Fremont Area Community Foundation held its annual members meeting on June 18. Members elected two new trustees and reelected four incumbents to the organization’s Board of Trustees.

Members of the Community Foundation are chosen by virtue of their leadership positions in the community, and their primary responsibility is to meet annually to elect trustees. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held virtually for the first time in the organization’s history.

Roland Reed and Mikhail Salacina were each elected by the members to join the Community Foundation board.

Reed is a partner and CPA with H&S Companies. A native of Fremont, Reed earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in accountancy from Wake Forest University. He also serves on the Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Board.

“I always thought about how I would give back,” said Reed, who returned to the area with his family after living outside Michigan for several years. “We have a great community here, with great people. When you look around the country, if we’re going to affect positive change, it has to start at the community level. I’m looking forward to being a part of what the future holds here. It’s exciting to think about what we can do in the next few years.”

Salacina is an attorney and partner at Schuiteman & Salacina, PLC. He graduated from Newaygo High School and earned bachelor’s degrees in political and biological science from Wayne State University. He earned his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

“I grew up in Newaygo County and I wanted to do something to give back to my community,” said Salacina. “I think we have opportunities here you wouldn’t have elsewhere. I see firsthand in my occupation the difference you can make in people’s lives. I think in a smaller community like ours, the impact you can have is often more direct. I’m really looking forward to serving on the board and seeing what impact we can make in a positive way for Newaygo County.”

Trustee incumbents Lola Harmon-Ramsey, William Alsover, Randy McDonald, and Peggy Rossler were each elected to serve additional three-year terms on the board.

The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of Fremont Area Community Foundation recently announced the results of its annual YAC grant round, awarding more than $76,000 to 12 agencies and programs serving local youth.

Grants were awarded to a variety of programs that align with YAC’s funding priorities: supporting youth facing challenges such as poor home life, building and improving recreational and educational activities for local youth, and continuing education and skill development opportunities.

Building on a program they helped to fund last year, YAC awarded support for an expansion of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan’s be nice. mental health awareness and education program in two local school districts. They also joined several other regional partners in supporting a new child advocacy center to serve Lake, Newaygo, Mecosta, and Osceola counties. Programs at two local libraries received funding as well as art and drama workshops, mentoring programs, a leadership workshop for eighth graders, and more.

Grant applications were reviewed by YAC members who come from each Newaygo County public high school and the local homeschool community. Throughout the year,  YAC members also visit local nonprofit organizations, learn about philanthropy and leadership, and engage in community service projects.

YAC grants are awarded each spring to programs impacting local youth. Applications are due March 1. For more information, visit facommunityfoundation.org/YACgrants or call 231.924.5350.

Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) member Emma Kartes was recently selected to be the first youth member of Fremont Area Community Foundation’s Distribution Committee.

Kartes was chosen by YAC leadership and will join a group of Community Foundation trustees who review staff grant research and make grant decisions and recommendations to the full Board of Trustees. Last year, the Community Foundation awarded $5.7 million through its two community grant rounds to support more than 100 local programs.

YAC leaders and advisors developed the idea to include a YAC member on the Distribution Committee as a way to provide a greater youth perspective on the Community Foundation’s grantmaking and to increase YAC’s understanding of the Community Foundation’s work.

Currently finishing her sophomore year at Fremont High School, Kartes has been a YAC member for two years. In addition to her experience in reviewing YAC grants and conducting site visits, Kartes has impressed YAC leaders with her responsibility, professionalism, and thoughtful leadership.

“I’m interested in and willing to give back to the community that continues to provide so much for me,” said Kartes, who added that she is honored to be the first YAC member to serve on the Distribution Committee. “I’m excited to be able to start off and set a good example for the YAC members who will serve in the future.”

The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of Fremont Area Community Foundation recently announced the results of its annual YAC grant round, awarding more than $72,000 to local agencies and programs serving youth. With this round, YAC has now granted more than $1 million since awarding its first grants in 1995.

This year’s grants were awarded to 11 different organizations to support a wide variety of youth programs. Each aligned with one of YAC’s three funding priorities: supporting youth facing challenges such as poor home life, building and improving recreational and educational activities for local youth, and continuing education and skill development opportunities.

One new program receiving funding was the “be nice.” mental health education initiative. The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan will partner with local schools to bring the program to Newaygo County. Through a variety of lessons and activities, the program encourages schools and communities to embrace good mental health and recognize the power of everyday words and actions.

Other grants awarded will support art and drama classes for teens, recycling, infant safety, mentoring and internship programs, and more.

Grant applications were reviewed by YAC members who come from each Newaygo County public high school and the local homeschool community. YAC members also conducted site visits to share information about the available grant funding and to learn more about local nonprofit organizations.

YAC grants are awarded once a year to programs impacting local youth. Applications are available in February and due on March 1. For more information, visit facommunityfoundation.org/YACgrants or call 231.924.5350.