TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Rotary Charities received the 27th annual Lyle DeYoung Downtown Achievement Award from the Downtown Traverse City Association.

Rotary Charities was honored for its multiple contributions to the vitality of Traverse City.

The presentation took place Thursday at the City Opera House during the DTCA's annual meeting. The award is named for Lyle DeYoung, a downtown leader who died in 1992.

Rotary Charities, a nonprofit public foundation, bought the historic Park Place Hotel in 1989 out of bankruptcy court, invested more than $13 million in renovations, reopened the doors in 1991, and later sold the property to the current owners.

It pledged $1 million to the State Theatre project in 1997. In 2007 it signed the property over to the Traverse City Film Festival with a five-year performance-based mortgage.

The hotel and theater both serve as beacons to the downtown and will serve the community for generations to come, Traverse City Downtown Development Authority CEO Jean Derenzy said in a release.

Rotary Charities recently awarded a $1 million grant to the Downtown Development Association for the planning and development of a downtown civic square. The DDA leveraged that money and received an additional $2 million appropriation from the state for the project.

The Rotary Charities foundation since 1977 has invested more than $58 million in more than 1,300 grants across the five-county Grand Traverse region. 

Also at the annual meeting, DTCA 2019-2020 board members were introduced: Misha Neidorfler of Morsels Espresso + Edibles, Susan Fisher of the Traverse City Film Festival, John McGee of Sorellina/Slate, Dawn Gildersleeve of Cherry Republic, Jake Kaberle of Burritt’s, Pete Kirkwood of Workshop Brewing Co., Liz Lancashire of Fustini’s, Margaret Morse of Hotel Indigo, Blythe Skarshaug of Copy Central, and Amanda Walton of Toy Harbor.

The DTCA is comprised of more than 200 merchants, restaurants and businesses in the downtown district. More information is available at 231-922-2050 or

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