Education affordability is a significant issue for our local graduates. Improving the accessibility of post-secondary opportunities is a priority for the foundation. This year, we awarded scholarships to 224 students in the Northwest Ottawa County area, providing a total of $655,095 worth of assistance.
We also understand that celebrating art begins with investing in programs that make it accessible—and enjoyable—in our community. Because of this, we dedicate grants and resources to programs that bring regional and national art and cultural experiences into the community while also supporting the growth of local organizations.
As a community foundation, we rely on the wisdom and guidance of our Board of Trustees as we work to carry out the mission of our organization. This year our board members donated their time, energy, and expertise to help us best respond to our community’s needs during a particularly unprecedented time. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing board member and to welcome our new member. This year, Chad Bush has reached the end of his term and we welcome Natalia Kovicak to the board.
We recently awarded five second-round Community Impact grant awards, totaling $308,000, in support of Northwest Ottawa County and our surrounding communities. This includes a $125,000 grant to the Village of Spring Lake for the redevelopment of Tanglefoot Park. This...
Pioneered by a group of civic-minded individuals with a heart for this community and led by E.V. “Vin” Erickson, our foundation started in 1971 with just $1,200 and a vision to deliver a positive impact through dedicated service. Despite doubt from skeptics questioning whether a community foundation could be successful in a community the size of the Grand Haven area, our committed leaders relied on their desire to equip our community with the resources needed to endure any and every future challenge.
The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation has granted $216,231 from its Community Relief & Recovery (CR&R) Fund to 11 area for-impact organizations serving individuals, families, and communities most impacted by COVID-19.
A significant part of our mission and commitment to enhancing the quality of life in Northwest Ottawa County includes prioritizing, protecting, and preserving the environment through thoughtful stewardship, advocacy, and education.
A few of our grantees leading meaningful environmental initiatives within our community took a moment to express their appreciation to the foundation as we continue to celebrate our 50th anniversary. We have had the pleasure of working with wonderful mission-driven organizations, including the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Department and the Ottawa County Parks Foundation, the Outdoor Discovery Center Network, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, and the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum over the years to support our shared environmental commitment.
A few of our COVID relief grant recipients—Mosaic Counseling, Love in Action, Four Pointes Center for Successful Aging, Good Samaritan Ministries, and St. John’s Episcopal Church—took a moment to discuss the impact of these contributions and explained just how much this support has helped the important causes they lead throughout the Northwest Ottawa County area.
At the end of 2019, the GHACF formed the Impact Investment Committee to explore a different option for investments. These investments will complement the foundation’s current investment policy, programs, and grant-making activities and establish a process for the expanded investment and development of resources in the community.
For 50 years, relationships have been an integral part of the success of the GHACF and very much remain so today. We are grateful for the relationships that we have with community leaders because we are often more impactful when we work together.