Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 12, 2014

Local organizations benefit from Rotary Charities grants

TRAVERSE CITY — Rotary Charities of Traverse City awarded grants ranging from $5,000 for a pickle ball court at the Bellaire Senior Center to $35,000 for the Lakes to Land Regional Initiative.

The organization gave out 11 grants during its spring grant round that total $210,000 to local nonprofit organizations and government units.

Rotary Charities Associate Director Becky Ewing said the group received about $550,000 in grant requests, which left board members with the difficult task of recommending what requests to fund and at what level.

"It really is about impact, bottom line, where can we get the biggest bang for our buck," Ewing said. "We really take the stewardship of the funds seriously."

Ewing said one grant recipient that flies under the radar is Grace Episcopal Church. It received $20,000 to renovate the Jubilee House, which provides resources for the homeless.

"It's just become this amazing community. They've had an increase in the people they serve, especially this winter, and they're treated like family," Ewing said.

The renovation will make space for a larger food pantry, handicap-accessible showers and bathrooms and a private area for counseling services.

Rotary Charities awarded the Aging and Disability Resource Collaboration $10,000 to hire a coordinator. The collaborative is a partnership between the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan and the Disability Network of Northern Michigan that aims to provide services to aging and disabled residents.

"It will be the coordinator's job to do outreach and start to ensure that the five counties are aware of the services that are available through the ADRC," said Renee Louvierre-Mitchell of the Disability Network.

The Conservation Resource Alliance received $25,000 to design the environmental aspects of a new Boardman River crossing on Cass Road; Elmwood Charter Township received $20,000 to complete a traffic study on the M-22 corridor in Greilickville; and the Leelanau Conservancy received $30,000 to help permanently preserve 700 acres of Leelanau County farmland.

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