Current Community Needs

Below you’ll find a list of current projects and community needs. Click on the titles to learn more about each project. Should you have questions or interest in assisting with funding of any of these items, please contact the Foundation offices at (810) 984-4761.

Receive

Apply for Funding

There are two ways to receive money from the Community Foundation: Grants and Scholarships. Below you will find more information pertaining to both.

Other Available Grants

Youth Advisory Grants (YAC) Grants

The Youth Advisory Council awards grants based on their current priorities, which are: Stress Management, Recreation and Education. The YAC also offers mini-grants to any student(s) and adult advisor/teacher of a school club, organization, or classroom in grades K-8. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year and will be reviewed at the next scheduled meeting.

More information and applications →

Blue Water Arts Committee

Blue Water Arts CommitteeGrant funds are made possible from the Charles and Margaret Anderson Foundation Endowment Fund held at the Community Foundation of St. Clair County (CFSCC). The Blue Water Arts Committee (BWAC) is the advisory committee for the CFSCC for granting decisions to be made in regards to arts and cultural programs and projects in the local Blue Water Area. The BWAC is comprised of local art organization leaders, supporters and artists who have been chosen to be representatives of the public interest and for their knowledge of the community. Other grant funds may be made available by other agencies, corporations or other sources as the BWAC grows and evolves. More information on the arts in our community is available at Bluewater.org

Applications available to the right →

Please note: If your organization receives a grant, it is required that you submit a Project Evaluation one (1) year after you receive the grant or upon completion of your project.

Resource Center Calendar

Before contacting us to book a date please check here for availability. Thanks!

THE ACHESON COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER IS UNAVAILABLE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Contact

For all general inquiries and comments, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

If you have a specific question in mind you may want to email one of our staff directly. For example, if you have a question about Scholarships you'll want to email Lindsay for the fastest response.

Staff

Randy MaiersCEO/President

Strategic Priorities, Community Development, Riverwalk

Lynn AlexanderVice President

Major & Planned Gifts, Legacy Society, Community Funds, School Funds, Women's Initiative

Karen LeeDirector of Finance

Jen TruppAccountant

Sue SchmidDevelopment Coordinator

Lindsay ParslowProgram Associate

Blue Water Arts Committee, Grantmaking, Youth Programs, Scholarships

Richard MurphyCollege Access Coordinator

Blue Water River Walk

The Blue Water River Walk is almost one-mile of St. Clair River shoreline immediately south of the mouth of the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan.  It is less than a mile downriver from the Blue Water Bridge to Sarnia and the southern end of Lake Huron.  Owned by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, the Blue Water River Walk is open to the public year-round.

The shoreline used to create this beautiful River Walk was donated to the Community Foundation of St. Clair County by local philanthropist James C. Acheson and his wife Suzanne at Christmas of 2011.  This initial gift, valued at approximately $1.5 million, has now been leveraged to create a total public and private partnership investing more than $6,000,000.

In 2012 the Community Foundation used a grant of $250,000 from the U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service to begin habitat restoration and restored approximately 450 linear feet of shoreline as a Pilot Phase.  Later that year the Foundation received a $2,000,000 grant through NOAA and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to fully complete the shoreline and habitat restoration.

The River Walk grand opening is tentatively scheduled for June 7, 2014.

2013 Work Wraps Up

By Thanksgiving of 2013 work on the River Walk will have wrapped up for the season.  It has been an incredible year of progress on the River Walk, greatly exceeding everyone’s expectations.

Among the highlights:

  • Railroad Ferry Dock: the old railroad ferry dock, which dates back to the early 1900’s, has been fully restored and re-opened to the public.  Once used to help transport goods back-and-forth to Sarnia, the Ferry Dock is now a beautiful patio overlooking the St. Clair River.  For private rentals of the Ferry Dock see instructions below.
  • Pedestrian Trail:  using partial funding from the Transportation Enhancement Grant Program of MDOT, the Community Foundation raised matching private donations that allowed us to build a 10’ wide asphalt pedestrian trail along the entire length of the shoreline.  This trail is a key component of the Bridge to Bay Trail system.
  • Outdoor Classroom:  At the north end of the River Walk, just north of the Ferry Dock, is our Outdoor Classroom.  Intended as a true interactive learning environment, the Outdoor Classroom is meant to teach the public about the St. Clair River ecosystem and the plant and wildlife habitat found along the River Walk.
  • Shoreline & Habitat Restoration:  Approximately 4,300 feet of St. Clair River shoreline was completely restored and rehabilitated in 2013, utilizing the grant funding from the GLRI.  In the spring of 2014 we will complete our shallow water habitat restoration efforts.  During this work, and including the Pilot Phase work done in 2012, almost 7,000 tons of debris was removed from the site.
  • October Preview Party: Almost 300 people joined the Community Foundation for their 2013 Fall Celebration & BBQ event on the River Walk.  It was also a River Walk preview party and gave the public their first chance to see the new River Walk.

Coming in 2014

  • County Wetlands Park:  Our partners at St. Clair County Parks & Recreation have received a $1 million grant to develop a new wetlands park on the very southern end of the River Walk.  These restored wetlands were a part of the original master plan for the River Walk.  Work on the wetlands should begin in mid 2014 and be mostly complete by year –end.
  • Fishing Pier:  to help enhance public access for fishing and recreation, the Community Foundation hopes to build a fishing pier on the southern end of the River Walk, just south of the Gray Fox ship.  This would be an expensive and complicated project and could take up to two years to complete.
  • First Peoples’ Tribute:  Keeping history alive and a part of present day Port Huron is a fundamental piece of the Blue Water River Walk.  Beginning work in 2014, the First Peoples’ Tribute will be an area on the south side of the River Walk that will pay tribute to the diverse people who first inhabited this landscape.  Visitors to the River Walk will learn about the Native Peoples’ ancient histories, as well as their present day endeavors, and experience a variety of interpretive components.

Private Party and Event Reservations

Some components of the River Walk, such as the Ferry Dock, are available for private rentals.  All requests for private rentals will be granted or denied at the sole discretion of the Community Foundation.  You may call the Foundation offices at 810-984-4761 with questions.

Advertisement for Bid

April 1, 2014 Advertisement for Bids

Workshops

The Blue Water River Walk on October 30th
Invasive Plants on November 9th

Other links of Interest

The Blueways of St. Clair
The Binational Public Advisory Council
Discover the Blue

Progress Updates

Pilot Phase Final Report
Update as of February 2013
Update as of October 5, 2012
Update as of August 23, 2012
Update as of May 17, 2011
Foundation Receives First Federal grant
Update as of September 30, 2011

News Stories

February 2014 Newsletter
River Walk Begins Phase II
River Walk Projects Get Started
Phase One Wildlife Monitoring Report
Restoration Phase Begins
River Walk receives $2 million Grant
River Walk Trail exceeds Challenge Grant Goal


Download RiverWalk FAQ’s (June 2013)
Download RiverWalk FAQ’s (March 2012)
Download RiverWalk Informational PDF
Download Riverwalk Master Plan
Blue Water Land Fund Information
HRM Wildlife Assessment

Charitable Checkbooks

What is a charitable checkbook?

It’s a giving account for individuals or families. You make a contribution of cash or appreciated assets into your charitable checkbook and then make distributions from your account to public charities you support at your own pace. It is easy to give to multiple nonprofits through a charitable checkbook account.

 

Annual Dinner 2011

2011 Annual Dinner This year’s dinner will celebrate another year of philanthropy and recognize Doug Austin, Lee Hanson, Fred Moore and Dave O’Connor as these four distinguished individuals retire from the Foundation board this year.

Community Foundation Annual Dinner 2011
Thursday, November 10th at 6pm
Fore Lakes Golf Club
5810 Flinchbaugh Rd., Kimball, MI 48074 (map)

**Dress Code: Business Casual**
Tickets are $35/person. RSVP by November 4th.

Downloads

In order to cut down on paper and postage costs we’re uploading many of our documents specifically for board members to access.

To save a file to your computer, right-click and select “Save as”.

Fill out Conflict of Interest Form.

Downloads

In order to cut down on our paper and postage costs we’re uploading many of our documents here specifically for board members to access.

To save a file to your computer, right-click and select “Save as”.

Fill out Conflict of Interest Form.

Match Day 2010

The Community Foundation is dedicated to transforming our communities and the lives of our residents by collaborating to tackle big challenges facing our region.

This year, we will once again bring together the "doers" from St. Clair County - our residents, other non-profits, volunteers, business and government - to raise money for organizations providing emergency services in our community such as food, shelter, medical care and clothing.

The demand for these services is growing and so is our dedication to responding to community needs. This year, the Community Foundation has dedicated $75,000 in matching funds to help promote the critical work of the non-profit organizations in our area.

On June 2nd from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm anyone can visit this page or come to one of the Community Foundation offices to make a donation to a participating organization. The Community Foundation will match 50% of all donations between $20 and $1,000 while funds last.

Additionally, we are awarding a $1,000 prize to the organization with the highest number of donors on Match Day!

Match Day donations are now closed. A big thanks to everyone that donated - Match Day was a huge success! Funds will be distributed at the Community Foundation Annual Dinner on June 26, 2010.

Just because Match Day donations are closed doesn't mean you can't donate. Visit our Ways to Give page for all the ways that you can improve the quality of life right here in St. Clair County.

Participating Match Day organizations include:

Organization Name Services Provided Location Service Area
Blue Water Community Food Depot Food Assistance Port Huron St. Clair County
Council on Aging Nutrition program for low-income seniors Port Huron St. Clair County
Downriver Community Services Food Algonac St. Clair County
Down River Helping Hands Inc. Food Marine City St. Clair County
Friday Food for Kids Weekend food for at-risk elementary children Pilot - Belle River TBD
Kids In Distress Services Clothing for children St. Clair St. Clair County
Mid City Nutrition Program Food Port Huron St. Clair County
People's Clinic for Better Health Health care clinic for uninsured Port Huron St. Clair County
Safe Horizons Emergency shelter & supportive services to victims of domestic violence/sexual assault and the homeless Port Huron St. Clair County
Salvation Army Food pantry Port Huron St. Clair County
St. Clair County Health Department Teen health clinic Port Huron High St. Clair County
St. Vincent DePaul/Ecumenical Food Pantry Food pantry St. Clair St. Clair Area
The Harbor/Wings/Cypress Place Street Emergency shelter & supportive services to homeless and high-risk youth Port Huron St. Clair County
Trinity United Methodist Church Food Pantry Food Algonac Algonac/Ira/Clay
United Way of St. Clair County Dental fund Port Huron St. Clair County
Visiting Nurse Association & Blue Water Hospice Medical care for uninsured Port Huron St. Clair County

Annual Dinner 2009

65 Years of PhilanthropyCelebrate the people of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County and join us at our annual dinner held at Fore Lakes Golf Club. You don't want to miss this event!

At this year's event the Community Foundation of St. Clair County will be honoring Jim Acheson with a lifetime achievement award for his dedication to philanthropy. We'll also be announcing the results of Match Day. Learn more about the event »

Community Foundation Annual Dinner 2009
Thursday, June 11 at 6pm
Fore Lakes Golf Club
5810 Flinchbaugh Rd., Kimball, MI 48074 (map)

TICKETS FOR ANNUAL DINNER 2009 ARE SOLD OUT!

Members of the Legacy Society

  • James & Sue Acheson**
  • Lynn M. Alexander**
  • Douglas Austin**
  • Bethany A. Belanger**
  • Emily Bigelow**
  • William & Heather Bokram**
  • David & Denise Brooks**
  • Mary J. Brooks**
  • Marshall Campbell**
  • Dr. & Mrs. Norbert Conrad**
  • Dorothy M. Craig**
  • Lionel & Susan Ellerkamp**
  • Don & Bonnie Fletcher**
  • Raymond & Catherine Gellein**
  • Juanita A. Gittings**
  • Robert J. Groff**
  • Margery Guinther**
  • Janet E. & Lee C. Hanson**
  • Mark & Jackie Hanton
  • Marcia M. Haynes**
  • Steven & Julie Hill**
  • Tom & Nancy Hunter**
  • Charles & E. Gail Kelly**
  • Christine & Roy Klecha**
  • Mickey & Agnes Knowlton**
  • Robert & Marilyn Kovach**
  • Gerald & Mino Kramer**
  • Alexander & Celestine Lamere**
  • Phyllis H. Ledyard
  • Nancy A. Loxton**
  • William & Ann Maas**
  • Randy & Beverly Maiers**
  • Gigi Mericka**
  • Honorable John R. Monaghan & Mrs. JoAnn Monaghan**
  • Fred & Lezlynne Moore**
  • Mr. & Mrs. Franklin H. Moore, Jr.**
  • Donna M. Niester**
  • David & Elizabeth O’Connor**
  • William & Ann Marie Oldford**
  • Robert & Lois Patterson**
  • William & Mattie Robinson**
  • David & Donna Schwartz**
  • Lewis & Lynne Secory**
  • John & Louise Shier**
  • David & Marge Stephenson**
  • Ann Tompert**
  • Douglas & Carol Touma**
  • Pete & Mary Jane Vincent**
  • Douglas & Elda Webb
  • Melanie & Martin Weiss**
  • Randall & Catherine Wilkinson**
  • Anonymous (3)

 

** Denotes Charter Members.

Planning Your Legacy

What good work can I do?

You can support the arts, enrich education, promote community development, foster a stronger community… tell us what is important to you.

When should I include the gift in my estate plan?

Any time you are drafting or changing your will or estate plan, you will want to consider charitable gifts. Your financial or legal advisor can provide guidance related to your personal estate, beneficiaries, income goals, taxes, and other considerations. In addition, you may find it simpler to designate the Community Foundation as a beneficiary to your 401 (k), IRA or life insurance policy. When you notify us of your intentions, you automatically become a member of the Legacy Society.

Must I give a large portion of my estate to join the Legacy Society?

No. We value and appreciate all gifts, and believe the best gift is the one that’s right for the donor. To be recognized as a Legacy Society member you only need to indicate that you have included the Community Foundation as part of your estate plan.

How do I plan a legacy gift?

Call your estate advisors, talk to us, or consult with both. We provide confidential philanthropic services to prospective donors and their advisors, without pressure or obligation. Making a legacy gift is easy:

  • Make a beneficiary designation or include the Community Foundation in your estate plan.
  • Notify us of your intentions so we can invite you to be a member of our Legacy Society.
  • Upon your death we carry out your charitable intentions and handle all administrative tasks.

Why do people give to charity through their estate plans?

Planning an estate gift allows you to strategically accomplish both financial and charitable objectives. For some people, a large charitable gift during their lifetime can be financially uncomfortablesince
they may be uncertain about their health, wealth, and personal commitments. An estate gift may make more sense. You can still fulfill your personal goals of preserving your family name, honoring loved ones, providing for heirs, minimizing tax burdens and supporting the community you call home.

What assets should I give?

Your professional advisor can recommend your most tax-advantaged assets any time you make a charitable gift. Most people choose to give stocks, real estate and other highly appreciated assets during their lifetime and designate 401 (k), IRA, and other retirement assets upon their death.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Lynn Borg at (810) 984-4761 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Legacy Society

Legacy SocietyPlant a seed that will grow for generations to come.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County established the Legacy Society in January of 2008.  The Legacy Society recognizes and honors those donors who have made plans through their estate to give back to the community through the Community Foundation. We are grateful for their foresight, dedication, and philanthropic spirit.

Members of the Legacy Society recognize the importance of making a future gift through the Foundation, and with their leadership they encourage others to do so as well.  Their planning today will benefit our community for generations to come.

More than great wealth, philanthropy requires a generosity of spirit and the desire to improve the quality of life for others.  Through the Legacy Society the names and spirit of our supporters will be forever honored.


Joining the Legacy Society can be as simple as informing the Community Foundation of your intention to make an estate gift. Download and return the Letter of Intent or contact Lynn Borg at 810-984-4761 / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

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Wireless Voting System

The handheld wireless voting system is available for groups using the CRC. The system includes 30 hand-held voting devices. Voting can be completely anonymous and the results are tallied immediately.

For more information and to use the system, contact Lindsay Redlawsk at (810) 984-4761 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Back to School Drop-off Locations & Requested Supplies

Donating requested school supplies at participating locations during the month of July is one way that you can contribute to Back to School 2014. Participating locations and requested supplies are listed below.

Community Foundation Offices

  • 516 McMorran Blvd. Port Huron., MI 48060 - (810) 984-4761 (view map)

Fort Gratiot Curves

  • 3031 Commerce Dr. Suite A - Fort Gratiot, MI 48059 - (810) 385-9171 (view map)

Wonderful News Radio Station

  • 2865 Maywood Dr. Port Huron, MI 48060 - (810) 985-3260 (view map)

Eastern Michigan Bank

  • Fort Gratiot -3061 Krafft Road Fort Gratiot, MI 48059- (810) 966-2281
  • Lakeport -7090 Lakeshore Road Lakeport, MI 48059- (810) 385-3211
  • Port Huron -600 Water Street Port Huron, MI 48060- (810) 987-9777

Blue Water YMCA

  • 1525 Third St. Port Huron, MI 48060 (view map)

Requested School Supplies

  • 24 pack of Crayons
  • 12 Pack Colored Pencils
  • 8 Pack Washable Markers
  • 12 Pack #2 Black Pencils
  • 12 Pack Blue or Black Pens
  • Line Paper - Wide Ruled and College Ruled

Back to School 2014

Back to SchoolBack to School 2014 is a community sponsored event, developed by the Community Foundation's Women's Initiative, to help kids from low income families in St. Clair County have a successful start to school.

Who is eligible?

  • Back to School 2014 is intended for low income residents of St. Clair County
  • Proof of St. Clair County residency is required
  • Children must be present to receive supplies - no exceptions

What will be provided?

  • Backpacks filled with school supplies for elementary and middle school kids
  • Pre-School packets containing a reading book, coloring book and crayons
  • Mobile Food Pantry Truck on site
  • Quantity is limited and will be distributed on a first come first serve basis

How Can You Help?

Making a donation to help purchase supplies. We buy in large quantities and work with local businesses to maximize your donation.

The Women's Initiative of the Community Foundation needs your help to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to low income kids in St. Clair County. It only takes $14.00 to help one child receive the supplies they need to begin school. 100% of your donation will be used to purchase supplies for the program.

Make a Donation by Check

Make checks payable to Community Foundation of St. Clair County with Back to School in the memo line and mail to*:

Community Foundation of St. Clair County
1411 Third Street- 4th Floor
Port Huron, MI 48060

*You may also drop off your donation at the address listed above.

Search Results

Find what you are looking for?

Legal Notice

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. The purpose of this website is to provide accurate and authoritative information of a general nature.

Copyright Statement

Site Copyright © 2002-2010 Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

All RIghts Reserved.

Some of the icons used on this site are from the wonderful Silk icon set by FamFamFam.

Charitable Lead Trust

Charitable Lead Trusts (CLTs) are designed to provide income to your favorite charities for a fixed term of years, the lives of one or more individuals, or a combination of the two; after which, trust assets are paid either back to the donor or to one or more noncharitable beneficiaries named in the trust instrument (spouse, children, etc.).

Also referred to as a “Charitable Income Trust,” the term “Charitable Lead Trust” is used more commonly because the payment of the income interest to charity leads or precedes the payment of the remainder interest.

This type of gift vehicle essentially allows you to support for favorite charity for a few years, and then provide financial support with tax benefits to a family member or relative - all with the same gift.

Charitable Remainder Trust

Questions for Professional Advisors

Note: If you are not a professional advisor these questions may still be helpeful in determining if a Charitable Remainder Trust is right for you.

If you answered yes to these questions then you may want to consider a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT).

A CRT is a trust that provides for a specified distribution, at least annually, to one or more beneficiaries (you, your spouse, children, etc.) at least one of which is not a charity. The distribution must be paid at least annually for life or for a term of years, with an irrevocable remainder interest to be held for the benefit of, or paid over to, one or more qualified charities.

The specified distribution must be either a sum certain, which is not less than five percent and not more than fifty percent of the initial net fair market value of all property placed in trust (a charitable remainder annuity trust), or a fixed percentage, which is not less than five percent and not more than fifty percent, of the net fair market value of the trust assets, valued annually (a charitable remainder unitrust).

After your death, the remainder of the trust transfers to the Community Foundation and is placed in a charitable fund you select. You receive Michigan Community Foundation Tax Credit for the year you establish your trust.

Charitable Gift Annuity

Questions for Professional Advisors

Note: If you are not a professional advisor these questions may still be helpeful in determining if a Charitable Gift Annuity is right for you.

If you answered yes to these questions then you may want to consider a Charitable Gift Annuity.

You can transfer cash or property to the Community Foundation now, get immediate tax benefits, and ensure that you or a loved one receive fixed quarterly or annual payments for life. This option is a great solution for many older charitable individuals.

Unlike a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) a Charitable Gift Annuity is a contract between the donor and the Foundation.

Based on the size of the gift, and the age of the donor(s) the Foundation pays a fixed annual sum to the donors for the rest of their lives - guaranteed!

A Charitable Gift Annuity is not like other annuities. There are potentially substantial benefits for donors. To learn more, or get an exact calculation of the benefits for your clients, visit the website for the American Council of Gift Annuities: www.acga-web.org.

Giving Options

Outright Gifts

You can transfer cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, or personal property to your Community Foundation. Your gift qualifies for maximum charitable benefit under state and federal law.

Read further about the advantages of gifting appreciated stock:

Bequest

You can designate a gift or portion of your estate to your Community Foundation, and in some cases receive a substantial reduction in federal gift and estate taxes.

Download suggested language to use in a will or trust:

Charitable Gift Annuity

You can transfer cash or property to your Community Foundation now, get immediate tax benefits, and ensure that you or a loved one receive fixed quarterly or annual payments for life. This option is a great solution for many older charitable individuals. Read more »

Charitable Remainder Trust

You can place cash or property in a trust that pays annual income to you or another named beneficiary for life. After your death, the remainder of the trust transfers to your Community Foundation, and is placed in a charitable fund you select. You receive Michigan Community Foundation Tax Credit for the year you establish your trust. Read more »

Charitable Lead Trust

You can place cash or property in a trust that pays a fixed amount to your Community Foundation for the number of years you select. Once this period ends, the assets held by the trust are transferred to the beneficiaries you name. In some cases, you receive a substantial reduction in federal gift and estate taxes. This can be described as the opposite of a charitable remainder trust. Upon death or the amount of years selected, the assets held by the trust are transferred to the beneficiaries named (usually children or grandchildren). Read more »

Beneficiary Designations

You may also wish to consider naming the Community Foundation of St. Clair County as the beneficiary of your IRA or life insurance policy.

Women’s Initiative Shirts For Sale

WI Shirt Women's Initiative logo polo shirts are now available for purchase! The shirts are from Lands End and cost $35 for a regular and $40 for a Women's. Size, details and a description from the Lands End website are below.

If you would like to purchase a shirt please make out your check payable to the Community Foundation of SCC with WI Shirt and the size on the memo line and mail it to the Community Foundation. This is not a charitable deduction; the price only covers the cost of the shirt, embroidery and shipping.

The shirts are white with the Women's Initiative logo in green.

Price and Sizes:

Note: The shirts are fitted and tend to run small, you may want to consider ordering a size larger than usual. Samples are at the Foundation office if you would like to see them or try one on before you order.

Description from Lands End website:

Women's Regular Natural Fit Short Sleeve Pima Polo. Our most elegant polo just became our hardest worker. In this one shirt centuries converge. Old-world cotton, picked by hand in the fields of Peru, is knit in state-of-the-art mills to produce a gloriously soft interlock fabric that now resists fading, shrinking, wrinkling, pills and spills. It's the "fab five" Pima Polo! Imagine your staffers in a polo that stays neat all day and keeps your logo (and your brand) looking good. Detail-wise, you'll find yet more good, old-fashioned quality details: covered neck seams, reinforced shoulder seams, straight-bottom hem and side vents. Natural Fit with trimmer collar, shaped side seams and a straight hem that falls at hip length. 100% pima cotton. Machine wash. Imported.

Call or email Megan Wilson if you have questions: (810) 984-4761 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Priority Areas: Arts & Culture

The Community Foundation will continue to support the development of arts and culture throughout the Blue Water Region. Over the course of the next three years the Foundation will work with other organizations and partners to explore:

Priority Areas: Education

The Community Foundation believes that a more highly educated population, combined with a higher percentage of students seeking out some form of college degree, will help lead to an economically healthier and sustainable community.

Under the broad area of education, the Foundation will use its available resources in support of:

Priority Areas: Community & Downtown Development

Under this broad heading, the Community Foundation will seek to help our donors and partners create strong, healthy and vibrant communities in St. Clair County. The lessons learned from recent initiatives such as the Community Renaissance Program may be applicable to new initiatives in this area.

The Community Foundation will not replicate the work of existing organizations such as the EDA or local DDA's that already address a variety of economic development issues. Rather, we will seek closer working relationships with those organizations so that we may explore how our resources might be applied to fill program or service gaps. Our goal will be to compliment and support the work of these other organizations - not compete with them.

Beginning in January of 2007, the Community Foundation will seek out the input of our key donors and partners to explore our specific involvement in one or more of the following areas:

The Foundation recognizes that it will likely be our role as neutral facilitator, convener and collaborator that has a greater impact than our limited financial resources.

Priority Areas (2013-2015)

Mission

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County improves the quality of life in St. Clair County by meeting the broad philanthropic goals of our donors through the creation and administration of permanently endowed funds.

These endowed funds - restricted, unrestricted, advised and field of interest, allow the Foundation to support a broad variety of Community Development programs and projects.

Vision Statement

We enhance the spirit of philanthropy within our community and identify opportunities for collaboration which help transform our community - both the people and the place - by compounding the resources of our donors and the efforts of the “doers” (people who make things happen) to make this community a better place to live, work and play.

Through the creation, management and administration of endowed funds, the Foundation supports the efforts of our donors, volunteers, friends and partners to work for the common good of the residents of St. Clair County.

Our goal is to help transform our communities and the lives of our residents by collaborating to tackle big challenges facing our region – as well as seizing upon new opportunities to make our community a better place to live, work and play.

We bring together the “doers” from among our constituents, our residents, other nonprofits, business, government and other sectors—- the people who care about our community and know how to get things done.

We take a big-picture view of tough challenges – education, the economy, the waterfront, our unique downtown assets — so we can respond to community needs, leverage resources, and create lasting change.

Strategic Priorities 2013-2015

During this next cycle the Foundation will focus its financial and organizational resources on People & Place.

By investing in “People” and “Place” we will pursue tactics and initiatives which will help lead to a new, healthy and vibrant regional economy—-a place to “live, work and play”.  Under this philosophy, we will give preference to projects within one of these two priority areas:

We will also continue actively supporting efforts in:

Foundation initiatives funded from available discretionary assets will be required to demonstrate a commitment to improving People and Place as a means to a healthier economy.

Since the Foundation was established in 1944 we have worked with people (our donors) to improve the lives of other people (our residents).  Going forward we will continue our long history and tradition of investing in our community by supporting and enriching the lives of our residents. 

Our two primary long-term focus areas will be on;

Community & Economic Development

Education

Our two long-term secondary focus areas will be;

Arts & cultural education and enrichment

Basic Needs & Human Services

In addition to making outright grants, the Foundation is currently engaged in the following key initiatives:

Tourism

Current YAC Roster

YAC Advisors
Ms. Jackie Hanton
Ms. Lindsay Redlawsk - .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Cardinal Mooney High School
Mr. Garrison Glowniak (Class of 2011)
Landmark Academy
Ms. Leah Sullivan (Class of 2011)
Marine City High School
Mr. Gunnar Glodich(Class of 2013)
Marysville High School
Mr. Nick Clark (Class of 2012)
Ms. Kelsey McCormick (Class 0f 2012)
Ms. Sydney Howard (Class of 2012)
New Life Christian Academy
Mr. Matt DeMerritt (Class of 2011)
Mr. Jake Jezewski (Class of 2011)
Port Huron High School
Mr. Ryon Burrell (Class of 2012)
Mr. Justin Neil (Class of 2013)
Port Huron Northern
Mr. Ben Haynes (Class of 2012)
Ms. Alyssa Napolitan (Class of 2012)
Ms. Madeline Price (Class of 2012)
Ms. Hannah Reinhard (Class of 2012)
Mr. Justin Betrus (Class of 2012)
Mr. Shaker Samman(Class of 2013)
Mr. Jackson Harmer (Class of 2013)
Mr. Tyler DeLange (Class of 2013)
St. Clair High School
Ms. Erin Eberhard (Class of 2011)
Ms. Rebecca Phyle (Class of 2012)
Ms. Estee Dale(Class of 2012)
Yale High School
Ms. Olivia Kaatz (Class of 2012)
Ms. Lorraine Schrand (Class of 2011)
Ms. Stephen Rumsey(Class of 2012)

Youth Advisory Council C.A.R.E. Award

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) will offer an annual grant to award an area teacher who incorporates community involvement and charitable action into their classroom.

Anyone can nominate a teacher who fits the criteria for this award. The teacher will then work with their school to designate how the money will be used. They can choose to benefit their school facility, classroom, students, programming or special projects.

The goal of this award is to honor a special teacher who contributes to their community by nurturing charitable giving and community spirit in their students. Students of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. As non-profit organizations will continually fill the gap for much needed human services, current youths must recognize their role of charitable giving and volunteerism as a crucial resource to economic stability for their future society.

C.A.R.E.: Community Awareness Reflected in Education

YAC C.A.R.E. Award Winners

Year Teacher Grade School
2013 Lori Shymko High School Teacher Port Huron High School
2012 Heidi Lindstrom High School Teacher Marine City High School
2011 Julie Jowett-Lee K-12 Social Worker Yale Community Schools
2010 Susan Day 5th Grade Teacher Eddy Elementary School
2009 Dana Wilson 4th Grade Teacher Pine River Elementary
2008 Robyn Etz Preschool-Kindergarten Teacher Montessori Children's Academy
2007 Kevin Muneio 8th Grade Teacher St. Mary's St. Clair

Runners-up

Year Teacher Grade School
2013 Kristen Houle High School Teacher Port Huron Northern High School
2012 Kris Pettengill High School Teacher Port Huron High School
2011 Jason Stier High School Teacher Riverview East High School
2010 Helen Taylor High School Teacher Marysville High School
2009 William Westerhof 5th Grade Teacher Belle RIver Elementary
2008 Mary Sokacz 6th grade Teacher Capac Middle School

Board Approved Committees

Algonac/Clay Community Fund

  • Beth Engel
  • Janet Evans
  • William Gratopp
  • Michael Hulewicz
  • Donald Drake
  • Richard Szfer
  • Sharon Stiltner
  • Brian Brutyn*
  • Sherri Radulski
  • Doug Alexander
  • Art Bryson

Audit

  • Michael Kelley
  • Donna M. Niester
  • Linda Finnegan
  • Curtis McBride
  • David P. O'Connor, Jr.
  • Gary E. Rhody
  • F. William "Bill" Schwarz III

Blue Water Arts Committee

  • Theresa Balboa
  • Heather Bokram
  • Kathy Duffy*
  • Virginia Fitzgerald
  • David French
  • Alice Giese
  • Kathy Holth
  • Lee Jones
  • David Korff
  • Mino Kramer
  • Phyllis Ledyard
  • Charles Stephens
  • Jo-Anne Wilkie

Blue Water Land Fund Company*

  • Dave Brooks
  • Bill Butler
  • Mike Connell
  • Don Fletcher
  • Jenifer Kusch (secretary)
  • Phyllis Ledyard
  • Tim Lozen
  • Penelope Peck
  • Jan Rose
  • John Rowling (Education & Outreach)
  • Gordan Ruttan (Education & Outreach)
  • Lee Stevens (Treasurer)
  • Douglas S. Touma*
  • Mike Whaling
  • Chuck Wanninger
    (Note:*this is a 501c3 supporting corporation)

Caimi Scholarship

  • Robert Bates
  • Beth Engel*
  • Sherri Radulski
  • Katy McCullough
  • Amber Voigt

Citizens for St. Clair Fund

  • Lynn Alexander
  • Ray McPherson
  • Anne Marie Oldford
  • Gil Missana
  • Frank Poma*
  • Laura Schweihofer

Community Capital Club (C3)

  • Jim Acheson
  • Harold Burns
  • Mike Cansfield*
  • Dan Damman
  • Nicholas DeGrazia
  • Don Fletcher
  • Mark Hanton
  • Frank Helsom
  • Geof Kusch
  • Bryan Neiman
  • Will Oldford
  • Rob Patterson
  • Bill Schwarz
  • Steve Schweihofer
  • Justin Smith
  • Hale Walker
  • Mike Wendling
  • Rob Wilson

Darin Conrad Memorial Scholarship

  • Dr. Norbert Conrad
  • Alberta Conrad
  • Dave Mineau*
  • Denise Palmateer
  • Mike Mrozinski
  • Melissa Hutchinson

DSLT Fund

  • Lynn Alexander
  • Dan Lockwood
  • Randy Maiers
  • Franklin Moore*
  • Lezlynne Moore
  • Chuck Staiger

Eastern Michigan Christian Foundation

  • Marty Doorn
  • Thomas Z. Harvey, CPA
  • Michael A. Kimmerly
  • Jeff Kaczperski
  • John Kendrick
  • John H. Minor
  • John Romine

Executive

  • Donna Niester, Chair
  • Dr. Sushma Reddy, Vice Chair
  • Mike Cansfield, Secretary
  • Roy W. Klecha, Jr., Treasurer
  • Mike Hulewicz, Member At Large
  • Dr. Randa Jundi-Samman, Member At Large
  • Dr. Bassam Nasr, Member At Large

Executive Compensation

  • Don Fletcher
  • Chuck Kelly*
  • Thomas Hunter

Finance and Investment

  • Don Fletcher*
  • Thomas A. Hunter
  • Roy W. Klecha, Jr.**
  • Geof Kusch
  • Daniel G. Lockwood
  • Jonathon Meldrum
  • Dave P. O'Connor, Jr.
  • John H. Ogden
  • F. William "Bill" Schwarz, III
  • Cathy Wilkinson
  • James Charron

Governance

  • Charles G. Kelly
  • Phyllis Ledyard
  • Franklin Moore
  • Dr. Bassam Nasr
  • Will Oldford*
  • Martin E. Weiss
  • Catherine Wilkinson*(2011)
  • Douglas S. Touma
  • Roy Klecha

Grants

  • Denise Brooks
  • Heather Bokram
  • Thomas DeFauw
  • Rasha Demashkieh
  • Richard C. Engle
  • Jackie Hanton
  • Dr. Connie Harrison
  • Joanne Hopper
  • David Keyes
  • Phyllis Ledyard
  • Mike McCartan*(2012)
  • GiGi Mericka
  • Dave O'Connor
  • Rob Patterson
  • Dr. Sushma Reddy
  • Ellen Ross
  • Patti Ryan
  • John Tomlinson
  • S. Douglas Touma
  • Hale Walker
  • Timothy M. Ward
  • Mike Wendling
  • Mary Whaling
  • Ron Wollen

H & H Whiting Memorial Fund

  • Lynn Alexander
  • Dan Lockwood
  • Randy Maiers
  • Franklin Moore*
  • Lezlynne Moore
  • Chuck Staiger

Mary Moore Fund

  • Lynn Alexander
  • Dan Lockwood
  • Randy Maiers
  • Franklin Moore*
  • Lezlynne Moore
  • Chuck Staiger

Native American Fund

  • Rick DeLange
  • Bill LeCaine*
  • Brenda Martin
  • Rick Warner
  • Walter Wypych

Professional Advisors

  • Hon. John R. Monaghan
  • Will Oldford
  • Laura L. Schweihofer*
  • Douglas S. Touma
  • Mike Wendling

Randy Sugars Memorial Scholarship

  • Shawn Sugars
  • St. Clair High School Counselor
  • St. Clair HS Teacher
  • St. Clair HS Vice Principal

Rene Desmarais Memorial Fund

  • Father Brian Cokonougher
  • Dr. James Copping
  • Sr. Margaret Dowd
  • Keith Flemingloss*
  • Margaret Hale
  • Colleen Hernandez
  • Nancy Marcero
  • George Moger
  • Hon. John Monaghan
  • Robert Nickerson
  • Teresa O'Donnell
  • Dr. Tim Wilkins
  • Jim Wood

Scholarship

  • Mary Schneider
  • Diane Slingerland
  • Dr. Dan Wilhelm

Technical Advisory

  • Steven L. Hill*
  • Hon. John R. Monaghan
  • Douglas S. Touma

Women's Initiative

  • Dr. Lindsay Adams- Fitchett
  • Carolyn Crowe
  • Therese Damman
  • Juanita Gittings
  • Dr. Randa Jundi-Samman**
  • Dr. Dena Khoury
  • Nancy Klemmer
  • Cindy Lane
  • Janal Mossett*
  • Ann Murphy
  • Ellen Ross
  • Marnie Rossow
  • Lindsay Soule
  • Kathy Swantek

Youth Advisory Council (YAC)

  • Ms. Keely Baribeau (Advisor)
  • Ms. Krysta Brinley
  • Ms. Meghan Brody
  • Ms. Morgan Clark
  • Ms. Abbey Dombrowski
  • Mr. Ean Eberhard
  • Ms. Natalie Green
  • Ms. Kit Harmer
  • Ms. Amanda Haynes
  • Mr. Jacob Haynes
  • Ms. Jillian Hoffman
  • Mr. Max Jennings
  • Ms. Karli Klocke
  • Ms. Ellie Kolar
  • Mr. Tyler Maiers
  • Ms. Maddie McLane
  • Mr. Alex Napolitan
  • Mr. Cameron Parslow
  • Mr. Ryan Parslow
  • Mr. Branden Pavlov
  • Ms. Olivia Reinhard
  • Ms. Sophia Reinhard
  • Ms. Becca Richards
  • Ms. Layla Samman
  • Ms. Jasmine Sattler
  • Mr. Zane Smeznik
  • Ms. Alexis Smith
  • Ms. Devin Tomlinson*
  • Ms. Jordan Tomlinson
  • Mr. Joshua Wiegand
  • Ms. Kaitlynn Wiegand
  • Ms. Taylor Winzer

* Chair (year elected)
** Vice Chair
*** Ex-Officer or Staff Liason

Establishing a Fund

You can help to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County by establishing your own endowed fund today. Anyone can make a real and lasting difference in the daily life of our community simply by starting a new fund or adding to an existing fund in the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. Almost anything of value can be considered as a contribution to the Foundation, and unlike establishing a private trust, there is no cost associated with creating a fund.

What is an endowed fund?

Almost all of the funds at the Community Foundation are endowed. This means that the principal amount of the fund (usually the gifts received from the donor) is generally considered restricted and is intended to last forever.

Grants are made from available earnings and/or appreciation based on investment returns and the Foundation's Spending Policy (see About section for a list of our policies). Grants are generally not made by dipping into the general principal of the fund, except in unusual or extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Foundation, or unless the donor gives explicit permission to do so.

How do you start an endowed fund?

A gift may be made or a fund established with a minimum of legal complexity, report making, and other entanglements. They can be established in your name, or in the name of your family, your organization, or anyone you wish to honor. To become a donor, you can transfer your gift of stocks, bonds, real estate, cash or other assets to the Foundation with a letter stating the nature and intent of the contribution. Pledges of up to five years may also be used to create a fund.

The Community Foundation is an extremely flexible charitable planning vehicle. As a public charity, we are committed to building community capital. Endowed gifts to the Foundation will continue to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County forever.

Deferred Giving Options such as charitable remainder trusts, unitrusts or annuity trusts, or life insurance policies may be established to benefit the Foundation. Gifts may also be made through bequests in wills. As in any significant financial decision, you should review your plans with your attorney or tax advisor.

Types of funds

Unrestricted Funds

Allows a donor to have the greatest possible impact by giving the Foundation flexibility in responding to ever-changing community needs. These are the most highly recommended funds. The annual Administrative Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

Operating Funds

Allows donors to help the Foundation continue its efforts to improve the quality of life in St. Clair County. These funds provide support for general Foundation operations.

Fields-of-Interest Funds

Allows a donor to select a particular area of emphasis, such as education, seniors, health, recreation, etc., and then dedicates available grant dollars from that fund to address the most pressing issues within that field of interest. The annual Administrative Fee for these funds is 1.5%.

Donor Advised Funds

Allows donors to participate in the selection of grant recipients by advising the Foundation during the selection process. This is the fastest growing, and perhaps the most popular type of fund because it allows a donor and his or her family to also participate in community philanthropy. The annual Administrative Fee for these funds is 1.5%. More information »

Donor Designated or Agency Designated Funds

Provides long-term, annual support to one or more charitable organizations chosen by the donor at the time the fund was created. All available grant funds are then awarded to those selected organizations. An Agency Designated Fund may be established by any nonprofit organization looking to invest in its future. Contact the Foundation staff for details. The annual Administrative Fee for these funds is 1.0%.

Scholarship Funds

May be used to further education of graduates of a particular high school, students in a specified field of study, or those enrolled at a chosen institution. The annual Administrative Fee for these funds is 2.0%. The minimum amount for a named, endowed scholarship fund is $50,000. Gifts that are $10,000 and higher have the option to be named and added to one of our school specific scholarship funds. View our scholarship funds »

Youth Advisory Council (YAC)

imageThe Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of students representing most high schools in St. Clair County. They are empowered to create a positive role model for youth as philanthropists, assess local youth needs, review grant applications and advise the Community Foundation on youth grant awards.

The Youth Advisory Council Fund was initially created in 1994 with a $1 million dollar challenge grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through the Michigan Community Foundations Youth Project. The purpose of the Youth Project was to encourage youth development in local communities throughout the state while strengthening community foundation leadership and grantmaking capacity.

YAC Grants

Beginning in 2012, the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) will be focusing on three main priority areas:

If you would like to seek a grant for one of these categories, please download the application below and submit it to the Foundation.

The YAC awards grants on a monthly basis January-April. The deadline for submitting grant applications is the first day of each of those months.

YAC Mini-Grants

Our Youth Advisory Council (YAC) offers mini-grants to any student(s) and adult advisor/teacher of a school club, organization or classroom in grades K-8. These grants are a maximum of $200 for projects or programs which will benefit elementary and middle school students in St. Clair County. The intent of this program is to introduce the concept of a Community Foundation and its work in philanthropy and community betterment. It is recommended that you read the guidelines before you complete an application.

Ways to Receive

There are two ways to receive money from the Community Foundation: grants and scholarships. Below you will find more information pertaining to both.

Other Available Grants

Youth Advisory Grants (YAC) Grants

The Youth Advisory Council awards grants based on their current priorities, which are: Education, College Prep, Stress Reduction, Time Management, Environment and Recreation for youth/teens in St. Clair County. The YAC also offers mini-grants to any student(s) and adult advisor/teacher of a school club, organization, or classroom in grades K-8.

More information and applications »

Blue Water Arts Council

Blue Water Arts CouncilGrant funds are made possible from the Charles and Margaret Anderson Foundation Endowment Fund held at the Community Foundation of St. Clair County (CFSCC). The Blue Water Arts Council (BWAC) is the advisory committee for the CFSCC for granting decisions to be made in regards to arts and cultural programs and projects in the local Blue Water Area. The BWAC is comprised of local art organization leaders, supporters and artists who have been chosen to be representatives of the public interest and for their knowledge of the community. Other grant funds may be made available by other agencies, corporations or other sources as the BWAC grows and evolves.

Please note: If your organization receives a grant, it is required that you submit a Project Evaluation one (1) year after you receive the grant or upon completion of your project.

Ways to Give

Father and DaughterThere are many reasons why you should consider making a donation to the Foundation. Since the Community Foundation is a local organization, your donation will help to improve the quality of life right here in St. Clair County. These funds are permanently endowed so the principal will always remain intact. In addition, the Foundation has the flexibility to address emerging needs in our community.

We have various existing funds that you can contribute to or you can establish your own. For a comprehensive list of existing funds, please visit our Funds section. If you decide to establish your own fund instead of contributing to an existing one, please call us at (810) 984-4761 to arrange a meeting at your convenience. There are a variety of assets that can be transferred to the Foundation to create your fund. Gifts of real estate, stocks, bonds, and cash to name a few. We also offer our donors involvement in making grant decisions from their fund if they so choose.

Make a Donation by Check

Make checks payable to Community Foundation of St. Clair County and mail to*:

Community Foundation of St. Clair County
Community Foundation of St. Clair County
516 McMorran Blvd.
Port Huron, MI 48060
Phone: (810) 987-4761
Fax: (810) 984-3394

On the memo line please indicate the fund name that you wish to donate toward or write "greatest need" and we'll place it where we feel it can make the biggest impact at this time. If you do not know the fund name, visit our Funds section. Here you will find a complete list of available funds and a description of each.

*You may also drop off your donation at the address listed above.

Donate Online

Coming soon...

Donor Advised Funds Overview

Donor Advised Funds are one of the fastest growing areas of charitable giving. These funds, established through the Community Foundation, allow donors and their families to participate in the research, selection, and awarding of grant dollars.

Donor Advised Funds may be established to benefit any area of charitable need in St. Clair County, with the donors assisting the Foundation in the selection process.

Donor Advised Funds operate under these general guidelines and policies:

  1. A minimum fund balance of $25,000 is required before grants can be made from the fund.
  2. The donors and/or an advisory committee of the donor and their family may be established at the time of the gift to make recommendations on grants from the fund.
  3. Legally, all recommendations made by the donor or their advisory committee are recommendations only, with the final approval made by the Trustees of the Foundation.
  4. As with all endowment funds at the Community Foundation, assets in Donor Advised Funds are owned and controlled by the Community Foundation.
  5. Foundation staff and/or volunteers will conduct research on all recommendations to ensure that they are consistent with the mission of the Community Foundation.
  6. Donor Advised Funds can be created at no cost to your clients, through outright gifts of cash or stock, real estate, Charitable Remainder Trusts, or Gift Annuities.

To learn more about creating a Donor Advised Fund, please contact us.

Downloads

Professional Advisors

Is giving through the Community Foundation right for your clients?

Advisor and clientAs a lawyer, CPA, broker or investment advisor, you can help your clients realize their charitable objectives by listening for charitable giving opportunities, explaining options and suggesting solutions.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County can help you meet the needs of your clients. There is NO CHARGE for our service.

Since the Foundation is structured to benefit most nonprofit organizations, you can suggest donating through the Community Foundation without appearing to favor any one particular charity.

What is an Endowed Fund?

Almost all of the funds at the Community Foundation are endowed. This means that the principal amount of the fund (usually the gifts received from the donor) is generally considered restricted and is intended to last forever.

Grants are made from available earnings and/or appreciation based on investment returns and the Foundation's Spending Policy. Grants are generally not made by dipping into the general principal of the fund, except in unusual or extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Foundation, or unless the donor gives explicit permission to do so.

Downloads

Additional policies can be found on our About page.

Disclaimer: The Community Foundation of St. Clair County is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. The purpose of this website is to provide accurate and authoritative information of a general nature.

Cost of Renting the Acheson CRC

For Profit Organizations (including professional trade associations)

Nonprofit Groups with 501 Status

Community Groups

(Not legal stand alone entities, for example: block clubs, neighborhood groups, informal committees or clubs, CSCB)

Acheson Community Resource Center

Acheson CRCThe Acheson Community Resource Center will meet the needs of nonprofit and for-profit organizations throughout St. Clair County. Opened in January of 2005 at 514 McMorran Boulevard in downtown Port Huron, the Resource center offers various amenities, including:

Created through a gift from the James C. Acheson Foundation, the Resource Center is owned and operated by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. It will serve as a centralized and neutral meeting space for issues and program areas such as:

THE ACHESON COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER IS UNAVAILABLE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

To reserve the Acheson Community Resource Center for your organization, or to learn more about it, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Annual Reports, Audits and Form 990s

Below you will find our recent annual reports, audited financial records and form 990s.

To receive a FREE hard copy of our audited financial records, annual report or Form 990s please call the Foundation offices at (810) 984-4761 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Our 2004 through 2010 independent audits were performed by Stewart, Beauvais and Whipple, PC. Prior to that, the firm of Goerlich, Richert and Kaiser, PC performed the annual audits. You may call the Foundation office to request the names of the investment managers, fees charged and body or individuals responsible for investment and oversight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here at the Foundation we get asked a lot of questions and rightly so. When deciding where to donate your hard earned money you want to make sure that you know as much as you can. Below you will find answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

What does the Foundation do?

It engages donors in philanthropy through the management, investment and grant making activities of its endowed funds. The Foundation also seeks out other nonprofit, private and government partners in broad collaborative efforts that improve the quality of life for all residents.

How does this occur?

There are several committees that oversee different areas of the Foundation. They serve in an advisory capacity to offer their expertise and guidance. Their recommendations are reported to the Executive Committee and then on to a Board of Trustees for final consideration.

How is the Foundation managed?

The Foundation is managed by six Officers, The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, and two At-large Trustees whom are all elected annually by the Board of Trustees. The President/CEO, two Program Officers and Controller also play a major role in managing the Foundation and are paid employees.

How is the Foundation governed?

The Foundation is governed by 27 elected Trustees, known as the Board, who represent the various regions of St. Clair County and the President/CEO. The Foundation is not an affiliate or subsidiary of any other entity.

How is the Foundation funded?

The Foundation operations are funded by an administrative fee ranging from 1% to 2% of each endowment fund. It also has specific Administrative Endowment Funds that help cover annual operating costs. The Foundation does not receive any tax or other government funding. The Foundation does not generally conduct fund raising events to help cover operating costs.

Can I make a gift to the Foundation but specify which nonprofit organization I want to support?

Yes. Not only does the Foundation maintain a variety of Agency Endowment Funds, but donors can also specify an area of interest that they would like their gift to support.

Can I name the Foundation as a beneficiary of my life insurance policy?

Yes. Many people find life insurance policies to be a great way to support the Foundation's mission while at the same time receiving tax deductions for the value of their policy.

Can we donate real estate to the Foundation outright or do we have to sell it first?

Property can be donated outright to the Foundation. There is criteria for accepting property, and this can be discussed with you in more detail.

Is there a way I can support my granddaughter's educational expenses and the Foundation at the same time?

Yes. You may want to consider a Charitable Remainder Trust, which can make annual payments to your granddaughter from the earnings of the trust for the duration of her college career. Once she is out of college, the trust assets would be passed on to the Foundation.

What is the minimum amount required to establish an endowment fund?

To ensure the perpetuity of an endowment fund, it must reach a minimum of $25,000 before it can begin support awards. However, you can create the fund with gifts less than that to begin with. Please contact us to discuss the details of how this can be accomplished.

Are all gifts to the Foundation tax deductible?

All donations to the Foundation are deductible as a charitable gift for federal income tax purposes.

Can the Foundation offer advice on appropriate wording to include in our will to clarify our intent and understand our options?

Yes. We can provide you with standard language to use in wills and trusts. We will also gladly refer you to local financial planners to ensure that you are given objective and accurate advice.

How are grants awarded?

Grant requests from Donor Advised Funds are reviewed and approved by the Foundation President. Other grant application are reviewed by the Foundation staff and the Grants Committee. A grant applicant may also be asked to make a brief presentation to this committee regarding their request. The committee then makes its recommendations to the Board of Trustees who ultimately make the final decisions on awards.

Who contributes to the Foundation?

Gifts come to the Foundation from individuals, groups, civic organizations, businesses, and private foundations. Contributions in any amount are appreciated.

Donor Bill of Rights

We want you to know the Community Foundation's reason for existence is to provide a flexible and convenient vehicle for donors having a variety of charitable goals and needs and serve as a steward for individuals, families, foundations, and organizations entrusting assets to its care. Accordingly you are entitled to the following:

  1. To be informed of the Foundation's mission, the way the Foundation intends to use donated resources and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgement in its governance responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the Foundation's most recent Annual Report which contains full financial and grant making information.
  4. Assurance your gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive prompt and appropriate gift acknowledgement, recognition and "thank you".
  6. Assurance that information about your donation is handled with respect and confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all interactions with the Foundation will be professional in nature.
  8. Receive information about the Foundation's administrative fees and spending and investment policies.
  9. To have competent administration that can implement procedures to carry out board policies.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, courteous, truthful, and forthright answers.

Board & Staff Roster

Board of Trustees

Executive Committee

  • Donna Niester, Chair
  • Dr. Sushma Reddy, Vice Chair
  • Mike Cansfield, Secretary
  • Roy W. Klecha, Jr., Treasurer
  • Dr. Bassam Nasr, Member At Large
  • Dr. Randa Jundi-Samman, Member At Large
  • Mike Hulewicz, Member At Large
  • Randy D. Maiers, President/CEO

Trustees

Terms expire at the Annual Meeting in December of the year listed.

  • Bethany A. Belanger (2014)
  • Denise M. Brooks(2016)
  • Michael J. Cansfield (2014)
  • Rasha Demashkieh (2014)
  • William C. Gratopp (2015)
  • Jackie Hanton (2014)
  • Connie Harrison (2014)
  • Steven L. Hill (2015)
  • Mike Hulewicz (2014)
  • Thomas A. Hunter (2014)
  • Dr. Randa Jundi-Samman (2014)
  • Charles G. Kelly (2014)
  • Roy W. Klecha, Jr. (2016)
  • Jenifer Kusch (2015)
  • Phyllis Ledyard (2016)
  • Dan Lockwood (2016)
  • Michael McCartan (2015)
  • Dr. Bassam Nasr (2014)
  • Donna M. Niester (2014)
  • William G. Oldford, Jr. (2015)
  • Frank Poma (2016)
  • Dr. Sushma Reddy (2015)
  • F. William Schwarz III (2016)
  • Douglas S. Touma (2016)
  • Hale Walker (2015)
  • Chuck Wanninger (2016)
  • Cathy Wilkinson (2016)

Staff

Randy MaiersCEO/President

Strategic Priorities, Community Development, Riverwalk

Lynn AlexanderVice President

Major & Planned Gifts, Legacy Society, Community Funds, School Funds, Women's Initiative

Karen LeeDirector of Finance

Jen TruppAccountant

Sue SchmidDevelopment Coordinator

Lindsay ParslowProgram Associate

Blue Water Arts Committee, Grantmaking, Youth Programs, Scholarships

Richard MurphyCollege Access Coordinator

Our Mission

The Community Foundation Mission is to serve the charitable needs and enhance the quality of life by:

About Us

Since 1944 the Community Foundation has been dedicated to building community capital through the strategic application of philanthropic funds and the passion, dedication and talents of county residents.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County is the largest grantmaking foundation in Michigan's Thumb Region and manages multiple endowment funds that benefit every corner of St. Clair County.

The Community Foundation family of assets also includes:

Our History

The Port Huron District Foundation was incorporated on November 8, 1944, by the following Board of Directors: Fred Riggin, E.W. Kiefer, Eugene Moak, Howard Acheson, Howard Crull, James MacTaggart, Louis Weil, Gerald Collins, Edward Moore, Francis Kiefer and William Walsh. Funds were solicited from the public at large and through money-raising activities. The purposes established by the foundation were to promote, encourage and aid the work of benevolent, charitable, hospital, scientific, literary, or educational organizations of the City of Port Huron and the vicinity. The Foundation completed a poll to determine wants and needs of the community. Thus, their initial projects were identified as: Girl Scout overnight camp cabins, land for Boy Scouts Camp, and the development of the Memorial Recreation Park. The Memorial Park project being their first priority. This project was completed in 1946 and was a great success. It was declared by National Recreation Association's, Wally Weber, "to be one of the best facilities in the midwest for high school use."

photoThis photo was taken on November 12, 1945, at the "sod turning" ceremony for the Memorial Stadium Recreation Project. Pictured from left Robert Gibbs, who represented youth as president of Robert McVety Youth Center, Vice Admiral Frederick C. "Ted" Sherman (center), who was raised in Port Huron and whose Grandfather founded the Port Huron Times, and Fred L. Riggin, Sr. (right), then President of Mueller Brass Co. and Port Huron District Foundation.

On December 18, 1985, the Articles of Incorporation were amended to reflect the new name of the foundation as The Community Foundation of St. Clair County. The purpose of the foundation established therein was to receive and accept moneys and other properties, both real and personal, to be administered exclusively for charitable purposes, primarily in and for the benefit of the communities of St. Clair County, Michigan. Minor changes to the Articles have since been made; however the name and purpose of the foundation remain the same.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County has grown considerably since its inception. Current assets exceed $45,000,000 in over 160 endowment funds with grants in excess of $2,300,000 awarded in 2013.

Legacy Society Donor Spotlight

October 31, 2008

Robert & Marilyn Kovach - Donor Spotlight

Robert and Marilyn started funding a scholarship for a graduating senior of Yale High School to attend St. Clair County Community College in 1983. They have provided a scholarship for each of the twenty-six years since then. ... Read on »

March 1, 2008

Emily Bigelow - Donor Spotlight

A charter member of the Legacy Society, Emily has established a unique fund to provide annual support for emergency response services. ... Read on »

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Community Foundation of St. Clair County Community Foundation of St. Clair County 1411 Third Street - 4th FloorPort Huron, MI 48060 (810) 984-4761 Fax (810) 984-3394

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