Consumers Energy Executive Delivers $125,000 Matching Grant To The Lansing Nonprofit Center At The Marshall Street Armory; Grant Is Part Of The Utility's 125th Anniversary Celebration
LANSING, Mich., June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy's top executive, John Russell, delivered a $125,000 grant check today to the Michigan Nonprofit Association to support the new Nonprofit Center located at the Marshall Street Armory in Lansing.
The Lansing grant is part of $1.25 million in matching grants offered to 10 community projects throughout Michigan as part of the utility's 125th anniversary celebration.
Russell, the president and chief executive officer of Consumers Energy, presented the check on behalf of the Consumers Energy Foundation, the utility's philanthropic arm. Along with the regular check, Russell also presented a "big check" on mobile billboard at a community celebration. The event marked the completed restoration of the historic Armory and the collaborative effort that brought several mid-Michigan and statewide nonprofit organizations together to locate their offices in the restored building.
"Michigan families and businesses have counted on Consumers Energy to provide them with safe, reliable and affordable energy for the past 125 years. We work hard every day to provide a good energy value to our three million customers and we're looking forward to serving Michigan for another 125 years," Russell said.
"These 125th anniversary grants are a special way for Consumers Energy to thank its customers for the privilege of serving them since 1886. We're pleased that that these matching grants from the Consumers Energy Foundation will generate $2.5 million or more for worthy nonprofit efforts in the communities we serve.
"It's amazing what can be accomplished when people, and organizations, and communities work together. Consumers Energy, its 7,500 employees and retirees are committed to this state and to the communities we serve. Our contributions and our volunteer efforts are focused on Michigan and making this state a better place to live for all," Russell said.
The new Nonprofit Center at the Armory is a collaborative effort that brought together the offices of several nonprofit organizations and will result in lower costs for the organizations. The organizations now are able to share a number of resources, including meeting rooms, technology and office equipment, lowering their operational costs and freeing up funds to support their core work.
The Armory served Lansing for nearly 90 years housing military weapons, training facilities and welcoming back war heroes with homecoming celebrations. After standing vacant for many years, the historical building found new life when developer Pat Gillespie purchased and restored the structure, and recruited the nonprofits to join together and locate their offices in the repurposed space. Gillespie has moved his own corporate offices into the Armory.
The Consumers Energy Foundation's 125th anniversary matching grants also are supporting community charitable projects in: Bay City, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Saginaw, Pontiac, and Traverse City.
In 2011, the Consumers Energy Foundation asked nonprofit leaders in all 10 communities to evaluate local needs and identify important projects in each community.
"We relied on local leaders to tell us what's important to the people of their communities and where support from the Consumers Energy Foundation could make a real impact to meet those important needs," said David Mengebier, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. "We're excited about all our 125th anniversary projects, and it's great to see our matching dollars being invested directly to improve the quality of life in each Consumers Energy community."
The projects selected for the $125,000 matching grants include:
Bay City – The Bay Commitment College Resource Center, which helps Bay County students and their parents apply for college and for financial assistance. The Bay County Community Foundation successfully raised matching grant money to support the resource center's operation, and a $125,000 matching Consumer Energy Foundation grant was delivered to the foundation at a luncheon on May 24, 2012.
Saginaw – The Saginaw Community Foundation successfully raised matching dollars to support the restoration of the city's Deindorfer Woods Park, and a $125,000 matching Consumers Energy Foundation grant was awarded at a community celebration/foundation meeting in the park on June 5.
Flint – The Community Foundation of Greater Flint will support the Flint/Genesee County Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. The challenge grant will support an effort to repair or replace the roofs of the homes of low-income families.
Grand Rapids – The West Michigan Sports Commission. The grant will support the construction of a 12-field sports complex in Rockford.
Jackson – The Partnership Park Neighborhood Planning Project. The grant supports educational system improvements in the city of Jackson.
Kalamazoo – The Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity. The grant supports the organization's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which targets an effort to meet housing needs in distressed neighborhoods.
Muskegon – The Community Foundation of Muskegon County. The grant supports the Russell Block Market program, which will foster opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop sustainable retail businesses in downtown Muskegon.
Pontiac – The Lighthouse of Oakland County. The grant supports the renovation of the headquarters for the organization, which helps struggling families move to self-sufficiency and independence.
Traverse City – The Traverse City Film Festival. Matching grant dollars have already been raised and Consumers Energy Foundation funds were part of an investment to support the successful restoration of the exterior of the historic State Theatre in downtown Traverse City. Work on the facade of the theatre was recently completed and a community celebration to mark the Consumers Energy Foundation grant and successful project is scheduled for Oct. 24, 2012.
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy. The foundation provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community and civic development, culture and the arts, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.
In 2011, Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, the Consumers Energy Foundation, and the utility's parent company, CMS Energy, contributed more than $3.8 million to Michigan nonprofit organizations.
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, visit our Website at www.consumersenergy.com
For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation, visit: www.consumersenergy.com/foundation
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