Over $85,000 in Scholarships Awarded

The Huron County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that this year $85,624 in scholarship money was awarded to local students furthering their education after high school graduation. In alignment with the Foundation’s mission of investing resources in the growth and prosperity of our county, helping Huron County youth receive training after high school provides them with the resources needed to make a difference in the future. The generosity of scholarship donors shows their commitment to the young people of our county. We appreciate the trust and confidence placed in the Foundation to act as a vehicle for those wishing to continue their educational pursuits.

The Keith and Bertha McTaggart Scholarship gave its first award in 2017. Keith McTaggart was instrumental in starting the Huron Area Technical Center. This scholarship, established by his family, honors that legacy by supporting the education of an HATC graduate.

The Judge Neil R. MacCallum Memorial Scholarship to Central Michigan University (CMU) in the amount of $1,125 was awarded to Kirah Osentoki, Ubly, currently attending CMU and the scholarship for Bad Axe School went to Alayna Knarian for $1,125.

The Jason Kiehl Memorial Scholarship for Huron Area Technical Center students was granted in the amount of $1,150 each to Jacob Warack, of Owen-Gage Community School; Michaela Glass of Bad Axe Public Schools; Derek Booms of Harbor Beach Community School; and Jonathan Brandel of Ubly Community School.

Hunter Talaski of Bad Axe Public School and Jessica Murawski of North Huron High School each received an award of $500 from the Maurer/Yageman Bowling Scholarship Fund.

Jillian Osentoski of Ubly Community School and Kayla Chaplinski of North Huron High School each received an award of $600 each from the Clarence and Loraine Braun Scholarship.

Derek Booms from Harbor Beach and Nicholas Schramski from North Huron High School each received $1,000 from the Gib Rooney Family Scholarship.

The Steven Kuzak Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Ryan Heleski from Bad Axe Public Schools for $2,000.

Owendale- Gagetown graduate Jacob Warack received $400 from the Michael B. & Regina V. Lasceski Scholarship.

The Huron Area Tech Center Scholarship was awarded to Emily Wahl of from Bad Axe Public School and Aaron Klama from Ubly Community School each receiving $400.

New fund, the Keith and Bertha McTaggart Scholarship, gave its first awards of $1000 to Jonathan Brandel of Ubly Cmmunity Schools; Kendall Pawlowski of North Huron High School; and Derek Booms of Harbor Beach Community Schools.

Receiving the C.A. Scheurer & BG Kamlapurker Medical Scholarship were Henry Kozdron and Jamie Roggenbuck both of Harbor Beach for $1,162 each.

Other scholarship recipients by school district are:

BAD AXE:  Ryan Heleski, the Claude Marsh Scholarship for $2,000; Alayna Knarian and Mariah Will, Collon/Todd Scholarship for $530; Clark Brady for $16,225 the Dr. Edward Steinhardt Family Science Scholarship; Danielle Maurer, the Ervin Ignash Scholarship for $1,100; Ashleigh Krug, the K. William & Joanne Pietscher Future Educators Scholarship for $2,000;  Danielle Maurer, was the scholarship recipient for the Linda Rowland Drama Scholarship for $2,000; and Danielle Maurer, Norah Dowde Bad Axe Rotary Scholarship for $1,500.

CASEVIlLE: Gabriel Hogan received the Caseville Kiwanis Scholarship for $500 as well as the Mary K. and Robert Quinn Memorial Scholarship for $1,125.

HARBOR BEACH: Haley Talaski, the Deer Acres Scholarship for $1,785; Hannah Clink and Kinsey Kramer, the Esther E. Lincoln Scholarship for $1,050 each; Brady Kirsh and Jenna Arndt were awarded the Harbor Beach Rotary Clement M. Kubik Scholarship for $470 each; Haley Talaski, the Annabelle Jenks Scholarship of $350; Ashley Kramer and Hannah Clink, the Marla Muter Scholarship for $1015 each; Jada Learman, the Sgt. Aaron C. Elandt Memorial Scholarship for $1,000; Jenna Ardnt, the Warren S. Eilber Family Scholarship for $340; Haley Talaski, the Charlotte Talaski Family Scholarship of $390; and Haley Talaski and Jada Learman, the William Eick School Family Scholarship for $680 each.

LAKERS: Aaron Maust, the ETL Agricultural Scholarship for $1,000.

NORTH HURON: Tammy Kessel, the Bill & Sandy Hogan Memorial Scholarship for $500; Jessica Murawski and Tammy Kessel were awarded the Robert and Verneta Thuemmel Memorial Scholarship for $1,000 each; Nicholas Schramski received the Warren S. Eilber Family Scholarship for $340.

OWEN-GAGE:  Jacob Warack was awarded the Cooley Family Scholarship in the amount of $2,500.

UBLY: Noah Krueger and Kirah Osentoski, the Betty Zulauf Academic Scholarship for $1,000 each; Jillian Osentoski, the Francis and Opal Hund Scholarship for $1,500; Jonathan Brandel and Noah Krueger, the Gemini Plastics Scholarship for $1,000 each; and Kirah Osentoski, Olivia Lipskey, Travis Terbrack, Megan Leppek, and Brianna Pionk received the Madeline M. Bauer Scholarship for $1,015 each.

Cancer Aid Transportation Grant

The Human Development Commission offers a new service for Huron County residents who need transportation to and from cancer treatment services.

To be eligible for Cancer Aid Transportation, individuals must be Huron County residents, age 18-59, and identify a need for ongoing support to transport them to treatment. Individuals who are in need of assistance may call the Human Development Commission at 1-800-843-6394, extension 1730. A voicemail message may be left and staff will return calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week to schedule door-to-door rides.

Funded by the Huron County Community Foundation, via the Tom Gettel Memorial Fund, the Human Development Commission was selected to coordinate this service and recruit the assistance of volunteer drivers. Organizers, Randy Elenbaum and Kevin Bucholz, of the Tom Gettel Memory Ride, and other members of the Memorial Fund have worked to raise funds so Huron County residents in need of non-emergency medical treatment for cancer have another option. This year’s Memory Ride will be conducted Saturday, July 8. Individuals wishing to donation to the event may contact Mackenzie Price at the Huron County Community Foundation.

Over $160,000 Awarded in 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year, and the we are doing exactly that.

HCCF spends the year giving out grants to support local projects that are enhancing our community and providing scholarships to Huron County graduates seeking to further their education.  This year HCCF did both of those things in record breaking fashion. Executive Director, Mackenzie Price, said “In the foundation’s over twenty-year history, we have never had the monetary impact in our community that we were able to have in 2016.”

 $158,671 worth of impact to be exact. Tallying $76,200 of scholarships, $75,971 awarded in grants from the Grantmaking Committee and Board of Trustees, and $6,500 in grants awarded from the Youth Advisory Committee for projects targeting youth.

For comparison, six short years ago in 2010, HCCF awarded just over $56,500 worth of grants and scholarships. “The great part about endowed giving is that these totals should continue to grow indefinitely, allowing us to contribute more and more back to the community we all call home” added Price.

Grants this year were given to a wide variety of projects, from classroom robotics kits for schools across the county to trail maintenance equipment at the Huron County Nature Center and public art to the Walk for Warmth. A full list of HCCF’s 2016 grants can be found on their website. Over 27 projects were grant recipients during the past year.

One special project was granting money given to the foundation from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. This money was given to HCCF and three neighboring community foundations at the beginning of 2016 and was the catalyst for the Double Up Food Bucks Program in Huron County. This program allows families on assistance to double their money when buying local produce. “We started with the Port Austin Farmers Market because we knew there was a high concentration of local produce in one place” noted Price. “After the market season, we wanted to ensure another option was available, so we worked to get McDonald’s Food and Family Center included in the Supermarket program.” Huron County has the only Double Up Food Bucks locations in the Thumb Area. The next closest farm markets are Port Huron and Imlay City with the closest supermarket participating in the program being in Flint. “Starting both the farm market and McDonald’s Food and Family Center in the same year was a huge win for Huron County’s most vulnerable population, for our local growers, and for the Double Up program statewide” stated Price.

Along with grants, over 65 scholarships were awarded to Huron County students. Most scholarships are aimed at high school seniors pursuing additional training, however, multiple awards target students seeking advanced degrees in medicine. “Together with our donors, we are able to create an educated workforce for the future by making college more affordable through scholarships” said Price of their robust scholarship offerings.

Another new source of impact for HCCF during 2016 was the Huron Count Young Professionals Network coming to fruition. “The power of social media allowed us to launch the YPN in January of 2016. Nearly a year later, we have a core group of participants in careers including marketing, banking, agriculture, and medicine” added Price. The group typically meets every other month to exchange ideas and provide networking opportunities for professionals under 30 living and working in Huron County.

“None of this would be possible without our supporters” said Price when asked about the impact the Foundation had in 2016. “Our donors have a passion for giving back to their local community and that passion shines through the work of the Foundation.” Price also added that there are many great non-profit organizations helping our neighbors that would love support during the season of giving. “We can’t wait to see what HCCF, the grantees, and our scholarship recipients are able to accomplish in 2017” noted Price.  

Fall Grants Awards Announced

The Fall 2016 Grant Cycle of the Huron County Community Foundation has just come to a close. This year ten applications were received covering everything from STEM education to agriculture, and placemaking to preservation of our natural areas. Over $16,000 was awarded to local projects this week as the grant award winners were announced.

STEM Education was a large theme in this year’s applications. Many local educators received training this summer on the VEX robotics system. This system has separate robots for both and middle/high school classrooms, varying their complexity and programming ability. This system, while complimentary to the robotics teams, is designed to be used in the classroom as a hands-on part of the curriculum for every student.  Three local high schools received a total of $8,500 to bring the VEX robotics program into their classrooms: Laker High School, Ubly Community Schools, and North Huron Schools. Laker High School will be using part of their grant funding for Robot Roundup, an event aimed at increasing awareness of robot related careers and allowing high school students to serve as ambassadors to younger generations, peaking their STEM interest early.

With the help of two HCCF Grants, youth agricultural opportunities will be getting a boost. A new 4-H club, Clovers-N-Cows, was started to encourage youth to pursue and explore dairy. Through an HCCF grant, this club will receive club educational supplies aimed at fostering a love for agriculture in the next generation. For our youth already engaged in showing animals, HCCF is proud to be the first supporter of the small livestock barn adoption project at the Huron Community Fair. The revamping of this building includes adding windows and ventilation along with repainting the interior and exterior of the building.

A full list of grants can be seen below. Funding for these projects was provided by HCCF Field of Interest and Discretionary funds including: Robert Emil Thuemmel & Matthew Keillor Fund, Arts and Culture Fund, Education, Reading and Literacy Fund, Health and Medical Fund, Recreation Resources Trust Fund, Huron Medical Center Fund, Huron County Community Trust Fund, Huron County Economic Development Fund, Huron Natural Areas Preservation Fund, and the Judge McCallum Memorial for Disadvantaged Youth.

Greater Port Austin Art and Placemaking Fund – 2017 Port Austin Art and Street Sculptures - $1,000

Laker High School – Robot Roundup - $4,500

North Huron Schools – Playground Project - $1,000

Huron Community Fair – Small Animal Barn Adoption - $2,500

Caseville Elementary—Hear My Voice - $1,000

Ubly Community Schools – STEM/Mechatronics Classroom Part II - $2,500

Huron County Nature Center – Ground Upkeep Material - $1,000

North Huron School – VEX Robotics Controllers -- $1,500

Clover-N-Cows 4H Club – Club Educational Toolkit - $487

Port Austin Lions Club – Butterfly House Project - $1,000

Join us for our Annual Celebration

You may remember last year's Annual Celebration at Port Austin Kayak. We are back this year and excited to share with you 2015 accomplishments and look forward to 2016 plans. 

Join us for a night of appetizers, good company, and learning more about HCCF! We will also be giving out $3,000 in grants that evening.

We hope to see you May 12th at El Rio in Pigeon. Doors open at 5:30 pm with a brief program at 6. 

See the event for more details.

STEAM Grants

STEAM fields continue to grow nationwide and here, in Huron County. To ensure that our next generation has the skills to take on this growing field, STEAM education is imperative. The Huron County Community Foundation (HCCF) and Thumb Cellular have teamed up to create a grant specifically for STEAM related projects at our local schools, libraries, and parks and recreation programs. These groups could win up to $1500 to put their plans and ideas into action! This initiative has been formed to support engaging STEAM education and awareness in our Huron County K-12 students.

Funded by the philanthropic generosity of Thumb Cellular “Casual for a Cause” contributions, HCCF is awarding multiple grants to projects that will promote STEAM to our next generation.   Examples of projects include investing in a 3D printer, expanding science or art equipment and supplies, bringing in hands on demonstrations about STEAM careers, exposing students to local STEAM careers through tours, starting a Lego MINDSTORMS program in your elementary school.... the possibilities are endless!

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS

1.    Think about ways to improve STEAM education and awareness in our K-12 students

2.    Submit that idea by completing a short application along with one picture/visual representation of your organization’s idea.

3.    If the idea and organization meet the qualifications, it will be unveiled on WLEW

4.    Ideas and photos will be posted for voting, so get everyone you know to vote for your organization’s idea on the Foundation's Facebook page. 

5.    If your organization’s idea is one of the top two vote-getters, you receive up to $1500 to build STEAM in Huron County!

 

THE REST OF THE DETAILS

·         Two grants up to $1500 will be awarded for projects that enhance STEAM education and awareness.  Submitted programs/projects must be for the benefit of Huron County K-12 students and not for personal or business benefit.  Grant dollars awarded are to be used to complete the proposed project.  

·         This includes new projects or programs, program enhancement within the scope of work or expansion of an already existing project.

·         Any elementary school, middle school, high school, library, or Parks and Recreation program is eligible to apply.  Only one application per organization. (For example: Bad Axe Elementary, Bad Axe Middle School, and Bad Axe High School could each submit one application, but Bad Axe Elementary could not submit two applications)

·         Application:
- Find application here or via button below

-Complete form which includes a 300 character project description.
- Include one photo or illustration depicting your project in jpg format.

·         Simply e-mail the finished application: hccf@huroncounty.com or mail: HCCF, PO Box 56 Bad Axe, MI 48413

               

DATES TO REMEMBER

·         April 22, 5pm - Grants must be received by HCCF prior to 5pm to be considered eligible

·         April 27 - Proposals going to Facebook vote announced Live on WLEW. Voting begins immediately after announcement

·         May 12, 5pm - Voting period ends

·         May 12, El Rio Restaurant, Pigeon - Top two proposals with most "likes" will be announced at HCCF Annual Celebration. Attendance of all applicants is encouraged!

·         May 13 - Winning applicants will be asked for additional information prior to check disbursement

 

THE FINE PRINT

All grant application entries become the property of the HCCF and applications meeting the required criteria will be voted on by the public via the Foundation’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/huroncountycf).  The HCCF will post the Project Description (300 characters) and photo/illustration depicting your project. Each “Like” received for that project will count as one (1) vote, so encourage your supporters to “Like” your photo!   There is a limit of one (1) vote per Facebook account per project.  The proposals with the most votes will receive funding.   Please note that the HCCF reserves the right not to publish applications that do not meet grant guidelines.  As with all of our grants, decisions are subject to HCCF Board of Trustees’ approval. Feel free to call the Foundation with any questions, 989-269-2850. 

Annual Sponsorships Now Available

 In 2015, the Board of Trustees reevaluated how we recognized those who loyally support the operations of the Foundation. During this examination, we decided that we wanted to do more for you, the supporter, which is why we have opted for a one time, year-long sponsorship program for 2016. Last year brought new events, like our Annual Celebration, and new means of communication, like our new website, Facebook page, and E-Newsletter.

 

We believe it is important to continue to recognize those who make our presence in the community possible, and to publicize the positive activities of the Foundation. To this end, we are asking you to consider a single sponsorship that will support the following activities and events to be conducted by the Huron County Community Foundation during 2016:

 

o    Our Annual Celebration Event – Last year marked HCCF’s first year hosting an Annual Celebration Event highlighting the accomplishments of the previous year and announcing our plans for the upcoming year. The inaugural event was attended by over 100 community members, business leaders, and Foundation supporters.

o    Our E-Newsletter and Social Media – With the increased use of social media and email, our digital outreach has helped grow the Foundation. Between 1,000-4,000 people view a given post on our Facebook page and over 125 local supporters receive our E-Newsletter.

o    Our Annual Golf Outing – Each May, golfers take to the course to support the Operations of the Foundation. The sponsorship for this event is included in the single sponsorship ask for all of 2016.

o    Our Operations - This will be our single ask of you for the year. We utilize different events and campaigns to help fund Foundation Operations. This is your chance to be a sponsor for every event throughout 2016.

 

We rely solely on sponsorships to conduct all events and appreciate your support.  Please see the Sponsorship Request Forms, found below, which also outline Sponsor Recognition Opportunities.

 

Our Foundation continues to grow. The number of permanently endowed funds administered by the Huron County Community Foundation continues to increase, and total invested assets have grown to over $4 million. Please see the 2014 Annual Report showcasing many grants that were awarded in 2014.

 

On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, we want you to know that we appreciate your consideration of this year’s new sponsorship request. It is our goal to make the process of supporting the Foundation easier and more lucrative for your business by highlighting your support multiple times throughout the year and only asking for your support once. If you have questions or concerns, or if you're interested in being a sponsor, please contact Mackenzie Price, the Foundation’s Executive Director, at 989-269-2850.  

If you or your business is interested in becoming a 2016 sponsor, please print the document via the link below and send it to HCCF. 

If you or your business is interested in becoming a 2016 sponsor, please print the document via the link below and send it to HCCF. 

Young Professionals to Host First Event

Join the Huron County Young Professionals Thursday, January 21 from 5:30-7 for Happy Hour at Rachel's Bar and Grill in Bad Axe. 

Start your year off with some good conversation, networking, and a few drinks. We will be in the right side of restaurant when you walk in, towards the back where the tables are. (Don't worry, we'll be there to direct you!) Stop by, bring a friend, and be sure to bring your business card to be entered into a drawing for a Rachel's gift certificate. 

Appetizers will be provided, compliments of the Community Foundation and Economic Development Corporation, and a full cash bar is available. 

The Huron County Young Professionals Network is an opportunity for those in their 20's and 30's to come together with like minded people and network across fields. Please share the event information with any coworkers or friends you feel may be interested. 

 

HCCF Receives Michigan Health Endowment Grant

COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS AWARDED GRANT THROUGH MICHIGAN HEALTH ENDOWMENT FUND TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND WELLNESS OF REGION
Huron, Sanilac, and St. Clair Counties , Mich. – Four local community foundations today announced they have been awarded a grant of $294,000 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support initiatives aimed at improving the quality of health for youth in the region. The Huron County Community Foundation applied for the grant as the representative for the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, Sanilac County Community Foundation, and Four County Community Foundation.


The $294,000 grant will be divided amongst the  four community foundations to ensure a large impact on the health and wellness of the region. "The  main goal of the grant is to help youth lead a healthier lifestyle through access to healthy foods, fitness programs and wellness programs that include nutrition education and teaching our youth how to prepare healthy food" according to the application submitted by the region. In Huron County, multiple projects are being discussed, including partnering with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to expand the existing Friday Food for Kids Backpack Program at Bad Axe Jr. High and Elementary Schools and working to implement the Double Up Food Bucks Program at the Port Austin Farmers Market.  "We are honored to have been selected for this grant that will improve health and wellness in the region. Our goal is to expand existing programs in lieu of reinventing the wheel. This is going to be an exciting project for HCCF, the county, and the region." added HCCF Executive Director, Mackenzie Price. 


More than 30 community foundations across the state applied for funding through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s fall 2015 grant application process. Grant requests focused on areas such as: prenatal care and infant mortality; health services to support adopted and fostered children; healthy food access; wellness and fitness programs; access to mental health services; technology enhancements; health related transportation needs; access to care/integrated care; and teen pregnancy prevention. 
“The Michigan Health Endowment Fund board is proud to support a variety of very successful programs already positively impacting the health of Michigan’s children and seniors as a result of our first grant funding effort,” said Rob Fowler, board chairman. “We look forward to building additional relationships with Michigan’s community foundations and other non-profit organizations as they continue their focused work to improve the health of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”


 Community foundations were eligible to apply for grants in support of programs to improve the health of minor children and seniors in their regions. Those foundations receiving funding, in turn, now have the ability to offer their affiliate foundations or smaller community organizations the opportunity to seek grants that support similar programs. 
“We are excited to collaborate this year with community foundations on projects that seek to enhance the well-being of Michigan’s children and seniors in their local communities,” said Paul Hillegonds, executive director of Michigan Health Endowment Fund. 


The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The fund was created as part of 2013 state legislation that allowed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual health insurer. Nearly $38 million in grants were awarded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund last year.
Additional information can be found at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund website at mhealthfund.com 

HCCF Honors Retiring Trustees

The Huron County Community Foundation Board of Trustees held their last meeting of the year on December 2 at Laker High School. This meeting also marked the end of many years of service for their three retiring Trustees. Lowell McDonald, John Moore, and Al Nietzke are leaving the board after a combined 44 years of service. 


"These three gentleman played a huge role in the growth of the Foundation during the past decade." said Executive Director, Mackenzie Price. If you read the  founding documents of HCCF,  you will find Lowell McDonald's name signed as an original incorporator  in 1994. Since that day, McDonald has invested his time in the growth of the Foundation . McDonald recruited Nietzke and Moore to the Board because of their areas of expertise: Al, a certified public accountant, and John, a school administrator.


Nietzke joined the Board in 2006 and began serving as member of the Finance and Investment Committee.  "Budgets, audits, and IRS reports are important to the operation of a successful community foundation", said Price, "Al's expertise was invaluable during my first year and a half as director."


McDonald recruited Moore to join the HCCF Board in 2001 for his strong leadership abilities and rapport with the community.  In 2007, Moore became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation, a title he held throughout the rest of his time on the Board. "John provided stability and organizational leadership during his 8 years as Chairman, no matter the situation," added Price. Some of these situations include the recession of 2008 and hiring the Foundation's first full time director in 2014.


The Governance Committee of HCCF, chaired by Brent Wehner, now has the difficult job of filling the Board seats of the retiring Trustees. "As a committee, it's very hard to replace such long-serving, dedicated Board Members that bring many years of experience to our Board." said Wehner when asked about the committee's task. McDonald, who sits on the Governance Committee, will play a role in finding new Trustees to take the spots that will be open in 2016. "On behalf of the entire HCCF family, including past directors and Trustees, I want to thank Lowell, John, and Al for their years of philanthropic service to Huron County. The Foundation would not be what it is today if it wasn't for their dedication." noted Price.

 

Young Professionals Network

Are you in your 20’s or 30’s and live or work in Huron County? If so, make a difference together by joining the Huron County Young Professionals!

Submit your information via the Google Form below so you're on the invite list for our first social event in January. Updates will continue to be posted under the "ypn" heading of this website and on the HCCF Facebook page. 

Click here to submit your information! 

HCCF Announces Fall Grants

STEM Education and Placemaking were at the forefront of the Huron County Community Foundation (HCCF) Grant awards during their Fall 2015 Grant Cycle. Over $12,000 was awarded to local projects this week as the grant award winners were announced.

HCCF published their strategic priorities last year after many community conversations and surveys. They continue to use those priorities to focus their grant funding. This year, many of the applicants impacted two strategic priority areas: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education and Placemaking, creating public spaces where people want to gather.

With the help of an HCCF Grant, a new MSU Extension program will be coming to Huron County. Thumb Dairy Odyssey, a program designed to increase knowledge around the field of dairy operations and showcase career opportunities in the field, will offer hands on learning opportunities for children ages 9-19. "This is the only program that focuses on Dairy exploration in the Thumb Area.  Dairy operations are a large part of Huron County's history and future. We hope this program sparks an interest in area youth to pursue STEM careers and return to continue the legacy of these farms." said HCCF Executive Director, Mackenzie Price, of the project.

The largest placemaking project funded in the Fall 2015 Grant Cycle was the Bad Axe Little League Concession Stand Project. With a total project cost of $90,000, Bad Axe Little League had begun the process of soliciting funding from community members and local businesses before approaching HCCF for a grant. "This concession stand is a staple of spring and summer recreation for all of the teams in the county who utilizes the Bad Axe Little League Fields. The community has already begun to support this project, so we were happy to join the effort." Price noted.

A full list of grants can be seen below. Funding for these projects was provided by HCCF Field of Interest and Discretionary funds including: Education, Reading and Literacy Fund, Health and Medical Fund, Recreation Resources Trust Fund, Huron Medical Center Fund, Huron County Trust Fund, Huron County Economic Development Fund, and the Huron Natural Areas Preservation Fund.

Thumb Dairy Odyssey,  Huron County MSU Extension - $500

Harbor Beach Rotary Gazebo Project - $800

Concession Stand Project - Bad Axe Little League - $3,000

FRC Team 5156, Laker High School FIRST Robotics - $2,750

Port Austin Street Sculptures - $750

The History Trail, Port Austin Historical Society - $479

Thumb Quilt Trail, Friends of the Thumb Octagon Barn - $500

STEM Classroom, Ubly Community Schools - $350

Fund Spotlight: Hatchet Fund

The Huron County Community Foundation is proud to announce its newest fund, the Hatchet Fund. The Hatchet Fund is a school fund to benefit Bad Axe Public Schools. School funds are a great way for alumni, employees, and communities to support local schools permanently by giving to an endowment. As long as the school exists, gifts to the fund will continue to provide additional funding to the district for field trips, athletics and other extracurricular activities, fine arts programs, technology updates, and much more. “Mr. Newland [Bad Axe’s Superintendent] reached out to me a few months ago with an interest in the school fund. He invited me to speak at the School Board meeting last month and shortly after, the fund was in place.” said Huron County Community Foundation Executive Director Mackenzie Price when asked about how the idea for the Hatchet Fund started.  “The idea to start the Hatchet Fund came from the great people of the Bad Axe community who donate their time, talents, and money to our school programs,” adds Bad Axe Superintendent Greg Newland.  “In working with the Foundation the process to donate is very simple and donors will know that their gift is going directly to help with the high quality education provided to our students,” said Newland.

With the start of the Hatchet Fund, Bad Axe joins three other districts in Huron County who also have school funds at the Huron County Community Foundation: the Harbor Beach Pirate Fund, the Ubly Bearcat Fund, the Laker Legacy Fund, and the Laker Fine Arts and Academics Fund. The Hatchet Fund will begin to benefit the school after the endowed balance reaches $5,000. The district plans to publicize this to alumni, parents, and the community as well as have staff casual Friday dollars go toward the fund.

Once the fund starts to grant to the District, how the grant dollars are distributed within the schools is left primarily to the district. “These funds are created to benefit the school however they see fit.” noted Price, “Distributing the funds is a decision we leave for the districts to make. They can set up their own system, be that a committee, administrative decisions, or an internal application process.” Mr. Newland anticipates this decision being made by a committee of the Hatchet Fund in which teachers and student groups will apply for funding for special projects, equipment, or other educational aides that helps assist with student growth in and out of the classroom.  

“We are excited to see Bad Axe take pride in this resource and make the growth of the Hatchet Fund a priority” added Price. If you would like to make a gift to the Hatchet Fund, please make checks out to HCCF, writing Hatchet Fund in the Memo line, and send them to the Huron County Community Foundation at PO 56, Bad Axe. Gifts via credit card can be made online at huroncountycommunityfoundation.org.  HCCF is a 501(c)3 organization that can accept estate gifts, stocks, investments, gifts of land, and gift of crops. Please contact the Foundation for more details on supporting the Hatchet Fund at 989-269-2850.

Golf Outing Wrap Up and Pictures

The Huron County Community Foundation hosted its 9th annual golf outing on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at Verona Hills Golf Club.

 

Thanks to AVCI, a sponsor since the event's conception and once again a corporate sponsor, each hole sponsor, and 16 four member scramble teams, HCCF not only raised funds for  Foundation Operating expenses but also had the opportunity to reflect on the past 365 days and recognize faithful Foundation supporters.

Last year's golf outing was three days after Mackenzie Price made her debut as the first full-time Executive Director for the Huron County Community Foundation. "Last year I was excited to meet all those who support the Foundation yet completely overwhelmed." said Price of last year's outing. This year, it was a different story. "It was great to stand in front of the room and thank people who I have come to know personally over the course of the year. To have supporters say the Foundation is gaining recognition in the county is huge" Price added. 

The winner of this year's outing represented Hyzer, Hill, Kuzak, and Co. PC. As the winning team was announced, Price noted that Don and Pam Kuzak not only support the Foundation at the Golf Outing, but they also created a scholarship fund with the Foundation in 2007 in memory of their son, Steven Kuzak. This scholarship is awarded annually to a Huron County graduate that is a member of their school's golf team or is employed at a golf course in the county. "We love any opportunity to brag about our supporters who are doing great things in this community through their contributions. The Kuzaks fall into that category 100%" said Price.

Below is a gallery of pictures from the event taken by HCCF staff and Ernie Paulick.

ICE Grant Winners Announced

Huron County Community Foundation Awards ICE Grants

Back in March, the we introduced our new Innovative Community Enhancement Grants, $500 grants designed to bring spark to a community through placemaking or creating a new program to benefit local communities. When we closed the application process, 14 projects were eligible for the ICE Grants. "We were absolutely floored by the number and quality of applicants we received for the first year of this program" said Executive Director of HCCF, Mackenzie Price, "Our Grantmaking Committee, Chris Boyle, Kelli Jo Osentoski, and Michael Sage, commented on the widespread impact these grants will have multiple times throughout the process. We had projects submitted from Sebawaing to Harbor Beach and everywhere in between."

The projects were submitted to usw in March and presented a "30 second elevator speech" at the Annual Celebration in April. This event served as the launch date for online, Facebook voting that decided which five projects would receive grant funding. The five projects that received the most Facebook votes are:

- Owendale Garden Club and Seed Lending Library                                  - Brian Backus Nature Trail Gazebo in Harbor Beach
- Paint Our Playground- Bad Axe Public Schools Elementary Project Playground
- "Loads of Love" Laundry Project 
- Sebewaing Rotary Club Community Garden

"While the Foundation funded five of these projects, we are challenging the county to make all 14 projects a reality in 2015!" added Price. The idea of placemaking, utilizing community resources to create spaces people want to be,  is one of our strategic priorities. This priority area spurred us to open the ICE Grants in the first place. We will provide updates on each of the top five projects throughout the implementation process. Below are the submitted pictures for the 5 ICE Grant recipients!