Community Stories

Support What You Love

Dorothy Ann Wilson created a legacy through charitable giving that is giving a "Kickstart" to the future of North Muskegon Elementary school children.

The Legacy of Dr. Robert Garrison, Jr. and Ruby Garrison

Muskegon civic leaders, Dr. Robert Garrison Jr. and Ruby Garrison, established their fund as an unrestricted fund for general charitable purposes in 1989. Their gift honors their legacy and serves the community they loved, forever.

Lois Ekstrand’s White Lake Legacy

Lois Ekstrand was a friendly fixture in the White Lake community where she summered at her vacation home on Old Channel Trail. She was always out on the town, making friends at festivals and weekend events. When Lois passed away in July of 2021, we learned she had planned an amazing gift to the community she loved: a bequest of $1.86 million to the Community Foundation. The Lois Ekstrand Fund will double the annual grant-making power of the White Lake Community Fund, and we will fondly remember Lois Ekstrand and her love for the community, forever.

National Estate Planning Awareness Week: Dorothy Wilson

Dorothy Ann Wilson loved her North Muskegon school and community. She passed away in June, but her love of her community continues through the significant estate gift she’s left to support the students of North Muskegon – forever.

Tomasa Ybarra: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Tomasa Ybarra was a remarkable woman whose many accomplishments, dedication to education, and love for her family and community is an inspiring story that will impact the community forever through the Tomasa Ramirez Ybarra Scholarship, established in her honor by her children.

Make-A-Will Month: Shirley Fett

It’s Make-A-Will Month! Protect your loved ones and build the community you love by writing your will this August. Everyone needs a will, whether they’re 18 or 80, and it goes well beyond a plan for your assets. Shirley Fett was a long-time physical education teacher and coach for Muskegon Public Schools. Shirley included the Big Red Education Fund, and several other local nonprofits, in her will. Shirley's gift continues to invest in students today, just like she did during her lifetime. Shirley’s legacy and love for her community will live on forever through the gifts she left in her will.

Alternatives in Motion Celebrates Racial Healing

"'What If We Were All The Same!' by C. M. Harris has themes of friendship and acceptance, with a storyline that aims to teach children to embrace their own and others' differences. With help from the grant, we were able to give this book to hundreds of our pediatric families and clients."

Celebrate Impact with Dr. Dale Nesbary

“Anyone has the capacity to have a major impact,” said Dr. Nesbary. “Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve never seen people with more capacity than here. Do the work. Don’t assume that a small community means you can’t do it. You have the capacity. Find the right people and focus on what you want to accomplish. Be the change you want to see.”

Judy Rahrig and Bob Garretson on Giving Back

It's National Estate Planning Awareness Week - a perfect time to plan ahead for the future of your loved ones and community, just like Judy has.

Celebrate Black Philanthropy Month: Meet Chauncy Williams

Philanthropy can look like a lot of different things - the selfless giving of money, time, resources, talents, and more - but above all, philanthropy is love put into action. Chauncy Williams sets the standard high.