Bill and Birute Fleck

Bill and Birute Fleck have always loved living in a rural area with easy access to the water.  When they considered where to retire, Charlevoix rose to the top of the list.  “I had a childhood friend who had a cottage in this area, so that’s how I was first introduced,” said Bill.  “Birute and I visited fairly often when we lived downstate and appreciated the opportunity to sail in the summer and cross-country ski in the winter.”  Although the pair enjoys traveling, they are year-round residents. “I love that winter provides lots of quiet, beauty, and opportunities for snow-shoeing or skiing,” notes Birute.  “Strange as it may seem, I also enjoy shoveling snow and the cold weather!”

A close circle of friends, volunteer commitments with the Charlevoix Lions and Charlevoix Public Library, and taking advantage of the recreational opportunities in northern Michigan have helped Bill and Birute grow roots in the community.  When they met with local attorney Scott Beatty about their estate plans, he connected them with the Community Foundation.  “We have both benefitted from others’ time and energy during our lives, so this is one way that we can give back,” explains Birute. Because of their deep respect for the power of education to change one’s situation, Bill and Birute have focused their future gift on supporting education for local young people. “We know the Community Foundation is well-managed – they make good decisions and know where and how to use dollars pragmatically. And for us, there’s a sense of satisfaction in doing some good without any expectation,” adds Bill.