Two weeks ago, Jae Evans, CEO of Isabella Bank Corporation, stood up during Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s annual breakfast event and announced that Isabella Bank would match dollar for dollar the next $60,000 raised in the campaign for the Strickler Nonprofit Center. Since that announcement, $27,125 has been matched, bringing the total raised to $835,844.
A group of nonprofit organizations focused on addressing poverty in Isabella County announced back in April that they planned to raise at least $1 million to make permanent a nonprofit center located at 1114 W. High Street in Mt. Pleasant. During the September 11th breakfast, Executive Director Amanda Schafer, and United Way’s CEO Annie Sanders, told the story of leasing the building from Victory Christian Church and transitioning it into space for at least four local charitable organizations serving those living in or near poverty.
Community Compassion Network, Isabella County Restoration House, Clothing INC, and The Care Store provide critical services - food, shelter, clothing, and personal care items - and have been located under one roof since last fall. Long term, these partners and others are also committed to reducing overall poverty levels in Isabella County. Charlie Burke, a volunteer with the Center from the start, also shared his vision. “The Center will coordinate the development and implementation of services to train individuals with the necessary potential abilities to find, perform and keep employment,” Charlie said.
Jan Strickler agreed back in April to make a lead gift to name the Center in memory of her husband, Bill. During the recent breakfast, Schafer shared that the fundraising team had decided to name the facility after both of them. Tearfully, Strickler joined Schafer on stage and encouraged those in attendance to reach out to an agency within the Center in order to volunteer. She then proudly declared the total raised to date was $781,594. “Several of you in the room have made gifts, and for that we thank you,” Strickler said. “We’d like to challenge you and the greater Isabella County community to help us raise $220,000 more between now and #GivingTuesday, a national day of charitable giving planned for November 27th.” Evans was the first to respond, pledging on behalf of the bank to match dollar for dollar the next $60,000 raised for the campaign.
Community members may support the Strickler Center by contributing to a fund established for this purpose at the Community Foundation. Donations to the Center may be made at mpacf.org, and checks may be mailed to MPACF, PO Box 1283, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804. Follow “William and Janet Strickler Nonprofit Center” on Facebook for regular updates.