Bill and Maxine Aten
When they were living in the Battle Creek area, Bill and Maxine Aten became fans of the downhill skiing that was available in northern Michigan. They purchased a small second home in Boyne City in 1976 and moved here full time three years later. “Skiing introduced us to northwest Michigan, but the beauty of the area and the four-season recreational opportunities made us want to live here,” Bill shared. “After moving here, we found the pace of life and the closeness of the communities even more attractive,” added Maxine.
Over the years, Bill worked as a teacher and administrator in Boyne Falls and East Jordan, and Maxine worked as a bookkeeper for the Bahnhof Ski Shops. Rather serendipitously, the barn at their home in Boyne Falls evolved into a performance space, called Aten Place, which hosted musicians for more than 20 years. They are both dedicated volunteers with Challenge Mountain, an organization that provides year-round adaptive recreation for individuals living with disabilities. Bill has also served as a trustee of the Community Foundation. That service, Bill explains, “has given me the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of all the ways the Community Foundation has been able to benefit and improve the Charlevoix County community. I have witnessed the incredible generosity of others and how that generosity has benefitted other organizations and the people they help.”
In 2017, Bill and Maxine became Legacy Society members when they included the Community Foundation in their estate plan. A portion of their estate gift will create the Bill and Maxine Aten Fund for the Community, which will advance opportunities and meet needs in Charlevoix County in their names, forever. Their planned gift will also enrich the Challenge Mountain Fund, which is held at the Community Foundation and provides operating support for the organization. Making the gift was a comfort to the Atens: “the feeling that our gift will contribute to making the home we love a better place for all is very gratifying.”