Foundation awards $295K in grants


St. John's Episcopal Church in Grand Haven says it is the "oldest continually used church in the Tri-Cities." Photo via

A community foundation in the region is awarding $295,100 in grants to eight organizations.

The board of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation said last month it is dispersing the grants to support the Tri-Cities community.

The foundation highlighted one of its grant recipients, St. John’s Episcopal Church, which will use its $7,000 grant to bring Project Ñ to the area.

Project Ñ is an “unorthodox, multi-platform documentary” about first-generation, American-born Latinos, which uses cultural and familial stories to build community among this large and growing population.

“Local diversity groups have spent the past few years raising awareness of unintentional bias and racial and cultural homogeneity in our community, but with a Latino population of only 2.4 percent in the city of Grand Haven, it’s an issue that still needs to be addressed,” the community foundation said.

A viewing of “Being ñ” will be followed by a guided Q&A session and is “designed for impact.”

The hope is that by bringing Project Ñ to the Tri-Cities community, those who attend will engage in real, uncensored and memorable conversations about their personal identities, develop an awareness of their own cultural experiences, reflect on individual biases and develop a personal cultural foundation, according to the foundation.

Other grant winners

West Michigan Symphony: $30,000 over three years for the Link Up Beginner Music Program, a year-long beginner music program for students in grades 3, 4, or 5.

City of Grand Haven: $60,000 over two years for Neighborhood Housing Services, a program that helps homeowners in the Tri-Cities make much-needed home repairs.

Northwest Ottawa Chamber Foundation: $6,000 for the Lakeshore Youth Leadership Connections Program, which teaches leadership skills to 8th and 10th graders from Grand Haven Area Public Schools and Muskegon Public Schools.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore: $13,000 for the Spring Lake Lunch Buddies Program, which connects children ages five-12 with an adult volunteer who meets with them during lunch or after school.

Four Pointes Center for Successful Aging: $3,500 for the Bosu Fitness and Fall Prevention Project, which aims to increase members’ balance and prevent falls through the use of Bosu balls.

Gracious Grounds: $45,000 to install an elevator lift system at 1515 South Despelder, a resident facility that serves adults with disabilities.

Ottawa County Department of Public Health: $130,600 to implement the Pathways to Better Health Program, which helps qualified individuals access community services, while reducing unnecessary ER visits and hospitalizations.

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