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Community Foundation Awards $450K through Larson Endowment

[Photo credit: Leelanau Conservancy // Image description: Two AmeriCorp Stewardship Technians in a tall grass area of the Conservancy, gathering data.]

A total of $450,000 in grants has been awarded by the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, through the Wilfred and Joan Larson Endowment. This includes $120,000 granted to local schools to support student scholarships.

Twenty-one nonprofit and public school partners across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties received grant awards, including:

  • 5Loaves2Fish Northern MI
  • Benzie Central Schools
  • Buckley Community Schools
  • Elk Rapids Senior High School
  • Fishtown Preservation Society
  • Forest Area Community Schools
  • Frankfort Elberta Area Schools
  • Friends of Lake Leelanau
  • Friends of Leland Township Library
  • Kalkaska High School
  • Kingsley Area Schools
  • Leelanau Children’s Center
  • Leelanau Christian Neighbors
  • Leelanau Community Cultural Center
  • Leelanau Conservancy
  • Leland Public Schools
  • Mancelona Public Schools
  • Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse
  • Suttons Bay Public Schools
  • Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Women's Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area

“We’re proud to steward the Larson Endowment for the benefit of the people and places of our region,” said David Mengebier, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “The impact we’ve been able to have on our communities since the Endowment was established has been tremendous.”

Since 2015, the Community Foundation has awarded nearly $2 million in grants from the Larson Endowment. The Endowment was made possible thanks to the largest cumulative gift in the Foundation’s 30-year history—a total of $15 million—from the late Wilfred and Joan Larson. Working alongside the Endowment’s advisor, the Foundation’s Community Impact staff work to ensure that grantmaking is aligned with the Larson’s philanthropic interests to support community needs and opportunities across the region, especially in the areas of youth, arts and culture, the environment, health and human services, and increasing access to post-secondary education.