December 22, 2014

Local organizations must turn in Arenac County Fund grant requests by Sept. 17

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ARENAC COUNTY — Local nonprofit groups, government agencies, or educational institutions seeking financial assistance have until Sept. 17 to submit their requests to the Bay City Community Foundation.

Diane Morley, chairman of the Arenac County Fund, which the foundation oversees, said that deadline is in place so that the fund committee may take a look at those requests and make sure they meet the foundation’s guidelines for applying for assistance. Once interested applicants meet those guidelines, they have until Friday, Oct. 1, to submit their full application.

Eileen Curtis, the president and CEO of the Bay Area Community Foundation, said interested parties may visit the foundation’s website, www.bayfoundation.org, go to the section titled “Apply for a Grant,” and then download a grant application from that site.

Curtis said the Arenac County Fund started in 2000 as a geographic fund of the foundation. She said the foundation serves both Bay and Arenac counties.

According to Curtis, since the fund started, the foundation has granted approximately $67,000 to several Arenac County programs in arts and culture, community development, and education.

“They have, since they started, awarded a significant number of funds,” she said.

Morley said the fund committee members are looking to fund programs that have the greatest impact on the citizens of Arenac County.

“We’re not going to fund something that benefits an individual,” she said.

She said projects that have been funded by the Arenac County Fund include the Band Shell Theater at The Depot in downtown Standish, the installation of handicapped-accessible sidewalks at the pavilions in Arenac County parks, and providing food banks for county residents.

Curtis said that after Oct. 1, the Arenac County Fund Committee reviews the grant applications, and then awards the grants in mid-November. She said organizations that are applying for the grants must be nonprofit, or 501(c)(3) organizations, governmental entities, or educational institutions.

According to Curtis, most of the funds awarded to governmental entities are for community initiatives supporting ongoing projects. An example, Curtis said, is the ice arena in Bay County. Since the county operates that facility, they would apply for funds to improve that facility.

Morley said the foundation schedules a couple of events each year to benefit the fund. One of these events is an auction to benefit the Arenac County Fund. That event is scheduled to take place the first Thursday in December at Dunleavy’s in AuGres.

In addition, a golf outing is scheduled to take place in May. She said the fund’s golf outings always take place at an Arenac County golf course, with this year’s event occurring at Knoll View on US-23 between Omer and AuGres.

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