Three awards were given out during Keweenaw Community Foundation’s annual Keweenaw Gold event on March 15:
Brent Peterson, a member of the KCF Board for nine years, a past board chair and chair of our Fiduciary Committee, was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for his many years of service to the community’s youth hockey programs. Brent originally joined the KCF board of trustees after working on the development of the Copper Country Youth Hockey Fund and he is tireless in his dedication to developing opportunities for our youth, particularly in the area of hockey. He’s passionate about the game of hockey; coaching, teaching, mentoring and playing.
Rebecca Crane was recognized with the Community Impact Award for her work at Dial Help. Everyone who speaks of Rebecca talks about her selfless dedication to Dial Help.
Some have even gone so far as to say if it were not for Rebecca’s dedication this vital crisis intervention resource would not exist. She has been instrumental in developing innovative programming that not only benefits our community but also the whole Upper Peninsula. She is the inspiration for many in our community and Dial Help is a vital life line for people in crisis.
And this year’s Herman “Winks” Gundlach Award was presented to an anonymous donor who, in 2016, gifted the foundation over $113,000. In honor of the memory of Herman Gundlach each year this award is given to the single largest donor to the Keweenaw Community Foundation.
Along with the awards, Keweenaw Community Foundation Board Chair Jon Julien introduced four new endowment funds: SKY (Simple Kindness for Youth); HEET (Houghton Energy Efficiency Team); DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself); Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home; Community Impact Fund.
Generous business and individual sponsors were key to the success of this event and we want to acknowledge their commitment to our community foundation mission. Sponsors this year were:
(Silver Level Sponsors) Aspirus Keweenaw; UP Health Systems-Portage; and Keweenaw Rocks
(Bronze Level Sponsors) Chuck Ouellette and Bernadette Yeoman-Ouellette; Pat’s IGA (Campioni Enterprises); Ameriprise Financial–Ted Simonsen; Gundlach Champion; Mount Bohemia; Rukkila, Negro and Associates, CPA; Eliason Law Office
(Copper Level Sponsors) Keweenaw Brewing Company; Edward Jones – Brent Peterson; Range Bank; Portage Health Foundation; Pisani Dist. Co.; Peterlin Distributing; Wickely Agency; McCabe Distributing; Superior National Bank; and LJJ Construction.
The theme for of this year’s Keweenaw Gold—“Blueprints For Our Community’s Future” — was inspired by the legacy of Herman “Winks” Gundlach. As a business man and as a philanthropist, Mr. Gundlach left an impressive legacy in the Keweenaw. This past year alone, the Herman Gundlach Fund that he endowed helped over 20 organizations with a total grant amount of nearly $90,000.
Continuing a tradition begun in 2015, tiles created from one of the area’s historic mines were available to attendees who wished to join the Keweenaw Gold Club. Attendees raised $4,050 by purchasing tiles and the money raised will be designated to the following funds: Copper Country Humane Society, Funding Youth Initiatives, Dial Help, SKY, KCF Operations, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Copper Country Suzuki Assoc., Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks, Agnes & Elmo Negro Fund, Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home, Copper Country Youth Hockey, Omega House, KCF Operations. The inspiration for the Keweenaw Gold Club and the symbolic tiles comes from our history—both the mining history and the philanthropic history—of our area. Just as these beautiful, polished stones chosen from different mining sites around the Keweenaw represent our past mining history, they also serve to remind us that philanthropy has been a strong part of what makes the Keweenaw a special place to live.
This year’s event was hosted at the Bonfire Steakhouse Bar and Grill in downtown Houghton—a lovely venue overlooking the Portage Canal. Other local businesses helped set an elegant tone for the night—in particular Superior Equipment & Events for their invaluable assistance with setup and décor; Calumet Floral & Gifts for beautiful floral arrangements; and Elite Signs of Chassell for donating the printing of seven large format displays featuring some of the community groups who benefited from grants made by KCF this past year. We would also like to acknowledge Clay Hilman of K.C. Bonkers for once again providing the perfect musical accompaniment to a festive evening.
And finally, we are so grateful to all our attendees and sponsors for the success of this year’s Keweenaw Gold. Together you helped us raise vital funds to promote the foundation’s mission to inspire giving that invests in our community’s quality of life.