Chelsea Community Foundation Celebrates 15 Year Milestone

The Foundation has nearly $2 million in assets with nearly $1 million in grants distributed over 15 years

Online PR News – 13-November-2010 – – A strong tradition of philanthropy in Chelsea, Michigan, took an important step forward in 1995 with the establishment of the Chelsea Community Foundation. The Foundation, which brings together local Chelsea community knowledge and leadership with the professional investment and endowment building expertise of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, has grown to nearly $2 million in assets with nearly $1 million in grants distributed over 15 years.

The Chelsea Community Foundation’s grantmaking has strengthened important Chelsea institutions and pioneered new initiatives in health, education, arts and recreation. Volunteer leadership is also part of the success story. At the August 4 anniversary celebration at the home of Foundation supporters Ann and Michael Feeney, many of these leaders were recognized, including outgoing committee chair Robin Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Feeney and Art Dils. Many other founding committee members were present, including Bob Daniels, Will Johnson and Paul Schaible

Art Dils, one of the founding advisory committee members, recalls the decision to explore affiliation with the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan as a means of increasing the impact of local philanthropic efforts. “Tapping into the Community Foundation’s capabilities and merging such fine institutions as the Chelsea Civic Foundation, originally led by George Palmer, and the Foundation for Community Care resulted in a stronger and more stable Foundation,” said Mr. Dils. “Within a short time, the Chelsea Community Foundation attracted a lead gift of $250,000 from the Chelsea State Bank for endowment and a matching grant from the Kresge Foundation,” he added.

“The story of the Chelsea Community Foundation’s is one of local leadership and long-term impact on the community,” said Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan at an August 4 celebration of the Foundation’s anniversary. “Whether through grants to support important local institutions such as the Chelsea District Library and the Chelsea Senior Activities Center, or its early support for childhood obesity prevention programs, the Chelsea Community Foundation has used its knowledge and financial resources to help people fulfill their philanthropic goals and improve the quality of life in the Chelsea area,” Noland noted.

Looking ahead to the Foundation’s next 15 years, incoming chair Warren Widmayer sees new opportunities for endowment building and grantmaking. “The Foundation has a strong tradition of support for key community organizations and is always open to new ways to strengthen the region through partnerships and initiatives that have not been attempted before.” Mr. Widmayer expressed hope that as more people learn more about the impact of the Foundation’s work, more will invest their charitable dollars with the organization and work together to achieve a greater regional impact.
The Chelsea Community Foundation is a charitable endowment fund that provides an ongoing source of revenue for qualified and needed programs and activities in the Chelsea community. Founded in December 1995, the Chelsea Community Foundation has a permanent charitable endowment of more than $1.5 million and has awarded more than $1 million in grants to organizations working to improve the quality of life in Chelsea and surrounding communities.

The Chelsea Community Foundation is an affiliate fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Since its inception in 1984, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has distributed more than $436 million through nearly 36,500 grants to area charities. Governed by a board of 55 community leaders, it oversees more than 900 funds, including more than 160 endowment funds for area nonprofit organizations.