2017-02-23 / Local News

Donations pour in for Christian Neighbors

By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff

Jeannette “Jan” Hunt would likely have been very happy with the donation of $30,000 recently made to Leelanau Christian Neighbors (LCN) in her name.

The donation comes from St. Christopher’s Church in Northport, which received money from Hunt’s estate when she died in 2013 at the age of 95. Hunt lived in Northport.

“She was active in the community,” said Mike Fleishman, a member and treasurer of the church. “She donated her estate to various parts of the community.”

St. Christopher’s donation, along with a few others, edges LCN a little closer to its goal of $600,000, money that is being used to purchase and renovate LCN’s new digs.

So far, $530,000 has been raised.

“We’ve always been a big supporter of LCN,” Fleishman said, and several church members are active in the organization.

The idea to donate to LCN came up at the church’s annual meeting. Everybody liked the idea, Fleishman said, including the church’s vestry, which approved the donation unanimously.

“It’s very cool,” said Mary Stanton, executive director of LCN. “We really appreciate the generosity of all the members of St. Christopher’s Church.

Fleishman himself is a grant writer for LCN, and said they recently heard that a grant for $150,000 had been approved by the Carls Foundation of Bloomfield Hills, though the money has not yet been received.

LCN has also received $5,000 from St. Wenceslaus in Gills Pier and $25,000 from Suttons Bay Congregational, an amount that includes a $10,000 match from the church.

“We have an extremely generous community that really sees the need for this to happen and we’re really thankful,” Stanton said.

The non-profit organization in November purchased the former Oneupweb building at 7322 E. Duck Lake Road in Lake Leelanau for $385,000.

The building will be used to house the entire organization, with separate spaces for the food pantry, the baby pantry, the Blessings in a Backpack program and the Neighborhood Assistance Ministry program.

The building, which has been empty since 2007, has 6,400 square feet of space. It will also hold a large reception area, a conference room, offices, bathrooms and storage space.

And when the ground thaws, a 1,300-square-foot garage and a walk-in freezer and cooler that will each be about 100-square-feet will be added to the back of the building. A site plan has already been approved for the addition, Stanton said.

All the planning for the project has been done pro bono by Suttons Bay architect Larry Graves. Biggs Construction of Lake Leelanau has been chosen as the contractor.

Electricians were working on updating the wiring in the building this week and Stanton was hoping the drywall would go up next week.

She is hoping to be able to move into the building in June.

Those who would like to make a donation toward the project can send a check to LCN Capital Campaign, P.O. Box 32, Suttons Bay, MI 49682.

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