Latest News

Thursday, November 18, 2021
There was much rejoicing and confetti around Berrien County Nov. 17 as the Berrien Community Foundation crew made surprise stops awarding $130,000 in grants and awards as part of its Annual Celebration.  The day marked the official announcement of the Stephen E. Upton Love Your Community Grant, Alamar Nonprofit Sustainability Grant, Golden Acorn Award For Excellence and Golden Acorn Volunteer Recognition Award.  Carol’s Hope is the recipient of the $50,000 Stephen E. Upton Love Your Community Grant. This grant is awarded to a Berrien County...
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Berrien Community Foundation is excited to announce the addition of two members to our Board of Directors! Receiving unanimous support at the Sept. 22 Board of Directors meeting, Karen Ytterberg and Ray Lipscomb joined the 10-person group that provide oversight to the Foundation. “We’re always looking for people that represent different parts of the community and we were excited to attract such high caliber talent to our board,” said BCF Board of Directors Chairman Dr. Robert Harrison. “We’re looking forward to working with them in the coming...
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
  It was the power of volunteers that pushed a multi-year fundraising effort to success and more than doubled the lakefront footage of Cherry Beach in Chikaming Township. Berrien Community Foundation partnered with this all-volunteer force to help raise $1.65 million needed to secure a $2.475 million Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant and purchase the property. “When this land came on the market, a dynamic, amazing group of volunteers came together to purchase this piece of beach and made sure it became part of our community as a...
Monday, September 27, 2021
Chris Hurdle joined the Foundation as the Program Coordinator in September 2021. He previously worked at Lake Michigan College as an administrative assistant while pursuing his studies. He hails from Rochester, New York but came to Michigan to pursue higher education. He's enjoying the slower pace of life in Southwest Michigan and being so close to Lake Michigan.  "I'm excited to be stepping into this role and joining an organization that truly values and wants the best for the communities here," Hurdle said. "Outreach is something that I...
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Hiking, biking and paddling from Point A to Point B in the beauty of Berrien County got a boost with a $10,000 grant from the Berrien Community Foundation last week. The funds will support a county-wide trails and waterways plan spearheaded by the Friends of Berrien County Trails.  The grant helps fund a master plan to examine existing trails and sites for future trails that cover longer distances. Abonmarche has been tapped to do the study. It is important because it looks at the county as a whole rather than just one specific region within...
Friday, September 10, 2021
The Berrien Community Foundation Arts Challenge – Act 2 was a smash hit! The community once again went above and beyond to meet a $60,000 challenge made by a small group of donors to support local arts organizations.    “We made it!” said Berrien Community Foundation President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “We are grateful for everyone who gave to the Arts Challenge. These organizations can continue to rebuild with the confidence knowing the community has their backs.” More than $95,000 was raised during the month-long initiative, which concluded Aug....
Friday, August 6, 2021
The Berrien Community Foundation (BCF) is helping students get ready to learn this fall by providing over 3,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to students across Berrien County. BCF will host four Backpacks For Good school readiness events for students attending Niles, Brandywine, Coloma, Watervliet and Hagar #6 schools as well as students residing in the 49022 zip code. New this year is the Benton Harbor Backpacks For Good, sponsored by Whirlpool Corporation. Backpacks For Good Events: For Brandywine Students:August 10, 5 – 7 p.m. at...
Monday, August 2, 2021
It was a tough year for the arts in our community. Shuttered venues left arts organizations unable to perform or gather to support their work. The first BCF Arts Challenge to the community raised over $200,000 during the height of the pandemic to help these organizations survive. Now, partnering with the Berrien Community Foundation, a small group of donors have issued a similar challenge to help these organizations with the funding they need to re-open and continue to thrive.   This amazing group of donors has pledged a total of $60,000 if...
Monday, July 26, 2021
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...
Monday, June 28, 2021
Berrien Community Foundation had a record-breaking year in the total amount of dollars given away through scholarships. Split between 73 scholarships, $296,500 has been awarded for the 2021-2022 school year, the foundation has announced. “This year we are awarding more scholarship dollars than we ever have,” said BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors and these outstanding students, it’s a great year for scholarships!” BCF scholarships are established by donors to support students who excel in academics,...

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