000.00 from the John R. and Constance M. Harkins Community Fund for educational program development and to offset costs associated with outreach and busing for Mid-Michigan school children to experience the Museum.

Sacred Heart Academy received $1,560.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to purchase an online music curriculum providing sequential lessons and activities for students in grades K-5.

Shepherd Area Historical Society received $1,177.00 from the Shepherd Community Fund in Honor of Robert Bates to purchase sign easles, a TV and a DVD player and $3,823.00 from the Lon Morey Family Fund for building restoration/preservation.

Winn Area Activity Center received $1,680.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to provide students with electronic tablets to support their academic needs before and after school.

In total, the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation awarded $140,329.83 in its second grant cycle of 2016. Applications for the next competitive grant cycle are due September 28, 2016. For more information on grant eligibility, and ways to support the endowed funds that make these grants possible, visit www.mpacf.org.

Community Foundation Grants more than $84,000

MT. PLEASANT, MI - The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees recently awarded more than $84,000 in grants to organizations impacting Isabella County.

Art Reach of Mid Michigan received $848.18 from the W. Sidney & Judith French Smith Community Fund to support Art Walk Central 2016, an art competition and cultural events held throughout Mt. Pleasant August 20th-September 10th.

Beal City Public Schools received $3,635.18 from the Beal City Public Schools Education Foundation for scholarships, grants, and a test preparation project.

Beal City Public Schools received $3,700.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund and $7,400.00 from the Community Impact Fund to purchase 14 new laptop computers.

Central Michigan University Clarke Historical Library received $571.71 from the William J. Strickler Clarke Historical Library Fund to digitize historic Mt. Pleasant newspapers.

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy received $1,400.15 from the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy Fund and $1,121.71 from the William Brehm Memorial/Chippewa Watershed Conservancy Stewardship Fund to help offset monitoring and stewardship costs associated with preserves in Isabella County.

Child and Family Enrichment Council received $1,349.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to purchase furniture and create a more comfortable environment in their child forensic interview room.

City of Mt. Pleasant received $7,500 from the John R. and Constance M. Harkins Community Fund as a match contribution and challenge to the community to support the Potter Playground Project, an effort to revitalize the play-lot on the corner of Maple and Pine Streets.

Community Compassion Network received $3,977.54 from the Mt. Pleasant Oil Industry Food Pantry Fund and $1,022.46 from the Kimber and Judy DeWitt Family Fund to support twice monthly mobile food pantries for 200+ local families. CCN also received $5,000.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to support Nutrition Club, a weekend food assistance program for nearly 700 students throughout Isabella County.

Flat Mountain Mechanics (Central Michigan Robotics Association) received $1,000.00 from the Darlene Bond Memorial Youth Fund and $1,000.00 from the Bovee Family Fund to purchase computers.

Great Lakes Bay Foundation received $5,000.00 from the Barbara A. Bissot Fund for Art Wave, a marketing initiative designed to highlight art and entertainment venues in Bay, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties throughout May-September, 2016.

Isabella Community Soup Kitchen received $1,740.25 from the Olson Family Fund to purchase a new washer and dryer for the facility.

Isabella Township received $2,200.00 from the James Dale Ervin Memorial Fund to purchase goals and nets for the soccer field being developed for the children of Rosebush.

Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum received $1,500.00 from the Optimist Club of Mt. Pleasant Fund and $1,675.00 from the Barbara L. and George W. Dunn Family Fund to develop a fun, educational, and artistic outdoor space that will include an art garden, mud pie kitchen, sculpture walk, sound garden, theatrical circle and storage barn.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $1,800.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund and $600.00 from the Joe and Jeanne Epple Family Fund for the Mt. Pleasant High School baseball and softball stadium renovations.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools received $3,000.00 from the Morning Sun Community Fund for professional development with author and educator, Eric Jensen. Staff and administration will take away brain-based learning strategies that can lead to academic success for economically disadvantaged students.

Renaissance Public School Academy received $1,700.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund, $1,700.00 from the Robert and Geraldine Krapohl Literacy Fund and $2,600.00 from the Community Impact Fund to purchase books for a new school media center/library.

Shepherd Public Schools received $7,000.00 from the Access to Recreation Fund to install rubberized ground surfacing around new playground equipment in the school’s athletic complex. The Play Zone is designed for all children--including those with physical, developmental, cognitive, and sensory disabilities--to experience accessible, independent, self-directed play and increased fitness.

Shepherd Public Schools received $300.00 from the Kellogg Youth Fund to host a safe and fun afterprom party for high school students on May 7th.

Shepherd Railroad Museum Association received $437.00 from the Shepherd Community Fund in Honor of Robert Bates to paint the Shepherd Depot Caboose.

United Way of Isabella County received $7,001.50 from the United Way of Isabella County Fund to facilitate a strategic visioning process for the Board of Trustees and $4,659.52 from the Volunteer Center of Isabella County Fund to develop and implement a wide-ranging public relations effort to promote volunteerism.

Women’s Aid Service received $1,740.25 from the Olson Family Fund to be used where it is most needed. In total, the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation awarded $84,179.45 in its first grant cycle of 2016.

Applications for the next competitive grant cycle are due May 25, 2016.

Community Foundation Reaches $1 Million Goal for Community Impact

Mt. Pleasant, MI – To celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary in 2015, the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation challenged community members to add $1 million to permanent endowment funds focused on community impact. During a recent meeting, the Board of Trustees celebrated the final tally of gifts and pledges made - $1,016,000.19.

More than 500 individuals and businesses stepped up to accomplish the ambitious goal. During the appeal, 14 new community impact funds were started—named for families and local companies. Many donors contributed to existing community impact funds, further building community capital to meet the needs of future generations.

Community impact funds are flexible endowments not tied to a single cause. Assets are invested and only a portion (currently 4%) is available each year. Annual grantmaking resources from community impact funds can be used to address significant and emergent issues throughout Isabella County as things change.

“Community impact funds allow the Foundation the flexibility to meet needs that are not met through other endowments,” said Jan Strickler, co-chair of the anniversary appeal. “Because of these generous gifts, we’ll have around $40,000 more every year to help organizations with the best ideas to improve our community.”

“Grants could be made for education one year, and support health care or transportation the next,” added co-chair Bill Strickler. “This community resource is forever, and we’re proud so many community members wanted to be part of it.”

The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that serves as the center of philanthropy in Isabella County. Since 1990, more than $4.5 million has been awarded in local grants and scholarships, all while maintaining the value of every endowment gift ever received.