The Iron River Area Foundation (IRAF) was established as a non-profit corporation in July, 1989, to address some of the cultural needs in the area. Their first goal was to create a facility where local events could be held. It was achieved when the 9,000 square foot Community Center opened in 1998. Upon completion, the Center was deeded to the Town of Iron River which is responsible for day-to-day operations. Today, the Community Center houses police and town government offices, a youth center and a 4,200 square foot central hall. A complete kitchen is available to support caterers for Center events.
The governing board is composed of community members recognized for their involvement in local activities. They see themselves as caretakers, working with private and government agencies, community leaders and service providers to resolve important local issues.
Scholarships have been offered to area high school Seniors since 2000. To date over 60 scholarships, totaling more than $55,000 have been provided to graduates from South Shore, Northwestern and Drummond high schools. A $1,000 scholarship is supported through funds bequeathed by Virginia Tartar, a longtime English teacher in the area. Funding for additional scholarships comes from proceeds of the Civic Lounge, the concessionaire for events at the Community Center.
The Foundation’s Annual Meeting is held on the first Monday in July. Membership is open to all area residents and others who share an interest in supporting educational and cultural needs of the Iron River area.