The Lemmen family has grown up giving back. The people of Coopersville supported their family and business, so they shopped at the local stores to support those families in return. Over the years, they have seen Coopersville come together, grow, and bond as a community and become a great place to live.

Now they are continuing this tradition of philanthropy with their children and grandchildren. Currently, individuals age 70 1/2 and older are required to take an annual minimum distribution from their IRA, and the Lemmens chose to give back by contributing their distribution to a designated organization fund at the Coopersville Area Community Foundation. The whole family sat down together at the family dining room table and talked about their options.

“It is important to teach the kids to give and have philanthropy in their hearts. We need to learn to give and share our blessings.” – Karen Lemmen

The Lemmens created a designated fund that benefits Kids Hope of Coopersville, an organization close to their heart. The Kids Hope volunteers lead young kids by tutoring, mentoring, and giving them hope. “We want to share our hope and love with these kids. It supports the people of the community.”

If you’d like to learn more about starting a fund, please contact Chris Riker at or 616-842-6378. For more information about the Coopersville Area Community Foundation, please contact Kari Fuller at

The GHACF has two affiliate foundations to better serve Northwest Ottawa County: the Coopersville Area Community Foundation and the Allendale Community Foundation.