OSCEOLA COUNTY — Local nonprofits, organizations and entities will benefit from the community's assistance, thanks to about $80,000 in grant awards handed out by the Osceola County Community Foundation in its first round of 2015.

Throughout the year, the foundation hosts fundraisers and collects donations from local businesses and individuals, which are dispersed to those in need of a little extra help to complete, start or maintain projects that benefit the county.

Twice a year, the OCCF awards grants to local organizations and departments that are located in or directly serve people within Osceola County. The foundation’s goal is to make the county “a better place to live, and work by enhancing the quality of life and building a strong community spirit.”

Maria Gonzalez, foundation manager for the Fremont Area Community Foundation, said 19 applications were received for the first round of awards, which were due on April 1. When considering each application, the OCCF board takes much into consideration.

"All of the recipients this year did a good job demonstrating collaboration," said Gonzalez. "They also consider applicants who are part of arts and culture, health and human services and who have new projects or are renewing projects."

First round grant recipients include:

  • City of Reed City — Community Playground Equipment — $5,690
  • Evart Downtown Development Authority — Summer Music Concert Series — $8,000
  • Love INC of Wexford & Osceola Counties — Higher Ground Family Learning Center — $4,000
  • Marion Community Fire Department — Fire Prevention & Fire/Rescue Training — $3,400
  • Mecosta Conservation District — 2015 Household Hazardous Waste Collection — $2,000
  • Mecosta County Council on Aging — RSVP Program/Camp 911 — $681
  • Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency — Osceola County Community Baby Shower — $2,500
  • Osceola Children's Council — Shop With A Hero — $3,000
  • Our Brothers Keeper Shelter — Helping Homeless 365 — $4,300
  • Pine River Area Historical Society Museum — Upgrade and Renewal — $2,500
  • Reed City Public Library — Summer Reading Program 2015 — $2,500
  • Reed City Area Public Schools — Enhancing Classroom Community in Kindergarten — $2,413
  • Rose Lake Youth Camp — Camp Scholarships and Equipment — $7,170
  • Stehouwer Free Clinic — Osceola County Basic Needs — $2,000
  • Wexford Missaukee Intermediate School District — Imagination Library — $6,350
  • Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center — $30,000 Annual Allocation — $30,000

Gonzalez said those entities who did not receive a grant this round should attempt to be more descriptive of their projects and needs on their next applications, and contact her with questions prior to the deadline so they can submit the best application possible.

The next round of awards will take place in the fall, with applications due by Oct. 1. For more information, call Maria Gonzalez at (231) 924-5350 or find the Osceola County Community Foundation on Facebook.