Latest News

Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Grant applications are again available for “The Heart of Cook” Foundation Fund. “The Heart of Cook” is a grant program funded by Indiana Michigan Power’s Cook Nuclear Plant and administered by the Berrien Community Foundation to assist nonprofit programs in Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana (La Porte, St. Joseph, and Elkhart Counties). Educational projects, human services programs that support families, and environmental protection and preservation projects are the focus areas for this grant program. The grant review committee,...
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Berrien Community Foundation announces applications are now available for the 70+ scholarships to be awarded in 2022. Applications are due March 4, 2022. New to the scholarship lineup this year is the Jean M. Heisner Medical Technician Scholarship, Patrick Freehling Memorial Scholarship and Wilson Family Scholarship. Mark and Jean Penwell have two scholarships now with Berrien Community Foundation after starting the Jean M. Heisner Medical Technician Scholarship this year, and both are in memory of their mothers. “Both of our mothers were...
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
  The children at St. Augustine Episcopal Church have big hearts for the homeless and those needing affordable housing.  What started out as project to provide a tiny home for someone experiencing homelessness morphed into an affordable small home rental that is managed by Harbor Habitat For Humanity. A For Good Grant from the Berrien Community Foundation along with the help of many community organizations and resources came together to make this project possible.   “There’s a lot of pride we have for these kids,” said Bruce Banghart, a...
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
When Coloma High School graduate Rodney Weir left for the University of Michigan he had no idea his experience with the local high school band would take him to the Tournament of Roses. He also didn’t know his entire educational experience would lead him to start a scholarship that would reach back and encourage others to pursue their educational goals. This year the theme for the Tournament of Roses Parade is The Transformative Power of Education. That was definitely the case for Weir when he led the University of Michigan Marching Band as...
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
  Berrien Community Foundation is awarding more than $137,000 in For Good Grants to bring new and exciting programs to meet the needs in Berrien County. “Each round of For Good Grants means there are more Good projects being funded in our communities,” said BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “This is the community's foundation. Grants were awarded to help all over Berrien County in so many different ways. These projects will build up local communities and make this a better place to live, work and play.” Projects focusing on creating a...
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...

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