Community Foundation Gives $31,945 to Les Cheneaux Projects, Organizations
“We will have given out over $50,000 in grants this year,” Foundation President Rick Shapero said Tuesday night. “Please know that this is a great community to be part of, and that we’re very proud to be supporting these great projects that help the community.”
Community Foundation grant coordinator Eric Cardwell and Youth Advisory Committee representative Katie Eberts distributed grants to the following organizations and projects:
YAC to the Future
MacKenzie Sudol, a Cedarville High School student and Les Cheneaux Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) member, will use $1,500 from the YAC and Community Foundation to establish a Junior YAC.
Identifying a need to recruit new members before they enter high school, Miss Sudol called the project “YAC to the Future,” and will teach children in the fourth through sixth grades about philanthropy. Youth Advisory Committees were established around the state of Michigan by the Kellogg Foundation as a vehicle for encouraging charitable giving in teens and nurturing leadership. YAC boards are composed primarily of teens and at least one adult advisor, and they make most of the decisions regarding the organization, including which projects will receive grants. YAC grants support community projects that help young people have better quality of life. YAC members are also given opportunities to participate in leadership training and philanthropic activities. The Les Cheneaux YAC also hosts summer dances in Cedarville for area middle and high school students.
Miss Sudol’s project will involve working with Les Cheneaux Community Schools students to teach them about the high school YAC’s activities and how grant cycles work.
Clark Township Volunteer
The Clark Township Fire Department received $1,850 from the foundation to buy a rescue/vent emergency saw. In the event of a fire or other emergency, the saw can be used to remove an exterior wall section from a home to reach trapped victims inside if they cannot get out through a door or window. The saw can also provide vertical ventilation during a structure fire to reduce dangerous conditions for firefighters and property damage to the structure.
The Fire Department is facing a major equipment overhaul, and is looking for creative ways to finance equipment purchases without using township funds, because the cost exceeds the money budgeted for fire department operations. The volunteer firefighters have been organizing fundraisers since the summer to raise money for such items as a pike poles, rubber fire hose, light boxes, a chain saw, safety vests, a generator, 20 sets of turnout gear for firefighters, and dock carts for carrying equipment to island fires. Most of the items exceed $1,000 each.
Les Cheneaux Preschool
Les Cheneaux Preschool will receive a 2-1 challenge grant of $2,500 if it can raise $1,250. If the school is successful, the combined amount will give it $3,750 to help offset the cost of tuition this year. Like most schools around Michigan, Mr. Cardwell said, the school is facing declining enrollment, and therefore declining tuition revenue.
The preschool is paid for through tuition and fundraisers, and provides an early, pre-kindergarten education for three- and four-yearold children.
The council received a $10,145 grant from the Community Foundation’s Economic Development, Wildlife Environmental, and Great Lakes Collaborative funds. The money will be applied toward the group’s $24,000 project in 2007 to plant milfoil weevils in Cedarville Bay to fight the extensive growth of Eurasian watermilfoil.
Milfoil weevils consume the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil, and have effectively knocked back explosive milfoil growth in other lakes, like Paradise (Carp) Lake south of Mackinaw City. Of the available options, the method is expected to have the least environmental impact on the water, and the weevils should be self-sustaining after the first two to three years of planting.
A company that professionally grows and manages the weevils will be contracted to treat Cedarville Bay with the insects and monitor their progress. The council will buy the recommended number of 15,000 weevils for $1.50 each, and the additional $1,500 will cover the cost of planting and monitoring. Watershed Council members will also monitor the project, scheduled to begin in the spring of 2007. Additional weevil plantings are expected, but will not cost as much as the first year’s application.
Les Cheneaux Bike Path
The Bike Path Committee received $3,000 for an educational outreach project to inform citizens about the proposed pedestrian and bicycle trail across Clark Township and beyond. The Clark Township portion will be part of the proposed North Huron Scenic Pathway from St. Ignace to Drummond Island. Printed materials, logo development, and informational presentations to area organizations are part of the outreach plan. The organization hopes its outreach effort can be a model for trail partners in other municipalities along the northern Lake Huron route.
The Junior Football program for elementary school football players received $1,500 to help offset the cost of new uniforms, which have not been replaced in more than 10 years. The uniforms are getting worn out and torn. The uniforms are expected to cost about $3,000. The program has about 50 student members in grades four through seven.
Les Cheneaux Community
The library received $400 from the Youth Advisory Committee to buy a new “Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature” for the library. The guide is a reference tool that categorizes articles in recently published magazines and scholarly journals. It is typically used by students as an academic reference for research papers, and helps them avoid having to search through magazines for reference articles.
Les Cheneaux Community
Schools - Artist in Residence
The Elementary School received $500 to help offset the $750 cost of Artist in Residence at the school. The program involves bringing local artists to the school for demonstrations. Starting in January, artists will visit the school weekly and demonstrate all day in the hall and to individual classrooms.
The program teaches students about different careers in art and hobbies by providing interaction with the artists, live demonstrations, and occasional hands-on activities. Robert H. Nitz Mentoring Program Expansion
Youth mentor coordinator Leigh Miller received a $550 grant from the YAC to help expand the Mackinac County Nitz Mentoring Program into the Les Cheneaux Community Schools district. The five-year-old program was created by local human services agencies after identifying the need for adult involvement in young people’s lives. The program has matched more than 40 young people with adults over the past few years, and those adults provide friendship, advice, positive reinforcement, and try to develop a sense of positive self-esteem, strong character, and civic responsibility.
The money is expected to help children and teens, ages five through 17, in the Clark Township area by matching them with adults trained in the principles encouraged through the Nitz Mentoring Program.