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Recent News

Leaders Invited to Apply for Leadership Learning Lab Program

In partnership with Rotary Charities of Traverse City, the Frey Foundation, and other northern Michigan community foundations, the Oceana Community Foundation invites local leaders to apply for the 2024-5 Leadership Learning Lab (LLL) program. The Foundation welcomes leaders at all levels from nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies, and Tribal Nations to apply. The application deadline is June 28, 2024.

Electric Forest invests $27,000 into Community, Arts, Music, and Preservation Projects in Oceana County

The Electric Forest Music Festival has been an Oceana County summer staple since 2008, bringing people across the country together to celebrate art, music, and nature. While the Festival's grandeur is known cross-country, few know about its philanthropic footprint in West Michigan. This summer, the Festival's Electric Forest Charitable Fund celebrates the sixth anniversary of its Music in Schools Programs with a $10,000 grant. Its generosity continues with additional grants totaling $17,000 to the Oceana Conservation District, the Hart Project “putting the art in Hart”, and the Oceana Community Foundation.

Foundation hosts 4th Annual Migrant Child Task Force Donation Drive

As summer begins, the Oceana Community Foundation is pleased to launch our 4th annual donation drive for the Oceana’s Michigan Migrant Child Task Force. The Foundation is collecting donations of new hygiene items, children’s books and toys, and more to share with West Michigan’s migrant farmworkers and their families. New this year are some culturally sensitive basic food items. Each item donated is directly going to a family via the Migrant Child Task Force’s Camp Outreach events!

Foundation & Oceana CAN! Brings on Second Intern

The Oceana Community Foundation is excited to announce that Ashley Guardiola has joined the Foundation as a second summer intern serving the Foundation & Oceana College Access Network (CAN)! Guardiola is excited to work alongside the staff and gain experience in graphic design and expand her creative efforts. She is currently attending Michigan State University as a rising sophomore this upcoming fall and is planning on graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in interior design, and a minor in graphic design. Guardiola is excited to bring her design skills into use and help create some new outreach tools for the Foundation and the Oceana College Access Network!

Foundation Brings on New Team Member

The Oceana Community Foundation is pleased to announce Daisy Mendez as our newest team member, bringing her expertise and passion for community development to our organization. Daisy Mendez is excited to gain on-site experience in the marketing field upon graduating from Ferris State University on May 4. Mendez earned a degree in marketing with a minor in public relations. Her last requirement for her degree is an internship placement, which she will complete this summer through the marketing intern position at the Oceana Community Foundation. 

Shelby Rotary Club and the Foundation Send 26 Students to Summer Camp

This summer, 26 Oceana students will attend summer camp with the support of the Shelby Rotary Club, the Oceana Community Foundation, and its donor-advised partners! These students received a total of $7,275 in camp scholarships (or ‘camperships’) with individual awards ranging from $100 to $650 each. Awards were determined based on preference for first-time applicants and those with financial need. Given the camp cost for some students, awards were increased beyond the standard $250 limit.  

Spring Community Grant Awards Announcement

This Spring, the Oceana Community Foundation awarded $41,700 in grants to 11 organizations, with most receiving full funding for their projects up to $5,000. While the Foundation supports all type of community projects, most of these grants focused on environmental projects, infrastructure development, and accessible healthcare.

Shelby Rotary Club Wants To Send Kids to Camp

The Shelby Rotary Club and the Oceana Community Foundation are pleased to offer the chance for Oceana youth to attend camp this summer. Camp experiences bring new skills and self-worth to our youth and build up the 4 C’s within them; compassion, contribution, commitment, and character. The Rotary Club and Foundation donors realize this impact, and work to ensure camp experiences are accessible to all, regardless of financial status. Awards are capped at $250 per applicant, but higher requests will be evaluated according to available funding. All awards will be paid directly to the camps and are available for any type of camping focus – arts, sports, scouts, church, general, and leadership experiences. Application is for one camp experience per child. Preference is given to first-time requests. To apply for support, complete the quick, one page application! Suggested deadline to apply is April 1, 2024. Applications are available at all Oceana County schools, on the Foundation’s website at, and at the Shelby Area District Library. Questions can be directed to Tiffany Haight at or by calling 231-873-1859.

Oceana Community Foundation’s Read early. Read often. Program Starts New Year with a New Leader

Oceana’s Read Early. Read Often. (RERO) Program would like to welcome Teresa Mead to the Foundation Team as the new Program Coordinator.  Teresa spent 24 years working for Shelby Public Schools. She started in 1999 at Benona Elementary, then 7 years at New Era Elementary running the computer and library programs and her last 14 years at the Early Childhood Center (ECC). She was the ECC Program Coordinator before her retirement in June 2023. 

Key Findings from Walkerville Community Assessment to be Revealed on January 25!

A new year is also a new start for Walkerville’s future! The Walkerville Community Assessment conducted on November 30th was the fourth area assessment funded by the Oceana Community Foundation to gain local feedback towards developing positive change to meet community goals. The assessment was facilitated by the Foundation and consultant Julie Hales-Smith, with the support of Lake-Osceola Bank. After a month of compiling the feedback received during the full day of assessment activities, we are now ready to report the findings to Walkerville area residents!

Foundation’s Fall Community Grant Round Supports All Applicants 

In its Fall Community Grant Round, the Oceana Community Foundation awarded $47,509 to 12 local schools and nonprofits! All organizations that applied received funding with six organizations receiving full funding up to $7,500 and three receiving partial support. Additionally, local nonprofits, government organizations, and schools have received nearly $64,552 through the Foundation’s Community Wish Lists so far!  

There’s still time to invest in the Foundation’s challenge match

Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Oceana Community Foundation launched a $25,000 Challenge Match through the end of the year. Gifts to the Community Investment Fund or the Administrative Fund will be matched, creating double the impact in Oceana County! “The Challenge Match is such a heartwarming holiday gift to our community,” Foundation CEO Tammy Carey said. “Not only will people’s end-of-year gifts have double the impact, but they will also support Oceana’s local nonprofits and residents indefinitely through the Foundation’s endowment. Gifts will truly become the ‘gifts that keep on giving,’ both now and in the future.”

Community Foundation releases its annual Wish Lists – Make a Gift to Your Community!

Have you ever considered giving a holiday gift to your community? With the holiday season approaching, the Oceana Community Foundation recently released its annual Community Wish Lists! The Foundation invites area nonprofits to indicate which near-term projects and purchases can only happen with the financial support from the community as part of its philanthropy leadership framework. This season, 49 organizations serving Oceana County submitted 126 different gift requests, totaling $180,510! To learn more about our Community Wish Lists or to find a wish close to your heart, visit or reach out to the Foundation at 231.869.3377.  

Join the Community Foundation at its Holiday Open House on December 15 

This winter season, the Community Foundation is inviting Oceana County to celebrate the season with purpose at our Holiday Open House on December 15 from 10AM to 4PM. The Holiday Open House will be at the Community Foundation’s office at 388 S. Hancock Street in Pentwater; our office is directly above Shelby State Bank. 

Community Foundation introduces Cecelia Hopkins to their team

The Oceana Community Foundation is thrilled to announce the addition of Cecelia Hopkins to its staff as its newest AmeriCorps member. Cecelia supports both the Foundation and Oceana County College Access Network (OCAN!) as their joint Outreach Coordinator. “We are incredibly excited to have Cecelia join our team! She is an avid learner and is excited to explore community building on the other side of the state,” Foundation CEO Tammy Carey stated. “As she continues to establish relationships in Oceana County, we hope you stop by and welcome Cecelia to West Michigan!”

Community Foundation partners award $9,520 in Teacher Mini Grants

The Oceana Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) awarded over $9,500 to local teachers in partnership with other donor-advised funds at the Oceana Community Foundation. Together they provided 39 different grants to educators across the county. Grants awards can be up to $250 for specific projects or programs supporting curriculum enhancements, expanding an already existing unit, student awards, special events, professional development, artists in residence and parent involvement programs. This special grant opportunity opens in August each year to help teachers plan for the upcoming school year.

Walkerville Community Assessment Planned for November 30

The Oceana Community Foundation, in partnership with Lake-Osceola State Bank and local Walkerville leaders, are conducting a Walkerville Community Assessment on November 30th. This assessment will be focused on the Village of Walkerville, Colfax Township, Leavitt Township, and surrounding areas. The Walkerville Community Assessment will provide everyone with the opportunity to develop a shared vision for the future – bring your enthusiasm and great ideas!

Five Changemakers Join the Community Foundation for Oceana County’s Regional Leadership Learning Lab

The Community Foundation for Oceana County (CFOC) is proud to introduce the six community leaders participating in its regional Leadership Learning Lab (LLL): Rubi Berumen, Aubrey Boerema, Curtis Burdette, Mark Olmstead, and Griffin Vogler. As the fifth cohort of LLL, participants will join Oceana County’s 26 LLL alumni in expanding their leadership skills and networks.

School Safety & Knox Boxes

In 2019, the Oceana County Sheriff’s Department recognized that preparing schools for emergency lockdowns was not enough, as it prevented public safety officials from being able to provide life-saving aid. The Sheriff’s Department and the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) partnered to install Knox Boxes at every school in Oceana County. Through the Oceana Youth Fund and the Community Investment Fund, YAC awarded the Sheriff’s Department an initial grant of $3,000. The Knox Box project received a second grant of $2,098 from the Foundation’s Friends of Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Fund.

Supporting Pentwater Arts Council’s Sculpture Walk

The Pentwater Arts Council (PAC) knows the answer: through community engagement and placemaking. PAC is beginning its three-year-long Sculpture Walk Initiative in collaboration with the Pentwater Downtown Development Authority. In this project, five sculptures were placed along downtown Hancock Street. In preparation for its first summer, PAC’s Sculpture Initiative received a $6,500 grant supported by the Foundation’s Randall and Linda Wagner Family and the Janie Denman Legacy Funds.

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