Community Foundation launches effort for more contributions, recognizes leadership.

October 16, 2015


Greater Good Award recipients Gene & Barb Davidson of Pentwater.

Greater Good Award recipients Gene & Barb Davidson of Pentwater.

PENTWATER — The Community Foundation for Oceana County has launched a new effort to attract more contributors to the foundation’s unrestricted and administrative funds.

The announcement was made during the foundation’s annual meeting last week at the Pentwater Yacht Club on Oct. 12.

Tammy Carey, executive director, explained that while $1.3 million was given in 2014 to CFOC’s 113 funds established by individuals and organizations, less than $12,000 was contributed to the foundation’s small unrestricted fund. This important fund allows the foundation to channel financial help to critical, unmet needs that suddenly arise and helps meet discretionary grantmaking twice each year, Carey said.

“If we see a gap, and if we have the resources, we can help,” said Carey after the meeting.  “By growing this fund, we’ll be able to better lead efforts to address future community problems we can’t even envision now plus respond more aptly to today’s needs”  

The program also spotlighted three exceptional community leadership projects underway in Oceana. The Oceana College Access Network – aimed at getting more students to continue their education after high school at two and four year colleges, and vocational schools – was discussed by Alyssa Merten, program coordinator. The foundation serves as the fiscal agent for the network and coordinated the planning phase prior to the hiring of Merten.

“You may take it for granted unless you have a loved one who needs care,” said Circuit Judge Anthony Monton in his personal comments about the much needed expansion and complete renovation of the Oceana Medical Care Facility in Hart. The foundation holds the campaign fund for this large-scale project.


Brian Beckman and Phil Santellan spoke about the conversion now underway of the former Fox building in Shelby to the Ladder Community Center, a nonprofit that will serve area residents of any age, but especially youth and seniors. The foundation is partnered with an anonymous donor on the ongoing support of the center.

The evening was capped when CFOC board member Dave Roseman awarded the foundation’s Greater Good Award to Barb and Gene Davidson for their great leadership skills and many community contributions. Those contributions include spearheading the creation of the Pentwater Artisan Learning Center to just last week creating the Wayne Elhart “Be Nice Memorial Fund” that will provide support for mental health awareness and suicide prevention in Oceana, starting at Pentwater Public Schools.

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