Happy June. I will admit, I had a whole other "From the President" written for June - a celebration of May - of the incredible young adults coming out of our public schools, to the amazing work that our partners around the county are doing (you can read the draft here). But then Memorial Day came about. I happily participated in the Plainwell Memorial Day Parade, humbly driving the float for the members of the Plainwell VFW (and their families), most profoundly I listened to an amazing speech given by my stepfather who happens to be the Commander of the Plainwell VFW. I proudly watched as my husband participated in the ceremony - also a member of the VFW. And I carefully listened to that speech, the powerful words, and the sacrifices made by so many. (READ IT HERE). Afterward, we gathered as a family, full of veterans and first responders. We were able to take comfort in each other's presence while thinking privately about lives lost too soon. Near the end of the day, as everyone was packing up to leave, a text message made the day even more poignant. My uncle died. He was drafted into Vietnam, a proud Marine until his last day. While he did not die in an active war – surely the diseases caused by agent orange entitle him to gratitude and remembrance for his sacrifice, my aunt’s sacrifice, and the profound loss for his children and grandchildren. Among my many fond memories of this uncle, was a driving lesson that on-ramps were for SPEEDING UP. YOU BETTER MERGE GOING THE SPEED OF TRAFFIC. I think about that almost every time I am driving down the on-ramp. 

So, as we kick off the beginning of summer – enjoying these last few days of the school year – let's take a moment and remember those that have given their all to our nation, to our states, to our towns and to our homes. Let’s also think about what WE are going to leave to those behind us – what is our legacy? What are our lessons? Big or small? How do you want to be remembered? 

Paula Baker is a long-time friend, advocate, and leader of the Allegan County Community Foundation (ACCF). In fact, Paula served on the Board of Trustees from 1996 – 2016, much of that time as Board President. ACCF is profoundly grateful for her gift of service to the foundation and the community at large for over 20 years.  

In the early years, Paula shared that there were only 5 Board members, and that the name of the foundation was simply, Allegan Foundation. Under Paula’s leadership, the Board membership grew, not only in number, but also in representation from around the county, and the name changed to Allegan County Community Foundation to better reflect the foundation’s mission of serving the entire county. Paula also worked hard to host donor events and grow the foundations endowment. 

Read More!

The Thiel Family established the Jack and Susan Thiel Fund in honor of Jack and Susan Thiel. In addition to being educators for many years, both incorporated music into their lives through participation in church music programs, community musicals, and countless hours of volunteer work in support of the vocal and musical arts.

This fund provides music and vocal arts opportunities to young people. Scholarships are available to 8th-11th graders in Allegan County to attend music or vocal arts camps.

Scholarship Requirements

  • Students must attend an Allegan County public school
  • Students must be in 8th grade - 11th grade
  • Must be used for a vocal or music camp program
Jack and Susan Thiel Music Camp Application

Pride month begins on June 1st and is celebrated for the entirety of the month. Pride month commemorates the ongoing pursuit of equal justice for the LGBTQ+ community.

The ACCF PRIDE Fund promotes safe, healthy, affirming environments for LGBTQIA+ communities within Allegan County by increasing visibility, allyship, multigenerational support, access to resources and promoting physical and mental health. This new fund recently had it's first round of grant applications! Stay tuned for announcements coming soon.

The Pride Celebration Garden is a gift from Carl Jennings and Lawrence W. Gammons. The Garden is dedicated to Carl Jennings, Lawrence Gammons, and the Douglas Dunes Resort, which they created in 1981. The Garden is a loving tribute to Carl and Lary's life together and the lives of so many wonderful LGBTQ friends, residents, and visitors. The fund was established to cover the care and maintenace of the garden to be enjoyed for generations to come.

The Allegan Pride in Freedom Scholarship was created by Judge William Baillargeon and his husband, Brent Leonard, to support members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies in Allegan County. This scholarship can be used by the recipient for any post-secondary education endeavor.

June 2024

Read the Spotlight Here

If you are interested in representing your peers and making a difference in your community fill out the membership request below. Interested members should fill out the form by August. Want to learn more about TAG? Visit the website!

TAG Membership Request

The Community Legacy Grant Cycle is now open!

Community Legacy grants provide support to non-profits that help communities across Allegan County to become stronger, healthier, and more vibrant. The ACCF Distribution Committee apply grant dollars directly where they are needed – even as needs and opportunities change. Did you know that every donation into the Community Legacy Fund goes back out in the community as a grant? Make a gift to the Community Legacy Fund to support the work of our local non-profits.

Make a gift to the Community Legacy Fund
ACCF Grant Application Portal

THANK YOU to our donors, pantry partners and community partners who made the 2024 Cereal Drive possible. Our pantries are busy reporting totals. We look forward to sharing results soon!

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