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Community Foundation Awards $15,000 to Advocates for Benzie County

The Community Foundation recently awarded $15,000 to the Advocates for Benzie County to support the purchase of a multi-functional trailer. The plan was for the trailer to double as a tool shed and a mobile classroom for on-site construction training in Benzie County.

“Part of what stood out about the strength of the Advocates for Benzie County application was that the project had support from several collaborative partners throughout the County that saw the need for a program like this,” said Alison Metiva, Vice President, Strategic Engagement and Programs, “and that those partners viewed this program in particular as part of a solution to that need.”

The Community Foundation additionally saw value in the project and the way it supports transformational impact, helps address a community problem rather than a one-time need, meets several existing needs in the community, and how the money spent on the initial investment could reap long-term benefits.

With the new trailer in place, S.T.A.R.T., the Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Training, is slotted to begin this summer. Richard Lutz, who previously ran the Building Trades program and is now in charge of S.T.A.R.T., confirmed that approximately $46,000 has been granted or pledged to run the program, a full-time instructor hired, the trailer delivered, and curriculum materials ordered ahead of the program launch.

“As a past Building Trades Instructor, I know how many of my past students have been very successful because they learned a technical trade. Being able to offer a program like this to students in our county will be invaluable to this community,” said Lutz.

The Community Foundation’s award was made from its Endowment for Benzie, FOCUS Fund Endowment, and a donor-advised fund. 


The Community Foundation for Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties was established in 1992 and is a local giving partner, working with donors, nonprofits, and volunteers to promote philanthropy and engage in community leadership, enrich our communities with grant dollars, and build endowments to make a lasting impact and enhance the quality of life in the region for generations to come. For more information about the Community Foundation visit GTRCF.org or call 231-935-4066.

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