Formed in the fall of 2011, the Cheboygan Communities Foundation has spent the past 3 years organizing and generating initial interest in giving to the foundation from both residents of the area and those who make Cheboygan their summer or vacation home and wish to help Cheboygan County prosper once again.
The foundation received its first pledges and actual funding in the fall of 2011.
Speaking of history, it’s key to put the foundation’s effort in perspective.
Over 130 years ago, Cheboygan County grew rapidly into a vibrant commercial area with a still young and rapidly growing America. Our lumber industry resources were the reason. Endless stretches of white pine. Water transportation and water resources for milling. The railroads came. There was work for every able bodied man and woman.
As the timber disappeared, great resorts flourished along what is known as Michigan’s great Inland Waterway.
We held our own through the World War I and the Roaring Twenties as the auto industry headquartered itself downstate. We made it through the Great Depression and World War II with great sacrifices but we did make it through.
As Detroit and all of downstate Michigan grew and grew during the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, Cheboygan County’s towns, villages, cities, and rural areas continued to add employment in agriculture, the commercial and retail sectors, manufacturing, and tourism.
As all residents of Cheboygan County know, things changed. As they always do!
We lost many of our manufacturing jobs as the auto industry retrenched.
Construction of the I-75 Interstate Highway bypassed Cheboygan and Tourism declined significantly because of that and because of the general economic downturn in Michigan and the nation.
Our retail and commercial sectors weakened.
Many of our young people either don’t come back from college because there are no jobs for them here or they stay here and work in jobs that are low paying if they can find a job at all.
The Cheboygan Communities Foundation is working hard to reverse these trends by identifying and helping fund projects that result in good paying jobs, increased property values, and overall improvements in our quality of life, here at home where we live work and play.