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Community Foundation recognized for local support

Alex Doty • Oct 31, 2017 at 1:00 PM

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation is being recognized by the city for its years of community dedication, a recognition that coincides with the 28th annual Community Foundation Week.

“No community on the face of the earth has a foundation as active, engaged, committed and effective as Grand Haven,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “The attributes of our community that truly make Grand Haven shine would not exist if not for the thoughtful leadership and support offered by our community foundation.”

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation has served Northwest Ottawa County since 1971. It encourages philanthropy by individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of their charitable funds and legacies. The foundation also offers technical and management support to nonprofit groups, convenes nonprofit leaders on issues of importance, and engages in advocacy work with nonprofits primarily focused on the needs of the most vulnerable members of the community.

“Over the past few years, I have seen how much the foundation helps in a myriad of ways,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said. “From their willingness to share their expertise to their good advice on how to present opportunities for community involvement in the projects we have undertaken.”

Community foundations work with families, individuals, attorneys, and estate and financial planners to design gift plans that fit every economic situation, ensuring that donors receive the most benefit from their charitable contributions and that their philanthropic dollars are used to the fullest extent.

“We were really excited to get that phone call from Pat and the mayor,” said Holly Johnson, president of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. “It just so happens that it fits in with the national week of community foundations that was started years ago by President Bush.”

Community Foundation Week, created in 1989 by then-President George H.W. Bush, recognizes the work of community foundations throughout the country and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private and nonprofit sectors to address community problems. Johnson noted that a community foundation exists to support the community in whatever way it needs at that time.

“Community foundations impact lives, solve problems and improve futures,” Johnson said. “We are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems and advance the most promising of opportunities to benefit our residents.”

Johnson stressed the importance of having partners who help make the foundation’s mission become a reality.

“The community foundation doesn’t do anything alone,” she said. “We need partners to help us do that. ... If each organization in each sector is doing what they do best, we see much better success.”

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