A good community partner

SILVER CITY – When Deb Holland visited the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in late October, it reminded her of the area in Montana where she grew up, and she decided she wanted to do something for the area.

“I totally fell in love with the Porkies,” she said.

Holland recently published a book called “Make Your Destiny Your Reality,” which is a spiritually-based self-help book.

Because the book has that spiritual component, Holland said she thought she should do something helpful with the profits from it, so she created a company to distribute 10 percent of the monthly profits from the sales of the book to charitable organizations. One of the first groups she chose is The Friends of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

“It’s really important to be a good community partner,” she said. “I wanted to give back from the very first royalty check I got,” she said.

Holland said she chose The Friends of the Porkies, the name most people know the organization by, because they are a non-profit group and they work for the Porkies, which she enjoys very much.

“As soon as I read about them, I immediately said, ‘That’s it. These guys have to go on the list,'” she said.

The other two recipients of the first charity awards are Glacier Ice Rink in Missoula, Mont. and Lewis & Clark Humane Society in Helena, Mont.

Holland, who lives in Sun Prairie, Wis., and grew up in Montana, said for 2014, she’ll be working on companions for the book, including a workbook, meditation CD and daily devotional.

The sales of those items will also be used for the award, as will any future books she may write.

Angie Foley, program administrator for Friends of the Porkies, said members of the organization were surprised by being chosen for Holland’s award.

“It’s not often we get random acts of kindness in the mail,” she said. “I think that’s pretty special we made such an impact (on Holland) after one visit.”

The Friends of the Porkies has more than 500 members in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. Although the group existed informally for years before, it formed as a 501(c)3 organization in 1998.

The Friends of the Porkies is not a state government agency, Foley said, but it exists to give support to and advocate for the park. Issues include skiing, history, harbor and waters, snowmobiles, hunting and fishing, nature and environment, and liaison.

“We wear whatever hat is needed for the park,” she said.

The organizations’ members conduct fundraising events, including the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival in August. They have an artists-in-residence program and a folk school, also.

Unless Holland tells them she’d like some of the award for a specific purpose, Foley said the money will be used for whatever is necessary.

“We’ll probably put it in our general fund,” she said.

Some possible uses for the money include enhancing the folk school and the music festival, Foley said.

Holland said in January she’s launching a Facebook page for the award on which people can nominate other 501(c)3 non-profits they think are worthy to receive it.

“We’re going to pick two (charities) each month,” she said. “That’s going to run indefinitely.”