News and Announcements
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.
Every other Wednesday the Branch County Community Foundation talks with WTVB about all the GOOD happening in our community! Listen to all the segments below.
August 11, 2021- BCCF Grant Highlight, WDI
July 21, 2021 - BCCF Grant Highlight, CMBC
July 7, 2021- Memorial Gift Program
June 24, 2021- Education Mini Grants
June 9, 2021- BCCF 2021 Scholarships
May 26, 2021 - Youth Advisory Council
May 12, 2021 - BCCF Sponsored Tax Seminar
Below are the latest news releases for the Branch County Community Foundation. Read and subscribe to our latest email newsletters here.
Meet Abigail Vallance, our next scholarship highlight!
Abigail is a graduating senior from Colon High School, and she plans to attend Aquinas College as a sophomore in the fall. She has declared a Dual Major in Business Administration and Sports Management. With her degree, she is hoping to begin a career in the Business and Marketing field, but she is still undecided as to what she wants to do.
We are excited to celebrate one of our 2021 Irma L. English Memorial Music Scholarship Recipients, Olivia Searls!
Olivia is going into her 8th grade year at Legg Middle School this fall. She is an active leader holding the position of Vice-President in Student Council for her school, and she pushes herself academically, continuing to get straight A's. Olivia is also an active participant in her church, helping teach for VBS in the summers and participating in Youth Group. Olivia has been in band since she could join in 5th grade. She loves music and playing her flute alongside her brothers while they play the drums and saxophone. Music makes her happy and has been a great outlet to any stress that life throws her way. She is excited to heighten her flute talent even more this summer at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
Say hello to our next scholarship highlight, Payton James!
Payton is a 2020 graduate of Union City High School. She has just completed her first year at Saginaw Valley State University where she majors in Cellular Biology and minors in both Chemistry and Business. Her ultimate goal upon graduation is to attend a dental school to earn a doctorate in Dental Sciences. At Saginaw Valley, she is involved in many organizations including the Biology Club and the Health Professions Association. She finished high school as co-valedictorian and has finished her first year of college with a 3.9 GPA.
Today's scholarship highlight is Kennedy Outwater!
Kennedy is a 2021 Bronson High School graduate who will be attending Trine University in the fall to further her academic and athletic career. She plans to earn her Bachelor's degree with a dual major in Early Elementary Education and Special Education, and a minor in Administration, all while playing for the women's tennis team at Trine. Kennedy has been in the Education Academy class at the Branch Area Careers Center for the past two years, and this is where she found her passion for teaching.
Kennedy is a strong leader who has been involved in many school activities; she has been her class President for all 4 years of high school, a member of the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society, a member of 4-H for 9 years where she has been Secretary of her Cransonettes & Jets club for 2 years, she is a part of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America organization at the BACC where she is Secretary, a member of Youth In Government (YIG) for 3 years, a varsity tennis player for 4 years, and has made the honor roll list every year of high school.
Meet our next highlighted scholarship recipient, Dylan Taylor!
Dylan is a 2021 graduate of Bronson Jr/Sr High School. In the fall, he is attending Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida where he will be majoring in Secondary Education-English with a minor in Creative Writing or Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He hopes through his education at Southeastern he will become a Secondary Education teacher. He hopes to enter into a school district and make a difference and impact on each student that comes through his classroom door. Dylan spent eight years (ages 9-17) living in Nicaragua. He grew up helping out in his parent’s non-profit helping feed children, playing with children, feeding people in the garbage dump, and making a difference wherever he went. His time in Nicaragua has been forever imprinted on the hearts of the people that he encountered. His passions in life are being a good friend, a good listener, making a difference, writing short stories, and playing video games.
We are so excited that we get to celebrate our scholarship recipients again this year! Like last year, we asked our 2021 scholarship recipients to help us celebrate their accomplishments by sending us a photo and a small biography about themselves.
Meet our first highlighted scholarship recipient, Kera Volkmer!
Kera is a 2021 Coldwater High School graduate and is attending Michigan State University in the fall to study Nursing. She hopes to get her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and eventually work her way towards being a Nurse Practitioner. She was accepted to the Honors
College at MSU as well as the Nurse Scholar Program allowing her to have direct admittance to the nursing school. Kera has a long track record of being involved in organizations and volunteering. She was involved in Student Council, Class Council, National Honors Society, and Interact. She has volunteered at Walk A Mile, the Humane Society, the Women’s Shelter, the Branch County Fair, and many more. Kera is excited to further her education with this degree and give back to her community in every way possible.
BCCF is your local resource for philanthropy. We offer people and businesses of means---no matter how great or how small their person resources---an opportunity to give back. We invest community gifts to build endowments that generate income both now and in the future.