John McLeod and Josette Lory

John McLeod and Josette Lory believe strongly in the importance of making a difference where it is needed, without geographic boundaries, but also feel there is value in starting at home.  Josette shared an African Proverb that describes their philosophy: “If many little people in many little places do many little deeds, they can change the face of the earth.”  John shares, “we have children that live elsewhere in the country and they are active with arts and environment organizations in their communities.  We like to support the areas where they are active, but our main focus for giving is local.”  Josette says that “assisting organizations that are part of our daily lives gives us deep satisfaction.”

Through his business, Classic Instruments, John established a designated fund at the Community Foundation in 2006.  The Fund grows through gifts from the business and investment growth; every year the Fund makes a distribution to provide general support to the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan.  “In my previous career as a police officer, I saw the positive impact that Women’s Resource Center makes for so many.  Josette and I agreed that we wanted to support them and their efforts to help women and children,” explained John.

More recently, John and Josette established a donor advised fund, a tool for personal philanthropy at the Community Foundation, to help them with their giving.  The Community Foundation was already a known and trusted partner for John and Josette. “Working with the staff on this new fund was a no-brainer for us,” says Josette.  “We believe in the Charlevoix County Community Foundation: the way it is administered, the community development accomplished through grants and scholarships, and just as importantly, the community-building accomplished through the continuous outreach and personal contacts of the Community Foundation’s caring staff.”

In 2016, John and Josette joined the Community Foundation’s Legacy Society by making an estate gift of life insurance.  “We love this area – the community support we feel and the people who really take care of each other,” says John.  Josette adds, “It’s our home, and it brings us joy to do what we can to make a difference right here.”