Grant applications available for ‘The Heart of Cook’ fund

Published 9:34 am Thursday, January 14, 2016

Grant applications are available for “The Heart of Cook” Foundation Fund.

“The Heart of Cook” is a grant program funded by Indiana Michigan Power’s Cook Nuclear Plant and administered by the Berrien Community Foundation to assist nonprofit programs in Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana (La Porte, St. Joseph, and Elkhart Counties).

“The Heart of Cook is a great way for us to support the communities that have supported us for so many years,” said Joel Gebbie, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “We are so happy to show this support to our non-profit community that provides so many services throughout the community.”

Educational projects, human services programs that support families, and environmental protection and preservation projects are the focus areas for this grant program.

The grant review committee, comprised of Cook Nuclear Plant employees, gives special consideration to projects that involve I&M employees.

Organizations must have 501(c)(3) tax exempt or equivalent status to qualify for funding.

“In 2015, we provided more than $54,000 in funding to 39 nonprofit programs and special projects in educational and community-based agencies,” said Bill Schalk, employee advisory committee member. “That is a great way for Cook to continue to be an important community partner, and we want to have the opportunity to help as many people as we can. To do that, we are asking agencies that have received funding for three years in a row to not apply this year so we can ensure we are providing support to a wide range of non-profit organizations.”

Grant applications and guidelines may be obtained by visiting the Berrien Community Foundation’s web site at starting Jan. 13.

This year all grant applications must be submitted electronically through the Berrien Community Foundation’s website. The grant application due date is Feb. 15, with awards to be announced in May.

Agencies that have received funding for three consecutive years will not be eligible to apply during this grant cycle.

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana and serves more than 580,000 customers in Indiana and Michigan.

I&M, part of American Electric Power, is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. For more information visit or

The Berrien Community Foundation was founded by William Vawter and other local leaders in 1952. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life in Berrien County and build a spirit of community through building mainly endowments, providing donor services and grants, and serving as a facilitative community leader in Berrien County.

For more information, please visit