Coldwater, MI – Apex Clean Energy and esaSolar are pleased to announce five Coldwater-area programs and organizations as the recipients of the first round of Coldwater Solar Community Grants.
The program was launched earlier this year to support community organizations making an impact in the following areas: Building Healthy Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Promoting Education.
“Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, these organizations continue to do impressive work on behalf of the Greater Coldwater community. We are grateful to be able to support them as they look to expand their work in 2021,” said Brian O'Shea, Public Engagement Manager with Apex Clean Energy.
“Coldwater Solar will be a long-term fixture in the community,” said Matt Drennan, Project Manager with esaSolar. “That’s why we wanted to do our part to start supporting the community immediately. These grants will help fund important community priorities that will benefit the entire region.”
The Coldwater Township Sunrise Rotary Foundation’s Promise Scholarship Program will receive a grant to help support Branch County students who are seeking education in healthcare or industrial trades programs like Kellogg Community College’s Industrial Trades Renewable Energy Certificate Program. The scholarship program has already assisted more than twenty students.
“This is great news!” according to George Babcoke, Sunrise Promise Scholarship Program Chairman. “The Sunrise Promise Scholarship Program is one of the biggest and most challenging initiatives ever taken on by the Coldwater Township Sunrise Rotary Club. We are pleased that Apex Clean Energy & esaSolar recognized that the goals and objectives of the program aligned with their values. This is a great example of how good corporate social responsibility can make a big difference in our community.”
A grant to the Coldwater High School Interact Club will help support their downtown mural project. The design was created by Abby Licht, a graduate of Coldwater High School and a former member of the Interact Club.
“On behalf of the Interact Club we would like to thank Coldwater Solar for their support of our downtown mural project. We are so excited to add more culture and art to our beautiful community,” said Sarah Davis with the Coldwater High School Interact Club.
Grants were also issued to the Lakeland Readers are Leaders program, which will fund the purchase of high interest books for Coldwater Community Schools’ 3rd through 8th graders and the Branch District Library to assist in the launch of their digital literacy initiative.
"Lakeland Readers are Leaders truly appreciate the $1,500 grant from Apex Clean Energy and Coldwater Solar. By providing our 3rd through 8th grade students with high interest books to read and keep for their home library, we are encouraging all students to read, read, read," said Shana Grife, Lakeland Readers are Leaders volunteer.
“We are really excited to launch this new digital literacy initiative. These Playaway Tablets contain learning apps that have a powerful impact on development and education. Circulating the tablets at the library ensures that everyone can access them,” said Jessica Tefft Director of Public Services for Branch County District Library.
To support low-income households with home repairs, Coldwater Solar is also awarding a grant to Branch County Habitat for Humanity’s Brush with Kindness Program.
“The financial assistance provided by the grant from Apex Clean Energy & esaSolar helps us provide necessary improvements to families needing wheelchair accessibility and general improvements to provide a safe living environment,” says Jim McDaniels, President of Branch County Habitat for humanity. “We will be able to touch and enrich the lives of veterans, senior citizens, and handicapped homeowners living in Branch County.”
A grant was also awarded to the Corner Farmers Market to support the market’s 6th season of providing locally-grown produce to Coldwater-area residents.
"The Corner Farmers Market is grateful for the support of the Coldwater Solar Community Grant program as we gear up for the 2021 market season. This funding will help us to continue providing access to locally grown food and build community in downtown Coldwater," said Corner Farmers Market Volunteer Manager Audrey Tappenden.
Coldwater Solar’s ongoing commitment is to be a strong community partner to the residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations serving Coldwater and Ovid Townships, and the entire Branch County community. The Community Grant Program will continue to support pressing community needs and local organizations making a meaningful impact throughout 2021. To learn more or apply for a future grant, visit coldwatersolar.com/grant.