The Community Foundation is proud to announce the creation of the Gigi Mericka Abilities Fund. A thoughtful and intentional last gift left by Gigi through her estate created the fund that will provide help to those with disabilities in the future.
During Gigi’s lifetime, she shared she wanted “to help individuals with disabilities live and/or work more independently.” She was passionate about helping others and especially those that face physical disabilities that hinder their ability to live independently.
Being the planner that she was, Gigi made sure to document her charitable wishes during her lifetime. She worked closely with the Community Foundation to create an endowment fund that would fulfill her intentions and then planned for it to be funded by distributions from her retirement funds and trust when she passed away.
The Gigi Mericka Abilities Fund will grant to organizations that provide for and meet the needs of those with disabilities such as adaptive equipment, ramps, or modifying a home for accessibility or technology that aids a person’s communication and independence.
Gigi’s generosity and service to the Community Foundation was far-reaching. She was a member of the Women’s Initiative Emerald Circle and the Legacy Society, volunteered at our Back to School events and served on our Grants Committee for nearly 10 years.
Gigi was also the program manager of our Access to Recreation initiative and worked tirelessly to eliminate barriers supporting projects such as the treehouse at the Pine River Nature Center, the Extreme Pool Makeover of the City of Algonac pool and accessible beaches, canoe and kayak launches throughout our region.
She tackled life with strength, determination and joy. Gigi always had a kind word to share, with her smile that brightened a room. She was a great supporter, advocate and friend. Her legacy as an advocate and generous supporter will now live on through her fund to benefit those in our community who face many of the same physical barriers Gigi worked to overcome throughout her life.
The Gigi Mericka Abilities Fund is a welcome addition to other funds at the Community Foundation created specifically to support those within our disabled community such as the Special Dreams Fund and the Access to Recreation Fund. To learn more about planning your charitable legacy, go to stclairfoundation.org and visit the Giving Center.