Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation celebrates 30 years of giving back

·2 min read
Founding members of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation Jim Ramer, Robert Clark, Maureen Nicholson, and John Fought pose for a photo.
Founding members of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation Jim Ramer, Robert Clark, Maureen Nicholson, and John Fought pose for a photo.

PETOSKEY — After years of giving back to the Emmet County community, the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary at a special meeting last week.

Founding board members, past board members, nonprofit and education partners, community leaders, donors and friends gathered in Harbor Springs to look back on the work the community foundation has done.

The group provides discretionary grants of up to $1,000 outside of the regular responsive cycles; environmental education grants to support K-12 environmental learning opportunities, from field trip transportation to equipment for up to $500; Little Traverse Bay Protection and Restoration fund grants for up to $65,000 to help restore and protect the Little Traverse Bay watershed; Sturgeon River Pottery grants for up to $250 for art supplies for K-12 Emmet County students; as well as creating a fund for housing solutions in Emmet County and an essential needs fund.

To involve more young decision makers in the community and get them engaged in philanthropy, the foundation has a Youth Advisory Committee. Participants help advise the Fund for Youth and review grant applications. The students in the committee are between eighth and 12th grades.

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Founding members Maureen Nicholson and Jim Ramer both spoke at the meeting, discussing the early years of the foundation.

According to the group’s website, the foundation was originally founded to “consider new ways of investing in the community they all loved.” Nicholson and Ramer found other workers with similar experiences to research and learn the model.

The founders of the group worked to create an endowment that would allow funding to be redistributed to help the community. The first annual meeting was held July 16, 1992.

Nicholson and Ramer were joined as founding members by Herb Carlson, Robert Clark and John Fought.

At the meeting, outgoing board members Jenny Deegan and Will Goelz were celebrated for the work they’ve done for the foundation. Deegan spent the last 13 years on the board, serving as the president for the last two. Goelz worked as a member of the foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee for the last five years, and a board member for the last year.

The annual meeting also served as an opportunity for the members to elect the 2022-23 slate of directors. Returning members Jenni Attie, Steve Boeckman, Bob Keedy and Jan Mancinelli were all elected, and Courtney Font and Alex Carlson were elected to fill vacancies.

Carlson joined as a representative for the Youth Advisory Committee.

A financial report was also given, looking back on the foundation’s past 30 years of growth. Board treasurer Melissa Nguyen noted the $57.5 million in gifts and $34.4 million in grants the community foundation has given out.

To learn more about the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, visit www.phsacf.org.

Contact education reporter Karly Graham at kgraham@petoskeynews.com or on Twitter at @KarlyGrahamJRN

This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Community Foundation celebrates 30 years of helping Emmet County