Category Archives: Community Organizing

Meet the 2019 U.P. Service Award Winners!

Meet the 2019 U.P. Service Award Winners!

Three Upper Peninsula individuals, a business and a nonprofit organization were honored during the 11th 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. 17.

From left are Jerry Maynard and Terri Gilotte of Marquette Alger Resolution Service, program award recipient; Steve and Kristy Benoit, adult award recipients; Haley Worden, youth award recipient; Ruth Craig, senior award recipient; Simone and Tony Beres of La Dolce Video & Design, business community leader award recipient and Sarah Blakely, awards program emcee and morning news co-anchor with TV6 Fox UP, gold sponsor of the U.P. Nonprofit Conference.

The Upper Peninsula is fortunate to have exceptional volunteers who give generously of their time and talents to make the U.P. an outstanding place to live,” said Linda Remsburg, Grow & Lead Associate. “Volunteers are the backbone of the nonprofit sector, and without them, many vital services would go undelivered. The U.P. Service Awards program is a way to recognize the contributions of these important community servants.”

Ruth Craig of Garden received the award in the senior category. Craig is president of the Village Artisans, a nonprofit organization that promotes art to enrich the lives of Garden Peninsula residents. Ruth organizes fundraisers, conducts art classes, plans luncheons, garden walks, cemetery crawls and home tours in the community.

Steve and Kristy Benoit of Escanaba received the award in the adult category. The Benoits have been hosting the Benoit Bash community picnic fundraiser at their home annually since 2008. Proceeds support Bay Cliff Health Camp. This year, 600 people attended the event which raised over $20,000 to help children attend camp.

Haley Worden, 19, of Sault Ste. Marie received the award in the youth category. A Girl Scout for 13 years, Worden attained the Gold Award with a project in which she partnered with her local public library and farmers market to engage more than 50 children and 20 adults in growing their own vegetables. She has also volunteered extensively through service learning at school and with Boy Scouts of America National Youth Leadership Training.

Marquette Alger Resolution Service (MARS) received the award in the volunteer program category. MARS has been providing mediation services since 1992. Trained volunteers provide a neutral voice to help disputing parties reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to issues that would otherwise be handled in court. In 2018, 29 volunteers mediated 215 cases over 531 hours for the benefit of 766 adults and children.

La Dolce Video & Design of Marquette received the award in the business community leader category. Owners Tony and Simone Beres have donated or discounted services to many nonprofit organizations and charitable initiatives. From donating videography and photography for the annual Pigs ‘N’ Heat charity hockey game to dispatching the business’s Helicam to a search and rescue mission, their usual response to a request for help is “Sure, we can do that.”

Present at the U.P. Nonprofit Conference

The U.P. Nonprofit Conference offers nonprofit leaders, staff, board members, and volunteers the opportunity to network, attend workshops, share ideas and fire up the passions that drive their missions and visions. Attendees appreciate the opportunity to be able to convene and learn at a conference held in their own region. For many nonprofits, sending staff,… Continue Reading

Be Counted UP Grant Application Available

Be Counted UP Grant Application Available

Community Foundation of Marquette County, Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula and Grow & Lead are now accepting grant applications for the Be Counted UP Census 2020 Campaign. With support from Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Be Counted MI 2020, funding is available for projects that: Engage and educate undercounted communities about theimportance of the 2020 Census… Continue Reading

5 reasons to nominate volunteers for the U.P. Service Awards

5 reasons to nominate volunteers for the U.P. Service Awards

In the nonprofit world, we know it’s always a good time to thank the volunteers that help us meet our mission. But with this week being National Volunteer Week, it’s an especially good time! That’s why at Grow & Lead, we celebrate this week each year by opening nominations for the U.P. Service Awardsfor outstanding volunteerism.  Now… Continue Reading

So you want to start a nonprofit?

“So you want to start a nonprofit?” This is a question I’ve been asking a few times a month as I meet with people interested in creating change through a mission-driven organization. I leave these meetings feeling rejuvenated, excited and inspired by the innovative ideas that are coming forward in our corner of the world.… Continue Reading

Graduation and alcohol don’t mix

High school graduation will soon be here. With graduation come open houses and other parties. With parties often comes drinking. I’d like to remind all community members to be extra vigilant this time of year to keep our young people safe and healthy by keeping alcohol out of their hands. Some parents may be tempted… Continue Reading

We are all in this together!

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”― John Lennon At this time in history, it is more important than ever that we join forces and share resources – both human and material. It increases the impact and reach of the efforts and makes us think about what… Continue Reading

Tips for Working With Schools

Busy, busy, busy!  Everyone is always busy and sometimes we feel our requests are left “on the back burner.”   As a retired school employee, I can relate to some of the hectic days that occur in schools.  Just when you think things are moving along smoothly, the flu breaks out, or a major snowstorm cancels… Continue Reading

Teach Me a Thing or Two

When we hear the word “mentor,” I think most automatically assume that the mentor is older than the person being mentored. Wisdom and knowledge don’t automatically come with age and experience. Oh yes, I have had many mentors throughout my 55 years who were older than me. Looking back, the common trait possessed by these… Continue Reading

What is this Mastermind thing?

What happens when you put 3-5 people that work at nonprofits in the U.P. on the phone to with little to no agenda? Magic. Pure Magic. A few years ago, we had the idea of creating peer learning circles for nonprofit executive directors in communities across the U.P. In theory, it was a great idea.… Continue Reading