Our Community Foundation strives to enhance the quality of life for all by working together to collectively address challenges and opportunities throughout West Michigan. This caring impact draws community members to make a variety of contributions, including gifts in memory of loved ones.  

“We work with individuals and families each year who have experienced the loss of someone close. A common thread when they are making a memorial gift to the Community Foundation or establishing a new fund in honor of that individual is love,” says Abby Reeg, Advancement & Donor Services Manager. “When donors want to remember someone and celebrate their life, making a gift to the Community Foundation is extra special because the charitable gifts will impact our community today and for many years to come.”  

Memorial contributions can be made to the Greatest Needs Fund. This unrestricted fund enables the Community Foundation to remain proactive, responsive, and flexible to our community’s most critical needs, which evolve over time. These resources allow our Community Impact Grant Program to support the good work of our local for-impact partners.   

Memorial contributions may also be directed to a previously established fund at the Community Foundation or, in some cases, directed to new funds established in honor of that person.  

Dick Baker, of D Baker and Sons Lumber, could often be seen around town on his bike or at local sports events. After his death, his wife Cindy asked that gifts be made in his memory to the Doug and Kathy Baker Family Fund. Dick and his siblings established this fund in 2005 as a Christmas gift to their parents to support local students interested in the arts. Friends and family continue to contribute today in memory of Dick and, in turn, support the community he loved. 

Recently, Grand Haven High School Soccer Coach Yvonne McKessy coordinated a fundraising campaign to start the Coach David Prout Soccer Excellence Award Fund. David Joseph (Joe) Prout, an Ottawa County Sheriff’s Deputy and Grand Haven High School Soccer Coach, passed away from cancer at age 50. The endowed designated fund held with the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation will annually award a grant to Grand Haven Area Public Schools for the selection and recognition of an outstanding female student-athlete who played soccer in memory and honor of Coach Prout.

Patrick Twa started his career in the foundry business and went on to own a home remodeling business. He was an active community member, serving in his church and other nonprofit organizations. After his death, his wife Bobbie established a donor advised fund in his memory so that she and their children can recommend grants to the community for years to come and continue Patrick’s legacy of giving.

Local funeral homes often partner with the Community Foundation staff. The Community Foundation will provide local funeral homes with self-addressed contribution envelopes, and the Community Foundation will accept online contributions through our website. 

If you wish to make a gift in memory of a loved one, you can visit ghacf.org and select the “give today” button to make an online gift. Checks and a note indicating who the gift is in memory of may be sent to the GHACF office at 1 South Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417. If your family is interested in setting up a fund, please contact Chris Riker, Vice President Advancement & Donor Services, at criker@ghacf.org or Abby Reeg, Advancement & Donor Services Manager at areeg@ghacf.org.