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Mason County seeks promise

A group of individuals are researching the idea of a promise type scholarship to include all of Mason County’s school systems.  The Upjohn Institute has continual done research and followed the results of Kalamazoo Promise.  Data shows that the promise increased college Enrollment and Graduation rates for area students, significantly impacted the culture and the economy of their community and provided an Increase in property wealth and the local population: leading to increase of permanent jobs. The Kalamazoo Promise has been around has been around for about 12 years.  Some of the Promise grads are now teaching in the Kalamazoo Public School District.Additional data about the Kalamazoo Promise will be shared during the meeting.

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The Mason County Promise would be open to all students who graduate from any accredited Mason County School or have a GED, are residing in Mason County, and have been students four years or more in an accredited Mason County School District. This scholarship program would provide up to two (2) years of tuition to West Shore Community College and mandatory fees for post-secondary education (per graduated scale.). The one caveat to the Mason County Promise is funding.  They would like sustainable funding, are looking for ideas, and asking the public for assistance. The Mason County Promise meeting will occur  Monday, November 27 at 2 pm and 5:30pm at the  Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

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Grants help Friends purchase playground equipment

Friends of Ludington State Park raised the $15,000 needed by Wednesday to match a $62,727.50 grant offered by playground manufacturer GameTime. FLSP plans to build an accessible, family friendly, two-playscape playground at the Hamlin Lake picnic area in Ludington State Park. The total project is estimated to cost $202,000. They have now ordered the equipment.

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Support from the Great Lakes Energy People Fund, the Youth Advisory Council of the Community Foundation for Mason County and individual donors raised the $15,000 in two weeks. The GameTime grant covers half the cost of $125,000 equipment.

“Thanks to the great support of people in the community, park users from near and far, Great Lakes Energy’s People Fund, and the Youth Advisory Council for the Community Foundation, we reached this short-term goal of $15,000 to complete the match needed to receive the Alabama company’s grant offer,” Bob Sasin, FLSP president said. “We still have a long way to go to raise funds for surfacing in order to build the playground, but we are about two-thirds of the way to the overall goal. Thank you all who have helped. We ask everyone to consider giving in the coming weeks so we can schedule construction for this June.”

FLSP still has to raise about $75,000 for the poured in place surfacing.  Michigan Parks Division has indicated It would provide a significant contribution towards the surfacing cost, which should reduce the total still needed. FLSP plans to begin the volunteer build project in mid-June. More project information and a video of the accessible playground are available of the Friends of Ludington State Park Facebook page and its website, www.ludingtonfriends.com.

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Youth Award Grants

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The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of the Community Foundation for Mason County recently awarded $2,939 in grant support for community projects and teacher mini-grants.Youth Awards include,

  • Two teacher mini-grants

  • Support for the accessible playground project at Ludington State Park

  • Grants to the “All Around Senior” funds of Mason County Central, Mason County Eastern, and Ludington Area Schools.

  • Support for the Lakeshore Food 4 Kids program

The Youth Advisory Council is made up of 25 student representatives from Mason County schools and involves young people in solving real problems affecting their communities and peers.  “I believe that giving back to the community is one of the most fulfilling things a person can do,” said Olivia Kimes, Mason County Central student and president of the Youth Advisory Council.  “To invest in our community is to contribute to the betterment of many lives, creating a chain reaction of giving and caring, all over the place.” YAC members help set policy and guide distribution of $15,000 a year in grants to promising youth-related projects in Mason County.

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