Small Grants RFP to fund 8 Copper Country projects

COPPER COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) – The Portage Health Foundation’s annual Small Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) received a record number of applications, and after much deliberation, eight projects across Copper Country will be funded.

Programs include park improvements, service dogs for area schools, a unique elderly wellbeing program in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and more. All funds will help improve the health of parishioners of almost all ages. Below you will find an introduction to the eight funded projects. The PHF thanks all applicants and encourages them to keep the Foundation in mind for the future.

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Elder Wellness Program ($3,000)

That Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) will use funds to create and run a summer wellness program for seniors and seniors in the area. The Elder Wellness Program will tailor its wellness services to support Indian Health Services (IHS) initiatives. IHS works to support the emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being of tribal elders. In addition, wellness classes are designed according to the Health Aging Guidelines published by the National Institute on Aging.

District Support Dog for Adams Township Schools ($3,000)

Adams Township Schools will soon have access to a companion dog who is a source of positive reinforcement for students of all ages. The companion dog is designed to be motivating and stimulating, and to provide an extra layer of support to focus on learning. The dog is treated by K-12 art teacher Paige Lewandowski, who allows the dog to see students in both elementary school and middle/high school.

Renovation outside the classroom for the Calumet Art Center ($3,000)

That Art Center Calumet will use funding to create space for learning and design. They will use this space for classes that not only provide an opportunity to learn new skills, but also give adults and children a chance to socialize. The renovated space will create a courtyard setting, with an outdoor water spike to water the lawn and gardens, and an in-ground fire pit to light pottery, make copper bowls, and use as a social gathering place.

District Support Dog for Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools ($1,500)

This year students Dollar Bay- Tamarack City Area Schools enjoyed the presence of Bolt – the school’s new therapy dog ​​(pictured here). Bolt is still a puppy and as such has not been on full duty this year, but he is already helping by providing important tools for learning, engaging in social relationships and behavior and emotional regulation during these critical years in a student’s emotional development provides. This funding will help provide veterinary care, training and supplies to ensure Bolt is ready for full-time service in the fall.

Drinking Fountain at Driving Park for City of Hancock ($3,000)

One of the busiest areas for summer youth sporting activities is being upgraded with a new water fountain. The fountain will include a water bottle filling station and is a joint effort of grants from PHF, sports team fundraisers and the City of Hancock‘s Recreation Millage funded. The City will install and maintain the new fountain, which will provide clean, safe drinking water for users of the ball fields and surrounding outdoor recreation opportunities such as Maasto Hiihto Trails and the new dog park.

Village of Laurium Gipp Playground Improvement ($3,000)

That Village of Laurium will use funds to improve the playground at Amusement park Gipp. The park is now catering to the needs of those with special needs and requirements with the installation of a disabled swing. The long-term effects of this improvement will provide a greater quality of life for Laurium and the surrounding residents who would benefit from this type of equipment.

Live Search Team Tracking Devices for Superior Search and Rescue ($3,000)

The volunteers at Superior search and rescue will be a little safer after a $3,000 grant for new purchase Garmin Inreach GPS devices. The units are used by teams in the field for navigation, replacing units that are gradually failing. Not only will the new units provide updated maps for the volunteers, they will also offer the ability to follow teams live in the field in a small handheld device. In a missing persons incident, time is of the essence and every minute counts. Live data on a team’s location reduces confusion and improves the team’s ability to successfully complete its mission.

Nature Trail Improvements for Ontonagon Area Schools ($700)

students at Ontonagon area schools have long enjoyed their fitness/hiking/nature trails west of the school, and this summer they’ll be able to make some much-needed repairs thanks to $700 in funding. The funding will purchase the materials used by volunteers to make repairs to two failing and currently dangerous bridges. In the end, trail loops will be created that can be used again all year round.

The Small Grants Program allows grants of up to $3,000. It was announced on March 14th and the application deadline was April 8th. The winners were selected by the Foundation’s Grants Management Committee. The community is invited to subscribe to the Portage Health Foundation email newsletter to ensure they are kept informed of future funding opportunities as soon as possible. Subscribe for free at Find out more about funding opportunities at

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