Friends of the Charlevoix County Community Foundation Celebrate

More than a hundred friends of the Charlevoix County Community Foundation gathered at Castle Farms last week to celebrate 25 years of making a difference close to home.  Founding board members and supporters established the Community Foundation with little more than a good idea for enhancing the quality of life for Charlevoix residents and visitors.


The program included Scott Beatty, a local attorney who served as the founding board chair beginning in 1992.  Beatty reflected on his service, telling the crowd that “it was an honor to be a part of developing the Community Foundation in the beginning, and it’s even more special today, seeing the growth of the Community Foundation, and the impact it has as a philanthropic resource in Charlevoix County.”


Founding president Bob Tambellini shared an early and lasting feature of the Community Foundation that he found to be extremely compelling: “The Community Foundation was and is not just for people of wealth, but for all people who love this place.”  Tambellini went on to highlight how the Community Foundation was tested with two recessions during his time as president.  “Our Finance Committee and Board of Trustees made solid decisions at that time to protect Community Foundation resources but also to do our best to meet community needs during those times of great instability.  Donors stepped in to keep steady our support for students, disadvantaged neighbors, and dedicated nonprofit organizations – we couldn’t have done it without them,” Tambellini explained.


Charlevoix resident and second generation trustee Valerie Snyder followed.  Snyder compared the Community Foundation to a bridge, serving between the needs and opportunities of the community and the people who care enough to support them.  She described the role of the Distribution Committee, which reviews grant recommendations and allocates grant dollars; “representatives from different areas of the County, with different knowledge of community needs, distribute the available dollars in response to grant requests from nonprofit partners.  I clearly understood the impact that those dollars would have on programs and projects that were funded, but what I didn’t anticipate was the meaningful impact that serving with the Community Foundation would have on me.”


Community Foundation president Chip Hansen closed the program with remarks focusing on the opportunity to build on what those who came before created. “Our first quarter-century has been, thanks to the support of donors large and small, a period of amazing growth.  You don’t have to look very far to find the footprint of the Community Foundation in Charlevoix County,” Hansen began.  “The next 25 years will see us continue to work, each day, to ensure that the Community Foundation is well-positioned to direct charitable resources where they are needed the most, when they are needed the most.”