Over $216,000 in People Fund grants awarded to local groups in 2017

MICHIGAN — Great Lakes Energy, with the help of its members, continues its commitment to local communities through the People Fund.

During 2017, the People Fund awarded $216,155 in grants to charitable and community organizations. The Great Lakes Energy People Fund is supported solely by Great Lakes Energy members who allow their electric cooperative to round up their bill each month to the next dollar.

The grants funds were awarded to 60 charitable and community organizations throughout Great Lakes Energy’s 26-county service area, which stretches from Kalamazoo to the Mackinac Straits.

“Thanks to the generosity of our members we’ve awarded more than $3.3 million in grants since 1999 to local nonprofits groups and organizations,” said president/CEO Bill Scott. “The local communities in our service area benefit greatly from this program that is fully funded by our members who allow their bill to be rounded up to the nearest dollar each month.”

Uplift Pine River Area Kids, of Tustin, is just one of many local organizations helped by the People Fund. (Courtesy photo)

Uplift Pine River Area Kids, of Tustin, is just one of many local organizations helped by the People Fund. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the electric cooperative who wish to participate are encouraged to enroll in the People Fund online at gtlakes.com or by contacting Great Lakes Energy’s office.

“People may not think 50 cents a month can do much, but when added with the contributions of other Great Lakes Energy members, we are able to help so many,” explains Scott. “Giving back to the community is one of the cooperative principles and we couldn’t do it without our members’ generosity.”

The following groups from the Central Area (which includes Manistee, Mason and Lake counties) received People Fund grants in 2017:

• Caritas Food Pantry, Custer: $2,195.68 for storage shed and snow blower;

• Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm, Free Soil: $4,437.99 for barn repairs, printer and fax machine;

• City of Ludington Police Department: $5,000 for driving simulator;

• Fixing Furry Friends, Scottville: (two grants) $500 toward computer, monitor, printer, toner, keyboard and mouse. $948.08 for canopies, cages and crates;

• Fountain Area Community Center, Free Soil: $3,000 for furnace for the upstairs of the community center;

• Friends of Ludington State Park: $5,000 for equipment for a new playground that will be ADA accessible;

• Irons Seventh-Day Adventist Community Service Center: $3,000 for food pantry needs;

• Lake County Habitat for Humanity, Baldwin: $3,000 for tools and a trailer;

• Lake County Historical Society, Baldwin: $5,000 to reconstruct the wall next to the handicap ramp;

• Martin Johnson Heritage Museum, Baldwin: $3,265 for new roof;

• Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association, Ludington: $1,250 to bring the schooner Appledorn V to the Michigan Lighthouse celebration;

• Save a Buddy Fund, Manistee: $500 for spay and neuter vouchers;

• Second Chance Humane Society, Scottville: $1,072.96 for laptop, printer, keyboard and monitor;

• Tallman Lake Senior Center, Fountain: $3,102 to install new entry doors and widen the opening;

• Uplift Pine River Area Kids, Tustin: $5,000 for supplemental food program for kids; and

• West Shore Pregnancy & Family Support, Ludington: $3,000 for Earn While You Learn Program.

The 2017 People Fund Annual Report is included in the January issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine recently mailed to Great Lakes Energy members. Others may obtain the report by contacting Great Lakes Energy at 1-888-485-2537 or by visiting gtlakes.com and downloading the report.

The Great Lakes Energy People Fund is accepting applications for 2018 grants from local nonprofit organizations. Deadline for applications for the 2018 grant cycles are April 15 and Oct. 15. Request an application by calling 888-485-2537 ext. 1313, or request it online by visiting gtlakes.com.

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