In 2012, Consumers Energy celebrated 125 years of serving Michigan by pledging $1.25 million to support Michigan communities. The Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy’s philanthropic arm, fulfilled this promise by donating $125,000 to 10 nonprofit projects around the state. To be eligible for the $125,000 anniversary grant, each community had to apply with details of the project and raise $125,000 in local matching funds.
We followed up with one grant recipient: Deindorfer Woods Park in Saginaw.
Grant Makes Deindorfer Prime Family Spot
Five years ago, Deindorfer Woods Park had no picnic area and a playground that had fallen into such decay − that nobody used it in decades.
A park without children’s laughter is what Deindorfer had become.
That’s like peanut butter without jelly, Michigan without Michigan State football or a car without tires. It just doesn’t look or feel right.
So in 2012, Consumers Energy stepped in and worked with the Saginaw Community Foundation to provide a $125,000 matching grant and give Deindorfer a much needed renovation.
A new playground was built along with a picnic area where families frequently gather. The parking lot was paved and new lighting was installed, providing a safer venue.
The park is now filled with the infectious laughter of children, enjoying slides, swings and monkey bars. VIDEO Consumers Energy and Our Community: Deindorfer Woods Park
“We are grateful for the chance to work with Consumers Energy to make this a prime destination in Saginaw,” said Renee Johnston, President and CEO of the Saginaw Community Foundation.
“The grant breathed new life into this park. You see birthday parties, family reunions and work gatherings going on at the park all the time this summer. Celebrations that weren’t taking place here five years ago. It’s great to see. It’s amazing what can be done when people come together to better a community.”
Other 125th Anniversary Grant Recipients
- Bay City– A grant to Bay Commitment College Access and Resource Center helped Bay County students and parents apply for college and financial assistance.
- Flint– A grant to Community Foundation of Greater Flint supported the Flint/Genesee County Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and repaired/replaced roofs of the homes of low-income families.
- Jackson– A grant to United Way of Jackson County supported the launch of Energizing Education, an initiative promoting literacy in Jackson County.
- Kalamazoo– A grant to Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity supported the organization’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which targeted distressed neighborhoods.
- Lansing– A grant to Michigan Nonprofit Association supported the development of the Nonprofit Center at the Armory.
- Muskegon– A grant to Community Foundation of Muskegon County supported the Russell Block Market program, which fosters opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop sustainable retail businesses in downtown Muskegon.
- Pontiac– A grant to Lighthouse of Oakland County supported the renovation of the headquarters for the organization, which helps struggling families move to self-sufficiency and independence.
- Rockford – A grant to build a new sports complex complete with baseball, softball and soccer fields. Click to view blog feature.
- Traverse City– A grant to Traverse City Film Festival supported the group’s effort to renovate the exterior of the historic State Theatre in downtown Traverse City.
Consumers Energy created the Consumers Energy Foundation in 1990 to give the utility’s philanthropic efforts a stable, focused direction. The Consumers Energy Foundation uses shareholder funds, not customer funds, along with employee and retiree contributions to support nonprofit organizations across Michigan and help create sustainable communities. Learn more about the Consumers Energy Foundation at ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.