(Greenville) – The generosity of 24 years of gifts to the Greenville Area Community Foundation (GACF) from local community members, businesses, and individuals from around the country has once again made it possible for area non-profit organizations to benefit in a big way.

A large number of impactful projects were funded by the GACF Board of Trustees in November.  Twenty-four different organizations will receive a total of $258,857 from fifteen endowment funds in 2014. 

‘It’s a great pleasure for us to be able to help area organizations once again this year, to continue important programs and services that enhance the quality of life in our area,” says GACF Grant Committee Chair Dr. John O’Donald.

The largest grants were awarded to the City of Greenville for 16 complete sets of fire fighter turn-out gear, the Greenville Recreation Department for a Polaris Brutus utility vehicle to assist with upkeep and maintenance at many of the city’s fields and parks, Spectrum Health United Memorial for the “United for Health” Campaign, and Montcalm Area Reading Council to provide free literacy tutoring in Montcalm County.  The Spectrum Health Foundation also received a significant grant to provide funding for Project Save Our Children Against Drunk Driving school visits in Montcalm County and Belding, as well as Feeding America West Michigan to aid in the replacement of their aging fleet of trucks that enables the organization to provide food to pantries in Greenville, Montcalm County, and 39 other Michigan counties.  Donor Advised Funds including the Buescher Foundation Fund, Bill & Helen Braman Fund, Stafford Fund for Community Enhancement, Bill & Harriette Cook Literacy Fund, and Ray & Mary Tower Family Fund as well as the Unrestricted Fund, Henry I. “Hank” & Alice B. Walker Fund, and the Stanley & Blanche Ash Community Improvement Fund supported these requests.

For just the second time, grants were awarded to three Belding organizations/projects from the new Stanley & Blanche Ash Community Improvement Fund and the Ray & Mary Tower Family Fund.  The City of Belding received $10,000 for a Belding Tennis Court Rehab Project and $4,500 to expand the Belding Smash Park from the Ash Community Improvement Fund, and $4,000 from the Ray & Mary Tower Family Fund for the Korean War Monument at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Belding.

Additional organizations receiving grants include:  

·         Danish Cultural Center of Greenville – renovations to Danish Brotherhood Sisterhood Hall  

·         Flat River Community Library – Digitization of early vital records

·         Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce – “Explore Manufacturing” campaign

·         RAVE-Ionia/Montcalm – Greenville services

·         United Way-Montcalm/Ionia Counties – 2-1-1 Services for Montcalm-Ionia Counties

·         Montcalm 4-H Fair Committee – show/sale arena seating at new fairgrounds

·         Greenville Area Community Center – funding for a social art studio

·         American National Red Cross – Disaster Shelter Cots

·         Spectrum Health United Memorial – Long Term Care renovations

·         GLC Hope Ministries – general operating expense

The Aggressive Tooling Fund, Bill & Helen Braman Fund, Creative Arts Council Fund, Ranney Family Fund, Ray & Mary Tower Family Fund, Unrestricted Fund and Stafford Fund for Community Enhancement supported these grants.

 Four designated endowment funds, The Braman Camp Concordia Fund, the Knights of Phythias Fund, the Ellingen Congregational Church Fund, and the Porter & Marian Walker Fund will also aid organizations in 2014.  Those organizations and programs include the First Congregational Church of Greenville, Camp Concordia, Greenville Optimist Camp for Persons with Disabilities, and Greenville Rotary Club’s Rhythm on the River program, Greenville Lion’s Club Christmas Program, the Samaritans and Spectrum Health United Memorial Foundation.  

The Stanley & Blanche Ash Community Improvement Fund will provide monetary gifts to Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind and the Greenville Area Community Center for the Ash Cultural Event as well.

The next opportunity to apply for a grant is the Spring Educational grant cycle which deadlines February 21, 2014.  Non-profit, tax exempt organizations in the Greenville area can apply if their request has a strong educational component.  Call Amy O’Brien, Director Grants & Communications at the GACF at 616.754.2640 for more information or go to for an application.