April 17, 2012

Saginaw Community Foundation grants more than $65,000 to support programs in the county

The Saginaw Community Foundation granted $65,634 this quarter to support 13 programs and projects in Saginaw County.


“We strive to grant funds to support programs that will truly make a difference in our communities,” said Reneé Johnston, president and CEO of the foundation. “Every person who has supported the foundation – whether through donations, volunteering or advocacy – has helped us give much needed support to area programs. It’s people like you who truly help make Saginaw a better place.”


Programs managed by a variety of organizations were supported, including the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame, Friends of Hill House, Boy Scouts of America and City Rescue Mission. Grants came from the Unrestricted Fund, as well as various field of interest funds, including the Senior Citizens Enrichment Fund, YWCA Fund for Women and Girls, and the FORCE Youth Advisory Committee.


The Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame’s proposed Hall of Fame Room at the Castle Museum will showcase the athletes, coaches, contributors and teams that have represented Saginaw County since 1884. The project was granted $5,000 by the Saginaw Community Foundation.


“Last year, the Castle Museum achieved record attendance with more than 18,000 visitors,” said Jack Tany, president of the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame. “We strongly feel that a historic sports display depicting the top individual athletes and teams from Saginaw County will not only educate youth, but also influence them by keeping their grades up to be academically eligible to participate in sports.”


Friends of Hill House received a $10,000 grant from the foundation to help restore the historic Hill House, a lumber-era mansion.


“The 5,800-square-foot Queen Ann gem has been vacant for nearly 20 years,” said Paul Virciglio, president of the Friends of Hill House Foundation. “The plan is to turn the Hill House into an architectural history museum and study center service the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond and a community center serving Cathedral District residents.”


Through a joint cooperation between departments, Kochville Township, Thomas Township and Tittabawassee Township Fire Departments will utilize its grant money to purchase lock boxes that will allow fire departments to gain entry to a residence without damage to the property. These lock boxes will be donated to high-priority residents with significant health issues.


“This project came to light after each department recognized that they had residents who were unable to open a door during an emergency because they suffer from pre-existing medical conditions, causing a delay in initiating patient care,” said Brandon Rossi, fire inspector for the Kochville Township Fire Department. “Most residents that will benefit from this will be the elderly.”


Another grant supported the purchase of two Honda Ruckus Scooters. These scooters will enable Saginaw Police Reserve Unit officers to move in smaller areas more easily than a police vehicle.


“The Honda Ruckus Scooters will work great in conjunction with police vehicles for parades for Pride, Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day,” said Lt. Harry Davis with the Saginaw Police Reserve Unit. “These units will be less intrusive to traffic flow.”


The scooters also will be used to support events such as the Lawn Chair Film Festival and Friday Night Live.


Saginaw Charter Township received grants totaling $7,500 to support the Wickes Woods Disc Golf Course.


“Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the country,” said Linda Buska, Saginaw Township recreation manager. “Saginaw Township has a divergent population, making it difficult to provide activities that are desirable to both teens and older adults. Disc golf can be played from childhood through the senior years, making it a lifetime fitness sport.”


The next grant deadline is May 1. Organizations interested in applying for a grant through the Saginaw Community Foundation can learn more at saginawfoundation.org, or contact Kendra Kempf at (989) 755-0545 or kendra@saginawfoundation.org.


The following organizations received grants for projects that affect the Saginaw community:


Community Village – City Rescue Mission – $5,000
Community Village Emergency Generator Replacement


Kochville Township Fire Department – $9,225

Residential Knox-Box


Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame, Inc. (SCF) – $5,000
A New Home


Friends of Hill House (SCF) – $10,000

Campaign for Hill House


Boy Scouts of America – $4,000

Urban Scouting


Saginaw Police Reserves – $3,409

Honda Ruckus Scooters


Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy – $5,000

Purchasing new computers for computer lab


Saginaw Charter Township – $7,500

Wickes Woods Disc Golf Course


United Way of Saginaw County – $5,000

Prevention Partnership AmeriCorps Program


Mission In the City – $7,000

MITC Project


City Rescue Mission – $1,500

Youth Homeless Awareness Initiative


Birch Run Area Schools – $1,000

Succeed by Reading


Merrill Community Schools – $2,000

AWS Collaborative Program – Merrill Schools