Jaycees donate $46,000 to local organizations, events.

December 28, 2021

Julie VanDyke, front left, and Patty Smith, far right, accept a $16,000 check on behalf of the Scottville Optimist Park Project from the Ludington Area Jaycees’ Mini Golf Course Grant Program, represented by Jaycee officers: Cory Rickett, Jessica Shepard, Aaron Thiel, Brooke Klein, Nathan Sheldon, Mary Burden, and Angela Rickett.

Jaycees donate $46,000 to local organizations, events.

LUDINGTON — The Ludington Area Jaycees recently awarded $46,000 to local organizations and events. The funds were raised through the organization’s mini golf course located at Stearns Park.

Awards included: 

  • Scottville Optimist Park and Sculpture Project: $16,000
  • Village of Custer Johnny’s Bandstand sculpture: $5,000
  • Ludington Area Catholic School playground update: $5,000
  • James Earl Jones/Donald Crouch Sculpture Mentorship Project: $2,000
  • Lakeshore Food Club: $2,000.

Further exemplifying the Ludington Area Jaycees’ Mini Golf Slogan “Putt Putt For A Purpose”, during this past season, nonprofit organizations received 30% of a designated Charity Monday’s game play.  

Collectively, about $4,000 was donated to the following groups: 

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Lakeshore
  • Stage Left Theatrical Group
  • Ludington Petunia Parade
  • Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival
  • Miss Ludington Area Scholarship Program
  • AFFEW (A Few Friends for the Environment & World)
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Caritas Food Pantry
  • West Shore Family Support
  • Childhood Cancer Campaign
  • Arts in Motion Ludington programs
  • Hearts for Haiti
  • MI JCI (Michigan Junior Chamber of Commerce International) Senate Scholarship Program.  

Every Friday at the mini golf was “Fund the Fireworks Friday”, in which 100% of the game play was donated to the Ludington Area Jaycees’ Freedom Festival fireworks held on Independence Day (July 4). The season long Fund the Fireworks Fridays contributed $12,000 toward the $25,000 Freedom Festival annual budget.

Programs supported by the Jaycees have an emphasis on community development, health and human services, education, and the environment. 

The Ludington Area Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) is based around three principles: camaraderie amongst members, service to the community, and professional development. Members are ages 21 to 40.  For more information on the Jaycees, visit the website www.ludingtonareajaycees.org or email info@ludingtonareajaycees.org

The Johnny’s Bandstand Sculpture Project – Custer Community committee members accepted a $5,000 grant from the Ludington Area Jaycees’ Mini Golf Course Grant Program and Jaycees. From left: Keith Livengood, Lolly Griswold, Aaron Thiel, Cory Rickett, Karen Reader, Mary Burden, Nathan Sheldon, Ed Miller, and Debbie Howe.

O’Nealya Gronstal from the Lakeshore Food Club accepts a $2,000 donation from the Ludington Area Jaycees’ Mini Golf Course Grant Program and Jaycees from left to right: Ben Rickett (Junior Jaycee), Cory Rickett, Jessica Shepard, Aaron Thiel, Brooke Klein, Nathan Sheldon, Mary Burden, and Angela Rickett.

Cynthia Asiala, center left, committee chair of the James Earl Jones / Donald Crouch Mentorship Sculpture Program receives a check from Mary Burden, manager and director of the Ludington Area Jaycees’ Mini Golf Course. From left, Kim and Eric Asiala, represent Brethren High School (graduates of “88 and ’85), respectively, along with JCI Ludington officers Cory Rickett (Management VP), Nathan Sheldon (president), and Aaron Thiel (Membership Director).

Heather Zwick, preschool teacher and child care director at Ludington Area Catholic School accepts a $5,000 donation for the Playground Update from Ludington Area Jaycees Officers from left, Cory Rickett, Management VP; Aaron Thiel, Membership Director; Brooke Klein, Director; Mary Burden, Mini Golf Manager and Director; Angela Rickett, Treasurer; and Nathan Sheldon, President.

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