Good News for May 2016


Big Bang-quet Challenge Awards $75,515 for Local Charities

Twenty-one local charities were awarded a total of $75,515 from the University Club of MSU’s 2016 Big Bang-quet Challenge, co-sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union and the Capital Region Community Foundation.

The public “voted” for their favorite charities at with $5 tax deductible donations to the Capital Region Community Foundation from Feb. 22 through March 22, as the charities competed for three top prizes.

At the Final Voting and Reveal Reception on Wednesday, March 23, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra was awarded the grand prize – a $10,000 credit toward a fundraising event at the University Club, plus $9,589 earned from their votes. Coming in second place was Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, which received a $5,000 credit toward a fundraising event held at the University Club and $6,394 earned from their votes. The Forster Woods Adult Day Center received the award for the most individual voters, earning them a $5,000 event credit at the Club and $5,184 from their votes. A full list of participants and voting results can be found at

Every participating charity was a winner, receiving 90 percent of funds raised through voting. Overall, 11,103 votes were cast, raising a total of $75,515 for the 22 participants and the Capital Region Community Foundation, plus $20,000 in prizes.

Michigan Masons Donate $100,000 to Support Youth Impacted By Flint Water Crisis

The Community Foundation of Greater Flint received $100,000 from the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation to assist those affected by the Flint community’s water crisis. The donation will go toward the Community Foundation’s Flint Child Health and Development Fund and will assist the short and long-term needs of Flint’s children who were exposed to lead through early childhood education, healthy food access, access to infant and child behavioral health services and more.

The Community Foundation received the donation March 22 from the Michigan Masons, presented by Wisely at the Michigan Masons Flint Masonic Temple. Several speakers were present such as Lieutenant Governor of Michigan Brian Calley and Community Foundation of Greater Flint President Kathi Horton.

Many additional government officials were in attendance including Senator Jim Ananich, Senator Rick Jones, Representative Ken Goike and Representative Charles Smiley.

The Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation is dedicated to continually providing quality programs and services for Masons and their families while making communities a better place to live.

Jenna Cody Pitches Winning Idea at Lansing Youth Startup Challenge

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) hosted the Lansing Youth Startup Challenge Expo on March 24, 2016 at The Lansing Center. More than 220 teachers, parents, friends and community members came out to cheer on the 94 teams, made up of 170 local middle and high school students, at this special business pitch competition.

The winning business plan, pitch, and product display, Struck by Eros Wedding Planning, LLC, was presented by Jenna Cody of St. Johns High School (Clinton RESA program). Her wedding planning business brought all of the components together through her well-written business plan, intriguing pitch, and beautiful table display. She received the Champion Award and a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by Lake Trust Credit Union.
“These students are the region’s future CEO’s and executives. Each of them spent time to dream up these businesses and fully examine what it is like to be an entrepreneur. The level of professionalism from these students was astounding to witness,” said Tony Willis, director of the New Economy Division at LEAP.

The Lansing Youth Startup Challenge Expo celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit in middle and high school students living in the tri-county region of Lansing.

Each student submitted an executive summary business plan and displayed and presented their business ideas to pairs of judges. More than 31 cash prizes were awarded to students, totaling over $12,000. Awards ranged from $1,000 grand champion, to $250 eco-friendly business, to $500 product-based business to name a few.

Each cash award was sponsored by a LEAP member company; sponsors included Lake Trust Credit Union, Sparrow Health System, LAFCU, TriTerra, Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, MSU Federal Credit Union, Two Men and a Truck, Lansing Community College, Farm Bureau Insurance, and AF Group.


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