For 50 years, relationships have been an integral part of the success of the GHACF and very much remain so today. We are grateful for the relationships that we have with community leaders because we are often more impactful when we work together.

In our latest 50th anniversary celebration video, the leaders of our local governments shared the progress made possible through the foundation. Community leaders across the board extended their gratitude and appreciation, including Craig Bessinger of the City of Ferrysburg, Pat McGinnis of the City of Grand Haven, Bill Cargo of Grand Haven Charter TownshipGordon Gallagher of Spring Lake Township, and Chris Burns of the Village of Spring Lake.

We have supported countless causes in Northwest Ottawa County—each with a mission aligned with our grant priority areas of arts & culture, diversity & inclusion, economic & community betterment, education, environment, and health & human services.

From the Grand Haven boardwalk and catwalk to Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, we have been able to make impressive physical developments. As advocates for college access, homelessness, and suicide prevention, we have also been able to touch the community in more ways than one.

The foundation’s assistance allowed Spring Lake Township to re-roof, re-paint, and renovate the Dewitt School, which was formerly a one-room schoolhouse established in 1891 and operated until 1957. It is now open to the public by appointment and used by local schools to allow students to experience a historical learning environment.

We are also fortunate enough to have made lasting and significant contributions to the wellbeing of the village of Spring Lake. In conjunction with our foundation and the Verplank family, the village has been designated as a Tree City, which is a nationwide movement providing the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.

In Ferrysburg, our community contributions have impacted not only residents but all those in Northwest Ottawa County. The foundation has played a significant role in the advancement of the Dr. Mary S. Kitchel Outdoor Classroom, Mike Herman Memorial Field, and Fire Barn Park playground.

Aligning with our environment priority area, overall, the foundation has been very important in Grand Haven Township’s park system—partnering with the township and other individuals to make it fantastic.

As you can see, the foundation fulfills a very important role in each of our municipalities. We can’t wait to continue to do work alongside our community members.


What role will you play in the future development of our home? Will you have a stadium named after you, a park built in your neighborhood, or a cause designated to what you are passionate about?

After 50 years of activity in Northwest Ottawa County, we have been able to create a positive impact for future generations. Looking back at all we have done, we are delighted to see what is yet to come. Our 50th anniversary is a celebration of what we can do together. Learn more at

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