Played Right: Copper Shores celebrates 10th anniversary | News, Sports, Jobs

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Attendees talk at the Copper Coast Community Health Foundation's 10th anniversary celebration on Saturday.

HOUGHTON — The Copper Shores Community Health Foundation celebrated its launch Saturday with a James Bond-themed event at the Rozsa Center 10th Anniversary.

The foundation began 34 years ago as a support foundation for Portage Hospital, but became a transformation foundation after the hospital was sold to a for-profit company 10 1/2 years ago.

Executive Director Kevin Stoll had planned to stay at the hospital. He decided to stay after talking with hospital CEO Jim Bogen about the hospital's potential for the community.

Store said the average time from foundation to disbursement of grants is about 31 months. They were able to complete the mission in just 10 days, thanks in part to an active 120-day deployment.

“We recognize that every funding opportunity is an opportunity to do good in our community, allowing us to focus on what matters: access to care, education and training, recreation,” He said. “Pretty much anything that helps move our community in the right direction. We made a lot of assumptions and took a lot of chances.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Kevin Store, executive director of the Copper Shores Community Health Foundation, spoke about the foundation's history at Saturday's 10th anniversary celebration.

Store said a $2.5 million “Make a Difference” partnership with Michigan Technological University for health careers research and investment will help them prepare for the recently constructed H-STEM building.

In recent years, the foundation has started a “Giving Tuesday” campaign that has raised approximately $2.8 million for local nonprofits. It also helped fund and launch career and technical education in the Copper Township High School District.

Stoll said the foundation's work after the Father's Day flood helped raise the foundation's profile. Copper Shores funded approximately $2.2 million to rehabilitate more than 420 homes.

“We believe big issues like flooding help put us on the map.” He said. “A lot of people know about this foundation, but they don’t really know what our motivations are. This clearly demonstrates our intention to serve the community in the best way possible – with integrity, diligence and transparency.

Store said the foundation has invested $28 million in the community over the past 10 years, including grants, scholarships, salaries and benefits. 76% of the budget is spent on grants and scholarships, which is also well above the average of 51%.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Guests play a hand of poker at the Copper Shores Community Health Foundation's James Bond-themed 10th anniversary celebration at the Rozsa Center on Saturday. The evening includes games, whiskey tastings and Bond-style hors d'oeuvres.

Before leading everyone in a toast of champagne, Stoll also previewed the foundation's upcoming new initiatives. Shore said Copper Coast is considering building a wellness campus or other type of wellness facility, although construction costs and other factors complicate the project.

The foundation will provide support for a nursing program launched last fall at Michigan Technological University. Copper Shores will also partner with Great Lakes Recovery to expand its residential support for women in Negaunee.

Copper Shores departments also introduced activities such as home-delivered meals and farm-to-school programs.

Guests and staff mingled, played casino games or sampled Bond-style hors d'oeuvres as speakers provided updates.

Guests are also invited to chat with staff about their roles and why they do what they do.

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Brian Rendel, director of community counseling and wellness for the Copper Shores Community Health Foundation, discusses its mental health support program during Copper Shores' 10th anniversary celebration.

Loraine Hanover was hired by Copper Shores last July as a sexual assault nurse examiner to work with victims' advocacy groups. She is always available to help victims who need check-ups to ensure they are receiving necessary services and are in good health.

Hanover, who returned to Cooper Country after 40 years away, was impressed by the extensive work Cooper Shores has done for the area.

“They bring a tremendous amount of education and services,” she says. “I think it's going to be really great for the community. We're in a rural area, so it's impressive that there are a lot of things here that I didn't have when I was a kid.

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