Tag Archives: Volunteer

Plymouth Park Fun Zone Renovation [Guest Post]

13 May

Fun Zone

By Stacey Urbani, City of Midland

Big things are happening in Midland and we’re excited to be part of it! After 20 years of children running and playing, the community will come together to renovate the Plymouth Park Fun Zone on June 4-8, 2014. It takes a lot of hands to renovate a playground and we could not do this without the help of volunteers and skilled professionals.

We are looking for volunteers to donate their time to help with the build, or provide food or tools for volunteers during the event. Below you will see a short description of each role that will be filled in order to complete the renovation.
Volunteer Roles

 “Skilled” (MUST BE 18yrs of age, cutting a straight line with a circular saw, familiar with power tools, measuring, cutting)
 “Unskilled” (carrying, assembling, sanding, shoveling, carpenter’s helper)
 Food Service
 Food Donation
 Tool Donation

To wrap up the project and celebrate the Fun Zone we hope you will join us for the ribbon cutting and picnic Sunday June 8 at 5:30pm. To register to fulfill a volunteer role contact Stacey Urbani at urbanis@wmfc.org or call at 989-832-3256 or register online at http://www.midlandfoundation.org/.

Fun Zone Volunteer Flyer

 

Behind the Scenes: Selecting Scholarship Recipients [Guest Post]

20 Feb

By Ben Tierney

Director of Communications, Midland Area Community Foundation

As a high school senior, I was the recipient of what I’m convinced is the most specific scholarship on our planet. It’s called the USS Indianapolis Survivor’s Fund Scholarship. To be eligible, you must be “a direct descendant of a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis”, per the scholarship website.

How rare is it to be a descendant of a survivor? For those non-WWII history buffs, the Indy (as my grandfather refers to her) was a heavy cruiser that was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine while on her way back from delivering the world’s first operational atomic bomb. Of nearly 2,000 men on board, 317 ultimately survived – after treading water and fending shark attacks for four days in the Pacific Ocean. It remains the single worst loss of life at sea in the history of the US Navy. My grandfather was a Marine on board the ship when it sunk. Incredibly, he was one of the 317.

While writing that scholarship essay to the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, I remember thinking that I could have drawn them a picture of the boat in crayon and still received the award, because, honestly, how much competition could there be?

As it turned out, several other students did apply, and a group of volunteers reviewed every scholarship application to ultimately determine a winner. Looking back, I’m glad I took it seriously. I think my Grandfather was too (“I didn’t jump off a sinking ship and fight sharks for four days so you could throw your future away…”). By the way, the USS Indianapolis Survivor’s Fund Scholarship now accepts applications from descendants of non-survivors, which I believe was a positive change.

While that particular scholarship is held at the Grand Traverse foundation, the Midland Area Community Foundation holds nearly 200 individual scholarship funds. Some are very specific (though not quite “descendant of USS Indy Survivor” specific), others are very general. They all, however, have one thing in common: they need committees to review the scholarship applications.

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Midland Area Community Foundation 2013 scholarship recipients

How it works

Scholarship review committees are made up of community volunteers. That’s you. Here’s how it works: you contact the community foundation at 989.839.9661, ask for our scholarship coordinator (Heather), and let her know you’d like to help decide who receives scholarships in 2014. The time commitment can be small (review 4-5 applications) or large (review 80-100 applications) or pretty much anything in between. That part’s up to you.

You’ll read short essays from high school seniors, current college students and adults seeking to further their education. You then work with your committee to vote on which students are most deserving of the award. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience, you’ll meet new people, and you’ll be doing a great service to youth in your community.

If you have ever received a scholarship for college, you remember the feeling that went along with it. It’s an outstanding opportunity, and thanks to many donors over the past 40 years, the community foundation has been able to give more and more scholarships each year to Midland County students – totaling well over $4 million to date.

Contact the community foundation no later than March 17th to sign up. Feel free to click on my email address below and ask me anything you’d like about this or other volunteer opportunities through the Midland Area Community Foundation. Happy volunteering!

Tierny, BenBen Tierney is the Director of Communications for the Midland Area Community Foundation. His job is to tell the story of the community foundation to the public, keep donors informed, and take pictures of people holding those giant checks. Ben earned his BBA in Marketing/Management from Northwood University in 2008. He is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Midland and serves on several local committees including the Midland Area Marketing Partnership, mi-Vibe, Midland’s Open Door “Dine on the Doors” event, Riverdays and the Inter-agency Network. You can contact Ben at btierney@midlandfdn.org.