2017-05-25 / Front Page

Community Foundation Gives $36K

By Debra Petkus


Students representing the LaSalle High School Robotics Team were on hand at the St. Ignace Area Community Foundation awards at the library Wednesday, May 17. The team has 14 members, and those present to receive a grant towards their program are (from left) Tori Geldner, Casey Brake, Delayne Bassett, Rob Matelski, Robotics Coach Merlin Doran, Sarah Doran, and Alicia Garen. Students representing the LaSalle High School Robotics Team were on hand at the St. Ignace Area Community Foundation awards at the library Wednesday, May 17. The team has 14 members, and those present to receive a grant towards their program are (from left) Tori Geldner, Casey Brake, Delayne Bassett, Rob Matelski, Robotics Coach Merlin Doran, Sarah Doran, and Alicia Garen. The St. Ignace Area Community Foundation handed out $36,611 in grants and scholarships Wednesday, May 17, in an award ceremony at the St. Ignace Public Library.

Chairman Peter Everson told those in attendance the foundation will initiate a fundraising campaign to increase to $2 million the $1.5 million currently invested, which will allow it to give out $100,000 yearly. More details will be announced later.

The foundation’s principal capital is never touched, following its core value of “For good. For ever.” Only its investment income is used for awards and scholarships. It has awarded $640,000 since it was established in 1995.


At right: Saints Softball was one of the groups that received a St. Ignace Area Community Foundation grant at the spring awards Wednesday, May 17, at the library. Accepting the award money on behalf of the group are Elizabeth Rountree (left) and Audrey O’Rourke. At right: Saints Softball was one of the groups that received a St. Ignace Area Community Foundation grant at the spring awards Wednesday, May 17, at the library. Accepting the award money on behalf of the group are Elizabeth Rountree (left) and Audrey O’Rourke. Scholarships totaling $15,000 were given at graduation to 11 LaSalle High School students who met foundation requirements and had donated 120 hours to community service. Chairperson Pete Everson said while there were many worthy students, the board noted that that since its members are volunteers, they would like to award students “who also exhibit community service.”

Scholarships were awarded to the following students: Lydia Brown, who is going to Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant to study elementary and special education; Jenny Campbell, who will study psychology at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie to become a guidance counselor; Hannah Eby, to study business management at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey; Alex France, to study radiology at Ferris State University in Big Rapids; Callie Kammers, social work at Central Michigan University; Drew Marshall, Alma College in Alma, a pre-medical school curriculum and to play football; Sierra Metz, pre-med at Michigan State University in East Lansing; Robert Rountree, criminal justice at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw; Taylor St. Onge, cosmetology at Northern Style Beauty Academy in Sault Ste. Marie; Carter Tallaire, accounting at Lake Superior State; and Lauren Yoder, criminal justice at Lake Superior State.


Scholarships totaling $15,000 were given out to 11 LaSalle High School graduates at the St. Ignace Community Foundation awards Wednesday, May 17. Students had to meet the requirement of recognition for graduation and have served 120 service hours in the community to be eligible. Receiving the awards are (front row, from left) Hannah Eby, Jenny Campbell, Taylor St. Onge; (back row) Robert Rountree, Callie Kammers, Alex France, Sierra Metz, Lydia Brown, Drew Marshall, Carter Tallaire, and Lauren Yoder. Scholarships totaling $15,000 were given out to 11 LaSalle High School graduates at the St. Ignace Community Foundation awards Wednesday, May 17. Students had to meet the requirement of recognition for graduation and have served 120 service hours in the community to be eligible. Receiving the awards are (front row, from left) Hannah Eby, Jenny Campbell, Taylor St. Onge; (back row) Robert Rountree, Callie Kammers, Alex France, Sierra Metz, Lydia Brown, Drew Marshall, Carter Tallaire, and Lauren Yoder. Mr. Everson congratulated the students, wished them good luck and left them with a little advice: “You’ll certainly find it as a different focus in your life as you go away from what you’re really comfortable with. Many of you will have some challenges as you make that adjustment; every year, kids do.


The St. Ignace Community Foundation gave out $21,611 in awards to area organizations that applied for grants. The following individuals attended the awards ceremony at the library Wednesday, May 17, to receive grants on behalf of their groups: (front row, from left) Lani Fettig of Evergreen Living Center; Alicia Garen and Rob Matelski of LaSalle Robotics Team; Elizabeth Rountree and Audrey O’Rourke of Saints Softball; Heather Brady of St. Ignace Area Schools fifth grade; (back row) Betsy Dayrell-Hart of St. Ignace Planning Commission; Jon Olsen of LaSalle High School “Just Desserts”; Bill Peek of Michilimackinac Historical Society; Shirley Sorrels of Museum of Ojibwa Culture; Carol Romback of Camp New Day UP; Emily Fullerton of Saints Track, and Craig Hierholzer of LaSalle High School Music Department. The St. Ignace Community Foundation gave out $21,611 in awards to area organizations that applied for grants. The following individuals attended the awards ceremony at the library Wednesday, May 17, to receive grants on behalf of their groups: (front row, from left) Lani Fettig of Evergreen Living Center; Alicia Garen and Rob Matelski of LaSalle Robotics Team; Elizabeth Rountree and Audrey O’Rourke of Saints Softball; Heather Brady of St. Ignace Area Schools fifth grade; (back row) Betsy Dayrell-Hart of St. Ignace Planning Commission; Jon Olsen of LaSalle High School “Just Desserts”; Bill Peek of Michilimackinac Historical Society; Shirley Sorrels of Museum of Ojibwa Culture; Carol Romback of Camp New Day UP; Emily Fullerton of Saints Track, and Craig Hierholzer of LaSalle High School Music Department. “Don’t be afraid of your challenges,” he added. “Make sure you take them on full-bore. It’s important to do.”

The Foundation gives out grants to local community organizations in the spring and fall. The spring total of $21,611 was awarded to the following groups:

Michilimackinac Historical Society, $2,500. Bill Peek accepted the check and thanked the foundation for being staunch supporters. The funds will go to “restart the family and oral history program at the museum downtown,” he said.

LaSalle Robotics, $2,000. Robotics coach Merlin Doran and some of the members of the robotics team were present. The fee to be a part of the first robotics competition is $5,000, in addition to the cost of materials for the robot students are appointed to design and have six weeks to build.

“Between the Community Foundation, Sault Tribe (of Chippewa Indians) and the businesses in the area, we sustain what is called a club sport in high school,” Mr. Doran said. He said the club does its own fund-raising. “I make the kids do any grants, and collecting money so they learn business skills,” he said. The club involves “science, technology, and engineering, which most of these people are interested in — and hopefully (they) go later into along those lines,” Mr. Doran said.

St. Ignace City Planning Commission, $5,000. Volunteer Dr. Betsy Dayrell-Hart said the money will be used to engage with the Sustainable Built Environment Initiative, led by a group of professors from Michigan State University.

“Our plan is to envision, design, and plan a recreation pathway along the railroad grade, starting at about Spring street and going to Little Bear East and Museum of Ojibwa Culture, Dr. Dayrell-Hart said.

She announced that the first of three community outreach meetings will be held in the St. Ignace Public Library conference room Wednesday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m. It is open to the public.

“This is where we get to choose what kinds of things we can do with the plan for the railroad grade,” she said. “And how we can make all the uses that the railroad grade currently has fit together so that it’s a nicelooking place,” she added, “especially for slower-moving traffic.”

St. Ignace Recreation Department, $2,000. Given for work out equipment at the Little Bear East arena fitness center; Evergreen Living Center, $1,200, accepted by Lani Fettig, recreational therapist. “This will be used for a wheelchair accessible picnic table and umbrella to enjoy outdoors.”

LaSalle High School “Just Desserts” program received $1,500. Jon Olson said the event has been going on for about 20 years, and is the biggest non-athletic event at the school. Students qualify if they make the honor roll three times, and are invited to the banquet at which they are awarded a medal and enjoy many options of desserts as a reward. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without your support,” Mr. Olson told the foundation members.

Camp New Day, UP, received $1,280 Camp nurse and board member Carol Romback accepted the check. “Camp New Day is for any student whose parent or relative has been or is incarcerated,” she said. Last year eight Mackinac County students attended the camp. They are picked up for free, and if they need anything while at camp it’s provided including sleeping bag, pillow, underwear, socks, and shoes. In addition, “Each camper receives a blanket, stuffed animal and a beach towel and a water bottle to keep, It’s a wonderful experience, she said, “kids really enjoy it.”

LaSalle High School Softball, $1,635. It was accepted by members Elizabeth Rountree and Audrey O’Rourke who said the funds will go towards new equipment and transportation to games, which is around $300 each trip for gas and driver; St. Ignace Area Track, $800 for pole vault equipment. Coach Emily Fullerton said new poles were needed to replace old equipment that wore out. Each pole is designed for a specific weight and size.

Museum of Ojibwa Culture, $1,500. Shirley Sorrels accepted the check. “We are doing some more work in children’s area,” she said by revamping it and making more interactive activities. “We could not do it with you.” They are also streamlining the museum, changing some of the old exhibit cases and have new counters making it more welcoming. Ms. Sorrels said the museum was awarded a grant of $1,000 in the last fall awards, and have been working on the sculpture park. That SIACF’s grant was combined with other funding. The sculptures will be installed June 17. “I hope everybody will come and see these life size Anishinaabe figures on the museum grounds,” she said.

Band Director Craig Hierholzer accepted $1,928 for LaSalle High School Band. “You one hundred percent funded a classroom set of acoustic guitars to use in the high school music appreciation class,” he said. “Now students will actually have a skill they can use for the rest of their life. They will all learn to play guitar if that take that class,” he said.

All of the recipients were very thankful for the money received, including Clyde O’Rourke, fifth grade teacher at St. Ignace Middle School who sent a letter of appreciation for the $268 awarded to cover transportation for a school trip.

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