Focused on Community Since 1997
Les Cheneaux Community Foundation is dedicated to maintaining, improving and preserving our beautiful Upper Peninsula community. Founded in 1997, the Foundation was launched by forward-thinking residents with generous assistance from the Kellogg Foundation and other donors with $450,000 in assets. This included a $150,000 gift from the Kellogg Foundation, which by design, was placed into an endowment fund for youth.
Additional Foundation assets have grown to just under $3 million, including over 50 funds representing interest in the arts, economic development, scholarships, and the environment. We have reinvested over $400,000 back into our communities including over $90,000 in scholarships to our post high school students and families, and accumulated assets for future generations of almost $3 million.
Celebrating 20 Years in 2018
Lasting Ways to Support Our Unique Region
The Foundation is proud of our continued investment in the Les Cheneaux community and partnership with local organizations including Les Cheneaux Ambulance Auxiliary, Les Cheneaux Arts Council, Les Cheneaux Culinary School, Great Lakes Boat Building School, Les Cheneaux Education Foundation, Clark Township Snows Heritage Park, Fridnes of Les Cheneaux Community Library and Les Cheneaux Watershed Council.
Investing in the Future of Les Cheneaux
From improving the Hessel Beach area to supporting our students with scholarships, Les Cheneaux Community Foundation supports the arts, economic development and education in our area. We offer grants for new programs designed for the good of our community. This community support is made possible by the generous donations of many residents and non-residents.
Thanks to Your Support, These Projects Are Possible
Hessel Beach Project
The Hessel Beach Restoration allowed the beautiful sand beach of Hessel Bay to be reclaimed and enjoyed by residents and visitors. The bath house was remodeled inside and out, and a covered picnic and seating area has been added.
A long term goal of the area has been to establish a strong economic base to the Cedarville waterfront. The Cedarville Harbor plan includes an updated facility that provides better water access for all residents, and invites traveling boaters to spend time here. In less than three months, community donations toward this project exceeded $280,000; a testimony of a community working together!
New Fire-Fighting Boat
An anonymous donation established a fund to purchase a new fire-fighting boat for Clark Township. The fund has already received $30,000 in donations, and funds will be raised until there is enough to purchase the boat. Given the number of island homes in Les Cheneaux, there is a great need for a new emergency fire boat.
uged INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
Les Cheneaux Community Foundation Scholarship Funds
Scholarship Funds Held by The Les Cheneaux Community Foundation:
Josh Goodell Memorial Scholarship
Josh Goodell was a 2019 graduate of Cedarville High School. He realized his goal of playing both basketball and football all four years of high school. His family wishes to honor Josh's memory by awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a student who shares Josh's love for athletics.
George H. Nickels and Les & Jackie Stiner Memorial Endowment Scholarship Fund
The sole purpose of this fund shall be to provide a scholarship to a student attending the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville Michigan.
The selection of the student(s) for this special scholarship award will be made by the Scholarship Committee of the Great Lakes Boat Building School, as appointed by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Graduates who received a George H. Nickels Scholarship shall be recognized as such at graduation and called George H. Nickels Scholars.
Bonnie Mikkelsen Endowed Scholarship Fund
The sole purpose of the Fund shall be to provide financial assistance for students attending the Great Lakes Boat Building School who have met the financial need criteria as established by the Board of the Great Lakes Boat Building School.
Frank (Duke) Harding Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund
The purpose of the fund is to provide an annual scholarship to a student attending the Great Lakes Boat Building School.
Les Cheneaux Arts Council Fund
The purpose of the fund is to provide annual support to art programs, classes & scholarships in the Les Cheneaux Community.
Les Cheneaux General Scholarship Fund
The primary purpose of the fund assets shall be to provide financial assistance for students who are attending a post-secondary school and are graduates of the Les Cheneaux Community Schools.
Les Cheneaux Lions Club General Scholarship Fund
The primary purpose shall be to provide FIRST YEAR financial assistance for students who are pursuing a post-secondary education and are graduates of the Les Cheneaux Community Schools.
Thomas (Tommy) Nelson Mertaugh Scholarship Fund
The sole purpose shall be to provide a scholarship to a student attending the Great Lakes Boat Building School and who meets the criteria established by the Great Lakes Boat Building School for financial aid.
Tricia (St Onge) Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund
Tricia (St Onge) Smith attended Les Cheneaux Community Schools and graduated in 1997. Not only was she a wonderful student but she was also passionate about sports. Tricia earned many awards in basketball, volleyball, and track. She later attended Central Michigan University and became an incredible teacher. This fund was set up to help others who share Tricia's passion for education and sports. This fund will award $500 to a recipient each year.
Trip Abnee Memorial Water Safety Fund
This fund was created by Trip Abnee's wife and daughters to honor Trip's love of boating and insistence on safety. He taught many kids how to drive a boat and made it possible for them to get their boating licenses. He had two rules: "Do what the captain says, when the captain says it" and "Have fun". Coming into the dock he would say, "Fingers and paws inside the boat" and after docking he would say, "Any landing you walk away from is a good one, every time without fail". This fund is used to provide life vests to area youth who complete the Water Safety Course offered free of charge each summer.
The Williams Family of Coryell Island Scholarship Fund
This $1000 scholarship was instituted in 2001 by the Williams Family who has had a long time presence on Coryell Island. The purpose is to provide financial assistance for continuing education or vocational training to graduates of the Les Cheneaux Community Schools based on their financial need, academic performance, and participation in extracurricular activities and community service.
Geraldine (Gerry) Naybeck Memorial Scholarship
The primary purpose is to support programs and projects that provide education and /or early detection of cancer: equipment, programs, or services to assist individuals diagnosed with cancer or other terminal illnesses. Also supported are programs and support services for families or scholarships for students studying nursing or a related health field.
The primary purpose of the fund shall be to provide financial assistance for students who have attended a school in the Les Cheneaux area.
Rae Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund
Rae Taylor was an avid builder and lover of boats. This endowed scholarship fund was created by Rae Taylor's wife Dianne in his memory. The sole purpose of the fund shall be to provide an annual scholarship for a Great Lakes Boat Building School student who has a love of boat building & repair, or mechanical maintenance of boat engines & systems, and who demonstrates a financial need.
William T. and Ann Collins Charitable Fund NEW SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
Applications are being taken through June 30, 2022 for a $5,000 scholarship awarded to a graduate of Cedarville High School who is currently pursuing a career in the healthcare field. Contact our office for application. (906)484-2484 or email@example.com.
William (Billy) Ryan Scholarship Fund
The sole purpose shall be to provide an annual $500 scholarship to a Cedarville High School graduate who intends to continue his/her education at an institute of higher learning, either university, college, or vocational/technical school.
Earl Law-Perry White VFW Post 7958 Scholarship Fund
The sole purpose of the fund is to provide $1000 or $1500 scholarship to a high school graduate from both Les Cheneaux Community Schools and Pickford Community School who intends to continue his/her education at an institute of higher learning. The graduating senior is required to be a veteran or related to a veteran. If related to a veteran who is a member of the Earl Law-Perry White VFW Post 7958, the scholarship shall be $1500 instead of $1000.
Archie and Ruth Visnaw Endowment Memorial Scholarship
Archie Visnaw grew up in Cedarville and was one of Cedarville's great ambassadors. Archie was the area postmaster for more than 30 years.
He was also an avid boat and snowmobile racer. Most importantly, Archie was a friend to everyone he met. Ruth came to Cedarville as a Home Economics teacher. She taught over 25 years in the Cedarville School system and was a highly respected teacher. The Archie and Ruth Visnaw Memorial Endowment Scholarship is a $500 scholarship given to a student who has attended Cedarville High School wishing to extend their post high school educational opportunities.