Through the Community Foundation, members of the community can connect with philanthropic causes they’re passionate about. The Challenger Learning Center, opening this spring at St. Clair County Community College (SC4), is just one example.
Recently, Harlan Blomquist made a heartfelt donation to the Challenger Learning Center using the memorial donations received for his beloved late wife, Bonnie.
Harlan had the opportunity to take a tour of the Challenger Learning Center space and hear the plans for the coming year when it opens to the public. He recommended that the memorial gifts received in Bonnie’s memory be used to support the Challenger Learning Center because Bonnie would have loved this opportunity for the community.
“The Community Foundation has been honored to receive hundreds of gifts in memory of someone beloved and special. These gifts help to keep memories alive and give back to our community at the same time,” said Community Foundation Vice President, Jackie Hanton.
Over the years, Bonnie and Harlan Blomquist supported several programs and initiatives throughout the Thumb Coast region. Before Bonnie passed away in 2018, the couple was actively engaged in supporting the operations of the Community Foundation, the St. Clair County Library System Fund, the former Back to School backpack program, SC4 Foundation, the Blue Water River Walk Endowment, and the Women’s Initiative, of which Bonnie was a founding member.
“Our donor relations team truly enjoys having conversations with donors like Harlan about where they want to make an impact or what causes they care about most because our work is connecting them with opportunities not only within the Community Foundation but in our community as well,” Hanton said.
Additional community support for the Challenger Learning Center at SC4 through the Community Foundation has come in the form of grants and from the Big Give this past summer. The Challenger Learning Center project was able to raise $12,068 from donors and event prizes at the Big Give in June. In addition, the SC4 Foundation awarded $25,000 to support the project.
The Challenger Learning Center will serve Michigan and Ontario students as young as kindergarten up to adults who will learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the space-themed educational center.
The new Challenger Learning Center will be part of the center’s larger network that has reached more than 5.5 million students worldwide. Challenger Learning Centers offer a variety of hands-on STEM programs, with the core being its simulated space-themed missions that take place in a fully immersive Spacecraft and Mission Control and Briefing and Transport rooms.
Support for the Challenger Learning Center is just one way of many in which the Community Foundation can serve as a conduit to help community members make an impact in the community with their charitable giving.
To learn more about giving opportunities at the Community Foundation, visit stclairfoundation.org/giving-center. If you are interested in learning more or supporting the new and exciting Challenger Learning Center, go to challenger.sc4.edu.