Smelt City VFW Partners with Community Foundation to Support Students

The Smelt City VFW Post 3675 recently sold their building located on M-75 in Boyne City. With the proceeds, members chose to continue their support of local youth by establishing two funds with the Charlevoix County Community Foundation. “Our focus was on creating something that would support the kids of Boyne City and Boyne Falls like the VFW has for years,” explained Henry Erber, Smelt City VFW member.

After exploring their options, representatives of the Smelt City VFW ultimately elected to establish two Endowments for Student Success – one for Boyne City and one for Boyne Falls. “We liked the idea of a scholarship fund,” shared Bill Cousineau, another VFW representative, “but a scholarship benefits one student when they graduate. We learned that endowments for student success can help more kids while they’re still in our local schools. That impact was really appealing to us.” 

Endowments for Student Success benefit students across Charlevoix County by removing barriers to learning, providing enrichment opportunities, and encouraging students to become successful community citizens in partnership with the local public schools. “Schools are meeting all kinds of needs for local kids and families – from enriching activities like robotics, drama, and athletics to health, mental health, and wellness needs,” said Chip Hansen, President of the Community Foundation. “We know that although schools have resources, there are always gaps where additional dollars can make a real difference for students.” Recent student success grants have provided for ‘career day’ field trips, completed the renovation of the fitness and weight room, and purchased new middle school library books chosen by the students themselves. “This felt like the right approach to helping kids on behalf of the VFW and our members,” noted Don Owens.

The Charlevoix County Community Foundation is a grassroots charitable organization made up of various funds – all of them established by local donors. Some funds are earmarked for specific causes, and others are open-ended to meet changing needs. The funds are held in permanent endowment, so they can continue to grow and generate income to enhance the quality of life in Charlevoix County, now and for generations to come.