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Community Foundation Awards $615K through Larson Endowment

[Photo credit: Inland Seas Education Association | Image description: Two students crouching down on the ground engaged in an outdoor ecology project with Inland Seas. One student in a gray hooded sweatshirt is holding a test tube-like container and a plastic spoon; the other student is wearing a red t-shirt and black hooded sweatshirt on their head and is looking down at a white container.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation has awarded a total of $615,000 to organizations across the region through the Wilfred and Joan Larson Endowment. These grant awards include $110,000 to local schools to support student scholarships.

Twenty-three 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
  • Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation’s New Office Fund
  • Inland Seas Education Association
  • Kalkaska High School
  • Kingsley Area Schools
  • Leelanau Children’s Center
  • Leelanau Christian Neighbors
  • Leelanau Community Cultural Center
  • Leelanau Conservancy
  • Leland Public School
  • Mancelona Public Schools
  • North Manitou Light Keepers
  • Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse
  • Suttons Bay Public Schools
  • Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Women's Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area

“Through the Larson Endowment, we’re supporting students, youth, families, and the people of our region,” said David Mengebier, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We’re proud to steward the Endowment for the benefit of our communities now and for future generations, thanks to the generosity of the late Wilfred and Joan Larson and the outstanding work of our grant partners.”

Since 2015, the Community Foundation has awarded $2.6 million in grants from the Larson Endowment. The Endowment was made possible thanks to the largest cumulative gift in the Foundation’s history—a total of $15 million—from Wilfred and Joan Larson. Working alongside the Endowment’s advisor, the Foundation’s Community Impact staff 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.

This summer, an additional $151,800 from the Larson Endowment will be awarded through the Community Foundation's Community Funds grants cycle. The Community Funds pre-application process will open on May 28. For more information, visit the Community Foundation's website: https://www.gtrcf.org/grants/apply.