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Community Foundation Awards $1,800 to Benefit Local Students

Last week, the Kalkaska County Board Directors of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation hosted an event to introduce members of the community to the work and impact of the Community Foundation throughout the region, and the funding and partnership opportunities available specifically for Kalkaska Area nonprofits.

Held at the Trout Town Eatery, the Board Directors welcomed guests and the Community Foundation CEO and President, David Mengebier, gave a brief overview of the history of the Community Foundation explaining that “the beauty of community foundations is that we’re not just investing in our communities today – we’re going to be here next year, ten years from now, a hundred years from now.”

One way the organization accomplishes this local investment is through County Endowments, which serve as an asset to the local community for the benefit of local needs.

The Endowment for Kalkaska Area is designed to impact broad community needs and interests within the County. Community Foundation Board Directors from Kalkaska County serve as stewards of those assets and determine grants annually to be awarded to nonprofit organizations that provide programs and services within the County.

This year Kalkaska Board Directors – Ann Neuenschwander, Janet Sieting, Troy Stobert, and Andi Wagenschutz – chose to award $1,876 to the Father Fred Foundation for their Kalkaska Blessings in a Backpack program, which provides weekend meals for students facing food insecurity.

“We’re always looking for a worthy project,” said Board Director Troy Stobert. He first heard about Blessings in a Backpack through his local Rotary Club a couple of years before Father Fred brought the program to Kalkaska. Stobert led the charge to fund the program with money from the Endowment, now that it’s serving Kalkaska students because “65% of our students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. We know those kids are going to eat at school…but Blessings in a Backpack makes sure they eat nutritious food at home over the weekend as well.”

Executive Director of Father Fred, Deb Haase, accepted the award stating that this money will help provide funding for the 62 students they currently serve within the County.

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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