Joe and Karen Kimmell

Joe and Karen Kimmell couldn't be happier about retiring in Charlevoix County. “We love the laidback atmosphere, the serenity,” says Karen, “and the people.” They learned about the Community Foundation through an environmental initiative – Lake Charlevoix Association established a fund to raise dollars to fight the invasive plant Phragmites. When the initiative finished, the Phragmites Fund was closed, but Karen and Joe remained as donors to the Community Foundation. They annually give to the Community Endowment, the most flexible fund at the Community Foundation, because the purpose is simply to make grants that meet needs and advance opportunities in Charlevoix County.  "With a contribution to the Community Endowment, our gift can support all the areas we care about - the environment, arts and culture, and beyond," explained Karen.

Growing from that history of giving, the Kimmells were among the first Legacy Society members when the effort launched in 2013.  Professionally, Joe was an attorney who worked with donor clients and foundations for more than 35 years. He understood the potential of future gifts made through estate assets and appreciated the impact that would be possible far into the future.

More recently, Karen and Joe revised their estate plans to establish funds which can be used for poverty reduction activities and local arts programs. “The longer we’ve lived in this community, the more involved we’ve become, we’ve learned about new organizations that are impacting areas that are meaningful to us,” shared Joe. “We worked with our attorney and other advisors over the last few months but moving forward that piece should be pretty timeless. We like that the document we signed with the Community Foundation can be revised easily and without cost should our charitable goals change at some point in the future,” Joe noted.

Karen added, “We know change is really the only constant, so we appreciate the flexibility and peace of mind built into our giving through the Community Foundation.”