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Community Capital Club

Posted on January 14, 2014

Seventy years after his father helped create the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, and twenty years since he himself retired from the Foundation board, Jim Acheson is still excited and enthused about the Foundation’s future.  More specifically, he’s excited about the Foundation’s latest effort to engage more residents in growing our collective “community capital.”

To help demonstrate his enthusiasm for the Foundation’s latest efforts he has offered a $50,000 challenge to the men of St. Clair County who last year organized the first annual “Men’s Night” event.  That inaugural event drew over 150 men to the Knowlton Ice Museum in Port Huron and raised $22,000 that ended up being given to the Peoples’ Clinic. 

Since then the men have organized themselves as “C3” or the Community Capital Club, under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.  The Community Capital Club will be hosting their second Men’s Night in the spring, but for now are using the $50,000 Acheson Challenge to kick off their own endowment fund, similar to the Foundation’s Women’s Initiative.  They hope to raise a 2 for 1 match on the Acheson gift resulting in the raising of at least $150,000 by the end of February. 

To meet the challenge the men have divided the entire county into two teams…..North vs. South…and have launched a friendly competition.  The Team North Captain is Mike Cansfield of Michigan Mutual, and the Team South Captain is Will Oldford of Talmer Bank.  Team North consists of Port Huron, Fort Gratiot and Lakeport.  Team South consists of Marysville, St. Clair, Marine City, Algonac, Memphis and Emmett. 

“This is a fun way to get our message out and kick off the Community Capital Club,” said Mike Cansfield.  “It’s a friendly competition between North and South, but more importantly it will give us the chance to talk to a broader audience about the importance of growing our collective community capital.”

Community Capital are those elements, natural, human and social, that help grow our collective prosperity and from which our entire community receives benefits from.  Examples in our region include our waterfront assets, parks, arts organizations, maritime culture, entrepreneurial atmosphere, educational institutions and a quality of life attractive to companies with well-paying jobs. 

“Our Men’s Night event last year was an eye-opener for a lot of the guys,” said Will Oldford.  “Many didn’t realize the breadth of organizations, projects and initiatives geared towards improving our collective quality of life.” 

Oldford added that the mission of the new Community Capital Club will be twofold: 1) Use the annual Men’s Night events to get more men involved in their communities and support local nonprofits, and 2) engage more people from throughout the county in a combined and leveraged effort to grow our community capital. 

Anyone interested in participating in the $50,000 Acheson Challenge and supporting either the North or South Teams, can donate online through the Community Foundation’s website or by simply mailing in a donation indicating that the gift is for the Acheson Challenge.

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