Caring for Charlevoix: The Miller Family
Five generations of the Miller family summered in Charlevoix, starting with Jeff's grandmother, continuing through Anne and Jeff's six children and thirteen grandchildren. This community left an impression on the Millers and they in turn left a legacy here.
Jeff and Anne made their home in Baltimore, where Jeff was a curator at the Smithsonian. It was in Maryland that the Millers first learned about community foundations, and why they decided to become donors to the Charlevoix County Community Foundation. "We like the idea of building up the local foundation here, since it's a place that's so meaningful to our family," explained Anne in 2002. The Millers started a donor advised fund, a tool that allows the donors to have a say in deciding what kinds of issues their grants will address.
Jeff and Anne encouraged both summer and year-round residents to give to the Community Foundation: "Everyone's help is needed. There's no better way to become part of this wonderful community," Jeff said. When Jeff passed away in 2005 and Anne ten years later, their daughter Pam Himmelrich continued their tradition of charitable giving in Charlevoix County through the donor advised fund named for her parents.
“While enjoying its many summer pleasures, our parents also recognized that all cities, even small ones like Charlevoix, face challenges,” shared Pam. “It was important for them to be a part of the community and to do their share to keep Charlevoix County vibrant and strong. Over the years, our parents’ giving reflected their interests: water and land conservation, the Historical Society, family and children services, health care, library services and the arts. When a special request was brought to their attention, they did their best to respond. The Charlevoix County Community Foundation has been, and continues to be, a perfect partner in these charitable efforts, highlighting pressing needs and guiding and advising on best practices. Now it is our children and grandchildren who won’t let a summer go by without a Charlevoix visit. This love of place is now in its fourth generation. We are proud to follow our family’s example of community involvement, generosity, and unabashed affection for Charlevoix-the-Beautiful, a truly magical place.”