Thirteen community organizations will be able to accomplish more thanks to recent contributions from the Cliffs Natural Resources/Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund.
More than $1 million will be distributed throughout the area from the second round of grant approvals for the fund, created in 2012.
Matt Johnson, external affairs manager for Eagle Mine, said projects funded range from school activities, cultural and historical programs, health and human services, community enhancements and public safety.
For example, the U.P. Children's Museum and the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team, or UPSET, each will receive $200,000 for building and infrastructure improvements. Other beneficiaries in this area are the Forsyth Township Public Library and Kaufman Auditorium.
The Marquette City Band will be able to buy more instruments while the Negaunee Historical Society can digitize 95 years of the Negaunee Iron Herald newspaper, combining history with modern technology.
Funding typically is a huge challenge for many community organizations, so grants of this magnitude certainly are welcome and will be put to good use.
With this type of philanthropy, the receiving entity is not the only beneficiary. The public wins too. How many people visit Munson Park in Republic Township or the Marquette Township Ice Rink Building every year? Who can measure the intrinsic and social value the Great Lakes Recovery Center and the Marquette Women's Center bring to the area?
Students learn special skills in the NICE Community Schools industrial technology program, another grant recipient, while recreational opportunities will be enhanced at Aspen Ridge Middle School in Ishpeming Township and for the Michigan Department of Human Services' Youth Opportunities Initiative.
The purpose of the Cliffs/Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund is to provide grant funding to county projects focused on the community, just as its name says. State and federal funds are limited, so financial resources that can be directed locally are welcome and undoubtedly highly appreciated by the recipients.
The public should be grateful as well.