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Minger Family Legacy

We are pleased and honored to announce that the Manistee County Community Foundation received a $15 million estate gift from Forest R. Minger, Jr., establishing two new endowment funds which will benefit our community for years to come.
We are deeply grateful to Mr. Minger for this remarkable act of philanthropy and excited about the profound impact that his gift will surely have on Manistee County’s future.
Thank you, Mr. Minger, for loving Manistee County!
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Enhance and Sustain

Manistee has an exemplary swimming program for a town its size, thanks to the leadership and dedication of Corey Van Fleet at the Paine Aquatic Center. The Corey Van Fleet Perpetual Swimming Fund ensures that at the Paine Aquatic Center will continue to build an outstanding swimming culture for generations to come. 

- Home page photo by Manistee News Advocate

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A vision

Even while in the midst of losing his eyesight, Bob DeYoung was clearly focused on the future of Penny Park in the Village of Eastlake. Determined to provide premier access for visitors of all ages, needs, and abilities, Bob spearheaded a community-driven effort to enhance the park and campground located on the eastern shore of Manistee Lake. Bob serves as a Village Trustee and led efforts to establish the Penny Park of Eastlake Fund to help make his vision a reality.

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For love of mary

As their three-year old daughter Mary battled a terminal brain tumor, Tom and Maureen Fischer found comfort and strength in the idea of one day helping other families facing similar circumstances. Founded in her memory and in operation for over 30 years, Little Mary’s Hospitality House (www.littlemarys.org) in Wellston continues to provide a special place for terminally ill children and their families to vacation together, just as the Fischer family had with Mary during their cherished journey to Tennessee.

While the Fischer’s have lovingly cared for Little Mary’s during their lifetime, they established the Little Mary’s Hospitality House Fund to ensure that Mary’s memory lives on after they are gone.

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Caring about college

Concerned that only one-third of their peers complete a college degree within six years of graduation, the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) worked to build student aspiration and support for continuing education after high school.

Thanks to a College Positive Communities challenge grant from the Council of Michigan Foundations funded by the Kresge Foundation and with support from local donors, they hosted a College Week in each area high school and paid for visits to a college campus.

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Love your community

Arcadians care deeply about the special place they feel fortunate to call home. Recognizing that water is a key ingredient to their community’s success, they created several funds to help enhance and protect one of their greatest assets.The Arcadia Beach Playground Explore the Shores Fund, Arcadia Parks Explore the Shores Fund, Arcadia-Pierport Watershed Fund and Pleasant Valley Community Center Endowment Fund were all established last year.

Along with the previously established Arcadia Area Historical Museum Fund, each fund supports a different piece of the Arcadia placemaking puzzle.

- Home page photo by Al Taylor

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Education matters

Sixty-five percent of U.S. jobs will require some sort of postsecondary education by 2020. Yet today less than one-third of Manistee County’s resident work force holds an associate or higher degree.

A high-quality preschool education prepares students for school success and boosts future academic achievement. However, only half of Manistee County children are currently enrolled in preschool.

Given what’s at stake – the success of our children and ultimately our community – a diverse and growing group of partners have joined to form Launch Manistee.

The collaborative is dedicated to preparing students from early childhood through adulthood for success in school and careers. With support from generous donors, Launch Manistee continues to gain momentum and recently took a big step forward by hiring a program coordinator, Mary Ann Behm.

- Home page photo by Manistee News Advocate

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Doug Schlaff still cares

Doug Schlaff was a thoughtful and dedicated young man who cared deeply for area youth and our community. As a former teacher, coach, and school counselor, he touched the lives of countless young people and was a source of guidance 
and encouragement.

Doug passed away in 2008 following a courageous fight with cancer. Through his wife Polly, their three young sons, and his parents, Doug continues to make a difference. Thanks to the generosity of his family, friends, and others, the Doug Schlaff Memorial Scholarship Fund annually rewards Manistee High School graduates who demonstrate personal and academic growth. Last year, the Schlaff family established the Doug Schlaff Youth Fund to expand opportunities for young people in Manistee County. Recent grants include scholarships for MRA swim classes, Camp Invention, and support for the Children’s Theatre Workshop.

Home page photo by Erin Southwell

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395 Third Street | Manistee, MI 49660

T: (231) 723-7269 | F: (231) 723-4983

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