The Marquette County Community Foundation celebrated 25 years of philanthropic encouragement with a ceremonial feast and awards presentation.
The Foundation started out with just $30,000, but after attracting a number of permanent endowments, they were able to grow into a $12 million operation. In the last quarter century, the MCCF has reinvested more than $3 million into the community through a variety of charitable grants.
“Some of the most important things that I remember being special, as far as grants and scholarships go, are things that are life-changing for people,” noted Gail Anthony, COO of MCCF. “When the tsunami happened, the Marquette Community kicked in. When there was a fire in the late 90’s, the Marquette County Community Foundation partnered with other organizations, and the purchased and planted trees. The Skateboard Plaza in Marquette that was just opened for the kids that didn’t have any place to go; they were getting tickets all over the place. The Community Foundation is able to step in and do things for the community that wouldn’t otherwise be done.”
“We’re known as ‘the Old Guys from the High Rise’ up in Ishpeming, but we’re men and women, sixty-strong,” remarked Terry Thompson, a Board Member for the Ishpeming Pioneer Kiwanis Club. “Some of our prime projects include building handicap ramps in the west part of Marquette County. Last Thursday, we erected our 341st handicap ramp, so it is a huge honor to be honored by them.”
The Ishpeming Pioneer Kiwanis Club was just one of five catalyst award winners along with the Landmark Inn, the United Way of Marquette County, Christine Myers of Teaching Family Homes, and the NMU Student Leader Fellowship Program.