2019 Annual Report

Pokagon Fund-summer-camp-header-1

A MESSAGE FROM ROB GOW

photo of pokagon chair person and at-large director rob gow

Presenting an Annual Report to our stakeholders on The Pokagon Fund’s activities during the 2018-2019 fiscal year in the midst of the 2020 Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic requires an almost nostalgic reminiscence on what now seems to be a far different, more tranquil, and innocent time.

As a counterpoint to the current stress and anxiety facing the people served by the Fund in Harbor Country and the Pokagon Band communities of Dowagiac and Hartford, Michigan and South Bend Indiana, we have chosen in this Annual Report to highlight a number of projects that have brightened and enhanced the lives of our youth and our seniors. Our theme is Nurturing Youth/Supporting Seniors.

We take this opportunity to express thanks to Janet Cocciarelli for the energy, vitality and innovation that she brought to The Pokagon Fund during her four years as Executive Director ending in June 2019. Janet was a force for good in our community and she will be missed. Together with the efforts of the Fund’s first Executive Director, Mary Dunbar, Janet provided a remarkable continuum of outstanding executive leadership. The next milestone on this continuum came after the Board conducted an extensive multi-state search and welcomed Daniel Petersen as its third Executive Director in February 2020.

In this report, we look back on programs that have helped our youth learn the joy of competing and achieving as we highlight grants awarded to New Buffalo Sports, Girls on the Run, Southold Dance Theater, the School of American Music, Literacy projects and Summer Camps. Support for the elders in our communities is featured through grants awarded to the River Valley Senior Center and other Senior Support Projects that benefit seniors like Neighbor by Neighbor and Caring Circle. Also in the spotlight are programs directed at both youth and seniors, the Pokagon Fund Vision Program and Food Support Programs, including Blessings in a Backpack and No Harbor Country Senior Hungry.

To end this introductory message, we want to express our heart-felt thanks to all of The Pokagon Fund’s grantees for making Harbor Country and the Band communities even better places to live and to visit. They have demonstrated that they are skilled in identifying gaps in community needs or amenities, thoughtfully planning and coordinating strategies to address those needs, and undertaking the hard work to achieve outcomes that have led to an improved quality-of-life for thousands of individuals. So, to the staff and volunteers of these municipal, non-profit, and civic organizations, again, we say thank you. 

photo of pokagon chair person and at-large director rob gow

Presenting an Annual Report to our stakeholders on The Pokagon Fund’s activities during the 2018-2019 fiscal year in the midst of the 2020 Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic requires an almost nostalgic reminiscence on what now seems to be a far different, more tranquil, and innocent time.

As a counterpoint to the current stress and anxiety facing the people served by the Fund in Harbor Country and the Pokagon Band communities of Dowagiac and Hartford, Michigan and South Bend Indiana, we have chosen in this Annual Report to highlight a number of projects that have brightened and enhanced the lives of our youth and our seniors. Our theme is Nurturing Youth/Supporting Seniors.

We take this opportunity to express thanks to Janet Cocciarelli for the energy, vitality and innovation that she brought to The Pokagon Fund during her four years as Executive Director ending in June 2019. Janet was a force for good in our community and she will be missed. Together with the efforts of the Fund’s first Executive Director, Mary Dunbar, Janet provided a remarkable continuum of outstanding executive leadership. The next milestone on this continuum came after the Board conducted an extensive multi-state search and welcomed Daniel Petersen as its third Executive Director in February 2020.

In this report, we look back on programs that have helped our youth learn the joy of competing and achieving as we highlight grants awarded to New Buffalo Sports, Girls on the Run, Southold Dance Theater, the School of American Music, Literacy projects and Summer Camps. Support for the elders in our communities is featured through grants awarded to the River Valley Senior Center and other Senior Support Projects that benefit seniors like Neighbor by Neighbor and Caring Circle. Also in the spotlight are programs directed at both youth and seniors, the Pokagon Fund Vision Program and Food Support Programs, including Blessings in a Backpack and No Harbor Country Senior Hungry.

To end this introductory message, we want to express our heart-felt thanks to all of The Pokagon Fund’s grantees for making Harbor Country and the Band communities even better places to live and to visit. They have demonstrated that they are skilled in identifying gaps in community needs or amenities, thoughtfully planning and coordinating strategies to address those needs, and undertaking the hard work to achieve outcomes that have led to an improved quality-of-life for thousands of individuals. So, to the staff and volunteers of these municipal, non-profit, and civic organizations, again, we say thank you. 

For more information on The Pokagon Fund visit pokagonfund.org