Apple Blossom Wind Supports Vibrant Communities

Sempra Renewables recently made a $15,000 gift to the Pigeon Community Fund of the Huron County Community Foundation (HCCF). Sempra Renewables, operator of Apple Blossom Wind LLC, through its partnership with HCCF has given back to the Pigeon community annually. Sempra Renewables is in the process of being acquired by AEP, a company based out of Ohio. While the name will change, the interest in the community will remain strong. “We’re excited to make a positive impact on the community and we appreciate all of the local support we’ve had”, said Andrew Johnson, Wind Facility Manager for Apple Blossom Wind.

The gift was given to the HCCF Pigeon Community Fund, a fund dedicated to supporting projects in and around the Village of Pigeon.  The Fund is advised by a committee of individuals who live or work in Pigeon, including Dwight Gascho, Susan Meyerseick, Chris Wurst, Don Faupel, Jeff Leipprandt, and HCCF Board of Trustee Member Michael LePage.

The $15,000 gift supported two community projects, as well as the Pigeon Community Fund endowment. $10,000 was awarded to the Pigeon Events Center, formerly the VFW Hall, for continued improvements to the grounds, including landscaping. In the past two years, the Pigeon Community Fund and Sempra Renewables have provided $15,000 of support to this project for the Village of Pigeon. The facility is currently used for weekly exercise classes, civic club meetings, fundraisers for community causes, and private events

An additional $3,500 contribution was awarded to completion of the Scheurer Path to Fitness, located in the Village Park. The final $1,500 was invested for the future of Pigeon and was added to the Pigeon Community Fund Endowment at HCCF, to be a source of grants for community projects for generations to come.

HCCF Executive Director, Mackenzie Price Sundblad, noted the great partnership that HCCF has established with Apple Blossom Wind. “It’s great to have partners that support the community and see the bigger vision. These two projects both enhance public spaces, which is right in line with HCCF’s Strategic Priority of creating dynamic and vibrant communities.”

EMS Training -- Tuition Reimbursement Program

To further our Strategic Priority of “Retaining and Attracting a Talented, Trained Workforce”, HCCF is excited to our announce our partnership with Scheurer and Sanilac Medical Services to offer tuition reimbursement for four aspiring EMTs.

The current EMT shortage is a nationwide issue that directly impacts our local service providers. Scheurer and Sanilac Medical Services are offering an EMS Training this April. We are proud to provide a $4,500 grant to support tuition assistance for local individuals seeking to become an EMT.

Return the below application to Louise Hunt, EMS Manager ( ) by March 29th, 2019 to be eligible.

Placemaking Grants

Placemaking: re-imagining and reinventing public spaces to bring people together; capitalizing on a community’s assets and potential with the intention of creating public spaces that promote health, happiness, and well-being

The Huron County Community Foundation recently conducted interviews and surveys to determine our new Strategic Priorities. These Priorities allow us to focus our time and resources where the community sees the greatest need. One priority area is creating dynamic and vibrant communities. To that end, we are hosting a Placemaking Grant Competition specifically designed to spark community conversations, invest in public spaces, and bring ideas to life in Huron County.

The County is divided into four regions for the Placemaking Grant Competition (click here to see the map). Each regional winner is guaranteed at least $1,000 to bring their idea to life! Awards will be made based on three different criteria –

1)    Community Voice (aka Facebook voting)
2)    Panel of Judges at the Pitch Event
3)    Public Vote at the Pitch Event

 Here's how it works:

  1. Have an idea that will improve a public space in Huron County (ex. Community signage to make your area more walker friendly, public art installations, bike racks, public events hosted in community spaces, murals, public gardens, little free libraries, disk/foot golf)

  2. Submit the idea by emailing a one paragraph description of the project, your name and contact information, the region in which your project will be implemented (see attached map), and an image that represents the idea to by 4 p.m May 1. Click here to see a sample submission.

  3. If your idea meets the qualifications, your idea will be unveiled on the HCCF Facebook page for the first wave of voting, Community Voice, on Monday, May 6. Get everyone you know to vote for your idea on the HCCF Facebook Page between May 6th and May 13th.

  4. Gather your friends, family, neighbors, and community leaders and attend the Pitch Event at the Port Austin Gym on May 16th for an evening of collaboration, granting, and fun! Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with Pitches starting at 7 p.m. At the Pitch Event, a panel of judges and attendees will hear brief (1 minute or less!) presentations on each proposal. At the end of the presentations, everyone votes by secret ballot.

  5. If your idea has the highest total score, based on Community Voice (25%), the Panel of Judges (50%), and the Public Vote (25%), you will receive $1,000 to implement your Placemaking idea in the community!

View the grant guidelines below for additional information!

Executive Director Earns CFRE


CFRE International has named Mackenzie Price Sundblad as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Price Sundblad, Executive Director for Huron County Community Foundation, joins over 6,300 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation. Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, and demonstrated fundraising achievement. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.

“The CFRE credential was created to identify for the public and employers those individuals who possess the knowledge, skills, and commitment to perform fundraising duties in an effective and ethical manner,” states CFRE International President and CEO Eva E. Aldrich, Ph.D., CAE, (CFRE 2001-2016). “As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE certification demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Ms. Price Sundblad to the fundraising profession and the donors who are served”

CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period. To maintain certification status, certificants must demonstrate on-going fundraising employment and fundraising results and continue with their professional education. Employers and donors who work with CFREs know they are getting a professional who is committed to the best outcomes for their organization and has the requisite knowledge and skills.

The CFRE certification signifies a confident, ethical fundraising professional. Since 1981, CFRE has set standards for fundraising professionals. As the only globally recognized fundraising certification, CFRE indicates professionalism, confidence, and ethics. It is how today’s fundraiser shows accountability, service, and commitment to making a difference for good. The CFRE certification program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and is the only accredited certification for fundraising professionals. As the premier global credential for career fundraisers, the CFRE designation is endorsed and supported by the world’s leading professional and philanthropic associations.

CFRE International and the Board of Trustees of HCCF congratulates Mackenzie for achieving the CFRE designation!

HCCF Community Impact Fund

The HCCF Community Impact Fund provides support for the needs of today, with the flexibility to address the opportunities and challenges of the future. This fund is the best way to ensure we can meet the changing needs of our county.

Previously named the Huron County Trust Fund, the Community Impact Fund is an unrestricted fund at HCCF, meaning it is designed to quickly respond to new opportunities and proactively work to address upcoming challenges. HCCF was established on the idea of permanent endowments creating a legacy for the future. The Community Impact Fund plays a critical role in ensuring that HCCF has the funding necessary to support our community, for good, forever.

Most funds at HCCF are designated to support different causes, whether that be an organization serving our community, a well-established area of interest or need, or the education of a local scholar. While these funds provide valuable resources to our community, we cannot predict the next area of need or the next organization to need the support of an endowment, which is why the Community Impact Fund is important to the future of our county.

Would you like to help ensure that charitable dollars will always be available to meet the changing needs of our community? Consider a 2019 contribution to the HCCF Community Impact Fund or consider remembering the Community Impact Fund in your estate planning.

Recipients Announced -- Back to School Grants

Over 30 educators from across the county shared with us how they would use $600 to enhance their classrooms. The Grantmaking Committee faced an incredibly difficult task of choosing two recipients.

The 2018 Back to School Grants, supported by the Education Fund at HCCF, are:

Alan Green – Agricultural Science Teacher at Unionville-Sebewaing Area School District – the $600 grant will be used to purchase woodworking equipment to continue to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities and life skills in the classroom

Stewart Kieliszewski – Mechatronics Teacher at Ubly Jr./Sr. High School – the $600 grant will purchase a 3D Scanner for the mechatronics classroom to teach students how 3D scanning can be applied in real life, manufacturing situations

An additional $600 Back to School grant, supported by the Price Family Donor Advised Fund, is awarded to Stephanie Anderson, English Teacher at Bad Axe Public Schools, who will use $600 to continue to expand her classroom library to support the independent reading program she has established with her students.

Congratulations to our grant recipients and our sincere thanks to all Huron County educators for teaching our next generation! Pictures will be coming to the website as soon as the new materials are implemented into the three grant receiving classrooms.

Back to School Grants -- Available Now

Back by popular demand, HCCF is offering "Back To School" grants for 2018! These grants are our small token of appreciation for all that our educators do for our students and our community.

All Huron County educators (pre-K - 12, public and parochial) are eligible to apply for a $600 grant by answering the following question:

"What would you do in your classroom with an extra $600?" Innovative/New/Creative/Fun ideas encouraged!

Email paragraphs to prior to 4 pm on October 1 to be consider for these TWO $600 awards.

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HCCF Strategic Priorities Survey

In 2014, the Huron County Community Foundation embarked on its first ever Strategic Priorities Process. This process included polling community stakeholders to figure out what was important to our communities and their future. 

Now, four years later, we are conducting another Strategic Priorities Process! This time around, HCCF conducted over 20 one-on-one interviews with community leaders from Bay Port to Port Hope. These leaders came from the following categories: Business , Community , Public Sector, Education, and Agriculture. These individuals were asked about the positives and negatives in our community, what they would change if they had a magic wand, and questions about how HCCF fits into this puzzle. 

Using the answers from those 20+ interviews, HCCF crafted a county-wide survey, which you can take by clicking the button below. We want your feedback. We are your Community Foundation and we care about the issues facing our entire county. 

The interview information, alongside the data collected from the survey, will be used as HCCF sets its priority areas for funding and community engagement for the next four years. It is our intention to share the results of this survey with groups across the county, because we recognize that collaborative efforts are the key to lasting improvement. If you represent a group that would be interested in hearing more about the results and process, email Mackenzie ( and she would be happy to come speak with you! 

Thank you for taking part in this process and please attend our Annual Celebration in September (additional details coming soon!) to hear about HCCF's updated Strategic Priorities. 

Huron County College Access Network Seeking Coordinator

A contractor is being sought to coordinate the Huron County College Access Network.  Services shall be provided via a contract with outlined deliverables.  Applications should be submitted in a letter format and include experience and qualifications related to promoting attainment of post-secondary credentials, community collaboration, fund development, and project coordination.   Resumes should be attached to application letters.   Click the button below to access the complete posting!          

Submit questions and applications to Kay Balcer, Interim College Access Network Coordinator, at

To see the Common Agenda of the Huron County College Access Network, click here.

Grant Follow-Up: Back to School Grants

To start the 2017-2018 school year, we asked educators in our county's schools to answer the following question: What would you do in your classroom with an extra $500? 

We had an overwhelming response (over 60 entries!), but in the end, only two classrooms were chose to receive the $500 grants. Mrs. Yackle's Ag Science Class at Bad Axe and Mrs. Smithers' 3rd grade class at Laker Elementary. 

Mrs. Yackle used the grant to purchase a hydroponics system for her classroom which was used for experiments, research, and eventually, a cooking lesson!

"Our botany class has greatly appreciated the back to school grant for our hydroponic units. Our students have learned about setting up scientific research projects, testing water quality and pH, as well as how hydroponic systems work. To end our project, our students learned how to make fresh salsa which turned into a basic cooking lesson as most of the botany students had never worked with chopping vegetables before. They are all very excited to learn how to can stewed tomatoes in the fall." - Mrs. Yackle.


Mrs. Smithers' Class used their $500 to become published authors! With the grant, each student was able to write and illustrate their own hardcover children's book, complete with stories about what they want to be when they grow up, poems that include the letters of their name, and more. The students learned about the writing and editing process, as they worked on this project for the entire school year.

Members of the HCCF Board and Staff attended their end-of-year "Publishing Party" where the newly published authors walked the red carpet after their name was called. The authors also read their own stories to those in attendance. 

Two $500 grants brought innovation and smiles to two Huron County classrooms! We are proud to support our educators and our next generation however possible.

2018 Grant Schedule & YAC Grants

Below is a recent press release outlining 2018 grant opportunities and announcing the last of the YAC grants from 2017!

The Huron County Community Foundation is excited to announce the 2018 grant schedule for both HCCF Grants and grants from the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC).

“We’ve received feedback from past grantees and organizations around the county about the structure of our grant cycles, so for 2018, we are making some changes” said HCCF Executive Director Mackenzie Price Sundblad. In past years the YAC has awarded grants to programs impacting youth in the Spring and the HCCF Board has done one grant round in the Fall to make awards from the rest of the funds. This year, both the YAC and the HCCF Board will be conducting two grant rounds a piece.

“Our goal with the additional rounds is to support time sensitive projects that are positively impacting our community” added Price Sundblad. The new grant rounds will be as follows. The HCCF Board will receive grant applications in February and August starting in 2018. The Youth Advisory Committee, a coalition of young people from each of the county’s high schools, will accept grants impacting youth in April and December of each year. Priority funding areas for both the YAC and HCCF Grants will be listed on the information page of the grant applications, which will be available on the HCCF website.

The YAC recently implemented their second cycle during December 2017. The YAC made grant awards to Country Corners 4-H Club and the Thumb Area STEAM Showcase. Country Corners 4-H will be updating the display cases in the 4-H Building at the Huron Community Fair. The Thumb Area STEAM Showcase, hosted by the Huron ISD, is in its third year under the current name and provides a free venue for students to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math related activities and careers.

When asked how those interested would know specific dates for the grant cycles in February, April, August, and December, Price Sundblad said the following. “The best ways to stay up-to-date on when the grant cycles officially open and we are accepting applications is through our Facebook page and our E-Newsletter. Be sure to find us on Facebook or sign up to receive the electronic newsletter through our website, because those are the first two places that hear about our grant cycles.” Those will also be the place the HCCF announces any special grant cycles, like their recent Back to School and Thankful Thursday grants.

Coming Soon: Thankful Thursdays

This time of year is always a time a of reflection and gratefulness as we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday next month. In that spirit, this year, HCCF will be doing a mini grant opportunity called "Thankful Thursdays" every Thursday in November leading up to Thanksgiving. Each week a $500 grant will be given to a non-profit organization serving Huron County! This is our small way of saying "Thank You" to the local non-profit organizations that meet the needs of our community. 

Here is how "Thankful Thursdays" will work:

  1. HCCF will post the "Thankful Thursdays" graphic on our Facebook page each Monday (starting October 30)
  2. Comment the name of your favorite non-profit organization on the "Thankful Thursdays" post any time between Monday and Thursday at 11:30am; one comment per Facebook user per week will be counted towards entry in the drawing
  3. HCCF staff will count the comments for each organization. Every comment posted before 11:30 am earns the organization one entry into the drawing.
  4. Thursday (November 2, November 9, and November 16) at noon, we will draw out a name of a non-profit who will be awarded $500!

It's as simple as commenting one time per week and staying tuned on Thursday to see who wins! 


Fine print: One comment per week per Facebook user will be counted as an entry. Once an organization has been awarded a Thankful Thursday grant, they are not eligible for the following weeks "Thankful Thursday" drawings. All grant decisions are subject to approval by the HCCF Board of Trustees.

Back To School Grants Awarded

At our 2017 Annual Celebration, HCCF announced a "surprise" grant round for our county's educators. We dubbed this $500 mini-grant opportunity our Back to School Grant. 64 teachers from across the county submitted their answer to the following question--

What would you do with an extra $500 for your classroom?

Answers ranged from school supplies to snacks, archery equipment to flexible seating, and literacy initiatives to push-up buzzers. Our Grantmaking Committee had the incredibly difficult task of choosing one teacher to receive the $500 grant. Thanks to an anonymous gift to the Price Family Fund, the award was doubled, allowing the Grantmaking Committee to choose two educators to receive their $500 wishes. 

Our two Back to School Grant recipients are Vicki Yackle of Bad Axe Public Schools and Amy Smithers of EPBP Laker Elementary! Mrs. Yackle will be adding a hydroponics growing system to her classroom and Mrs. Smithers' students will be published authors by the end of 3rd grade. Read their full paragraphs below. Thank you to all of our educators for your tireless work of educating the next generation! We appreciate all you do! 

If I were to be granted $500 to spend on school supplies, I would buy a dutch bucket hydroponics system, pH solution, and a new pH tester for for my botany students.  This system include 4 individual hydroponic units with separate nutrient tanks and pumps so the students could run a control and 3 experiments for tomato growth all year round.  Then the produce would be used in class to teach the students how to make homemade salsa and tomato sauce.  It could also be used in our cafeteria salad bar.  My goal in introducing hydroponics into our curriculum is to encourage healthy eating in a fun way.  Many of my students did not realize that tomatoes when grown indoors actually have a 10 month growing cycle until we discussed this project in class.  I currently have grow lights in my room so adding this system would greatly expand their hands-on opportunities in our plant science curriculum.

My name is Amy Smithers.  I teach 3rd grade at Laker Elementary School. If I were to be awarded the "Back to School" Grant of $500.00 I would put the money toward a student book publishing project.  I would love for each of my students to be able to work on one published piece of writing per month that then could be put into their very own bound, hard cover published book for them to keep.  Imagine how exciting it would be for students to know that all of their published writing could be placed in their very own hard cover book! Student motivation to write and to become a better writer would increase. The company that I would use to publish the books is called "Student Treasures Publishing".  I would also need to purchase a variety of Sharpie markers to meet the illustration requirement from the publishing company. I appreciate this opportunity to apply for such an amazing grant!


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