Grant program working for common good

The Community Enhancement Program has a simple application form for cash awards.
Members of the Graafschap Fire Department practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation with new technology and mannequins funded by the Community Enhancement Program of the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council. Photo courtesy of the Graafschap Fire Department.

WHO: The Community Enhancement Program
WHAT: Offers grants to people or groups that support the common good in the community
WHEN: Jan. 4, 2024, is the next deadline
WHERE: The project must be in the MACC area, which includes Laketown Township
HOW: More information and application at

The Community Enhancement Program – CEP for short – is an areawide program that Laketown Township wants more people to be aware of. The CEP awards grants through a simple online process.

The next application deadline is Jan. 4, 2024.

What is the CEP

The CEP is part of the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, a regional group that encourages cooperation among neighboring units of government on area-wide issues. Membership in the MACC includes Holland and Zeeland cities and the townships of Fillmore, Holland, Laketown, Olive, Park, Port Sheldon, and Zeeland.

The CEP is a collaboration of five MACC members – Holland, Laketown and Park townships and Holland and Zeeland cities – who make up five of the six people on the CEP board. A MACC member is also on the board.

The mission of the grant program is to support efforts that serve public purposes for the common good and will have enduring positive effect on the quality of life and economic vitality of the greater Holland/Zeeland community.

Grant recipients

The CEP was founded in 2018 and has given out about 50 grants total, according to Judy Visscher, administrative assistant with the MACC. Awards are given out four times a year.

Graafschap Fire Department’s $2,000 grant received in October allowed the firefighters to update cardiopulmonary resuscitation training equipment. The Holland Museum also received CEP funds last quarter.

The fire department heard about the CEP grants at a township board meeting.

“We would like to thank the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council for their generous grant which allows us to better train our members and continue the expansion of our community outreach,” said Dave Grumney, Captain, Training & Health/Safety for the Graafschap Fire Department.

In 2022, the CEP distributed grants to the Park Theatre, Boys and Girls Club, Momentum, Holland Chorale and the Zeeland Historical Society. Other past recipients include the Holland Historical Trust, Historic Ottawa Beach Society, Tulip Time, Hope College, Holland Symphony, Outdoor Discovery Center, Holland Arts Council and Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association.

How to apply

Grant applications are available online at Under the “About” tab, choose “Community Enhancement Program.”

The next deadline for completed applications is Jan. 4, 2024.

The application package is four pages. The actual application is one page.

Deadlines and directions are detailed on the website.

The only restrictions are that the project must be in the MACC area and that the funds not be used for routine operating costs or program expenses. No matching money is required. The typical award is $5,000.

The applications are scored on demonstration of regional cooperation, project description and the qualifications of the applicant.


The CEP is funded through payments by each participating municipality. Laketown Township contributes about $3,300, according to township Manager Al Meshkin.

“Laketown continues to be a major player in regional government cooperation. We were leaders long before MACC existed by working with Fillmore Township for a cooperative fire department and that relationship set a pattern for cooperation,” said Gary Dewey who is Laketown’s representative on the CEP board.