“Building a Bridge to our Communities”

     The Betsie Valley Community Center (BVCC) was created to serve the communities of Northern Manistee and Southern Benzie counties.  Our mission is to deliver “educational and charitable services” – a broad tent for a number of projects and strategies chosen to improve the quality of life in this region.  The spark for the BVCC came in 2015 with a playgroup plus parent support group, made possible by the Great Start Collaborative of Traverse Bay.   These were held at the Betsie Valley Elementary School where a number of parents gathered every month to identify the services they were most in need of. The list was long.  The monthly discussion group grew to include county commissioners, township and village officials, service agency and business reps, interested community residents and MORE parents!  The decision to incorporate as a non-profit was made and status granted in 2018.  We currently have a 7 member Board of Directors and these committees – Finance, Vital Services and Recreation. 

 April 2019 – After a year of meetings, complications and advocacy, finally fiber optic cable was installed to connect BV Elementary School to broadband.  Previously the school was one of only two – out of 72 buildings in the Traverse Bay Intermediate School District without broadband. The Benzie Central Schools Superintendent, reflecting on this year of the pandemic, commented recently that the school could not have stayed open without the broadband connection. 

     January and February 2020- The Recreation Committee put on two wonderful winter events to draw families together and provide fun recreation. We had outstanding attendance for a Board Game Night in January and a Ski and Snowshoe Event in February.  We were finalizing our plans for a Youth Ninja Challenge Course that would have been the centerpiece for our 5 day March 2020 “Staycation” when Covid closed the school and the communities.  We are anxious get right back to Recreation activities as soon as it is safe to do so. 

     2019-October 2020- The Board decided in 2019 against constructing a building next to the BV Elementary School to co-house critical services.  Instead, a pivot to DELIVER services via a Community Services Van became our new goal. After 18 months of design, fundraising and van conversion we are delivering dental hygiene services in the Van you see in our video above.  We are still in our early months of establishing partnerships for medical and behavioral health and flexing with changing school schedules.  As of February 2021, dental hygiene services have been provided to over 150 children and adults in 15 different sites.   

What comes next?  Adding new Board members and strategically determining our next project to improve the quality of life in the Betsie Valley Region.  Stay tuned- it will be exciting!!

The Betsie Valley Community Center is committed to providing Medical, Dental and Behavioral Health Services to adults and children throughout Benzie and Manistee counties and beyond.