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Berston Field House thankful as Ruth Mott Foundation extends plan committing to north Flint

Nonprofit hopes extending their commitment will inspire others to also invest in north Flint
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 10:38 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (02/18/2021) - One Flint nonprofit is extending its commitment to the city’s north side.

Since 2015 the Ruth Mott Foundation has provided millions of dollars in grant money. It’s brought community programs, job training, and development for neighborhood centers, but they’re not done yet.

”While we work really hard, and we’re very committed to our grant-making, the real work gets done by residents by organizations in the community,” Raquel Thueme said.

Thueme is the President of the Ruth Mott Foundation. In 2015, the nonprofit started phasing in a strategy committing to Flint’s north side, and Berston Field House was one of the first supported under that strategy.

“This has actually started the rebirth and really started to take us to a whole other level,” Bryant Nolden said. Nolden is the Executive Director of Friends of Berston.

When looking up “Berston” on the Ruth Mott Foundation’s grants search, it shows a total of nearly $750,000 in grants supporting Berston Field House since 2015. Nolden says the foundation has been a “lifeblood” for the recreational center, allowing them to expand programming, provide more services, and hire four full-time employees and two-part time for day-to-day operations.

“It’s rebirth, and what we’re trying to do is make sure that this is a sustainable recreational facility for many years to come,” Nolden said.

Now, some more good news for Nolden. The Ruth Mott Foundation is extending its support for Flint’s northside for at least the next five years, meaning more programs, increasing staff, and help moving towards the goal of renovating the building in time for Berston’s 100-year anniversary in 2023.

“To be able to see the next generation and the generations after that continue to be able to have those fond memories of Berston and create their own memories. I think it’s juts going to be really, really impactful for this community,” Nolden said.

The Ruth Mott Foundation says they hope extending their commitment will inspire others to invest in north Flint as well.

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