Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for “An Accessible FONT Community Center” in New Troy

Friday, June 14, 2024

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Rendering Credit: Julie Strating with Changemaker Studio


LANSING, Mich. – The nonprofit Friends of New Troy (FONT) will be improving safety and creating accessibility to the beloved community center in town through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and FONT announced the campaign today, which is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by July 19th, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Creating universal accessibility within a beloved community space means it will truly be a public space for all into the future,” said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for the FONT Community Center through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The revitalization of the FONT Community Center is more than just a construction project; it is a community-wide initiative that impacts more than 15 neighboring communities. FONT is a space for regular public gathering and community programming. This project will allow for the completion of a large renovation that will allow universal accessibility within and around the FONT Community Center.

FONT Community Center hosts communal events and activities such as an annual 5K race, Strawberry Social, Halloween Trunk or Treat, four mobile food pantries, a winter coat drive, and the Christmas party with Santa. Monthly events at the space include hiking the new nature trail, soap and lotion bar making, woodworking demonstrations, local history presentations, seed and plant swap, local author readings, community potluck, bingo night, and a Book & Movie Festival.

The space is used daily for activities like yoga classes, Wiggles & Giggles story hour, pickleball, local museum, Little Free Pantry, workshops, open hours in the activities room with games, books, toys, and computers, and offers daily services like Chromebooks on loan, and free WiFi inside and out.

"We are immensely grateful for the support from the MEDC Public Spaces Community Places grant program, which doubles every dollar donated and significantly amplifies the scope and impact of our Accessible FONT Community Center Project,” said Friends of New Troy President Victoria Petroff. “This matching grant is pivotal, empowering us to enhance accessibility and safety features at the New Troy Community Center, making it a more inclusive and welcoming space for all. Thanks to this program, our vision for a revitalized community gathering place is now within reach, ensuring long-term benefits for everyone in Weesaw Township."

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“This project will provide essential improvements to New Troy’s community center, which will build trust and belonging,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This dedication to safety and accessibility will ensure that everyone in the community can come together and access the programming the center provides. This is a great example of what our communities need to implement to support futures where all can thrive.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of June 12, 2024, MEDC has provided more than $12.7 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 379 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $14.7 million raised from 70,884 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning matching funds.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.