BELLAIRE - A variety of organizations and agencies in Antrim County will find cash instead of coal in their Christmas stockings this year, after announcements of more than $114,000 in grant disbursements were made last week.
Largest of the grants coming directly into Antrim County is a $49,000 gift to Antrim County’s Child and Family Services from Traverse City’s Rotary Charities to launch a Safe Haven program, which provides a secure method for single parents to have supervised visitations with their children, while both the Antrim Conservation District and Mancelona’s Communities in Schools were also once again smiled upon by the Traverse City organization. Disbursements were made of 21 grants to a number of Grand Traverse area organizations totalling more than $642, 316.
Communities in Schools, a nationally recognized program to increase student success and high school graduation rates, received $25,000 as the third annual payment of a three year organizational capacity building grant to continue providing board and fund development capacity and community outreach, while the ACD received $11,927 as the third annual payment of a three year organizational capacity building grant to continue supporting community outreach, fund development and volunteer recruitment.
Sharing a total of $15,000 with other groups in the region promoting parent awareness of early literacy skills from the Traverse City charity will be Antrim County’s popular Read Aloud program.
Since its inception in the mid-70s, Rotary Charities has distributed more than $55 million in the form of over 950 grants to organizations and non-profits in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Kalkaska and Antrim counties. The public foundation was formed following the 1976 discovery of oil and natural gas reserves on property owned by the Traverse City Rotary Club. Its purpose over the years has been to distribute interest income generated from the oil and gas royalties to organizations throughout the five-county region of northwest Michigan.
Also announcing grant awards last week was the Grand Traverse area’s Community Foundation Board, which approved more than $410,000 in grant awards to be disbursed throughout the region, including $12,500 from their Youth Endowment Fund to Antrim County’s Youth Advisory Council, consisting of area high school students who learn leadership and grant making skills as part of the Council, which in turn recommended a regional impact grant of $5,000 to benefit Bethany Christian Services’ Safe Families Program.
Youth Endowment grant funds are also used to benefit a variety of efforts across the five county region, including programs for teens in foster care and homeless high school students, programs to encourage reading and programs that support students with dyslexia, college and university visits, and more.
Also benefiting from Community Foundation grants in Antrim County was the Historic Elk Rapids Town Hall Association, which received $3,500.00 to continue work to restore the building, the Alden Men’s Club, which earned $2,800.00 to support the club’s efforts to assist six Antrim and Kalkaska County food banks, the Elk Rapids Public School District, which received $2,870 for IPad keyboards, the 4th grade’s Inland Seas field trip, and the schools’ Girls on the Run program, the Elk Rapids Historical Society, which earned $1,090 for office furniture for their new location, Mancelona’s Communities in Schools, which received $1000 for college visits, and Central Lake Schools, which earned $500 for ACT Test preparatory packets to support college readiness.
Antrim County’s Read Aloud program also benefited from the Community Foundation, receiving $500 for their program to add to the funds they received from Rotary Charities.
The Community Foundation, which covers Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties, was established in 1992 to promote philanthropy and engage in community leadership, enrich communities with grant dollars, and build endowments to hopefully make a lasting impact and enhance quality of life in the region.
In its 20 year history, donors have entrusted more than $70 million to the charity, which has awarded $37 million in grants to the community since then for a variety of programs, services, and capital projects. The Community Foundation currently has approximately $47 million in assets.
Last but not least, also announced last week was $92,039 in grant awards from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for 18 urban forestry projects and forestry education around the state, which included $3,950 to the Antrim Conservation District for education and training.