Community members are coming together to care for the river that gives our county its name, and nonprofit organizations are celebrating the river that also gives name to their efforts to “Raise Up Shiawassee.” On Saturday, July 27, the Friends of the Shiawassee River (FOSR) are inviting local residents to participate in their annual river cleanup. This is the latest of several ways groups are collaborating to make the community better.

   For the third year in a row, local nonprofit organizations are joining the #GivingTuesday global movement in a community campaign to “raise UP Shiawassee,” to raise awareness and focus on the needs of people in Shiawassee County through donations and by inspiring action.

   Giving Tuesday (on Tuesday, Dec. 3 this year) follows the widely recognized shopping events of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday with the purpose of linking individuals with causes they feel connected to in order to strengthen communities and encourage giving, typically online.

   This year’s first #raiseUPshiawassee event was an Opioid Crisis 5K Run/Walk/Rally and Vigil in May, the second was the Touch-a-Truck event in June thanking first responders. The next two events are listed below.

Saturday, July 27: Shiawassee River Cleanup, from 9 a.m. to noon, at various locations. The event is being hosted by the FOSR, and the public is invited to join in the fun. Participants should bring gloves and wear old shoes and clothes they do not mind getting wet and dirty, and canoes and johnboats are also welcome. Volunteers can meet up with organizers at the Oakwood Avenue Bridge in Owosso, at McCurdy Park in Corunna or at the new boat launch in Vernon. There will be a celebration to follow at noon at Mitchell Amphitheater in Owosso. More information can be found at

• Thursday, Aug. 1: Moonlight Market, from 5 to 10 p.m., at Curwood Castle in Owosso. The event is being hosted by the Downtown Owosso Farmers Market, the Owosso Historical Commission – Curwood Collection, the Owosso Amphitheater, Owosso Main Street, the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, realtor Jeff McIntyre, Kevin Kregger and the Shiawassee County Convention and Visitors Bureau. This fun, family-oriented and free community event will be a night of magic under the stars, with unique artisans, a wide variety of delectable cuisine including food trucks and local restaurants and live music at Owosso Amphitheater by The Soul Syndicate.

   Guests will also be able to explore the historic delights of Curwood Castle, Comstock Pioneer Cabin, the Woodard Paymaster Building and the Shiawassee Arts Center; and enjoy a petting zoo, a magician, belly dancers and activities for all ages. The evening will end with a luminary parade at 9:30 p.m., followed by a fire show performance grand finale at the Owosso Amphitheater.

   “We’re especially excited about this year’s additional focus on community participation in local service events and community needs awareness,” said FOSR Executive Director Lorraine Austin, a prior co-chair of the #raiseUPshiawassee Giving Tuesday efforts. “Nonprofits always need help financially, but we also need help getting the word out about our important causes and our community service projects and events. Volunteers don’t need a lengthy resume, just a big heart, some time and an interest in helping others. I know all of the other nonprofit organizations feel the same way.”

   For more information or to recommend another #raiseUPshiawassee event, contact Cook Family Foundation Associate Director Yvette Collard at (989) 725-1621 or

   For more information about the river cleanup, contact Lorraine Austin at (989) 723-9062 or The #raiseUPshiawassee campaign is being led by a partnership of the United Way, the Shiawassee Community Foundation and the Cook  Family Foundation.

Local Nonprofit Organizations Continue to #raiseUPshiawassee was last modified: July 22nd, 2019 by Karen Elford