The Cook Family Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso to contribute to the recent restoration of the 1225 Pere Marquette steam engine. This multi-year overhaul was necessary for the 1225 to gain Federal approval to carry passengers on its famous North Pole Express and other excursions.
The Steam Railroading Institute (SRI) will be hosting a Train Expo June 20-22 that will feature the 1225 and several other steam engines, special historical airplane exhibits, and an antique car show. You can learn more about the extravaganza at the SRI website.
The Cook Family Foundation provided some of the earliest outside funding to help support the growth of SRI at its location in Owosso, and its museum has become part of the cultural landscape and railroad heritage of Shiawassee County. SRI has also been a participant in the Foundation’s Nonprofit Capacity Building Program , and has used these resources to strengthen the organization, improve board governance, and carry out strategic planning.
The Cook Family Foundation’s spring newsletter just hit mailboxes (let us know if you want to be added to the mailing list) and is available on our website (click here). The cover story is about our support for the International Baccalaureate program that is bringing the world, and a world of opportunity, to students of all ages in the Owosso Public Schools. Inside the newsletter you will find our six goals for 2014, and our annual report where we recap of the grants we made in 2013.
If you haven’t had the chance, you may want to look around our recently updated website as well. In our “About” section, you can find a video that gives the history of our founders, Don and Florence-etta Cook, as well as contact information. Check out the “Nonprofit Capacity Building Program” section for details on upcoming education sessions, how to get support for local organizations, and to read our thoughts on collaborative efforts to improve the community.
In order to identify potential partners and encourage collaborative grant making, the Foundation has adopted six goals for its work in the coming year.
Encourage the highest level of academic success for our community’s young people;
Expand the capacity of community-based nonprofits to more effectively carry out their missions and serve the residents of Shiawassee County;
Foster the Shiawassee River as a source of pride for the community;
Promote the arts and history as strong cultural cornerstones of the community:
Help care for and protect the most vulnerable members of our community:
Increase opportunities for community collaboration and engagement among and between local nonprofits, arts organizations, government, students, and citizens:
We encourage you to learn more about our interest and background in these areas by reading through our website; several of the pages relate to these goals. We also encourage you to contact us to discuss how we can work together to achieve these goals. We invite grant applications that serve these goals.