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Grant to bring diversity project to Tri-Cities

• Nov 21, 2016 at 3:00 PM

The Board of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation recently announced eight third-quarter grant awards totaling $295,100 to support the Tri-Cities community, including a $7,000 grant to St. John’s Episcopal Church to bring Project Ñ to the area.

Project Ñ is an unorthodox, multi-platform documentary about first-generation American-born Latinos that 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.

A viewing of “Being ñ” will be followed by a guided question-and-answer 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 identity, develop an awareness of their own cultural experience, reflect on individual biases and develop a personal cultural foundation

Other grants awarded:

— 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 3-5.

— 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 eighth- 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 5-12 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 S. Despelder St. in Grand Haven, 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.

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation is a public, charitable organization serving the Tri-Cities community since 1971. It encourages philanthropy by individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of their charitable funds and legacies. In addition to grants, the foundation offers technical and management support to nonprofits, convenes nonprofit leaders on issues of importance, and engages in advocacy work with nonprofits primarily focused on the needs of the most vulnerable members of the Tri-Cities community.

For more information, or to give a tax-deductible gift to the Greatest Needs Fund at the foundation, visit ghacf.org or www.facebook.com/grandhavenareacommunityfoundation.

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