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DTE Energy Foundation awards $15M in grants to help communities across Michigan

2015 Foundation grants increased 25 percent compared to 2014

DETROIT, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The DTE Energy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, awarded $15 million in grants in 2015, impacting 450 communities across Michigan. Over its 32-year history, the Foundation has continued to deepen its support for the state and its residents; last year's charitable giving was its highest level ever, a 25 percent increase from 2014.

"The DTE Energy Foundation has always believed it is our responsibility to sustain and protect Michigan's legacy – from its cultural institutions to its beautiful natural environment – and to help build its future," said Faye Nelson, vice president of Public Affairs, DTE Energy and the president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "2015 marked a monumental year in our giving history and, as a result, DTE is making a difference and improving the quality of life for the state's residents."

The DTE Energy Foundation supports jobs and education, environmental stewardship, economic progress and neighborhood revitalization to be a force for growth and prosperity, ensuring communities are vibrant places to live, work and play.

Key community investments include:

Jobs and Education

  • Nearly $1 million to 50 nonprofits that funded more than 550 year-round and summer youth employment opportunities
  • $75,000 to FIRST in Michigan to support statewide Robotics competitions that engage students with learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
  • $20,000 to Grand Traverse Industries to transport people with disabilities to work, helping them to achieve more independence

Economic progress

  • $750,000 to support the development and renovation of Eastern Market's Shed 5, known as the DTE Energy Foundation Plaza, which provides an outdoor gathering place for community members and Detroit visitors
  • $500,000 toward the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center (PPCC) at the Detroit Zoo for a high-tech, educational video feature
  • $50,000 to support ArtPrize, a three-week art competition in Grand Rapids that celebrates artists from around the world and promotes tourism for the city and region

Environmental Stewardship

  • $250,000 for tree plantings in partnership with ReLeaf Michigan, and a matching grant program in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to plant thousands of trees
  • $200,000 for an annual recycling program spanning four major arts and cultural events, including the Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Lakeshore Arts Festival in Muskegon, GRandJazzFest in Grand Rapids and the Detroit Jazz Festival. In total, more than 23 tons of waste were recycled from the events in 2015
  • $100,000 to the Huron River Watershed Council to invest in river restoration, recreation and local economies through its RiverUp! Program

Neighborhood Safety and Revitalization

  • Nearly $110,000 to support the Holiday Meals on Wheels program, which provided nearly 18,000 meals to needy senior citizens throughout Michigan communities
  • $100,000 to the American Red Cross to install 6,000 smoke detectors in 1,200 homes by June 2016 in support of its Home Fire Campaign, an effort to make Michigan communities safer through education and the proper tools to prevent home fires
  • $75,000 to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation for a new horse trailer for its mounted police to have a continued presence throughout the city

"Our giving footprint touches every community where we live and serve," said Nelson. "Our support allows people and communities to flourish – making the homes we live in and the streets our children play on safer, providing educational opportunities and creating jobs – all of which are integral to the economic vitality of Michigan."

About the DTE Energy Foundation
The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.1 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.2 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2015, the DTE Energy Foundation provided $15 million in grant support to nonprofits throughout the company's service territories. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress.

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For further information: For further information, members of the media may contact: Randi Berris, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555