Cornerstone Alliance Event Will Result in $520K in Census-Related Funding to Area

Driven daily to set the region up for success, the team at Berrien County’s lead economic development agency has just completed a highly successful event focused on getting families counted while at the same time providing Benton Harbor school students  with 1,700 fanny packs and additional school supplies for the new school year. That work by Cornerstone Alliance will bring more than half-a-million dollars in census-based federal funding to the region over the next decade.

Cornerstone Alliance and more than a dozen community volunteers recently hosted the Census & School Supply Rally that resulted not only in those hundreds of school supply kits being distributed, but also the successful registration of 10 households and 29 people that had not previously been included in the 2020 U.S. Census.

Cornerstone Alliance President & CEO Rob Cleveland says the event shows how critical it is to make sure that everyone is counted in the Census tally, telling us, “That will result in an additional $52,000 granted to Berrien County every year for 10 years. That’s a total of $520,000 of Census-based funding which can be used towards roads, healthcare, nutrition, education, Pell Grants, and a variety of other programs.”

Cornerstone was joined by the Berrien Community Foundation, by Be Counted Berrien 2020, by the City of Benton Harbor, the Benton Harbor Area Schools, and NBA Player Wilson Chandler in hosting the event.

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The Cornerstone Alliance team issued a thanks for the generous assistance they received from partners and volunteers including Panera Bread who provided lunch, and Meijer for the supplies.

The following volunteers pitched in with Cornerstone staff for the event:

Berrien Community Foundation

  • Kathy Stady

City of Benton Harbor

  • Lisa Golliday

Benton Harbor Area Schools

  • Mark Miller

St. Joseph High School

  • Troy Sims

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

  • Brenda Terrell
  • Debra Stigall
  • Dorothy Parker

Whirlpool Corporation

  • Michael Daly
  • Nathalie Phillips
  • Sierra Baily
  • Victoria Purvis
  • Rachel Gallagher
  • Jacob Everidge
  • Megan Dado