GLE People Fund gives over $204k in grants

antique flywheelers

Great Lakes Energy, with the help of its members, continues its commitment to local communities through the People Fund.

During 2016, the People Fund awarded $204,752 in grants to charitable and community organizations.


The Great Lakes Energy People Fund is supported solely by Great Lakes Energy members who allow their electric cooperative to round up their bill each month to the next dollar.

The grants funds were awarded to 60 charitable and community organizations throughout Great Lakes Energy’s 26-county service area, which stretches from Kalamazoo to the Mackinac Straits.

“Thanks to the generosity of our members we’ve awarded more than $3 million in grants since 1999 to local non-profits groups and organizations,” said President/CEO Bill Scott. “The local communities in our service area benefit greatly from this program that is fully funded by our members who allow their bill to be rounded up to the nearest dollar each month.”

Members of the electric cooperative who wish to participate are encouraged to enroll in the People Fund online at or by contacting Great Lakes Energy’s office.

“People may not think 50 cents a month can do much, but when added with the contributions of other Great Lakes Energy members, we are able to help so many,” explains Scott. “Giving back to the community is one of the cooperative principles and we couldn’t do it without our members’ generosity.”

The following groups in the Northern Michigan area received a portion of the fund grants which totaled $204,752 during 2016:
• Alpine Regional Tennis Association, Gaylord: $5,000 for four tennis courts.
• Boyne City Preschool: $5,500 for energy efficient windows.
• C.S. Lewis Festival, Petoskey: $1,000 for C.S. Lewis books for students.
• Charlevoix Conservation District, Boyne City: $1,800 for tools and equipment for a beachgrass harvest program.
• Charlevoix Ministerial Association: $2,500 for benevolence needs.
• Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan, Harbor Springs: $1,500 for diaper pantry stock.
• Crawford AuSable Day Care Center & Preschool, Grayling: $2,000 for play and learning equipment.
• Crawford County Commission on Aging, Kalkaska: $3,000 for commercial refrigerator.
• Crooked Tree Arts Council, Petoskey: $6,000 for building improvements.
• Edelweiss Garden Club, Gaylord: $1,800 for supplies and plants for two community gardens.
• Good Samaritan Family Services, Ellsworth: $2,000 for computer upgrades.
• Grass River Natural Area, Bellaire: $3,000 for field guide for the outdoor student and public education and outreach.
• Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, Petoskey: $1,000 for educational outreach to schools and the Day for Strings program.
• Little Traverse Conservancy, Harbor Springs: (two grants) $1,200 for eight trail cameras to help determine preserve usage and $2,000 for supplies for volunteer-led projects through the EcoStewards program.
• McLaren Northern Michigan Foundations, Petoskey: $5,000 for patient assistance program to help patients and families.
• North Country Kids, Harbor Springs: $1,000 for indoor play equipment.
• Northern Michigan Antique Flywheelers Club, Walloon Lake: $2,500 for Student Harvest Days.
• Northern Michigan Equine Therapy, Boyne City: $2,000 for arena improvements for the outpatient rehabilitation and therapeutic riding center.
• Otsego Conservation District, Gaylord: $5,000 for education center with storage and handicapped accessible restrooms.
• Otsego County Community Food Pantry, Gaylord: $5,000 for food for backpacks for students.
• Otsego Habitat for Humanity, Gaylord: $2,000 for flatbed trailer.
• Ralph Holewinski VFW Post 1518, Gaylord: $10,000 for pavilion for recreational, social and patriotic events.
• The Manna Food Project, Harbor Springs: $5,000 for Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.
• Top of Michigan Trails Council, Petoskey: $5,000 for furnishings for the Trail Center.
• Wolverine Joint Fire Board: $1,000 for 9-1-1 sign project.

The 2016 People Fund Annual Report is included in the January issue of Michigan Country Lines magazine recently mailed to Great Lakes Energy members.

Others may obtain the report by contacting Great Lakes Energy at 1-888-485-2537 or by visiting and downloading the report.

The Great Lakes Energy People Fund invites applications for 2017 grants from local non-profit organizations.

Deadline for applications for the 2017 grant cycles are April 15 and Oct. 15.

Request an application by calling (888) 485-2537 ext. 1313, or request it online by visiting