Bridges Copper Country empowers our community to drive for stability.

Empowerment. Stability. Community.

Bridges Copper Country is an economic development tool for individuals, institutions and communities. Bridges is designed to help people in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties develop hope, resources and a future story.

Why Bridges?

The principles of this program are thought provoking and applicable to the struggles faced by many Copper Country residents.  Portage Health Foundation sees it as a great answer to helping individuals and the entire community come out of generational proverty.

Meet Michael Steber.

Michael Steber, who grew up in Ontonagon County, became the full-time Program Coordinator for Bridges Copper Country in July of 2022. Steber facilitates discussions during Getting Ahead, leads community workshops about Bridges Copper Country and can be found weekly around the community helping people to find their future story.

Meet Mary Jo Munch.

Mary Jo Munch, who was born and raised in Houghton County, has been with the Portage Health Foundation for several years, and was immediately drawn to the Bridges Copper Country programming. As soon as the program launched, she jumped on board to help with logistics and serve as a co-facilitator. She has twice attended national Bridges Out of Poverty conferences and loves seeing the community improve.

Meet Kevin Store.

Ontonagon native Kevin Store was blown away when he first heard what aha Process! was doing with its poverty programing. He knew the Copper Country residents needed this, and worked to make it a reality in 2022. He’s trained to host classes and is a champion for the programing in all he does in his daily role as Executive Director of Portage Health Foundation.

Meet the Bridges Copper Country Steering Committee

  • Richelle Dube - AmercInn Calumet

  • Pastor Aaron Gehrke – St. Peter and Paul Church

  • Erin Happala - Gardenview

  • Tim Keteri – Adams Township School District

  • Rob La Fave – Village of L’Anse

  • Michael Messner – Calumet Electronics

  • Curt Pennala – Keweenaw County Sheriff

  • Jeff Ratcliffe – Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance

  • Joshua Saaranen – Houghton County Sheriff

  • Sam Stonelake – Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance

  • Heather Store – Calumet Electronics

  • Koni Turunen – Upper Great Lakes Family HealthCenter

If you are interested in volunteering as a steering committee member, please contact us!

About Portage Health Foundation

Portage Health Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization serving Michigan’s Copper Country, which includes Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. The mission of Portage Health Foundation is to positively influence a healthier community through enhanced philanthropy and collaboration. PHF is the host organization of Bridges Copper Country.

About aha! Process

aha! Process is an award-winning training and publishing company providing workshops, publications, and consulting services to help improve lives and build sustainable success in communities, schools, and higher education. They do this by creating an understanding of the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty from the individual to systems level.

Poverty, middle class, and wealth are about an abundance or lack of resources. Our work helps individuals, businesses, students, and communities build resources for a more successful sustainable future.

We use cookies to improve your experience and to help us understand how you use our site. Please refer to our cookie notice and privacy statement for more information regarding cookies and other third-party tracking that may be enabled.

Bridges Copper Country

Bridges Copper Country is a Copper Shores Community Health Foundation initiative.

Facebook icon
Instagram icon
Twitter icon
YouTube icon
Email icon

© 2023 Portage Health Foundation

Created with
Mailchimp Freddie Badge