Community Stories

Marianne Swick on Muskegon: “The Best Kept Secret”

“For one thing, giving to something that you believe in really is a good feeling,” said Marianne.  “Knowing that you’re a part of something can make a big difference. I don’t think people ever regret giving. You can know that you helped some special need somewhere, and I am thankful that my thinking turned to giving.”

Michael Ramsey on Pride 2021 and Community Impact

“Pride is about getting together with the people you love and celebrating who you are and how all of our skills, talents, and passions work together,” said Michael. “Whether it be at home, the office, or your neighborhood association, celebrating the uniqueness of the individuals in your circle and uplifting them is how we come together as a community.”


The Community Foundation partnered with the Fremont Area Community Foundation and several other local foundations to bring to 22 local nonprofits in our community. Here are a few success stories so far:

Anna Duggins: Turning Dreams into Legacies

Originally from the small town of Hart, Anna Duggins has lived in Michigan her whole life. Anna works in estate planning and is a professional advisor to various community members. Whether you are welcoming a child, looking forward to retirement, facing the loss of a spouse, or coming to terms with a challenging diagnosis, Anna wants to be by your side.

Work Like a Mother: A Program by Jessie Wilde

Jessie Wilde is a mom of five who left the corporate world to create a consulting business that specializes in helping family-owned small businesses, nonprofits, and “mompreneurs” looking to start and sustain their business. This group program tackles the common issues faced by mothers learning to start, register, manage, and market their businesses. Read more about the Work Like a Mother program here!

The McLeod Family: Decades of Community Impact

Giving back has long been a priority for the McLeods. This philanthropic interest led them to start the McLeod Scholarship Fund in 2003, in memory of their son, Doug. After Carol’s passing in the spring of 2020, Dave established a Donor Advised Fund to continue to give back to the community. Join us in celebrating their many years of generosity!

Civic Engagement Series Bring Neighbors Together

The idea first came about when Antonette Robinson of the Crescent Neighborhood Association wanted to create a Civic Engagement Series, one that would bring neighbors together in a casual, social way to share ideas about current events and provide opportunities to learn more about policy and decision-making in local, state, and national governments and organizations. This is now an ongoing series and we are excited to keep you updated on their progress!

Introducing the Rick M. Murak and Joseph A. Panici Fund

In 2012, Rick and Joe set up an Estate Plan Distribution Agreement (EPDA). Then, in 2013, they started a Build A Fund, which officially became the Rick M. Murak and Joseph A. Panici Fund this year! Please join us in celebrating their legacy of giving.

Muskegon LEAD Giving Circle Awards Their First Grant

The Muskegon LEAD Giving Circle virtually gathered to select its first grant recipient, the Coalition for Community Development!

Introducing the Love is Love Fund

Jane Otrhalek and Tonya Rund, who are celebrating 25 years together and 5 years as a married couple next month, created the Love is Love Fund in 2019. The goal of the Fund is to help LGBTQ+ individuals and families access the resources they need and to promote equity and advance racial, economic and gender justice in Muskegon County.