Author Archives: Victoria Leonhardt

Marquette County residents, business, organization receive U.P. Service Awards

Marquette County residents, business, organization receive U.P. Service Awards

Three Marquette County residents, a business and a nonprofit organization were honored during the 10th annual U.P. Service Awards program at the recent U.P. Nonprofit Conference.

The awards are given annually by Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development to recognize exemplary volunteer and charitable efforts throughout the U.P. in the categories of youth, under 21; adult, ages 21-64; senior, ages 65 and above; volunteer program and business community leader.

Honorees were presented with plaques in a luncheon program during the conference at Northern Michigan University Oct. 18.

“We are fortunate in the Upper Peninsula to have incredible volunteers who give freely of their time and talent in making the U.P. a great place to live,” said Linda Remsburg, Grow & Lead Associate. “The U.P. Service Awards program is a way to thank them for their important contributions and to inspire others to serve.”

Grace LaValley of Marquette received the award in the senior category. LaValley has been volunteering at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans since 1998. Since then, she has served more than 4,700 hours—600 of which were in the past year. LaValley prides herself in knowing every resident’s interests and limitations. She has recruited countless others to volunteer at the home. She mentors her fellow volunteers and lets them know which residents like to attend which activities and who may need extra help.

Larry Dobbs of Negaunee received the award in the adult category. Dobbs has been a Non-Emergent Medical Transportation Volunteer Driver for Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) since 2001. He has logged nearly 300,000 miles over 50,000 hours taking UPHP members to medical appointments. Dobbs routinely puts the needs of UPHP members ahead of his own. He is often the first volunteer UPHP calls when they need to make arrangements on short notice such as for hospital discharges. Dobbs has also been a transporter for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for 22 years. In his volunteer service between the two agencies, it is estimated he has driven more than 600,000 miles.

Sierra Bentti, 17, of Marquette received the award in the youth category. Bentti is president of the Community Foundation of Marquette County Youth Advisory Council, a member of the Peter White Public Library Teen Advisory Board and chair of the Marquette County Cares Teen Team. She also volunteers with JJ Packs and CAT Packs food assistance programs. In her position with Marquette County Cares, she helps youth, ages 11 to 17, organize community activities that build protective factors and decrease risky behaviors among their peers.

Start the Cycle of Marquette received the award in the volunteer program category. Start the Cycle pairs adult volunteers with youth ages 12-18 to teach them life skills through mountain biking. Volunteers ride weekly with the young people, mentoring, providing instruction, companionship and creating trusting relationships. More than 40 volunteers spend more than 3,600 hours each year to help the young bikers set and accomplish goals including completing the 906 Polar Roll fat tire and Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic races.

Select Realty of Marquette received the award in the business community leader category. Select Realty is a full-service real estate company committed to excellence and dedicated to serving the central U.P. Each of the 29 agents and three additional employees at Select has donated upwards of 100 hours of their time for charitable purposes throughout the year. The organization manages a community fund in which every agent donates a portion of their commissions daily. The business also hosts many community fundraisers and participates in charitable community events.

Sessions at the Nonprofit Conference

Nonprofit leaders, staff, volunteers and board members in attendance at this year’s U.P. Nonprofit Conference will have the opportunity to learn how to inspire lasting impact in their communities. The 2018 U.P. Nonprofit Conference will take place Thursday, October 18, at Northern Michigan University. The conference features foursessions focusedon leadership, best practices, communication and volunteerism… Continue Reading

Supercharge September Board Trainings

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Demarra Gardner named U.P. Nonprofit Conference Keynote Speaker

Demarra Gardner named U.P. Nonprofit Conference Keynote Speaker

Demarra Gardner is principal and lead consultant of Change Agent Consulting (CAC)-a full service organizational development consulting company based in Kalamazoo that has been in operation since 2007. CAC is comprised of a dynamic team of consultants who provide organizational assessment, strategic & business planning, fund development, program development, leadership development, evaluation, coaching, start-up, and… Continue Reading

Staying a Nonprofit in Michigan

So you’ve started your nonprofit. How do you stay a nonprofit? There are two critical forms that every tax exempt nonprofit organization in Michigan must file each year to stay compliant – the Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Annual Report and the IRS Form 990. The Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Annual Report is filed on the State of… Continue Reading

So you want to start a nonprofit?

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Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award Application Available

Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award Application Available

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award in honor of former GLCYD President and CEO, Judy Watson Olson. This $500 award assists Upper Peninsula K-12 schools, teachers, or organizations with programs that help youth succeed academically. Examples… Continue Reading

Board Development Month is here!

Board Development Month is here!

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development is excited to present Board Development Month! Grow & Lead has seen an increase in nonprofit organizations having questions about how to be a better board of directors. “We routinely get questions from board members,” said Amy Quinn, CEO of Grow & Lead. “We developed this series of… Continue Reading

2017 Year In Review

Giving Nonprofits Tools to Succeed so they can Focus on their Missions At Grow & Lead, a large part of our work is capacity building. We help nonprofits utilize tools to make their work more efficient. By building up the nonprofit sector, we create communities with opportunities for youth to thrive. “In 2016, Accelerate UP… Continue Reading