2016 People Fund

Over $204,000 in People Fund grants awarded in 2016

January 11, 2016

Great Lakes Energy, with the help of its members, continues its commitment to local communities through the People Fund. During 2016, the People Fund awarded $204,752 in grants to charitable and community organizations. The Great Lakes Energy People Fund is supported solely by Great Lakes Energy members who allow their electric cooperative to round up their bill each month to the next dollar.

The grant funds were awarded to 60 charitable and community organizations throughout Great Lakes Energy’s 26-county service area, which stretches from Kalamazoo to the Mackinac Straits.

“Thanks to the generosity of our members, we’ve awarded more than $3 million in grants since 1999 to local non-profits groups and organizations,” says President/CEO Bill Scott. “The local communities in our service area benefit greatly from this program that is fully funded by our members who allow their bill to be rounded up to the nearest dollar each month.”

Members of the electric cooperative who wish to participate are encouraged to enroll in the People Fund online or by contacting Great Lakes Energy’s office.

“People may not think 50 cents a month can do much, but when added with the contributions of other Great Lakes Energy members, we are able to help so many,” explains Scott. “Giving back to the community is one of the cooperative principles and we couldn’t do it without our members’ generosity.”

The following groups received People Fund grants totaling $204,752 during 2016:

North Area:

  • Alpine Regional Tennis Association, Gaylord: $5,000 for four tennis courts.
  • Boyne City Preschool: $5,500 for energy efficient windows.
  • C.S. Lewis Festival, Petoskey: $1,000 for C.S. Lewis books for students.
  • Charlevoix Conservation District, Boyne City: $1,800 for tools and equipment for a beachgrass harvest program.
  • Charlevoix Ministerial Association: $2,500 for benevolence needs.
  • Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan, Harbor Springs: $1,500 for diaper pantry stock.
  • Crawford AuSable Day Care Center & Preschool, Grayling: $2,000 for play and learning equipment.
  • Crawford County Commission on Aging, Kalkaska: $3,000 for commercial refrigerator.
  • Crooked Tree Arts Council, Petoskey: $6,000 for building improvements.
  • Edelweiss Garden Club, Gaylord: $1,800 for supplies and plants for two community gardens.
  • Good Samaritan Family Services, Ellsworth: $2,000 for computer upgrades.
  • Grass River Natural Area, Bellaire: $3,000 for field guide for the outdoor student and public education and outreach.
  • Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, Petoskey: $1,000 for educational outreach to schools and the Day for Strings program.
  • Little Traverse Conservancy, Harbor Springs: (two grants) $1,200 for eight trail cameras to help determine preserve usage and $2,000 for supplies for volunteer-led projects through the EcoStewards program.
  • McLaren Northern Michigan Foundations, Petoskey: $5,000 for patient assistance program to help patients and families.
  • North Country Kids, Harbor Springs: $1,000 for indoor play equipment.
  • Northern Michigan Antique Flywheelers Club, Walloon Lake: $2,500 for Student Harvest Days.
  • Northern Michigan Equine Therapy, Boyne City: $2,000 for arena improvements for the outpatient rehabilitation and therapeutic riding center.
  • Otsego Conservation District, Gaylord: $5,000 for education center with storage and handicapped accessible restrooms.
  • Otsego County Community Food Pantry, Gaylord: $5,000 for food for backpacks for students.
  • Otsego Habitat for Humanity, Gaylord: $2,000 for flatbed trailer.
  • Ralph Holewinski VFW Post 1518, Gaylord: $10,000 for pavilion for recreational, social and patriotic events.
  • The Manna Food Project, Harbor Springs: $5,000 for Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.
  • Top of Michigan Trails Council, Petoskey: $5,000 for furnishings for the Trail Center.
  • Wolverine Joint Fire Board: $1,000 for 9-1-1 sign project.

South Area:

  • Allegan County Legal Assistance Center: $978.44 for computer.
  • Christian Reformed Church of New Era: $1,000 for materials to build raised beds in a community garden.
  • Empowerment Network, Fremont: $1,000 for refrigerator.
  • Ferry Township Fire Department, Shelby: $2,200 for smart board for training.
  • Hersey’s House of Hope: $5,000 for concrete floor in a pole barn.
  • Hungry for Christ, Hamilton: $5,000 for commercial freezer.
  • Johnson Square Recreation Committee, Mears: $3,250 for playscape.
  • Love INC of Oceana County, Shelby: $2,500 for household assistance.
  • Newaygo County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, White Cloud: $2,000 for child abuse prevention curriculum for schools.
  • Oceana County Historical and Genealogical Society, Hart: $1,000 for an informational brochure about area historical organizations.
  • Oceana Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Hart: $10,000 for veteran assistance program.
  • Project Hope of NE Allegan County, Dorr: $3,500 for personal care and cleaning supplies for the pantry.
  • Recycling for Newaygo County: $5,000 for recycling program.
  • Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association, Ludington: $500 for Night at the Lights summer program at Little Sable Lighthouse.
  • Sylvia’s Place, Allegan: $2,800 for new appliances and HVAC duct cleaning.
  • The Farm: Where Living Things Grow, Inc., Fremont: $3,910 for office renovations.
  • The Harbor House of Hart: $600 for walkway replacement.

Central Area:

  • Caritas Food Pantry, Custer:  (two grants) $4,216 for a heating and cooling system and $4,582.75 for two refrigerators and two freezers.
  • Community Cats TNR, Ludington: $496.80 for animal traps.
  • COVE, Ludington:  $5,000 for medical supplies for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program.
  • Crossroads Theatre Guild, Reed City: $8,000 to paint the exterior of the theatre building.
  • Hamlin Township, Ludington: $2,500 for parking lot improvements for new Hamlin Lake access site.
  • Lake County Area Churches Charities – Bread of Life Food Pantry, Baldwin: $5,000 for building addition for the food pantry.
  • Mason County District Library, Ludington: $3,000 for 30 Playaway Launchpad devices.
  • Mason County Search and Rescue Team, Ludington: $842.15 for 15 safety vests for team volunteers.
  • Pathfinder Community Library, Baldwin: $2,000 for equipment for a community enrichment program.
  • Pine River Area Historical Society, Tustin: $5,403.44 for lamination supplies.
  • Reed City Area District Library: (two grants) $4,000 for shingles and $4,766.79 for window blinds.
  • Ruby Creek Conservation and Recreation Club, Branch: $2,000 for building improvements.
  • Sandcastles Children’s Museum, Ludington:  (two grants) $1,647 for a traveling exhibit and $794 for Grandpa’s Little Farm exhibit.
  • Sauble Township, Irons: $2,570 for playground mulch.
  • Scottville Optimist Club: $3,500 for stackable chairs for their hall.
  • South Branch Township Community Center, Wellston: $3,911 for building improvements including replacement of ceiling tile and window reinstallation.
  • Village of Baldwin DDA: $5,000 for brown trout sculpture.
  • West Shore Pregnancy Care Center, Ludington: $2,484 for materials and training for the WORTH program.

The 2016 People Fund Annual Report is included in the January issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine recently mailed to Great Lakes Energy members. Others may obtain the report by contacting Great Lakes Energy at 1-888-485-2537.

The Great
Lakes Energy People Fund invites applications for 2017 grants from local non-profit organizations. Deadline for applications for the 2017 grant cycles are April 15 and Oct. 15. Request an application by calling 888-485-2537 ext. 1313, or request it online.

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