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Fall grants celebration goes virtual: Superior Health Foundation awards nearly $67,000 in funds

Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation, welcomes attendees to its Fall Grants Awards Celebration in October 2018 at the Holiday Inn in Marquette. While the awards celebration was a virtual, live event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation awarded nearly $70,000 in health-centered grant funding on Wednesday. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — The Superior Health Foundation in Marquette awarded nearly $70,000 in health-centered grant funding at its Fall Grants Awards Celebration on Wednesday evening at the Holiday Inn in Marquette. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards celebration was a virtual, live event, organizers said in a news release. The grants celebration was presented by 44North.

The Superior Health Foundation awarded $15,790 in pilot-project and equipment grants and $50,866.80 in large grants. All told, $66,656 was dispersed to organizations across the region, according to the release.

In its eight-year existence, SHF has now provided more than $3 million in grant funding to hundreds of non-profit, health-centered organizations across the U.P., organizers said.

At the awards celebration, the Superior Health Foundation recognized eight organizations across the Upper Peninsula that received pilot project and equipment grants since the spring.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Superior Health Foundation, we’re delighted to provide grant funding to so many deserving non-profits,” said Sheri Davie, president of the SHF Board of Directors, in the release.

According to the release, the Superior Health Foundation awarded fall grants to the following organizations:

≤ Partridge Creek Farm ($5,000): Partridge Creek Farm is a private nonprofit located in downtown Ishpeming and has “grown steadily with broad impact within the community by building and growing relationships with local businesses and community-based organizations,” according to the release. The farm implemented the Farm-to-School Program, a nutritional program in which students can grow food, eat and share it with others. The funds will help the organization expand the Farm-to-School project.

≤ Bay Cliff Health Camp ($7,259.90): Bay Cliff Health Camp is a year-round therapy and wellness center primarily serving the needs of individuals living with disabilities. During COVID-19, the camp was not able to continue its normal dining service and was forced to separate their table into five new locations. The SHF grant committee awarded funding to purchase 10 table and bench sets to help the Bay Cliff Health Camp provide healthy meals to the campers.

≤ CATCH Global ($10,000): CATCH My Breath is the “world’s first and only evidence-based, peer-reviewed youth nicotine vaping prevention program,” according to the release. In response to local concerns about the incidences of youth vaping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, CATCH My Breath plans to partner and collaborate with educators across the region to implement the CATCH My Breath program in the 2020-21 school year.

≤ Trace Holistic ($10,606.90): Trace Holistic is a grassroots, developing nonprofit created to address the needs of sexual abuse victims in rural areas of Upper Peninsula. Trace Holistic was initiated by three nurses, one certified as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE, adult/adolescent and pediatric), and two who sought out SANE training to expand available services. The grant funding will be used to start community-based forensic exams for sexual abuse victims. “SHF believes this will be the start to address an issue in the Upper Peninsula which needs more funding,” the release states.

≤ Feeding America ($18,000): Feeding America West Michigan is a food bank that serves the western half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and the entirety of the Upper Peninsula — 40 counties in all. The food bank’s mission is “to gather and distribute food to relieve hunger and increase food security in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula,” the release states. It accomplishes this by providing food to its partner agencies, which then directly serve their communities. The organization hopes to provide food pantries to the six most western counties in the Upper Peninsula with this grant. The funds from this grant will be used to stock the food trucks this organization provides to the six most western counties in the UP.

The SHF Grants Committee reviewed a number of quality fall proposals. SHF Executive Director Jim LaJoie said in the release that the aforementioned fall grant recipients were very deserving of funding.

“We reviewed some really good proposals,” he said. “We’re happy to support these five organizations, all of which are doing quality work in less-than-ideal conditions.”

The SHF will accept applications for its spring 2021 grants cycle in mid-December, with a deadline set for Jan. 15.

For more information on the Superior Health Foundation, visit its website at www.superiorhealthfoundation.org or call 906-225-6914.

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