A permanent and growing charitable community endowment that, through a wide variety of grants and programs, serves to enhance life in Milan, Michigan...for good, for ever.
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New Endowment Funds
Milan Area Historical Society Endowment Fund, established in 2011 for the preservation, maintenance and repairs to various Historical Society buildings.
Armitage/Brainard Milan Beautification Fund, established in 2010
New Scholarship Fund
Eric Harrison Memorial Scholarship Fund
The concept of a community foundation was first discussed in 2003 when three longtime residents discovered they had a common vision. Soon they recruited a volunteer exploratory committee from the community to look at the feasibility of establishing such a charity. After months of discussion the committee decided unanimously to move forward with the project and a search for an existing partner began.
By affiliating with an existing foundation, the local group learned it could receive guidance and leadership from an experienced professional staff, fall under the lead organization’s tax-exempt status and benefit from professional management of its assets.
It could also have its own marketing committee, its own advisory committee and do its own fundraising and grant making under the lead organization’s umbrella.
In February 2005, during a meeting in Milan’s historic Old Fire Barn, an affiliate agreement with the Community Foundation of Monroe County was signed and the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation became a reality.
In its short five year history the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation (GMACF) has made an indelible mark on our community.
Since it was established in 2005, our donor endowed funds have enabled the Foundation to make a difference by awarding more than $125,000 in grants to numerous nonprofits in the Milan Area.
“This is a great achievement and reflection of the generosity of the community. However, as we go forward, through the generosity of our donors, the rewards should be greater and greater,” said Don Harkness, one of the original founders.
As an organization our purpose is to build endowment funds that benefit the community forever, help create personal legacies and strengthen our local non-profit organizations.
“The community needs to be aware that the Foundation has wonderful resources available to assist with charitable and estate planning, from the simple to the complex,” said GMACF President, Chris Wetzler.
Since being formed in 2005, we are proud to have given over $125,000 back to the community in grants and $50,000 has been granted to Milan High School seniors in scholarships.
We are indebted to our dedicated volunteer board members, our generous donors, our willing volunteers and the community-at-large for helping to make a difference. For good. For ever.
Front row left to right: Joanne Heath, Christopher Wetzler -President, Carolyn Burlingame - Secretary, Scott Dotson - Treasurer and Gwen Hodges. Back row left to right: Rob Mull, Sharon Thatcher, Thomas Preston, Newt Squires, Jane Kartje and Janet McGovern. Board members not present; Michael Armitage, Bryan Girbach and Cindy Swope.