February CanDo! Meeting Features Presentation By Joan Nelson

Each month, CanDo! (Charlotte Area Networking for Development and Opportunity) explores another one of the Seven Elements of Healthy Communities in an effort to incubate remarkable ideas that will help move the community forward. A February 28 presentation by Joan Nelson will focus on meeting basic needs of local residents.

Ms. Nelson is a co-founder and Executive Director of Allen Neighborhood Center, a 20-year-old community development agency located in Lansing. She oversees an array of programs focused on health, food, art, economic development and neighborhood capacity building.  She attended Michigan State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in social science and a master’s degree in health education and exercise physiology.

“We are excited to bring Joan to Charlotte,” said Gregg Guetschow, CanDo! Chairman. “Allen Neighborhood Center is a model that offers examples of creative ways to improve people’s lives.”

Allen Neighborhood Center provides programs and activities that support the health and well-being of people and neighborhoods in the northeast quadrant of Lansing. Its signature projects include the Allen Farmers Market, a health enrollment site, Hunter Park GardenHouse gardening/farm education center, Allen Market Place food resource center, and Exchange Food Hub online wholesale market.

The February 28 meeting will be held at the Charlotte Community Library, 226 S. Bostwick Street, beginning at 7:00 a.m. CanDo! general meetings are free to attend and open to the general public. Coffee and a light breakfast are provided at no cost to attendees. Information about CanDo! is available on its Facebook page and at www.charlottecando.org.

5 Minutes Tops Youth Entrepreneurship Competition

Charlotte High School, Eaton RESA’s career and technical education program, and the Youth Pillar of CanDo!, are pleased to announce the second annual Charlotte 5 Minutes Tops youth entrepreneurship local pitch competition! Hosted at The Hall in downtown Charlotte on February 8th, 2018, from 5:30-7:30, the event will give local youth entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to real investors to secure real funding for their start ups.

How Does it Work?

Here is how a local 5 Minutes Tops event is structured:

  1. Local business and industry leaders who would like to participate provide a small investment and have the option of serving on a panel of judges.
  2. Students develop a business idea, complete with a business and marketing plan.
  3. On the night of the event, youth entrepreneurs get 5 minutes to pitch their ideas to the panel of judges.
  4. Once all of the pitches have been heard, the judges decide how to distribute the investments. All of the money provided goes directly to the youth entrepreneurs to help them with their businesses.
  5. The top money winner is automatically entered into the regional 5 Minutes Tops competition, which takes place in March at LCC West Campus. This also gives them the chance to be a part of LEAP’s Lansing Youth Start Up Expo at the Lansing Center!
  6. Additional information, as well as an informative video, can be found that the 5 Minutes Tops website: http://www.5minutestops.com

Investment Opportunities

We need your help to make this wonderful opportunity a reality for our kids. Our goal is to raise between $500 and $1000 in investments, and to have between 5 and 10 entrepreneurs pitch their ideas. Again, all of the money raised goes directly into local youth businesses. We have two different opportunities for you to be involved:

Sponsorship ($100)

For $100, you will receive the following benefits:

  1. Recognition as a 5 Minutes Tops sponsor on all documents associated with the Charlotte event
  2. Recognition as a sponsor at the event itself
  3. The knowledge that you helped launch or sustain a youth entrepreneur’s business

 Partnership ($200)

For $200, you will receive the following benefits:

  1. Recognition as a 5 Minutes Tops partner on all documents associated with the Charlotte event
  2. Recognition as a partner at the event itself
  3. A seat on the panel that will decide how to distribute the investments to the youth entrepreneurs
  4. The benefit of knowing that you helped launch or sustain a youth entrepreneur’s business

Who Do I Contact, and How Can I Invest?

Please direct all questions about the event or the program to Lucas Schrauben, career counselor at Eaton RESA (lschrauben@eatonresa.org), or Bill Barnes (barnesw@charlottenet.org), principal at Charlotte High School.

If you would like to be a partner or sponsor, please submit the 5 Minute Tops Investment Form, along with a check made out to Charlotte High School – 5 Minutes Tops Competition, to:

Charlotte High School
c/o Bill Barnes, 5 Minutes Tops
378 State St
Charlotte, MI 48813

Checks are due by Wednesday, 2/7. However, please notify Lucas or Bill by Wednesday, 1/24/18 if you are interested in participating and at what level so we can include your information in our promotional materials. Thank you for your support of the second annual Charlotte local 5 Minutes Tops youth entrepreneurship program!


January Meeting Features Conversation With Matt Rush

Charlotte Can Do! is a local nonprofit think tank, whose primary purpose is to “incubate remarkable ideas.” Using a framework of the Seven Elements of Healthy Communities, the group considers a different element each month.  The elements include economy, the arts, education, health and wellness, neighborhoods and communities, basic needs, and environment.

Can Do! meets monthly and invites interested community members to its first session for 2018 on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:00 AM, featuring a conversation with Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital CEO Matt Rush.  The conversation will focus on the ‘economy’ element and consider various questions about how our community’s economy will be strengthened or not, based on how we harness various opportunities.

For this year’s programs, Chairman Gregg Guetschow posed the question “What’s the Big Idea?” and encouraged participants to consider barriers that, if addressed, could help the community move forward to the “next level” of success.  Community members brainstormed many ideas they felt were the highest priority for Can Do’s focus this year.  Their big ideas reflect the tremendous momentum in Charlotte right now with increasing participation from leaders of all ages.

The January session with Mr. Rush will consider thought-provoking questions about how to harness the opportunities before us. Positive changes in communities sometimes await the transformation that comes from a different way of thinking about challenges and opportunities. How can we ask a different kind of question that helps us to see things from new perspectives? How does the way we lead change our community’s capacity and impact our economic vitality?

This session will be a great way to start your day and kick off the year with CanDo! All are welcome to this free and open session, which takes place at the Charlotte Community Library at 226 Bostwick Street.  A light breakfast and coffee will be provided.

CanDo! Asks “What’s The Big Idea?”

CanDo!’s general meeting each November is devoted to crafting a vision for the community and the organization for the coming year. Attendees this year will be invited to share their thoughts about addressing some of Charlotte’s most pressing problems.

“CanDo! has a long history of fostering new ideas and inspiring individuals and organizations to act on them,” said CanDo! vice chairman Gregg Guetschow. “We want to build on Charlotte’s recent success in areas such as leadership development, philanthropy and downtown revitalization to tackle other challenges.”

CanDo!’s board of directors has adopted a framework called the Seven Elements of a Healthy Community to guide its efforts in community development.  Examples of the seven elements are arts and culture, health and wellness, education, and economic development. During the November meeting, the seven elements will be used as the starting point for discussions about areas that need improvement.

“CanDo! board members are encouraged by the positive energy we are seeing in Charlotte,” Guetschow said, “but we know that there is always more work to be done.  We’re looking for the next big ideas to move the community forward.”

The November CanDo! meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 22 at 7:00 a.m. at the Charlotte Community Library, 226 S. Bostwick Street. Breakfast and coffee will be provided.

Can Do! (Charlotte Area Networking for Development and Opportunity) provides occasions for networking among individuals interested in developing a more vital and prosperous community. General meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month except December and are open to anyone who lives or works in the Charlotte area. Additional information about Can Do! and its activities can be found at charlottecando.org.

Charlotte CanDo! Presents Charlotte Soup

On October 25th, CanDo! will be hosting Charlotte Soup, an event based on a similar idea from Detroit. The concept is simple; citizens come together to share a meal, and then generate ideas to help improve the community! In order to take part, participants can buy a $10 ticket. $5 covers the cost of soup, bread, and iced tea or lemonade, and $5 goes into a collection to fund a community improvement project. After dinner, participants work in groups to generate ideas, and at the end of the night, everyone will vote on the projects that they would like to see get funded. One project will be funded from the money raised by the event, and a second project will be funded with a $300 grant from CanDo!

Charlotte Soup will take place from 5:30-7:30pm on Wednesday, October 25th at the Eaton Area Senior Center at 804 S Cochran Ave, Charlotte, MI. All Charlotte community members are welcome. Tickets can be purchased, in advance, from the County Journal offices, the Eaton Area Senior Center, or from CanDo! board members Bill Barnes, Christy Lambright, Kyle Raney, or Ann Garvey. They can also be purchased at the door. The soup is being provided by the Eaton Place, Fay’s Evelyn Bay, Sidestreet Deli, the Eaton Area Senior Center, and the Dolson. Questions about the event can be directed to 2017 CanDo! chair Bill Barnes at charlottecando@gmail.com.