JACKSON—Officials at the Consumers Energy Foundation announced two Michigan projects will receive Prosperity Awards to support local economic development efforts. Two $250,000 grants are being awarded to both Communities First Inc.’s efforts to restore the Flint Masonic Temple and the city of Cadillac’s Community Revitalization Plan.
Prosperity Awards are designed to strengthen neighborhoods across Michigan and highlight the foundation’s commitment to Michigan’s businesses and communities.
“The projects in Cadillac and Flint will help these vibrant communities continue to grow and prosper, and the Consumers Energy Foundation is proud to support their efforts with these Prosperity Awards,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “The foundation believes in a triple bottom line approach that focuses on people, the planet, and our state’s prosperity. These awards serve an important role in helping make wonderful ideas that will strengthen our state come to life, and we look forward to helping Michigan continue to grow.”
The winning projects were selected among 20 final applicants. The two winners are:
- Cadillac – City of Cadillac Community Revitalization Plan ($250,000): The plan will help to clean overgrown and blighted areas, replacing them with microparks, green spaces and art displays. It will also improve residential facades and reduce blight and crime.
- Flint – Communities First Inc.’s “Restoring Flint’s Downtown Gem” ($250,000): Communities First Inc. will restore and reopen the Flint Masonic Temple’s restaurant and auditorium spaces as a premier arts and culture venue for the community that can seat 300 to 400 people for events, concerts, art shows, festivals, and other cultural activities, generating a significant positive economic and social impact for Flint.
Officials from Consumers Energy and the city of Cadillac will celebrate their Prosperity Award during a community event this afternoon in Cadillac, and an event is being planned to celebrate Flint’s award later this year.
“This Prosperity Award from the Consumers Energy Foundation is a monumental achievement for the city of Cadillac and will serve as a catalyst to further progress our city,” said Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia. “These funds can help reduce blight, improve our neighborhoods, and potentially create new people spaces—all important as we try to encourage further economic development activities such as attracting more attainable housing. These are all important components to build a stronger community for all.”
Said Glenn Wilson, president and CEO of Communities First Inc.: “Together, we’re working to revitalize Flint’s historic Masonic Temple, and this funding will help make that possible. New flooring, polishing fixtures, new window coverings, fresh paint, updated lighting, and other upgrades will allow this century-old building to be a staple in the Flint community for generations to come. This venue will offer diverse programming that will ensure equitable access for all. We’re proud to partner with the Consumers Energy Foundation on this restoration effort to bring this iconic venue into the 21st century.”
The Prosperity Awards are the second of three $500,000 grant allocations this year totaling $1.5 million. Planet Awards winners were announced in April, and a request for proposals for the People Awards will be announced later this year.
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan — its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2020, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed over $19 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.
Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to ConsumersEnergy.com.