Community foundation holds Annual Celebration

The Community Foundation of Marquette County held its Annual Celebration at the Northern Center on Wednesday. The celebration recognizes donors, businesses and funders who invest in the community each year. (Photo courtesy of Community Foundation of Marquette County)

MARQUETTE — The Community Foundation of Marquette County held its Annual Celebration on Wednesday night.

The event, held at the Northern Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University, featured Catalyst Awards presentations, prize drawings, special announcements and more.

“The community foundation is a membership organization, all of the donors and community members are the members of this organization, so it’s a chance for us to have our annual meeting,” said foundation CEO Zosia Eppensteiner. “What we’re doing besides our business meeting is awarding several grants (tonight) as well as Catalyst Awards that we award annually, and we’re also making a pretty exciting announcement about the Jumpstart a Heart endowment. The (Jumpstart a Heart) effort was an effort that, as you know, we assisted the law enforcement agencies in Marquette County with replacing automated (external) defibrillators, there were 38 or 40 units that needed to be replaced, and we were able to raise the funds to do that, which is about $85,000 to replace all of those units that are needed right now.”

The Jumpstart a Heart program was introduced in June by the community foundation and the Marquette County Law Enforcement Administrators Association. At the time, organizers hoped to raise more than $81,000 for the new equipment, which was distributed to seven area law enforcement agencies. Some of the previous equipment was more than 15 years old and needed to be updated.

Much of the funding was made possible by grants through the West End Health Foundation, the Frazier Fund, the Ray and Peg Hirvonen Foundation, the Superior Health Foundation, the Negaunee Area Community Fund and the Marquette Area Community Fund.

“We want to thank all of our donors and supporters for providing that support, but in the meantime, we also realized that this is not a need that’s going to go away,” Eppensteiner said. “The new equipment will need maintenance, batteries wear out, pediatric pads that the AEDs have wear out, or maybe even individual units will have to be replaced. Through support of anonymous donors, we were able to start a Jumpstart a Heart endowment fund. This fund will provide that support year after year and continue to grow and be able to provide for that maintenance of this new equipment.”

Last year’s community foundation celebration was scrapped due to the pandemic.

“Last year, because of COVID, we weren’t able to hold our event,” Eppensteiner said. “And we are taking extra precautions with how everything is still challenging with COVID. Last year, our business meeting was virtual, and so we weren’t able to gather and recognize our sponsors and our reporters so even in smaller numbers, it’s exciting for us to reconnect with those who care about the mission of the community foundation.”

Four Catalyst Awards, which are individuals, organizations and businesses nominated by the community foundation’s Board of Trustees, were also presented at the celebration. These awards “recognize the efforts of those that help build community through volunteerism or philanthropy and inspire others to do the same,” according to a news release.

Eppensteiner said recipients of those awards will be announced within the next month.

New at this year’s celebration was the Range Bank Clean Energy Grant, which was established this year “to assist nonprofits with investing in energy-saving projects and education.” This award was presented to Lake Superior Lifecare & Hospice by Range Bank President and CEO Roxanne Daust. The funding will go toward completing an energy-saving insulation project.

The Community Foundation of Marquette County holds over 170 different funds that benefit worthy charities and charitable causes within the county. The tax-exempt, nonprofit, publicly supported philanthropic organization has a long-term goal of building permanent, endowed funds for the broad-based public benefit. The foundation was established in 1988 to work with donors to establish charitable funds and support nonprofit organizations through a variety of grant-making efforts.

For more information, visit www.cfofmc.org or call 906-226-7666.

Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is rspitza@miningjournal.net.


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