February 2, 2022 - Coldwater, MI – Apex Clean Energy is pleased to announce four local non-profit organizations as the recipients of the third round of Coldwater Solar Community Grants. Since it was launched last year, the program has awarded 15 grants to local individuals and organizations focused on improving their community in the follow areas: Building Healthy Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Promoting Education.
“It takes the whole community to build a clean energy future. We want to ensure that Coldwater Solar not only provides affordable clean power, but also is giving back to the community. Through our Community Grant Program, we are proud to support community partnerships that improve lives in Coldwater and Ovid Townships and throughout Branch County,” says Nick Alexander, Senior Development Manager with Apex Clean Energy.
Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Group will receive a grant to help young professionals in the region improve their skills, promote their business, and build relationships with like-minded peers.
In addition to building their network, participants in the Coldwater Chamber’s Young Professionals Group will give back to the community by collaborating with local shelters and organizations to volunteer, fundraise, and facilitate a mentorship program.
“The Coldwater Chamber is so thrilled that Coldwater Solar is investing in our community in a meaningful way by funding us to bring Young Professionals back together to promote within the community” Lori Hunt, Executive Director of the Coldwater Chamber explained. “The program had taken a pause due to COVID-19 and they are ready to get the program back on track with trainings, networking, and more for young professionals to connect.”
To help families in need of housing, the Coldwater Family Promise is receiving a grant to help build a community-based response for families experiencing or on the verge of homelessness. Family Promise helps to house families providing them safety and shelter while helping with other resources and employment.
Colene Ashcraft, Executive Director of Coldwater Family Promise said, “Our Promise program will be updating our facility to bring more comfort and awareness to the lives of those struggling with homelessness. It is because of people and organizations like yours that we can help improve the lives of those that are struggling and need our support.”
A Community Grant awarded to the Coach Eby Youth and Family Center’s Friday Night Alive (FNA) program is designed to bring hope, education, recreation and inspiration to youth in Branch County. Each month, the Coach Eby Center will focus on a specific topic and collaborate with different organizations to provide a presentation focusing on subjects such as suicide prevention, domestic violence, financial responsibility, and health and wellness.
“Friday Night Alive has been the flagship program of the Coach Eby Center for the last 12 years. Our program provides students in grades 6-12 a haven to be a kid, socialize with peers and adult mentors, and enjoy educational, recreational, and tech activities. The funds will help us in providing additional monthly programming that will help shape our youth," said Melissa Austin, Financial/Grant Coordinator Coach Eby Youth and Family Center.
Coldwater Solar will again be supporting the Coldwater Township Sunrise Rotary with a grant to sustain scholarship and education opportunities for students pursuing careers in healthcare or in the skilled trades. George Babcoke, Sunrise Promise Scholarship Program Chair comments, “When the Sunrise Promise Scholarship project was initially launched, we knew there was a critical need in our community for healthcare workers and trained skilled trade candidates. Little did we know at that time that we were heading into a global pandemic that has so critically impacted our healthcare systems and exponentially highlighted the critical needs for healthcare professionals.”
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 2022. To learn more or apply for a future grant, visit coldwatersolar.com/grant.
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About Coldwater Solar: A project of Apex Clean Energy, Coldwater Solar is a proposed utility-scale solar energy project that is expected to have the capacity to generate up to 150MW of homegrown Michigan clean energy, enough to power close to 26,000 American homes while diversifying the local economy and supporting jobs in the community.
Situated in Coldwater and Ovid Townships in rural Branch County, the location has access to existing transmission lines on open private land and is highly suitable for a solar energy project. If approved the project would create tens millions of dollars in construction spending and millions of dollars in personal property tax payments to township governments, local school districts, and Branch County over the 30-plus-year lifetime of the project.
For more information visit www.ColdwaterSolar.com