TRAVERSE CITY — By Carol South
Special to the Record-Eagle
The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation's mission is to make a difference and create legacies that matter.
Since its founding 20 years ago, the foundation stewarded more than $70 million. Organization and individuals entrusted the foundation with their money as a way to make an impact in the region.
Over that time, contributions have resulted in $37 million in community grants given to local nonprofit organizations. Funds supported programs, services and capital projects in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.
The foundation's assets currently stand at $47 million.
"We're the endowment builder, building the resources of our community to be here forever," said Phil Ellis, executive director of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. "For us, we recognize in our 20th year it's not about us but how we can be a resource for donors."
Twenty years is a relatively short amount of time for a community foundation; a similar foundation in Grand Rapids just celebrated 90 years. In the context of successful and enduring community foundations — there are more than 700 nationally and internationally — the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation's board is planning for the next five, 20, 50 years.
A long-term perspective both reflects and honors the legacies created by donor funds.
Some large impact projects over the years include the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA capital campaign, Thirlby Field and the National Writer's Series. The power of many is leveraged thanks to the Community Foundation.
"(T)he ACE Fund started with just one donor and there have been 750 donors since then," said Ellis of a fund that supports Traverse City Area Public Schools. "We can all be philanthropists."
The board awarded more than $410,000 in December, the latest grant cycle, including $180,000 given as part of its competitive fall grant cycle. Recent awards boost the total for 2012 to $1.7 million granted.
A new Bethany Christian Services program received a competitive grant of $4,000 from the Campbell Endowment for a new Safe Families for Children program, a program that also received a regional impact grant of $5,000 from the foundation's Youth Advisory Council.
The grant allows Bethany to launch an initiative that provides support and a temporary home for children whose families are experiencing a temporary crisis.
"It's really a blessing," said Craig Bultsma, executive branch director of Bethany Christian Services. "It enables us to reach out into the community and help families in need."
The Foundation's roots are linked with Rotary Charities, whose board of directors provided support and leadership in 1992 to establish the foundation.
A W.K. Kellogg Foundation matching grant helped boost the nascent fund. The resulting $4 million raised sparked a match of $2 million from Kellogg for a Youth Endowment.
"They created us to become a resource that others could come to," Ellis said.
The foundation hosts approximately 280 funds that support arts and culture, the environment, youth and education. Community enrichment funds are geared to help with health and human services, seniors, food programs and housing. Approximately 15 to 20 new funds are created each year.
The Foundation distributes about $2 million each year and one of the region's largest grantmakers. More than half the money disbursed is earmarked for community enrichment.
One component is that members of a Youth Advisory Council, teens in high school, get to decide how to distribute $67,500 from the Youth Endowment. The 60 members of this year's council are high school students from the foundation's five-county area. Young grantmakers learn the basics of philanthropy and grantmaking, review applications and select programs to recommend for funding.
"It's a unique way to serve my community," said Lauren Murray, a senior at Traverse City Central High School. "You can think about the impact of these grants and you know exactly what it's going to do."
For more information on Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, call 935-4066 or see www.gtrcf.org
TRAVERSE CITY — By Carol South
Joliet beats slumping Beach Bums
For Traverse City, it was a case of the Mondays. The first case this year, actually.Continued ...
Commissioners adopt cafe ordinance, drop platform dining
John McGee had plans to build a deck that seats 40 people in two parking spaces in front of his Park Street restaurant but those plans will wait as city commissioners postponed action on parking-space platform dining indefinitely.Continued ...
Roller derby bout set for Saturday
The Toxic Cherries take to the flat track against the Glass City Rollers followed by the Cherry Bombs against the Barry County Black Heart Maidens on Saturday at the Civic Center.Continued ...
Deputies catch bicycle-riding suspects
Grand Traverse County Sheriff's deputies cited two boys suspected of shoplifting condoms and drinking alcohol after chasing the bike-riding minors through a drive-in restaurant and a mini golf course.Continued ...
Red Ginger to reopen
Pam and Dan Marsh hope for a crush of a different kind when they reopen their Red Ginger Restaurant almost eight weeks after a column collapsed and closed the popular downtown eatery.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 07/22/2014
TC East wins Little League district; Local players compete in Midwest tourney; Michalowski wins two divisions. (Plus more)Continued ...
Schmerheim shoots hole-in-one
Kim Schmerheim shot an ace Sunday at The Crown.Continued ...
Editorial: Suing for money inmates don't have is wasted effort
To hear Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley tell it, a Sheriff’s Department policy to sue to collect $20 daily housing fees from jail inmates isn’t an effort to “squeeze blood out of a turnip.”Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/22/2014
Wake them up; Mind our own business.Continued ...
Borgman, Hammar, Peyerk, Wilkerson first-time winners at Merritt Speedway
The Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club was present and brought plenty of sunshine along with them for a night of racing action in all seven classes Saturday at Merritt Speedway.Continued ...
- Poll: Should GT jail sue to collect daily inmate housing fees?
TC Hounds 2014-15 schedule
The Traverse City Hounds 2014-15 Midwest Junior Hockey League schedule:Continued ...
4-H livestock donations will feed the hungry
Goodwill Northern Michigan and 4-H hope crowdfunding packs more locally-sourced meat into local food charities.Continued ...
House candidates to appear in forum
The 10 people running in Michigan's most crowded House race will appear side by side to answer questions.Continued ...
Cherry Capital totals on the rise
New statistics show business took off at Cherry Capital Airport this spring. Both passenger numbers and fight totals rocketed skyward.Continued ...
Farmers could get money for 2012 losses
Jim Bardenhagen is no different from other farmers across Michigan: late frosts in 2012 destroyed his cherry crop.Continued ...
Deadline to file for local school boards is 4 p.m. Tuesday
The petition-filing deadline for candidates interested in sitting on local school boards is 4 p.m. Tuesday.Continued ...
UPDATE: Maxbauer's market closes after fire
More than meat was smoking when a grease fire broke out at Maxbauer's Meat Market. The Union Street store closed Monday after the fire started in the market's smokehouse at about 10:30 a.m.Continued ...
Division, Boughey streets lane closures planned
Commuters on Division Street heading north can expect delays when work crews close one northbound lane to install a new curb at the alley between Seventh and Eighth streets.Continued ...
2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams
The 2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams:Continued ...
Maxbauer's market closes after fire
Maxbauer's Meat Market is closed following a grease fire in the market's smokehouse.Continued ...
GT board will fund Lafranier Road construction split — somehow
Grand Traverse County commissioners backed the county's participation in a three-way split of local funding for a major overhaul of Lafranier Road, but they did so without identifying exactly how the county will pay its share.Continued ...
To the Grand Traverse Conservation District, which was to run guided kayak trips over the weekend on the Boardman River from Scheck’s State Campground to the Brown Bridge Quiet Area.Continued ...
Gateway finishes off TC sweep
Despite wonderful weather, it wasn’t a pretty weekend for the Traverse City Beach Bums.Continued ...
Historical Photo of the Week: 07/21/2014
Can any readers identify the young women in this photo?Continued ...
- Joliet beats slumping Beach Bums