Upper Peninsula, Michigan



Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Yoopers Donate $500 Each to Two U.P. Projects in 2013

We’re happy to announce that following the Yooper Picnic of 2013, your generosity enables us to donate $1,000 to Upper Peninsula nonprofits that support low-income individuals and families in the U.P.

We had a record number of requests (eight) that came from nonprofits across the U.P. We wish we could have given more!

Information about the charities your steering committee selected is below. Please feel free to add them to your personal charitable giving program.

The Iron Mountain/Kingsford branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) provides scholarships to high school graduates and also to nontraditional women in their 20s seeking additional education.

To make a donation, please make out a check to AAUW and send to

Catherine Pirkola, Treasurer

N3311 Fairwood Lane

Iron Mountain, MI 49801

Our second donation is to the Outreach Ministry of the Archdiocese of Marquette. The project reaches all the way from Marquette to Munising and to Manistique. It provides backpacks with clothing and school-readiness materials to children from low-income families, and also provides baskets filled with helpful, comforting items to needy, isolated seniors on the holidays.

Donations may be made to

Outreach Ministery/Sister Ludmilla Gramann
Outreach Coordinator
1310 High Street
Marquette, MI 49855

Colorado Yoopers Make Grants to Three U.P. Charities in 2014

The Colorado Yoopers are happy to announce that because of the silent auction and attendees’ generosity at the 2014 picnic, the Yoopers will be making donations of $500 each to three U.P. charities this year. It is the first time that proceeds from the picnic have enabled three donations instead of the usual two.

Nine charities applied to the Colorado Yoopers for support this year. Your steering committee wishes that donations could be made to each of them, but finally selected the following three to receive grants:

Dial Help

Dial Help provides assistance to approximately 5,000 children, youth and adults each year in the Houghton area, providing a crisis unit, and prevention and victim services. The crisis unit has a 24/7 crisis hotline and walk-in services, and connects people struggling with suicidal thoughts with services, and more.

A licensed substance abuse and outpatient agency, Dial Help’s prevention programs focus on drug and tobacco use, underage drinking and drunk driving for individuals ages 13 to 20. Prevention groups provide education and support to high schoolers to reduce sexual violence and to foster self-esteem. Services to at-risk families are designed to improve their functioning, communication and parenting skills. The agency also offers outpatient counseling and traditional mental health counseling.

Dial Help also provides free comprehensive services victims of crime and sexual assault, including immediate counseling, referral and support.

Donations may be made to Dial Help, c/o Michael Gilpin, Board Chair, 609 Sheldon Ave., Houghton, MI 49931.


Locker Lunch

Locker Lunch, in Iron County, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit program that feeds children from low-income families over the weekend. Many of these children may have little or nothing to eat from Friday’s noon school lunch until Monday morning breakfast at school.

The program feeds 111 children in the West Iron and Forest Park School Districts. All donations to this program go toward food, while all other costs are borne by volunteers and through in-kind services.

Donations may be made to Locker Lunch, c/o Sue Fritz, 1133 Highway M-73, Iron River, MI 49935.

Students in Transition Program

The Students in Transition Program, assists homeless youth in the Sault Area Public Schools. In 2006/2007, there were 17 homeless students in the district; by the last school year, that number had risen to 88, and the district anticipates having more than 100 such students in the current school year.

The program makes backpacks filled with school supplies available to students registered for the program, and students receive hygiene/healthcare bags stored at each school and containing items such as shampoo, soap, toothbrush and paste, etc.

The program partners with other agencies, including Rotary, the Salvation Army and War Memorial Hospital, whichhave established a food pantry for students, vouchers for fresh food, weekend backpacks filled with food, free clothing and more. The school district provides free medical care, and mental health and dental services.

Carol McKay, homeless transition coordinator for the school district says the goal is to keep students in school so they can obtain a high school diploma and be successful in the workplace. Nationally, the graduation rate for homeless students is 25 percent. Last year the graduation rate for homeless students in the Sault Area school system was 70 percent. McKay has been honored by the school district for her dedicated work on the Students in Transition Program.

Donations may be made to the Students in Transition Program or The Helping Hands Food Pantry, c/o Carol McKay, Lincoln Elementary School, 810 E. 5th Ave., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783.

2016: Colorado Yoopers Announce $1,500 in Grants to U.P. Nonprofits

The Colorado Yoopers are pleased to announce grants totaling $1,000 to Upper Peninsula nonprofits.

Requests for a grant were received from nine nonprofits this year. The nonprofits selected to receive support by the Steering Committee are:

The Colorado Yoopers, founded in 1998, raises funds for U.P. nonprofits at an annual fall picnic in the Denver area attended by up to 200 former Yoopers.

2015: Colorado Yoopers Announce $1,500 in Grants to U.P. Nonprofits

Thanks to you, the Colorado Yoopers are pleased to announce grants totaling $1,500 to Upper Peninsula nonprofits!!  The funds were raised at the annual Yooper picnic in in September.  Thank you for your generous support!!

The four nonprofits selected by the Planning Committee to receive support are:

  1. Room at the Inn, an interdenominational emergency shelter in Marquette that operates from late September until spring, and which is supported by 12 churches, $500.  Yoopers who wish to donate to this nonprofit can send a check made out to Room at the Inn to 347 Rock Street, Marquette, MI, 49855.
  2. Heart and Soles 906, which is providing properly fitting shoes and socks for needy children in 14 Iron Mountain area schools, $500. Additional donations may be made to Heart and Soles 906, c/o Deborah Mckinzie, 315 S. Stephenson Ave., Iron Mountain, MI  49801.
  3. VFW Post 4573 in Ishpeming, which is organizing a run in 2016 that will benefit the Youth Voices of Democracy Project and veterans’ programs, $250.  Additional donations may be made to VFW Post 4573, with checks sent care of Annie Trudell, 3555 County Road PPL, Ishpeming, MI 49849.
  4. Amasa 125th, in Iron County, to support the small town’s 125th anniversary celebration scheduled for July 1-4, 2016, $250.  Additional donations can be made out to the Amasa 125th Committee, care of Beth DeNell, and sent to PO Box 55, Amasa, MI 49903.

In addition, requests for support that could not be met this year were received from four additional worthy U.P. charities.  Colorado Yoopers are urged to consider donations to any of these nonprofits:

Some Letters from 2015 Grantees

Notified of the Colorado Yoopers’ donation to Heart and Soles 906, Deborah Mckinzie wrote:

This is wonderful news. Just wonderful. I'm so excited. Can you hear me yelling from the U.P.? Yippeeeeeee. Believe it or not, I just had to let the last school of the area know that I could not afford to take care of their school at this time.

Yay! Iron Mtn. Making plans with them right now. I am over the moon. Because of you, we are going to make so many children happy. It literally, would not have happened without this donation.

If something as simple as having a new pair of properly fitting shoes can brighten a child's day, positively affect their growth and development and even keep them in school, then Heart and soles is doing their job. Just under 1,150 students this fall have been empowered by receiving shoes from Heart and Soles. Hoping to help another 200 at Iron Mountain.

Told of the Yoopers’ donation to Room at the Inn, Douglas Russell, executive director, wrote:

Wow!  I’ve always heard good things about Colorado, but this really does take the cake…and, as a provider of 2,000 meals every month to our guests, I know a little something about cake!  Thank you so much for thinking of us.  Your generosity humbles me and my volunteers, and we are forever grateful.

Geography can be a powerful connection, and the Upper Peninsula is a special geographical place.  We have been blessed with community and individual support for eight years now, and our mission continues to grow in scope and number.  Donations like yours do so much to help us keep the lights on and the ovens warm.  Our season, which began in mid-September, has been busy, and we expect the shelter and warming center to be very popular places for the next several months.  Thanks, again, for your generous gift.

If members of the Colorado Yoopers are interested, we just completed a fundraising video to help us pay off our mortgage on the warming center.  You can watch it online at www.roomattheinn.org. If you would like, your donation can be directed toward this goal.  You can also see the video on the Room At The Inn Facebook page.

Our address is 347 Rock Street, Marquette, 49855. Take care, and please stop in for a cup of coffee at the warming center on your next visit home.