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
City to increase focus on sidewalk plowing
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Interlochen Wendy's robbed; man arrested
Authorities arrested an Interlochen man on suspicion of armed robbery. Michigan State Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Wendy’s restaurant in Interlochen on Sunday night.Continued ...
Interlochen Wendy's subject of armed robbery
Authorities arrested an Interlochen man, 50, on suspicion of armed robbery.Continued ...
To the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor for stepping forward to offer free open-heart surgery for Nguyen Duyen, a Vietnamese exchange student.Continued ...
Local MSU fans revel in Big 10 title
Rob DeLonge lost his voice on Saturday and by Sunday night it still hadn’t returned. A fair trade off for a Big 10 football championship, as far as he was concerned.Continued ...
Historical Photo of the Week: 12/09/2013
Can any readers identify the children in this photo?Continued ...
TCAPS reviews Cousins
Traverse City Area Public Schools’ Board of Education will release their annual evaluation of the district’s superintendent during a meeting tonight.Continued ...
Historical Photo Update for 12/02/2013 image
Historical photo information, provided by readers, for the Dec. 2 image:Continued ...
Hounds complete sweep of Firehawks
Five different players scored goals as the Traverse City Hounds defeated the Soo Firehawks 5-2 on Saturday night.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 12/09/2013
From three to four?; Should be thanked.Continued ...
Touching Michigan's History
Sometimes it’s best to sit on the floor and pass around artifacts to get a feel of early Michigan history.Continued ...
News From 100 Years Ago: 12/09/2013
Honor man bucked drifts with auto — When he reached here his machine showed the effects of hard usage.Continued ...
Northern Notes: Rain doesn't dampen support
Rain doesn't dampen support for Cooks' House pig roast fundraiser for Traverse Health Clinic.Continued ...
Local Bowling Scores: 12/09/2013
Local bowling scores from Lucky Jack's:Continued ...
Midwest Junior Hockey League Standings: 12/09/2013
Midwest Junior Hockey League Standings as of Sunday, Dec. 8:Continued ...
Community in Brief: 12/09/2013
Christmas Cookie Walk; Christmas dinner.Continued ...
Today in Sports: 12/09/2013
What's happening in sports across the region and the country:Continued ...
- Monday, December 2, 2013
Girls Basketball: St. Francis wins season opener (with video)
The St. Francis Gladiators started the 2013-14 season with a 47-23 win over Harbor Springs tonight in the Katie Heintz Keep Believing Tip-off Tournament.Continued ...
Bomb squad called to Cherry Growers
A Cherry Growers Inc. employee’s discovery of a “suspicious device” brought a state police bomb squad to the fruit processor’s Grawn building.Continued ...
Rich resigns from TCAPS board
Applications are being accepted for an open spot on Traverse City Area Public Schools’ Board of Education following the resignation of a trustee and former board president.Continued ...
Authorities investigate 'suspicious device'
Cherry Growers, Inc. is offering a reward for information about a "suspicious device" that brought the bomb squad to its main office.Continued ...
TCAPS board member resigns
Marjorie Rich has announced her resignation from the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education.
Monday's Sports Scoreboard
Due to technical problems, Sunday's scoreboard was publsihed in the 12/02/13 paper.Continued ...
Cheers & Jeers: 12/02/2013
To Solar Up North Alliance program, a partnership between Cherryland Electric Cooperative and Traverse City Light and Power which allows customers to lease a solar panel for $470 with a $75 rebate, for winning the “Exemplary Project” award from the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association.Continued ...
Academy's 6-week electives are fun, educational
Brittany Wright lined up six bananas and hooked them up to her computer using a special circuit board and connector wires.Continued ...
- City to increase focus on sidewalk plowing