MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The Community Foundation of Marquette County announced it has distributed $120,000 in grant funding through its annual competitive grant program. The foundation includes five affiliate funds for Negaunee, Big Bay, Greater Ishpeming, Marquette, and Gwinn Area.

The Community Foundation says that following a rigorous review process, the selection committees carefully evaluated each proposal based on the strength of the projects, their alignment with the organization’s mission, and their potential to address critical challenges faced by local communities.

They aim to distribute funds to groups driving positive change in Marquette County communities across a wide spectrum of community needs including childcare, workforce development, arts and culture, public spaces, and many others.

Foundation CEO, Zosia Eppensteiner says they are thrilled to announce the distribution of grants to so many remarkable recipients. She goes on to explain how the grant process works.

“And as far as the review process, you know, we encourage all nonprofits across the county to apply. We have specific funding for Ishpeming. The Negaunee, Marquette, Big Bay, and Gwinn, and we want to make sure that really anything that’s going on in the county that’s a charitable activity is aware of this funding being available. So then these community funds volunteers get together, and review the grant proposals. They look at the merit of the application. They look at the impact of those projects in our communities, and then make the recommendation to the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation.” Said Eppensteiner.

In total, the following 49 organizations along with their corresponding projects/program were awarded funding:

  • 8-18 Media – 8-18 Media Podcast
  • 906 Adventure Team – Bike + Adventure Park
  • Ainsleys H.A.L.O – Hockey Tournament
  • Boy Scouts of America Bay Lakes Council – Scouting Assistance
  • Cancer Care of Marquette County – Patient Care
  • Caregiver Incentive Project – Creating Quality Care at Home Workshop Series
  • Citizens for a Safe and Clean Lake Superior – Big Bay Sustainable Built Environment Initiative
  • City of Negaunee – LaCombe Field Universal Access and Dugouts
  • Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum – Gift Shop Enhancement
  • Forsyth Township Public Library – 50th Anniversary Novel Destinations Summer Reading Program
  • Fresh Coast Film Festival – Volunteer Leadership at the Fresh Coast Film Festival
  • Hope Free Evangelical Lutheran Church – Monthly Food Baskets
  • Iron Range Hockey Association – Project Zebra: Referee Training
  • K.I. Sawyer Heritage Air Museum – Facility Maintenance
  • Lake Superior Hospice Association – Caregiver & Senior Support Groups
  • Let’s Grow K.I. – Community Garden
  • MARESA – Spring/Summer CDA Cohort
  • Marquette City Band Marquette City Band – Children’s Concert Youth Guest Artist
  • Marquette County Habitat for Humanity, Inc. – ReStore Energy Efficiency Upgrade
  • Marquette County Land Bank Authority – Marquette County Housing Target Market Analysis
  • Marquette Fringe – Fall Phantasm: A Low Barrier Arts Event
  • Marquette Mountain Ski Patrol – 800 MHz Radios to Support County Sporting Events
  • Messiah Lutheran Church – Community Assistance Fund Program 2023
  • Negaunee Irontown Association – Pioneer Days Event Tent
  • Negaunee Public Library – Summer Reading
  • Negaunee Public Schools – First Robotics Team
  • Negaunee Public Schools – NHS Marching Band Uniforms
  • Negaunee Senior Center – Keeping Seniors Connected
  • New Free Store – Addressing Hygiene Needs in our Community
  • NICE Community Schools – Westend Gearbusters: Robotics New Swerve Modules
  • Noquemanon Trails Network – Community Trail Maintenance Tools and Transport Trailer
  • Partridge Creek Farm – Keeping Healthy Food Fresh: Cold Food Storage
  • Peter White Public Library – 2023/2024 PWPL Teen Services Programming
  • Planned Parenthood of Michigan – IN*clued Marquette
  • Salvation Army – Bridging the Gap
  • Salvation Army – Marquette – Polar Packs
  • Special Olympics Michigan, Area 36 – 2023 Uniform and Equipment Replacement
  • St. Anthony’s Church – Building and Sustaining a Meaningful Community
  • St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – Hearts and Hands: Learn to Sew
  • Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan – Music Therapy
  • The Queen’s Heart of Marquette – Period Project for Girls in the Marquette Area
  • Trillium House – Trillium House
  • United Way of Marquette County – Yoopers United
  • UP Disc Golf Association – Buck Buchanan Memorial Disc Golf Course
  • UP Luge Club – Safer and Simpler
  • UPward Talent Council – UPCC Building Trades Summer Camp
  • Wesley United Methodist Church – Project Keep Kids Warm
  • YMCA of Marquette County – YMCA Playground Shade Gazebo

“This grant will allow us to purchase benches, planters, and native wildflowers for pocket parks in Big Bay. The pocket parks will provide safe & beautiful green spaces for residents and tourists to fund, pass time, and enjoy the tranquility of Big Bay,” said Cait Sternberg with the Citizens for a Safe and Clean Lake Superior. “We are excited to see folks sitting on locally-made benches while enjoying music at Draver Park, or pausing their walk to take a look at native wildflowers. CSCLS’s projects are supporting the ongoing efforts of Powell Township and the Big Bay Stewardship Council to beautify the community in a sustainable way.”