JACKSON, Mich., Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Consumers Energy Foundation closed out 2013 by announcing more than $475,000 in grants for 17 community and nonprofit organizations throughout Michigan.
The grants fund a variety of projects in Lower Peninsula communities that Consumers Energy serves and fill many needs. The foundation is supporting educational programs, community projects and initiatives that provide assistance to people in need.
"You can appreciate the good work that goes out in Michigan's communities, big and small, from looking at the nonprofit projects we are supporting," said David Mengebier, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. "We are proud to play a role in helping bring these initiatives and programs closer to completion, and building a strong future for our state."
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy. It provides funding for a variety of areas, including education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment and emerging issues. Michigan nonprofit organizations will receive more than $8 million this year through the foundation, the company and employee and retiree contributions.
The Consumers Energy Foundation has pledged grants to the following:
- Cranbrook Institute of Science (Bloomfield Hills) -- $50,000 for the Young Scientists program in Flint schools, expanding a program already in Detroit Public Schools. Sixth- and seventh-graders will receive instruction during the school day and after school, and visit the museum with their families.
- Community Foundation for Muskegon County (Muskegon) -- $50,000 to help relocate the Muskegon Farmers Market to a year-round, downtown location.
- Lakeshore Museum Center (Muskegon) -- $50,000 for Michigan's Heritage Park, a tourist attraction on 20 acres that will tell the story of Michigan's history through interactive exhibits.
- Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan (Kalamazoo) -- $50,000 to support the Read & Seed Family Literacy Program, focusing on adult literacy and providing literacy activities to help 34 low-income families.
- Saginaw Valley State University (University Center) -- $50,000 to support the university's 50th anniversary fundraising campaign. Funds will create a scholarship for electrical engineering students and create an exterior entrance for the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.
- Michigan 4-H Foundation (Tustin) -- $50,000 to improve the Kettunen Center, which hosts 4-H training workshops, school band camps and more. Funds will support expansion of a beach, addition of a dock and recreational features, and more.
- Kalamazoo County Land Bank Authority (Kalamazoo) -- $30,000 to support the Riverview Launch project, converting a tax-foreclosed property into a hub of community programming based on healthy, active lifestyles.
- MiTech Plus, Inc. (Midland) -- $30,000 to help develop the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Center of Excellence, bringing together business, community and education leaders in the Great Lakes Bay region.
- Siena Heights University (Adrian) -- $25,000 to transform the old Benincasa dining hall into multipurpose space for the university and community to host special events.
- St. Johns Area Community Fund (St. Johns) -- $15,000 for a spray park that will replace the community's 60-year-old outdoor swimming pool.
- Jordan Lake Trail Board (Lake Odessa) -- $15,000 for a pedestrian/bike trail around Jordan Lake that can be used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter.
- Fenner Conservancy (Lansing) -- $11,600 for prairie restoration, converting 19 acres of fields that are full of invasive species.
- Regent Theatre (Allegan) -- $10,000 to help convert the theater's projection equipment from 35mm film to a digital format.
- Adrian College (Adrian) -- $10,000 to the "Track and Explore" program, providing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education on the grounds of Michigan International Speedway to college students studying to become teachers.
- Greater Lansing Housing Coalition (Lansing) -- $10,000 to expand "Tuesday Toolmen" project, providing home maintenance and repair jobs for income-eligible seniors and people with disabilities.
- Independent Transportation Network (Southfield) -- $10,000 to support transportation for seniors and the visually impaired. People will receive rides in private automobiles at any time within Oakland County, helping them to live independently.
- Seebeck Family Fund (Gladwin) -- $8,700 for kitchen incubator at Gladwin County Recreation Area. The kitchen will be part of a lodge that includes a banquet facility, space for artisans to sell products and the Gladwin Farmers Market.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE :CMS ), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
SOURCE Consumers Energy