News & Event
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A new Leadership Council has been formed to collectively focus on workforce housing solutions. The Leadership Council, composed of the area’s top community and business development organizations will work to ensure housing is available for all area workers.
Mike Goorhouse, President of the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area and Holly Johnson, President of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation will serve as co-chairs of the newly formed Housing Next Leadership Council. The Council also will include representatives from the West Coast Chamber, Chamber of Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg, United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties, Ottawa County, Lakeshore Advantage and Community SPOKE.
“Affordable housing was already a big problem in our community and it is getting bigger. Recent estimates of the shortage have grown to between 12,000 and 15,000 units, said Goorhouse, co-chair of the Housing Next Leadership Council. “Local businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations are all seeing the lack of affordable housing creating tremendous difficulty in many families’ day to day lives and constraining our overall ability to grow and thrive as a community.”
The Housing Next Leadership Council was formed due to the extensive housing research effort lead by the United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties – Ottawa Housing Next. The Leadership Council’s first order of business will be to hire a director fully focused on workforce housing solutions. This individual will be the champion for workforce housing solutions in our community. The position description for any interested applicants can be on the United Way website: https://www.ottawaunitedway.org/employment. The Council plans to have its new director in place by the end of 2017.
“Lack of affordable housing is both a social and an economic issue, and will require government, business and nonprofits all working together to make significant progress towards a solution,” said Johnson “I can’t remember a time when these eight organizations have collaborated so closely to address a key community priority.” In addition to the Leadership Council, there will be a broader Advisory Board which will have representation from developers, businesses, philanthropy, housing nonprofits, government and residents.
Housing Next has identified four strategies to help our community better access these market-driven solution
In addition to Johnson and Goorhouse, other members of the newly formed Leadership Council include:
Lyn Raymond, Director of the Lakeshore Housing Alliance will serve as liaison from the Leadership Council to the broader Advisory Panel.
“United Way is pleased to transition the leadership on this effort to this Leadership Council, while still keeping all the important members of Ottawa Housing Next informed and engaged,” said Patrick Moran, President of the United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties. “This cross sector council is the right group at the right time to increase market driven housing solutions.”
After a detailed application review process, area students were awarded scholarships in varying amounts from 94 different scholarship funds, for a total investment of over $600,000.
Students and their families came to the Yacht Basin Marina to meet the generous donors who made it possible for the students to receive these scholarships.
Mike Goorhouse, Community Foundation President and CEO, congratulated the scholars who he hopes will become future leaders in our community. “We’re honored to partner with your scholarship donors to support your educational journey,” he said.
Stacy Timmerman, Director of Scholarships, thanked the donors for their “continued support of the inspiring and deserving students.” She also addressed the students about the scholarship process. Stacy has spent many hours over the last few months reading through applications and meeting with review committees to determine recipients. “Students, please know that in our extremely competitive scholarship process, you were selected as the right person for your scholarship. We couldn’t be happier for you!” Stacy told them.
Jim Bishop from West Michigan Community Bank, who sponsored the event, shared his story on the many reasons he supports the Community Foundation. He spoke about how he received community foundation scholarships as a student and how that generosity changed his life for the better. It later inspired him to contribute financially and to get involved in board service at the community foundation as an adult. He encouraged each of the students to pay it forward to the next generation with time, talent, and/or treasure whenever they’re able.
The event also featured a student panel where four college students spoke about life in college and how different it can be from high school, some difficulties that come with college, and advice for incoming college freshman.
Stephanie Arndt from Hope College talked about how difficult it was for her to change her major and that she had to overcome her fear of claiming an English major, but it was” the most rewarding thing” she has ever done.
On advice for the scholarship recipients, student Kiannah Vandenberg from Grand Valley State University reminded the student scholars not to be upset or quit if they get a B or C on an assignment or in a course for the first time, as college classes can be very challenging and difficult even for the best students. She also talks about the opportunities of college internships which can give students college credit and experience doing something that they love.
After the panel, the reception lasted another hour with students and donors talking over cupcakes and lemonade and getting pictures taken together.
The Community Foundation is so happy to host this event that allows the students to meet and talk with their scholarship donors. We are so thankful to all of the donors for making such a big impact in the lives of these students. We congratulate these exemplary 2017 scholarship recipients and wish them every success in higher education and beyond.
Outdoor Discovery Center - ecoSystem Education Network
Macatawa Area Coordinating Council - Creating a Green Infrastructure Vision for the Macatawa Watershed
Ladder Homes - Housing Capacity Expansion
Goodwill Industries of West Michigan - Holland/Zeeland Career Training Center
Beacon of Hope - Building Campaign
Dear Friends of the Foundation,
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a great year ahead.
I write to you today filled with gratitude and excitement. Over the last few years, you have heard me talk extensively about how the Community Foundation’s work is divided into two parts: building our Community’s Endowment and providing Donor Services.
From 2015–2017, we prioritized the Community’s Endowment side of our work as we engaged in our Today. Tomorrow. Forever. Campaign for our Community’s Endowment. With the momentum of some very generous matching donations, we spent a significant amount of time and energy elevating the important role that our Community’s Endowment plays in the long-term vitality of the Holland/Zeeland area. You all responded in amazingly generous ways that grew our Community’s Endowment by $5 million “Today” and our pipeline of “Tomorrow” estate gift commitments by more than $30 million.
With the campaign wrapped up and with the new Federal income tax law changes taking effect, in 2018 we prioritized the Donor Service side of our work. We spent time with companies, families and professional advisors highlighting the various tools we have to make giving as efficient and effective as possible. We were astounded and humbled by the deep generosity of many in our community as we received close to $20 million in contributions to Donor Service funds here at CFHZ. These gifts ranged in size from $25 to $7 million, and combined with nearly $1 million in gifts to our Community’s Endowment, led to CFHZ’s 2018 contributions totaling close to $21 million. That is more than double our previous high of $9.7 million!
These resources will impact many individuals and nonprofits in the Holland/Zeeland area, and we are honored that many of you chose to partner with CFHZ to help you best achieve your charitable goals.
For me, this record year says two things:
1. Our community is deeply generous and is committed to making a difference in the lives of others and
2. The hard work of so many staff and board members over the last 65 years has made the Community Foundation a trusted partner for many local families and companies.
Nothing inspires me more than having witnessed and felt these two things in profound ways over the last few months. It is a privilege to serve this organization and work with you all!
There was much more that happened during the year, but the above list aggregates some of the highlights from my perspective.
It was an inspiring year here at CFHZ and I want to thank each of you for all that you have done, and continue to do, to partner with the Community Foundation to ensure that the Holland/Zeeland area thrives Today, Tomorrow and Forever.
With deep gratitude,
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