Sharing Pie Up North Blog

31 Days of Giving 2016


Tis the season to give back to Michigan, the state that has done so much for Cherry Republic.  Each day in December, Cherry Republic will designate an organization for a major contribution.  In total, we will give away $150,000.

December 31st.

Crosshatch.  $10,000.  This is an ongoing contribution for this valuable organization supporting small farms and young farmers.  With innovative projects like chicken coup, micro loans, compost, preservation station, the small farm conference, this organization is helping share a great vision for a growing farm based economy around the north.

December 30th.

father fred

$4,500 to Father Fred, Northern Michigan Environmental Services and Third Level.  $1,500 checks to these three organizations working for the well being and mental health of northern Michigan resident.

Third Level Crisis  

December 29th.

$3,000 to Grist.  Grist is the leading online environmental magazine in the country.  This e-magazine does a terrific job of keeping the news edgy, relevant and inspiring.

December 28th.

Michigan Environmental Council

 $3,000 Michigan Environmental Council.  This is ongoing support for this important organization protecting Michigan’s environment.

December 27th.

Homestretch Affordable Housing

 $5,000 Homestretch and Traverse Health Clinic.  A $2,500 check to Homestretch Affordable Housing located in Traverse City and overseen by Grand Traverse County, this organization is working hard to create and oversee affordable housing in the region.  Another $2,500 check to the Traverse Health Clinic to help make healthcare more reachable for those that don’t have insurance.

Traverse City Health Clinic

December 26th.

$3,000  Groundworks Solar Initiative.  Thanks to Groundworks and other local environmental organizations, the Traverse City Council recently committed to creating 100% renewable energy.  Groundworks TC Shines project will help make sure that commitment happens.

December 25th.

$5,000 to the Empire Area Community Center.  This organization serves the Glen Lake community by helping out families hit by hard times.

December 24th.

 $2,500 to the Leelanau County Early Childhood Development Fund and $2,500 to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.   This donation goes outside of our normal commitments to the environment and agriculture of Michigan.  On Christmas Eve, though, we can donate to the well being of the kids of Leelanau and Traverse City!

December 23rd.

$5,000 to Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear for continued operational support for the 2017 year.   This is the organization that works with the park service to protect and rebuild the historic buildings and landscapes in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

December 22nd.

Leslie Science and Nature Center

$3,000 to the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor.  It is great to support this terrific organization and property doing it’s best to capture nature’s beauty, so the next generations will be inspired to protect this spot and all the great places in our state.

December 21st.

buckets of rain

$7,500 to Buckets of Rain, a northern Michigan based group working to inspire the cultivation and consumption of fresh vegetables in Detroit.  Since 2012, Buckets of Rain has re-purposed 30 blighted lots into food production since 2013, and grown or provided hundreds of thousands of servings of vegetables, free of charge, to their partners and neighbors.

December 20th.

Circle of Blue

$3,000 check to Circle of Blue and $1,000 contributions to two other water protection and education groups– the Glen Lake Association and Inland Seas Education Association.  Landowners, students, nearly everyone can make a difference in protecting our lakes and waterways if we have a better understanding of the issues influencing our most important natural resource.  These are three important groups– one working locally, one nationally and one internationally.

December 19th.

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservanc

$7,500 to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.  Again, this is from our 1% refundable tariff program for farmland protection and to strengthen the local farming economy in the north.  The GTRLC works to protect farms in Antrim, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Benzie and Manistee.

December 18th.

Two $2,500 checks to two Traverse City organizations working to improve the recreational opportunities in our “capital” of the north.  A contribution will be made today to Preserve Hickory Hills Capital Campaign to improve the 60 year old ski hill and recreation area to the west of Traverse City.  A second check is in support the efforts of TART Trails, whose mission is to enrich the Traverse area by providing a network of trails, bikeways and pedestrian ways; and encouraging their use.

December 17th.

$7,500 to the Leelanau Conservancy.  This contribution was made several weeks ago as a challenge to the conservancy supporters and our customers.  If the conservancy received 250 donations in a week through a special Crowdrise online challenge, we’d give $7,500.  Well, 275 donors gave $24,070 and 115 of those donors were brand new.  Cherry Republic’s contribution is from our 1% refundable tariff program for farmland protection in the north.  Farmland contributes to the rural character of northern Michigan that help make our region such a great place to live or visit.

December 16th

Two checks totaling $10,000 to Ann Arbor’s farmland protection organizations– the Legacy Land Conservancy and the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative.  I can’t say anything better in support of these organizations than this link that showcases what these two organizations are all about.

December 15th.

$5,000 to the Leelanau School.  This donation is made in the name of the Hood’s, Blondia’s, Wheeler’s, and all the faculty that play such an important role as neighbors.  Also, this donation is in support of the growing partnership between the school and the greater community, thanks to tennis, pickle ball, Beach Bards storytelling, and the Lanphier Observatory. Oh, and they do some terrific teaching at the school as well. Check that out here–

December 14th

Here’s two donations in support of the greater Charlevoix area and all the great customers that visit our store in that terrific small town.  One $3,000 check goes to the Grass River Natural Area, a 1,400 preserve protecting wetlands, shorelines, and wildlife .  This request comes from Todd Gyulveszi, a part board member and great staff member here at Cherry Republic.   The second check, for $3,500 goes to the Little Traverse Nature Conservancy as a longstanding donation to keep these good folks doing what they do best– preserving and protecting the wonderful lands in around Little Traverse Bay.

December 13th.

Echo Valley Valley Spur Mt. Bike Trail in Munising

$10,000 to help increase the opportunities to Mt. Bike in Michigan.  Hey, it’s a safe form of biking (no cars to compete with) and it gets us into the wild and woods in an exciting way.   $3,000 goes to the Valley Spur Mt. Bike Trail in Munising.  $4,000 goes to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s Echo Valley Trail to help cover the $25,000 cost of an Environmental Assessment.  And finally, a $3,000 check will be written to a secret mountain bike trail just a gear shift away from Glen Arbor that will be unveiled later this winter.

December 12th.  

For Love of WaterA $3,000 check goes to For Love of Water or simply “FLOW.” This organization is committed to safeguarding the Great Lakes freshwater for all future generations. In the new year they continue focusing their efforts in opposing Nestlé’s application to increase their pumping capacity to 576,000 gallons of Northern Michigan water per day. Nestle is taking freshwater that is rightfully ours and selling it. Additionally, FLOW will continue the fight to decommission Line 5 and prevent a catastrophic oil spill in the Mackinac Straits. You can learn more about Line 5 by watching the Cherry Republic supported Film, “Great Lakes, Bad Lines”

December 11th.

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservanc

$3,500 to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy to purchase two head of cattle from their Misty Acres Farm.  The majority of the grass fed beef will be donated to the Benzie and Leelanau County Food Banks.  It is a great way to support the raising of good local food, a terrific conservancy and our local food banks– and do it all at the same time with one check.

December 10th

Palmer WoodsA $3,000 check to the Leelanau Conservancy as part of a long term Cherry Republic $15,000 pledge for Palmer Woods.  The Palmer Woods Forest Reserve is the largest and most expensive land protection project in the Conservancy’s 27-year history.  The parcel is located just a hop skip northeast of Glen Arbor and will be a playground for xc skiing, hiking and more.

December 9thCass River Greenway

A $3,000 check will be written to the Cass River Greenway.  Cass River is the beautiful river that meanders by our new store in Frankenmuth.  The organization is working to enhance recreational opportunities and the environmental well-being of the Cass River Corridor.  This is the first donation of what we hope is many that we make over the years in the Frankenmuth area.

December 8th

Arcadia Power LogoA combination of checks equaling $10,000paradigm energy services will be written to support energy conservation and alternative energy.  First, a check will be written to Arcadia Power Company who will purchase certified alternative energy credits from wind farms that will match Cherry Republic’s exact monthly usage.  A check will also be written to Paradigm Energy Solutions, a green building expert, who will oversee the transformation of our inefficient warehouse into a sparkling example of energy conservation over the winter.

December 7th


Today, we send a check for $3,000 to Trek Epic, a national organization that organizes and sponsors guided international backpacking trips for young adults.  Staff member Alicia Sharp, who requested this donation, has participated in several of these treks. Trek Epic pays for all of a young person’s hike expenses except for the plane ticket.  Their website can be found here and a video (featuring Alicia) is here.

December 6th

Sleeping Bear Dune Heritage Trail A $5,000 check will be written to the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.  Currently, the trail organizers are preparing for the final push to get this popular bike trail finished.  This donation puts Cherry Republic total gifts to the trail at $90,000.  It has been a blessing to be a part of something that improves the Glen Lake communities quality of life, our environment and our safety.

December 5th

GAAA-Building-SummerA $5,000 check will be written to the Glen Arbor Art Association.  This donation will meet our annual pledge to help in the building expansion of the Glen Arbor Art Association here in Glen Arbor.  There are big plans for this dynamic organization that has become such a big part of the Glen Arbor community as a whole.

December 4th

MI League of Conservation VotersA $7,500 check will be given to the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.  This dynamic organization works with both political parties to ensure that we have knowledgable state senators and legislators committed to protect our woods and waters and quality of life.  The recent November election has the MLCV believing that we have a conservation minded majority in both Michigan houses. This check is written from Cherry Republic’s own coffers– their Environmental and Community Fund.

December 3rd

Small Farm ConferenceA $2,500 check will be written in support of the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference that brings 1,000 small farmers together in January to network, learn and celebrate.  Cherry Republic loves supporting this conference, which plays a key role in making northern Michigan a leader in the farm to table movement across america.  This money is directed to Crosshatch, who puts on the conference and comes from the 1% to farmland tariff revenue.

December 2nd

A $5,000 check will be written from Cherry Republic’s own funds to the Washtenaw Camp Placement Association. For four years, we have helped send kids from the Ann Arbor region to summer camp in Northern Michigan. WCPA has sent nearly 10,000 kids to camp in the last 60 years who would not have the opportunity otherwise. Check out this great organization here.

washtenaw camp placement

December 1st

Groundwork meal programA $5,000 check will be written to Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities’ “10 Cents a Meal School Lunch Program.”  If a community school purchases healthy produce from local farmers, the school gets reimbursed a dime per child by the State of Michigan. This program is a leader in the country, and the donation will cover some of Groundworks’ costs to administer this initiative.

Our goal:  Donate $150,000 in the month of December

Since 2001, Cherry Republic has donated a total of: $500,000 raised from the 1% Refundable Tariff Program $1,250,000 raised from the 1% Environmental/Community Program A refundable tariff for you. Double the tariff for us.