The Youth Fund was established to benefit youth projects within Charlevoix County with direction from the Youth Advisory Council (YAC). The YAC is made up of area teens who represent other young people when considering grant requests from local nonprofit organizations, schools, and municipalities. The experience for these youth grant-makers is a positive one, and one that the Community Foundation is proud to offer in Charlevoix County.
Photo: Young people at Camp Daggett kayak on Walloon Lake.
Through the YAC, the Youth Fund has made investments in the quality of life of area children since 1994. Many grants have focused on providing access to opportunities for young people, such as MSU Extension 4-H recreation programs, water safety and learn-to-swim classes through the Charlevoix Area Pool, and mats that allow those with physical disabilities to enjoy ski slopes and the beach with Challenge Mountain. Friends and neighbors in need have also benefitted from the Youth Fund through grants to Good Samaritan Family Services for cribs and car seats as well as weekend food bags through the Manna Food Project. Some grants have intended to improve school culture, eliminate bullying, and motivate students. Others, like pickle ball courts and equipment at Camp Daggett, are just plain fun.
Because the Youth Fund is endowed, it will continue to grow and provide grant dollars for these kinds of programs and projects and more, both now and into the future. Contributions to the Youth Fund join together, resulting in greater impact for this community we love.
Bye Fund for Youth
Cliff Bye came to the Community Foundation with an idea about establishing funds in memory of his wife, Beth. She had recently passed away, just two months shy of their 70th wedding anniversary.
Beth and Cliff lived in Flint before they retired to East Jordan. Cliff worked for A/C Spark Plug (a division of General Motors) and Beth was a teacher. Her love of children influenced Cliff’s next steps. Working with his advisor, Ben Muladore of Edward Jones Investments in Charlevoix, Cliff decided to learn more about the Community Foundation and how he could make a difference close to home in Beth’s honor.
First, he established a designated fund, the Bethel Joann Bye Memorial Fund, that will provide support for the students enrolled in special education programs through the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District. Next, he established a field of interest fund, the Cliff and Beth Bye Fund for Youth, which will complement the grant-making of the Youth Fund as directed by the Youth Advisory Committee. With these two funds, Cliff Bye honors his wife by supporting causes she cared about in her lifetime. Thanks to Cliff, generous gifts like these will move the community forward for a brighter future.
Jack Laucher Fund for Youth
For twenty years, the Jack Laucher Outdoor Education Fund provided grants to enable students in Charlevoix, Emmet, and northern Antrim counties an opportunity to experience challenges and personal growth through summer camps and other programs. More than 30 young people had once-in-a-lifetime experiences that would not have been possible without financial support from the fund established in honor of Jack Laucher.
A learning disabilities consultant for Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District (Char-Em ISD) before his passing in 1998, Jack had a specific goal: to support young people in reaching their potential. The year after his passing, Jack’s wife Sandi and sons Adam and Andrew worked with the Charlevoix County Community Foundation to establish the Fund in his honor. “I’m so pleased that Jack’s Fund has reinforced his commitment to young people,” said Sandi. “Our family has continued to support Jack’s Fund, but the people of Char-Em ISD [who have given to the Fund and] who truly care about children in our communities have made this work in Jack’s name possible,” says Sandi. “I am so grateful to them for their contribution to his legacy.”
In 2019, the Jack Laucher Outdoor Education Fund transitioned to the Jack Laucher Fund for Youth to continue that impact and honor Jack’s dedication to young people by boosting the grant-making from the Youth Fund. By pooling grant dollars from funds with the same goal, each fund dedicated to making a difference for our young people achieves more. Grants from these funds are awarded by the Youth Advisory Committee, a group of local youth who are learning how to give back. “We know this Fund is so very special to Sandi, her family, and the many donors who have contributed in Jack’s honor over twenty years,” says Community Foundation President, Chip Hansen. “Jack’s legacy will continue through his Fund for Youth, forever.”
Pung Fund for Youth
After their own children had left home, Bob and Gay Pung moved up north and continued supporting young people by cheering them on at a variety of athletic events in Charlevoix. “We went to girls basketball, volleyball, and soccer, as well as boys football and basketball games,” noted Gay. When word got out that Bob might be willing to volunteer, he gained the title of “Stat Man”, spending hours at boys and girls basketball games. Bob enjoyed and respected young people. When he passed away, Gay established the Bob Pung Youth Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation. The Fund was meant to help kids – through expenses for sports, access to opportunities, or mission trips here and abroad. Gay explains, “Bob wanted that. He was very sick, but very firm: he wanted to help kids.”
The Fund has grown and evolved over the years and now helps to provide programs and services to young people across Charlevoix County. The Fund was renamed the Bob and Gay Pung Fund for Youth and is now applied to youth programs and projects every year by the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee. In 2016, Gay included an estate gift to the Fund in her will. When the Community Foundation receives her estate gift years and years from now, the Bob and Gay Pung Fund for Youth will be enriched and will ensure that their legacy of supporting kids will continue for generations to come.
Towsley Fund for Youth
The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation established the Towsley Fund at the Community Foundation in 1994. Founding President Bob Tambellini applied for funding for a permanent endowment to both grow our young foundation and to capture matching funds from the Frey and Kellogg Foundations. The purpose of the Towsley Fund was to provide grant dollars for youth projects and health related issues in Charlevoix County.
Margaret Ann (Ranny) Riecker was the President of the Towsley Foundation at the time. According to her 2013 obituary in the Midland Daily News, “Ranny was a strong believer in collaboration in philanthropy. In the 2012 annual report for The Dow Foundation, she wrote ‘In a time of tightening resources and increasing need, it’s important that we make the most of every minute and every penny. Often, the best way to do that is to work together. So we help create collaborative opportunities among nonprofits, governmental agencies, the provide sector and other organizations. Sharing expertise, finding complementary strengths and leveraging resources gives us stronger organizations who accomplish more. Even better, it creates a shared sense of purpose that makes us even stronger’.” Establishing the Towsley Fund was a demonstration of that sense of collaboration and a significant contribution to the Charlevoix County Community Foundation.
In 2017, the Community Foundation’s trustees approved an alteration to the Fund: splitting the existing balance into two funds named the Towsley Fund for Health and the Towsley Fund for Youth. In addition to clearer grant-making guidelines, the new Funds now offer opportunities for others to contribute and make a difference in the overall health of residents and for youth in Charlevoix County.
Tunison-Garlock Fund for Youth
“I am proud to be able to create this memorial fund and I thank the Charlevoix County Community Foundation for providing me the opportunity to appropriately remember and honor three wonderful people.” -- Ted Tunison
With an interest in the environment and young people in Charlevoix County, Theodore (Ted) Tunison established the Tunison-Garlock Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation in 1993. Mr. Tunison explained his motivation in a testimonial he shared at that time: “I created the Tunison/Garlock Memorial Fund because I wanted to honor the memory of my parents, Theodore and Martha Tunison, and also the memory of Kenneth Garlock, who was married to my mother prior to his death.”
In the years since the Fund was established, the Community Foundation has supported many meaningful environment and youth programs with support from the Tunison-Garlock Fund. The Community Foundation board approved action in 2017 that provides for clearer grant-making as well as an additional opportunity to honor Ted and his family; the Tunison-Garlock Fund for the Environment and the Tunison-Garlock Fund for Youth continue to support the work the donors cared about most.