PETOSKEY — At its Wednesday meeting, the Rotary Club of Petoskey celebrated the 2022 Teacher of the Year and its recent grant recipients.
In its 30th year of recognizing Petoskey teachers, the club presented the Teacher of the Year award to Sarah Jonker, a kindergarten teacher at Central Elementary School.
“I was a little embarrassed, but very honored,” Jonker said. “It's very nice. Any positive acknowledgement of teachers is so great. You work so hard and it's great when someone says ‘good job’”
The club awarded more than $110,000 to local nonprofits through two of its divisions: The Petoskey Rotary Club Charities, Inc. and the Rotary Park Fund.
Funds for The Petoskey Rotary Club Charities, Inc. came from annual sales of a raffle calendar. On Wednesday, 10 organizations received grants from the charity.
Alanson Booster Club and Alanson Public Schools received $1,500 to support spring athletic programs during the spring 2022 season.
Big Water Creative Arts received $2,000 to expand the “Rock Jam” program in Alanson Public Schools.
Brave Hearts Estate received $2,000 to purchase equipment to prepare the land needed for food plots to attract deer for disabled veterans hunting on their land.
Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan submitted two grant requests and received $2,000 for its ongoing Foster Care Backpack Project, which provides basic needs to children who have been removed from their homes by the Department of Health & Human Services. The backpacks contain a handmade fleece blanket, change of clothing, socks, underwear, age-appropriate hygiene products and age specific books, stuffed animals and, for the older children, journal materials.
The society also received $800 for gift cards for the foster children.
Harbor Springs Garden Club received $2,000 to go toward fixing a stone drinking fountain that is crumbling on the corner of Traverse and Third street.
Manna Food Project received $2,000 for its Healthy Living Program, which purchases fresh produce and protein.
North Emmet Little League received $2,000 for new equipment.
Pellston Education Foundation received $2,500 to help bring instrumental music back to Pellston Public Schools. The foundation will match the donation.
Petoskey High School received $2,500 to fund the Dave Ramsey Personal Finance Curriculum.
Salvation Army of Petoskey received $2,500 for its pilot program Pathway of Hope, which will help low-income families break the multi-generational cycle of poverty and reduce dependence on local government and agency assistance programs.
The Rotary Park Fund awarded grants to nine organizations, totaling $88,398.
Challenge Mountain of Walloon Hills Inc. received $10,000 for its resale store stormwater mitigation project.
City of Harbor Springs Parks and Recreation received $10,000 for its Ted Swarthout Skatepark Project.
Crooked Tree Arts Center received $10,000 for its Bidwell plaza shade sail project.
Habitat for Humanity received $20,000 to go towards building 14 affordable homes in Emmet County in 2022-2023.
McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation received $10,000 for the Justin A. Borra Behavioral Health Center - Cheboygan campus.
North Central Michigan received $10,000 for College Timberwolf Athletics Launch Facility renovations.
North Emmet Little League received $7,500 for a girls score board in Pellston.
Northern Michigan Equine Therapy received $5,000 for a generator.
Top of Michigan Trails Council received $5,898 for Founders Terrace.
“I would like to congratulate all of the Parks Fund grant recipients,” said club president Ashley Whitney after presenting the recipients. “I very much appreciate you coming here. I very much appreciate you applying for this and I'm so appreciative to this club for all the work that we do to generate the funds that allow us to do this. So thank you everyone.”
The Rotary Club of Petoskey is made up of approximately 90 community members who meet weekly at on Wednesdays at the Perry Hotel. More information can be found on the club’s website.
Contact reporter Tess Ware at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter, @Tess_Petoskey
This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Rotary Club of Petoskey awards grants, names 2022 Teacher of the Year