News and Announcements
Meet today's scholarship highlight, Anna Ramsey! Anna is a 2021 Bronson High School graduate who is attending Kellogg Community College in the Fall to study Early Education. She plans to attend KCC for two years and then transfer to Trine University to further pursue a career in early education. Her experience in the classroom has helped her become more successful as she continues working towards her degree and career goal of being a teacher. She loves being with the younger kids and being able to influence their learning. She has been on the honor roll every year of High School and is a very hard-working student.
Meet our next scholarship highlight, Jada Fair! Jada is a 2021 graduate of Bronson High School. She will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall to study Nursing. Through 4-H, which she has participated in since she was a child, she realized her passion for making the world a better place and giving service to others. All of the qualities she has gained from 4-H will carry on into her nursing career. She plans to minor in Global Health and study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of Michigan’s Reproductive Health International Experience. She hopes to become a Certified Nurse Midwife in the future. She is still involved in the Cransonettes and Jets 4-H club and enjoys spending her free time working with her animals, spending time with her dogs, friends, and family before heading off to college.
Today’s scholarship highlight is Michael Richer! Michael is a 2021 graduate of Quincy High School. He is one of three Academic Senior Scholars in his class and is a member of the National Honors Society. Michael will be attending Trine University in the fall to study Electrical Engineering. He was able to take dual enrollment classes at Trine during his Junior and Senior year and obtain his CompTIA A+ certification through the Computer and Networking Technology program at BACC his Junior year. Michael was active in Youth in Government, ASTRA, Green Club, Drama Society and Business Professions of America. He also assisted in several community projects with the Quincy Rotary Club. Michael’s dream is to be a world changer. He is an entrepreneur at heart and wants to own his own business in the future. He wants to build things that will make people’s lives better. Michael’s favorite quote is one said by Albert Einstein; “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”
The Branch County Community Foundation’s 2021 Community Good Grant Cycle is coming up! Grant funding proposals will be accepted in August for projects and programs that support Branch County and Colon.
In 2020, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Community Foundation was thrilled to be able to fully or partially fund projects and programs that applied for funding through the Community Good Grant Cycle totaling $35,000. A few of the organizations who received funding include the Children’s Museum of Branch County for their Everbright Exhibit, Tibbits Opera Foundation for new sound and lighting equipment, the South Michigan Food Bank for a Fresh Food Initiative at Bronson Schools, and Michigan WDI to help remove barriers to employment. Funding for the 2020 recipients came from the Foundation’s Forever Fund, as well as a few Donor Advised funds held at the Foundation.
Grant applications for the Community Good Grant Cycle will be accepted from August 1 through August 31, 2021, for projects and programs that directly benefit Branch County or Colon. For more information on qualifications and to apply, visit the Community Foundation’s website at www.BrCoFoundation.org or call the office at 517.278.4517.
Bruce G. and Ruth A. Young Endowment Fund grants $2,500 to Union City Senior Center Renovation Project
The Union City Senior Center has been a community funded project since 2019 and was put on hold when Covid hit back in early 2020. The original goal, pre Covid, was to have the Senior Center open in December of 2020, but the city’s new goal is to have it open and operational by the end of 2021. Work on the interior has been progressing rapidly throughout the year, and generous donations and gifts like the grant from Dr. Bruce and Ruth Young have really helped continue the progress of the renovation.
The Bruce G. and Ruth A. Young Endowment Fund is a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at the Branch County Community Foundation. Donor Advised Funds are designed to allow donors to recommend charitable institutions and/or programs to receive grants. This type of fund is the perfect vehicle for donors who wish to participate actively in the grant making process and retain philanthropic flexibility. You can learn more about DAF’s by contacting our office at email@example.com or 517.278.4517!
Pictured above from left to right is Senior Center Chair Steve Searls, BCCF Operations & Planning Manager Madison Hilderley, BCCF Executive Director Erica Heminger, Dr. Bruce Young, Ruth Young, Village President William Avery, and Village Manager Chris Mathis.
Say hello to today's scholarship highlight, Lauren Smith! Lauren is a 2021 graduate of Union City High School and the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center. In the fall she will be attending the University of Michigan to study Environmental Science. Lauren would like to either be studying our climate and preserving ecosystems or educating others in Environmental Science. She has been enrolled in a wide variety of environmental classes and helped organize the 2021 High School Climate Change Symposium through the Math and Science Center. During the symposium, she was a keynote presenter alongside many renowned voices in the climate change movement. Lauren was the President of NHS and participated in Interact and Student Advisory in her school. She also has studied classical ballet and flute for many years at the Firebird Fine Arts Academy.
Meet today's scholarship highlight, Morgan Rose! Morgan is a 2018 Bronson High School graduate and has been attending Grand Valley State University for the past 3 years where she is double majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Pre-med, and minoring in Psychology. Morgan is going into her senior year at GVSU and then studying abroad in South Korea at Yonsei University for a semester in the Spring of 2022. Her career goal is to go to medical school at Michigan State’s D.O. program and become an OB/GYN. At Grand Valley, Morgan is involved in three clubs; Pre-Med Club, Red Cross Club, and K-GE, a culture and dance group. In K-GE, she was on the executive board for the school year 2019-2020 as the Activities Coordinator. Morgan is also a part of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and the Cook Leadership Academy at GVSU. Along with those extracurriculars, Morgan is also involved in research with a GVSU professor regarding causes of male infertility. In her free time, she also volunteers in the local Grand Rapids community by helping at flu clinics, preparing packed lunches at Kids Food Basket, and providing emotional and in-home support of new mothers and babies through the Momsbloom organization. Other than volunteering, Morgan enjoys spending time with friends and family, embroidering, painting, drawing, reading, and watching movies.
Our next scholarship highlight is Simon Minor! Simon is a 2021 graduate of Colon High School and will be attending Western Michigan University in the fall. Simon has been accepted into the school of Music at Western Michigan University where he will be pursing a degree in Multimedia Arts Technology. He has had a love of music his whole life and has been an active member of his school band program since 6th grade. He has also been composing music on his own for many years. Simon plans to pursue e-sports at Western Michigan University. He has been on the Honor Roll at Colon High School and is also a scholar athlete. Simon actively participated in drama club the last four years of High School, he was a member of the Varsity Track team, and he also participated on the Colon High School Golf team as a freshman and a sophomore. Simon’s end goal is to be able to compose digital music for video games. Congratulations, Simon!
The Branch County Community Foundation was honored to grant out $2,875 in memorial funds from the Shirley Bailey Memorial Fund to the Branch Area Careers Center Health Science Program.
Young Shirley’s passion for nursing began during a long hospitalization recovering from a pressure cooker accident. While there, the nurses not only dressed her wounds, but also helped her with her school assignments. At just fifteen, she graduated high school. Then, Shirley wasn’t of legal age to attend Nursing School in the State of Michigan, but with some determination and a persuasive letter to the Governor of Michigan, she was able to get into Nursing School at the age of sixteen. Her love for healthcare only grew throughout her career, and inspired her to reinstate her nursing license at the age of 83 to continue to help her community.
The grant to the BACC Health Science Program was a natural choice, with Shirley’s passion for healthcare and influence on creating and opening the Branch Area Careers Center. Shirley served on the BISD Board in different roles for 18 years.
With these memorial donations, the students at the Branch Area Careers Center will have access to additional funding to help them throughout their own career in health care. The Health Science Program offers a two-year program where students can learn foundational healthcare concepts and also provides real world work opportunities at ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital, Maple Lawn Medical Care Facility, The Laurels of Coldwater, and other area healthcare service providers.
The Community Foundation is honored to be part of an individual and family’s legacy, and we are inspired by the generosity of our community and Shirley’s family and friends.
The Branch County Community Foundation has a new team member, Devonnie Warner! Devonnie joined the BCCF team in June 2021 as a Foundation Specialist. She is originally from Tekonsha, MI and moved to Coldwater in 2013. She brings a diverse range of skills from previous positions that include customer service and financial management. Her primary duties will be providing administrative duties in all areas of operating including: gift management, accounts payable management, donor services, and executive administrative support.
She is married to her husband, Curtis, and together they have a five-year-old daughter, Harper, and a black lab, Sophie. Outside of the office she enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with family. She especially enjoys Michigan’s beautiful landscape by being outdoors, kayaking, fishing, and camping as often as possible.