The Community Foundation will address our region’s opportunities and challenges and help donors achieve their goals by connecting them with like-minded donors and partners striving to improve our quality of life and increase our regional vibrancy and prosperity.
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”.
Through the creation, management and administration of permanently endowed funds along with project specific 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.
We bring together the doers and donors 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.
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.
Current net assets exceed $100,000,000 and include hundreds of endowment funds. From those funds over $6 million in grants was awarded in 2020.
The Community Foundation family of assets also includes:
- The Blue Water River Walk
- Thumbcoast Kitchens
- Community Funds in Algonac/Clay, St. Clair, Marysville and Port Huron
- School District Funds for Algonac, East China and Port Huron
- Knowlton Ice Museum
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.”
This 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.