Buchanan High School Gets BCF Grant to Update Percussion Equipment

Buchanan High School drum line. Buchanan High School is one of the many recipients of a For Good Grant from the Berrien Community Foundation, which will help the marching band keep the beat going with new percussion equipment. BCF has awarded $154,475 in the most recent cycle of For Good Grants.

“A lot of band programs spend years fundraising for something like this and now we're able to focus on other needs of the program because of the wonderful people at the Berrien Community Foundation,” said band director Marc Hartman. “The students and I are so excited and very grateful for this grant and to be able to get equipment we don't need to constantly fix so we can just focus on making music together!”

The percussion equipment to be replaced includes drums, harnesses and stands, and both the marching and concert bands will benefit. The outdated and run-down equipment shows its age through the constant maintenance and upkeep needed, Hartman said, noting one benefit of getting new equipment is improving the comfort for the drummers wearing them.

Hartman hopes the new equipment will expand the band’s offerings to more students while removing the barriers of not having enough or worn-out equipment.


The full list of For Good Grants recipients are:

  • African American History and Literature Gallery — to develop a digital oral history archive and corresponding artwork for a curriculum reflecting the story of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph.
  • Benton Harbor Arts Association — for event coordinator and event costs for art hops in the Benton Harbor Arts District.
  • Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety — to increase the incident command capabilities of the Berrien County Fire Service.
  • Benton Harbor Downtown Development Authority — to purchase and install holiday lights in Dwight P. Mitchell City Center Park.
  • Benton Harbor Girls Association for Learning & Self Esteem — to purchase equipment and furnishings for their new facility.
  • Berrien County Veteran Services — to replace a high-mileage van that transports veterans to medical appointments.
  • Buchanan High School — to overhaul their percussion equipment, carriers and stands for the music department.
  • Coloma PTO — to update playground equipment that will improve children’s motor skills at the elementary school.
  • Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan — to ensure that more girls in Watervliet and Coloma area have access to a Girl Scouts experience.
  • Harbor Habitat for Humanity — to expand eligibility for the Home Ownership Program to provide people with opportunities to become homeowners.
  • Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival — to pay the artist fee for a solo recital and piano tuner.
  • Lest We Forget — to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day at their 2024 event at Tiscornia Beach.
  • Lory's Place — to support one year of community outreach programming.
  • New Heights CCDA — to provide vehicle maintenance and repair services to low-income households to help them gain, maintain or improve their employment prospects by having reliable transportation.
  • Present Pillars — for content creation for podcasts and videos to improve family stability by mentoring and uplifting fathers.
  • Renaissance Enterprises Company — to help bring music programs to nursing homes, care facilities and senior residences.
  • Saint Joseph Baseball & Softball Association — to support an indoor sports facility for young players in a variety of sports for practice and training throughout the year.
  • The Salvation Army – Niles — to support their Feeding His Sheep program, which provides nutritious food for the weekend for students in southern Berrien County.
  • Stevensville United Methodist Church — to help with their food backpack program that provides meals and snacks for the weekend to students in need at Riverside Hagar #6 School.


For Good Grants awarded by T.E.A.M.

  • Beyond Basics — to provide support and literacy intervention to Benton Harbor Area School students.
  • Coloma Public Library — to create a separate teen room with teen-friendly furniture and updated book collections.
  • WeECHO — to purchase equipment and supplies for their after-school mentoring programming, WEYS 2 Grow, in the Niles community.


There are two grant cycles of the For Good Grants every year. Applications for the next round are due April 1, 2024. For questions or more information, contact BCF Program Director Susan Matheny at susanmatheny@berriencommunity.org.