January Blog

January 2023

People around the world have been celebrating the start of each New Year for at least four millennia. The most common tradition is making resolutions for the up-coming year.

With so many people committing to goals for the New Year, the hope and optimism that change can happen is in the air. The reality is, however, that over 90% of New Year’s resolutions will be abandoned within just a few months.

Why do we do it, and why do we fail?

Some reasons include the idea that we’re thinking too big, we’re not considering the ‘why’ behind them, and the fact that we may not be ready for change.

The one thing that has not changed with Community Foundations, we look to create more positive change in our Community.  From childcare, housing, mental health and wellness for our most vulnerable citizens.

We continue to collaborate with social service groups, youth groups, city government, chamber of commerce, and the health department to address the pressing needs in our community.

We are dedicated to making powerful change in our communities and solving the complex problems facing our community.

December Projects:

Breakfast with Santa Project donated $33,500 for the Imagination Library Fund, 29 stuffed animals found a new home, 177 guests enjoyed a fabulous breakfast, and 75 children visited Santa and Caddy Bear.  We are very grateful for our sponsors.

Shop with a Hero Project was a morning of chaos of the best kind, 96 children received $100 gift card to shop for their family with a Hero at Walmart.  Volunteers from the Cadillac Area Women’s Giving Circle, Cadillac Area Men’s Giving Circle, Cadillac Leadership, Police Officers from Wexford and Missaukee Counties, EMS, Fire Department, and many others, for 87 volunteers.

2023 Projects:

Human Service Leadership Council is planning a “State of Mental Health in our Community” seminar February 23 at Baker.  A panel from Healthcare, Mental Health, Human Resources, Education, Ministry, and Police Department will talk about the greatest issues in our community and resources available.  Our hope is to discuss openly about what we can do to make a difference.

“Are we Housing Ready” Breakfast, we are working on having presenters from Frankfort, Grayling, and Mackinaw Island about their housing projects and how the community was involved.  In the last AES committee meeting, we discussed contracting a Housing Ready individual for Wexford, Missaukee, and Kalkaska Counties.  Planned for April.

Deep Dive Interactive Workshop for Non-profits developing templates to be used in commonly found sections of grant applications.  Planned for April.

We will continue to work in our community; this is a big task that we will not abandon.

Happy New Year!

July 2022 Blog

July Blog | Youth are our Future

Community foundations are more than awarding grants to nonprofits and giving out scholarships, we are much more….

Foundations also serve as conveners for vital community meeting, help build teams of organizations to solve problems, and serve nonprofits. Foundations are always looking at the future needs of the community and the quality of life of our citizens.

The next generation are the most critical and most affected stakeholders when talking about our future.  Our Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) are encouraged to become volunteers and even donors from an early age.  It also teaches the importance of generosity, being good stewards, and serving in our Community.

Students in 9th through 12th grade have the opportunity to join this group that encourages student leadership and engaging young people in decision-making.  It encourages youth involvement in philanthropy, and provides ways for local young people to act on issues and challenges that are important to them.

The Youth Needs Assessment!

In the spring of 2022, the Cadillac Youth did a Youth Needs Assessment, the top issues were quite alarming to the Youth Committee.  Some of the top issue our youth are facing today; feeling unsafe at school, drug use, stress from school, and mental health issues.

After reviewing the survey; they immediately discussed meeting during the summer to look at these issues and have a plan to addresses at the beginning of the school year (September).  The students will pick 3 to 4 priority issues facing youth today to address. Their plan is to work in collaboration with school officials to make a positive impact on some of the top concerns.  I have no doubt the power of these students can make a difference. 

The issues…

We are currently facing a mental health crisis. More young people than ever are experiencing mental health difficulties. This can affect all areas of their life: home, school, friendships and relationships. There remains a stigma surrounding mental health and it is important that young people understand where to go for support.  The rise of technology has had a significant impact on the lives of young people.

Technology can be an amazing tool, however, there are also concerns about how it impacts self-perception and privacy. While social media can be praised as a way to connect with both family and friends during difficult times, it is not without its drawbacks.

Socializing with and having the respect of your peers is important to young people. ‘Peer pressure’ relates to the role that others can have in influencing how an individual acts. Many children may think that they are missing out or not fitting in if they don’t go along with the crowd, or the strongest voice in that crowd. This desire to seek approval may encourage them to reinforce positive habits. However, it may also encourage them to partake in risk taking behavior such as drinking alcohol and drugs.

Youth are living in uncertain times: the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everybody’s lives differently, but the take away here is that it has impacted everybody. Uncertainty over the future is a major concern for many young people.

This is a significant time working with youth, working together to understanding of what pressures youth face today, and ‘fully understand’ what they are experiencing-then finding the best way to support whatever challenges they face in the best way possible.

Lastly, the Youth Needs Assessment is done every 3 years; YAC students are planning to take a deep dive into a few of the top issues this fall, by asking for details of (for instance) “feeling unsafe at school” unsafe from bulling, shootings, etc.

I am very proud to stand with the students as they address these issues and find ways to support their fellow students.

The Youth Needs Assessment was presented to Rotary Club of Cadillac, Cadillac Area Public Schools Board, Human Service Leadership Council, and the Cadillac Area Health Coalition.  If your organization would like a presentation of the survey, please feel free to contact me.

To view the complete survey, click here cadillacfoundation.org/Youth Advisory Committee 

Happy July!  Doreen

April 2022 Blog

April 2022 Blog | New Funds!

 Cadillac Area Men’s Giving Circle   

The Men’s Giving Circle is a group of forward-thinking men who care deeply about improving the quality of life for men and boys in our community.  These passionate people don’t want to simply give their money, but they want to be a part of the process to help decide which organizations it is awarded to.

A local doctor was asked after retiring, “What are you doing to make a difference in the community?”  His answer was “Not Much”. This bothered him. After sleeping on it for a while, he thought starting a Men’s   Giving Circle could help with some unmet needs for men and boys in our community.

Established in December 2021 with the Cadillac Area Community Foundation a fund called the “Cadillac Area Men’s Giving Circle” was created.  Participation requires a donation of $500 annually and today, 39 men have contributed to the fund.  April 2022 will be their first grant     season. (10% of annual contributions will be allocated to a second fund “Cadillac Area Men’s Giving Circle Field of Interest Endowment Fund). This endowment fund will be a perpetual Gift for Men and Boys unmet needs in our area.


Paul McMullen Track and Field Memorial Scholarship

Paul McMullen (February 19, 1972 – March 4, 2021) was an American middle-distance runner who specialized in the 1500 meters. Paul was known by some as “the pride of Cadillac” after qualifying and competing in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Paul McMullen attended Eastern Michigan University and graduated in accounting. After graduation, he ran three seasons for Asics Shoes and four seasons Saucony Shoes before enlisting in the United States Coast Guard at age 29 and served four years as a surface swimmer and Federal Boarding Officer on the Great Lakes. McMullen still holds the Coast Guard’s Cape May New Jersey Training Center 1.5-mile run record of 7:09 , which he ran on week 6 of basic training in December 2002. McMullen last broke the four-minute mile at the Premontane Classic in Eugene, Oregon at the age of 32 then later retired from running after failing to make the 2004 Olympic Team while representing the US Coast Guard.

Hall of Fame inductions: He was inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 2000 and Eastern Michigan’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.

Before his death, he worked as a Life Safety Consultant for EPS Security and competed in masters road cycling events during the summer. He was the founder and Coach of Chariots of Fire running club.

Today, the foundation holds the Paul McMullen Track and Field Memorial Scholarship for students in the Wexford Missaukee ISD School District.  The annual scholarship will awarded  to one girl and one boy in the Track & Field program.

The funds come from the Annual Paul McMullen Memorial 5k Run/Walk event held in August.

Korn First Generation Scholarship Fund

The Fund shall be used for support of the charitable purposes of the Scholarship Fund.  It is understood that the primary purpose is to build a permanent endowment for the Scholarship Fund.  The goal of the Korn Scholarship is to make college education possible for more students by working to remove social, financial, and academic barriers to success.


John Budde, Sr. & John “Sean” Budde, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund for Student-Athletes (Manton Scholarship)

The annual amount available for distribution from the Fund shall be made for the purposes of scholarship for student athletes graduating from Manton Consolidated School and attending a four-year college or university. 

Brian Gaylord Scholarship Fund (Lake City Scholarship)

The annual amount available for distribution from the Fund shall be made for the purposes of a Scholarship for a graduating student(s) from Lake City Public Schools.


Clark A. Riddell Healthcare and Patient Assistance in Wexford County Fund

The Fund is to provide a vehicle to support Healthcare and Patient Assistance in Wexford County.

January Blog

January 2022 Blog
Our community has shown strength, courage, and generosity through these challenging times.
Over the past year, the Foundation has taken an active approach listening and learning about the challenges and opportunities within our community. In addition to working with non-profit organizations to provide critical needs and services, we have become the hub for connecting people to local resources to assist them with vital needs such as food, housing, and clothing.
In 2020/2021, the Foundation provided countless volunteer hours and upwards of $500,000 in financial assistance in support of a wide variety of needs and opportunities to improve our community. One of our most gratifying times is awarding scholarships, in 2021; $97,150 in scholarships went to local graduates.
We would not be able to do this without our generous donors; their gifts to the Cadillac Area Community Foundation enable us to address our community’s most pressing needs and promising opportunities, both now and for generations to come.
We are looking forward to 2022, telling our story beyond the numbers of people helped, the impacts achieved, and the resources share; we will share the stories of generosity and what philanthropy represents for our Community!

Making a difference Today, Tomorrow, Forever.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation Board & staff wishes you and your family a safe & happy holiday!

November 2021 Blog

unfinished work. . .

In the United States:

*More than 12 million American children are unsure of when they will have their next meal.

*552,830 people experience homelessness on any given night.

*On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner.

*Five children die every day from child abuse.

*Average of 16.8 Veterans died by suicide each day.

*One study says 800 small businesses are closing a day.

The numbers are shocking!

Community foundations play a crucial role in identifying and solving community problems. In 2020, they gave an estimated $88.55 billion to various nonprofit activities in fields that included the arts and education, health and human services, the environment, and disaster relief.

Community Foundations around the United States are putting grants to work to make a difference in their community.

In our community, we have unfinished work to do, and we cannot do this without generous donors, collaboration, listening, and learning the needs of our community. Therefore, we promote charitable giving and strive to create community impact through our … Grants.

Think the imaginable, no homeless, affordable housing, our children having three meals a day, the women’s shelter close, and our Veterans getting the help they need; it is a lot to imagine.  Is it possible?

Last year, the Cadillac Area Community Foundation provided countless volunteer hours and over $500,000 in financial assistance to support a wide variety of needs and opportunities to improve our community.

We invest in leaders of nonprofit organizations through our Leadership Learning Lab to become the best in their field. For example, we partnered with Venture North to assist small businesses with $5,000 grants to not close their doors. In addition, we supported a Facebook peer-to-peer group called Spark in the Dark to address emergency needs quickly.

We are at the table with the city, social services, chamber, economic development, and others to solve community issues.

We are not just investing dollars; we are investing time to make a difference.

Warmest Regards, Doreen

Directors Quarterly Blog April 2021

A year later

Families lost loved ones, virtual learning for students, and our kitchen tables became our workspace.

A year later, after the World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic, the world is still struggling to recover and operate in what we have come to accept as the “new normal.”

As we move forward with the rollout of vaccines, we still see the struggles of individuals, families, non-profits, and businesses.

When the pandemic hit, the Cadillac Area Community Foundation did not hesitate to support our community’s emergency needs.  We put philanthropy in action, using grant dollars to support food banks, shelters, masks, personal protective supplies, etc.

A year later, we continue to fund non-profits, our most recent grants to WexExpress and Veterans Fund of Wexford and Missaukee Counties.

The WexExpress funds are to provide transportation to individuals in Wexford and Missaukee County.  The grant is for anyone age 54 and under without transportation or has disabilities to and from COVID clinics for their vaccine. With a matching grant, we have provided 3000 miles.

Due to Veterans’ overwhelming requests, the Fund fell below $2000 in 5 months.  An additional grant from the Foundation of $5000 was obtained to provides emergency needs for Veterans in Wexford and Missaukee County.

Foundations across the country have continued their charitable mission, delivering services to non-profits during this crisis.

We are all monitoring the pandemic finding ways to respond to the ever-changing needs, and praying for the thousands of people affected by the virus.

Our lives feel different now, but we are all in this together and gaining the strength we will need for tomorrow….

Happy Spring, Doreen

January Blog – Entering into 2021

As we enter into 2021, there are plenty of things to look forward to.  In-person meetings, returning to work, our children back in school, family get-togethers, weddings, birthday parties, vacations, all the things we have put aside to be safe with slowly return.

It’s easy to think about enjoying something lost in recent months or what life would be like if the pandemic were over. Will we continue to work remotely, or will the virtual school be the new way of learning?  What will the new normal look like?

Our goal is to serve charitable needs & enhance the people’s quality of life in our community.

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation will continue to reach out and be visible to our community’s needs.  We will continue to work with our nonprofits to find relief efforts and grants to assist them.   We are continually checking in with our food pantries and assisting our veterans with emergency requests.  As we go into spring, we will be reaching out to our senior students about scholarships available.

According to Newsweek:

Vaccines become available to the general population; Dr. Fauci has said that most people will be able to “walk into a CVS or a Walgreens and get vaccinated” by April. Other experts say it may take until June.

I am looking forward to seeing family and friends more often, having my granddaughter spend the weekend, and visiting our two new babies in the family.

These are the simple things in life that make us happy. We need to get back to those times. The New Year cannot come soon enough for me.

Wishing all a Healthy & Happy New Year, Doreen Lanc

December Blog

Caring for our Community
What the CARES Act means for your charitable giving

During 2020, the Coronavirus has affected millions of Americans and small businesses. This has resulted in significant federal aid and private donations towards the relief effort. If you have personally donated to a charity during 2020, then you may qualify for a new deduction under the CARES Act. The CARES Act outlines the following changes to charitable giving:

*A new temporary deduction in 2020  for cash donations up to $300, even for taxpayers that do not itemize deductions.  This is an “above the line” deduction.

*For taxpayers that itemize deductions, the adjusted gross income limit for charitable gifts of cash was increased from 60 percent to 100 percent for 2020 only.  This could allow taxpayers to completely wipe out their AGI and their tax liability with a charitable contribution.

If you were subject to required minimum distributions (RMD)  in 2020, the good news is that the CARES ACT suspended the RMD requirement.  But you can still contribute up to $100,000 from your IRA to a qualified charity in 2020.  The check has to be written from the trustee of the IRA directly to the charity.    This way, it doesn’t show up as taxable income and helps prevent the distribution from being taxed in Michigan.

If you have already donated to a public charity in 2020, make sure you received supporting documentation for the donation. If you have yet to donate or have questions, CACF would be happy to help.

Happy Holiday, Doreen

November/December Blog

Dear Friends and Donors,

With the support of our many generous donors in 2020, the Cadillac Area Community Foundation continues to provide support to our community in what has been an extraordinarily challenging year for both our community and our nation.

We live in a community that prides itself in supporting the less fortunate among us as we are indeed all in this together!

At the onset of COVID-19, we provided $25,000 each to Love Inc., in Wexford County, and Community Hope in Missaukee County.  These funds supported the need to provide emergency food and shelter in both communities.

Grants received from Consumer Energy Foundation, DTE Foundation, and gifts from generous donors helped us act quickly to alleviate some of our community’s pressing needs and our non-profits resulting from COVID-19.

Along with our financial support to food pantries, we granted emergency funds to Oasis FRC, Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital Patients Needs Fund, and Hospice of Michigan.  Additionally, we provided masks to CAPS students, facemasks, and hand sanitizer to the extraordinary volunteers working at food distribution centers in Wexford and       Missaukee Counties.

We continue to work with our non-profit organizations to find relief efforts and grants to assist them during this uncertain time.

In addition to our contributions to lessen the impact of COVID-19, we continue with our many other community support programs. For our youngest community members, we provide financial support to the Imagination Library that encourages the joy of reading at an early age. For the youth in our community, we provide financial and mentoring support to CACF Youth Advisory Committee. For our future community leaders, we helped support another successful year with the  Leadership Learning Lab.  We provided emergency support for our veterans as needs arise, and we continue to support our non-profit organization’s services and programs.

Nobody knows what the “new normal” will look like; we can hope 2021 will be a fresh start.

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation gives a special thanks to our generous donors and community partners, together, as we continue to impact lives.

Gratefully, Doreen Lanc

October 2020 Blog \ October is Health Literacy Month

Help us make the change.

Literacy is the foundation of community and economic development.  If you can’t read, how do you follow instructions, manage finances, take orders, understand medical instruction, apply for jobs, get promotions, read to your children and help them with their homework?

Our state has a lot of work to do to improve literacy rates among elementary students. The 2015 M-STEP data examines the number of third-graders who are considered proficient readers. Nearly 50 percent of third-graders in Michigan are considered partially proficient or not proficient readers.  Students who fall below the standards in third grade are more likely to struggle for the rest of their education.

Research shows that reading to young children (ages 6 months to 5 years) not only provides healthy together time for parents, families, and children, it also offers many lifelong benefits.

Increased vocabulary, curiosity, and memory;
Positive associations with books and reading;
Opportunities to build listening skills; and
A foundation for scholastic success.

This is why the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program is so important to communities.  Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that gifts free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities.

The Wexford-Missaukee Imagination Library program, which started in June of 2013, provides a book in the mail each month to children birth to 5 years, who choose to sign up. The only eligibility requirement is that the family live within the service area of the Wexford Missaukee Intermediate School District. (Cadillac, Manton, Mesick, McBain, Pine River, Marion, and Lake City).

The cost of the age-appropriate, monthly book, with postage, is $2.25. The program is funded 100% locally through grants, businesses, and individual donors.  The cost of the program is over $40,000 a year and currently has 1,854 children registered.

This month we have a match opportunity…… up to $10,000, from October 1 –until the 31st, every $1 will be matched 100%.

We need your help to keep books in the hands of children by donating.

$25 will sponsor 1 child to receive a monthly age-appropriate book for 1 year (12 books)
$125 will sponsor 1 child to receive a monthly age-appropriate book for 5 years (60 books)
$250 will sponsor 2 children to receive a monthly age-appropriate book for 5 years (120 books)

Send you checks to          Cadillac Area Community Foundation
201 North Mitchell Street, Ste. 101
Cadillac, MI 49601

Or donate online at www.cadillacfoundation.org  click on DONATE
Please add in the memo:  Book Match

You can help us make a change.  Doreen