Give Local Bay campaign to raise funds for local nonprofits


ARENAC COUNTY—  Three Arenac County nonprofits will be participating in the Bay Area Community Foundation’s annual Give Local Bay 24-hour campaign Tuesday, May 5.

Among the 47 funds participating are the Standish Historical Depot, Ye Olde Courthouse in Omer and the Arenac County Historical Society Museum. 

The 24-hour online fundraiser allows donors to contribute to their favorite nonprofit. All donations are held in an endowment fund with the community foundation. 

Participating organizations will not only receive donations given by donors, but will also receive part of a $25,000 incentive from the community foundation and will have the opportunity to win various prizes.

Prizes can be won through friendly competitions taking place throughout the day. One contest allows the public to visit and participate in a poll. The organization with the most votes will win the cash prize. This contest began Wednesday, April 29 at 9 a.m. and ends Monday, May 4 at 3 p.m. 

Normally, donations are deposited into organization endowment funds at the Community Foundation to help prepare for the future. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, all Give Local Bay 2020 donations, prizes, and incentive funds will be available for nonprofits shortly after the event to help respond to needs during this time, according to Communications Officer Kirsten Hellebuyck. 

This will be the Arenac County Historical Society Museum’s first year fundraising for themselves. In previous years, the society raised funds on behalf of the Ye Olde Courthouse. 

President Sandy Proulx said donations will go in their Mary Jennings fund and be used to help with electrical maintenance, improving the grounds and the overall preservation of the building. Proulx said this year the Historical Society is celebrating 50 years and they would like to continue as long as possible. 

“We really appreciate everyone who donates. There are always things that come up that we need to fix and maintain,” said Proulx. She said the building was built in 1883 and is always in need of upkeep. 

The Ye Olde Courthouse began participating in Give Local Bay in 2015 and finished in first place for most donations received three separate years, according to treasurer Phyllis Klender. 

Last year the courthouse received $15,719 total during the campaign, raising $9,335 before the Community Foundation’s incentive. 

According to Brenda Matt of the Standish Historical Depot, this will be the fourth year the Depot has participated. Last year they received donations totalling $6,429.81. They raised $4,125 before incentives and were the recipients of the Night Owl prize which awarded another $250. 

Matt said they would like to surpass last year’s total but will be pleased with whatever amount they receive. 

Donations can be made online at or can be made over the phone at 989-893-4438. 

“All of our nonprofits are vital to this community,” said Diane Fong, president and CEO at Bay Area Community Foundation in a press release. “We’re especially grateful for those serving on the frontlines during this pandemic. As we come out of it—and we will—we will gather with one another at community events, participate in arts and culture, enjoy and protect the environment, build homes, and preserve our history. Our local nonprofit partners help us do that. Let’s come together to support them now, so they can continue helping our area be a thriving and vibrant place to live.”


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