Berrien Community Foundation awarded $7,500 in grants to support beach access and community banners in Harbor Country. These annual grants for Harbor Country projects were made possible by a legacy gift from William J. Deputy, a philanthropist who had people and the community top of mind.
The first William J. Deputy Grant supports the Village of Michiana’s “Lake View” project. Due to limited beach access caused by erosion, the village sought funds to add park benches on the lakefront to be enjoyed by sunset spectators, and runners and walkers looking for a place to rest.
“As a beach community, receiving this grant aligns with Michiana Village’s image as a piece of Mayberry where time stops and people slow down to enjoy the wonders of Lake Michigan,” said Joann Fisher, a Michiana Village council member and chair of the Michiana Village Park committee. “The William J. Deputy Endowment Fund kickstarts a plan to improve Lake Shore Drive accessibility for everyone in Harbor Country.”
Chikaming Township is another recipient of the William J. Deputy Grant. Chikaming Township partnered with New Buffalo Township on the redevelopment of Union Pier to bring a new road and sidewalk to the town. Now that the project is nearing completion, Chikaming Township sought funding to add community banners on the town’s new light fixtures.
“These grants are examples of projects Bill Deputy would have loved because they enhance the lives of community residents and visitors and make Harbor Country more like home,” said BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “Every year we get to make these grants because of the legacy he left with the Community Foundation.”
The William J. Deputy Endowment Fund was established to support projects and programs in the Harbor Country area. A member of the New Buffalo Yacht Club and New Buffalo Harbor Commission, Bill Deputy was a man who cared about the growth of his community and those that live there.