Legacy Society

The Legacy Society is a special group of people who have provided for the future of the community by choosing to leave a portion of their estate to the community foundation. Our new Legacy Society celebrates their thoughtful gifts and the generosity of those who have utilized their estate plans to make a positive difference in the community forever.  Some of their stories follow.


shirley gibson

The privilege of giving back

Shirley Gibson is a fourth-generation Charlevoix native.  She moved away for a time but grew tired of big city living and returned home in the eighties.  Shirley always loved the scenic trails around the city, the rolling dunes near Mt. McSauba, the tree-lined streets downtown, and the quiet serenity of her own backyard.  She's been involved in city politics frequently through the years, serving her community in leadership roles.  When it came time for her to think more about her own estate and the legacy she wants to leave, she decided to talk with the Community Foundation about ways to keep supporting Charlevoix even after she's gone.  Shirley, like many other area residents, chose to leave a portion of her estate to the Community Foundation, where she knew it would be well-managed and would do good work for years to come.

Each year, area organizations that care for animals and the environment will receive a check from Shirley's fund, allowing them to continue to carry out and improve their important work.  "I just knew it was a good thing to do," said Shirley.  "You have to take care of things while you are here, but being able to help take care of them in the future is a real gift."



Chuck and trudy Center

timeless support

Chuck and Trudy Center love their little piece of peace and quiet nestled in the woods not far from Lake Michigan.  Chuck, Charlevoix Township supervisor, and Trudy, who owns a salon in Petoskey, moved to the area when they were in their twenties.  They, like many others, have built a good life here, one they feel privileged to have.  When they learned about the community foundation's Legacy Society through a letter from some acquaintances of theirs, they decided they wanted to participate.  "We have been very blessed," said Trudy, "and we would like to see our blessings carried on after we are gone."

The couple met with their financial advisor as well as staff at the community foundation to determine the best option for giving.  Since they've both had a lifelong love for animals, they chose to set aside a portion of their estate to create a fund that will support the Charlevoix County Humane Society annually.  Every year, when the Humane Society receives a check from the fund, it will also receive a letter reminding them about Chuck and Trudy and their commitment to making a difference for animals in Charlevoix County.



Committed Couple Makes a Lasting Gift

Both Joe Kimmell and his wife, Karen, couldn't be happier about retiring in Charlevoix County. “We love the laid back atmosphere, the serenity,” says Karen, “the people.”

The two often support local needs through one-time gifts, but they also wanted to make a long-term commitment to give. When they learned about the community foundation, they discovered that many of their own charitable interests, such as poverty reduction and environmental conservation, are supported through foundation grants.

To put their commitment to our community in writing, they allocated a portion of their estate to the community foundation. Doing so ensures that their gift will become part of the endowment that is used to permanently benefit the county. In addition, their gift is unrestricted, making the funds easily accessible for new opportunities that may arise in the future. “We felt more comfortable allowing the foundation to make the decisions of where the money would best be spent twenty, thirty years from now,” says Joe. “The foundation is focused on all of the areas that have meaningful and significant impact.”



Joyce and Bruce Herbert

Gifts that Keep Giving

“Giving to the community foundation is like making a gift to yourself. All of us benefit in some way from the wonderful things the foundation does.” That's how Bruce and Joyce Herbert sum up their support of the local foundation.

The Herberts make their home in Charlevoix, and both are involved in a number of community organizations. In addition, Joyce and Bruce have made a habit of supporting the programs and causes they believe in. Each year, as they review the organizations they want to support, they always include a gift to the foundation.

“This is a very convenient way to give locally,” says Joyce. “A gift to the community foundation allows you to be inclusive, support a broad base of programs, and address multiple needs with one check.” A former stockbroker and careful fiscal manager, Bruce likes the fact that the foundation's assets are conservatively managed and that spending policies are well thought out. “We have every confidence that our gifts will be placed intelligently.”

In addition to their annual gifts, Bruce and Joyce have also included the community foundation in their estate plans. By planning for this future gift today, they ensure that the community they love will continue to thrive. Bruce says, “It is important for us to see that the foundation carries out its mission to enhance the quality of life for all citizens in Charleviox County for now and in generations to come. Our way of doing this was to include the foundation in our estate plans.”

With citizens this committed, Charlevoix County will continue to thrive for generations to come.