2013-11-14 / Lifestyles

Foundation merges two funds to benefit the arts


The Schoolcraft County Community Foundation recently merged two funds to better support arts and cultural events in the county. Marilyn Pitts-Johnson, center, representing the Pitts-Johnson Endowment Fund, is pictured with Arts and Culture Fund founders Bob Panek, left, and Jack MacFarlane. 
Submitted photo The Schoolcraft County Community Foundation recently merged two funds to better support arts and cultural events in the county. Marilyn Pitts-Johnson, center, representing the Pitts-Johnson Endowment Fund, is pictured with Arts and Culture Fund founders Bob Panek, left, and Jack MacFarlane. Submitted photo MANISTIQUE – The Schoolcraft County Community Foundation recently merged two smaller funds, the Pitts-Johnson Endowment Fund and the Arts and Culture Fund, into a large one to benefit arts and cultural events in Schoolcraft County.

“Merging the two funds allows us to give larger grants to organizations and events such as the high school GLEE Club, Lake Effect Council for the Arts, theater and musical performances,” said SCCF President Dean Wood.

The newly created fund will retain the Arts and Culture name within SCCF.

The founders of the two funds, Marilyn Pitts-Johnson for the Pitts- Johnson Fund, and Bob Panek and Jack MacFarlane for the Arts and Culture Fund, recommended the merger to the SCCF board. Combining the two funds was natural, they said, since they had similar goals.

Dr. Roy Pitts was a pastor, community activist/supporter and a music lover who played four instruments. At his death in 1996, a fund for memorial gifts was established in the SCCF. His wife, E. Jean Pitts, was also a musician in Manistique and as a youth in her native Canada. Locally, she directed the Festival of Lessons and Carols, was a choral director, organ and piano teacher, and church organist.

“Their love of music and interest in the community was the connection between the fund established to honor their memory, and the Arts and Culture Fund,” said Marilyn Pitts-Johnson, the daughter of Roy and E. Jean. “The Arts and Culture Fund is a designated fund, meaning grants can only be given from it to benefit arts and cultural events, and organizations in the county.

“We hope that everyone who shares an interest in the arts will agree with the emphasis we have placed on them, and help us with contributions to the new fund,” she added.

The community foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Founded in 1994, it has granted more than $116,000 to Schoolcraft County organizations and events.

SCCF consists of 15 designated, or “donor advised,” funds, and also may provide mini-grants from an unrestricted fund. The community foundation awards grants twice a year, in May and November. Deadlines for applications are March 31 and Sept. 30 of each year.

For more information on contributing to the Schoolcraft County Community Foundation or applying for a mini-grant, write to the foundation at P.O. Box 452, Manistique, MI 49854 or email sccf@up.net.

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