A Central Lake native, Cleo Purdy's passion for children and young families lives on because of her generous heart and thoughtful planning. Supporting programming for preschool, playgroups, and family engagement, her gift will continue to impact generations of families.
Gifts great and small make a meaningful difference in the communities we treasure. By aligning our gifts with what means the most to us, we can create a lasting and personal impression.
What impression will you make? Let's give it forward, together.
The Giving JAR Scholarship was established in memory of James Allen Raymond and supports annual scholarship awards for graduating seniors from high schools in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska or Leelanau Counties. Recipients include students planning to attend college with a goal of becoming teachers, coaches or other vocations ultimately giving back to youth within the communities they choose to live in.
Jim was a loving husband, father and strong family man throughout his lifetime and seemed to never meet a stranger. He offered his friendship and his ability to fix most things to neighbors and friends alike whenever the need was there. Over the course of his life, Jim kept himself in excellent physical condition as a former snow skier, avid golfer and general outdoorsman. He also loved to dance and took advantage of every opportunity he could. Jim spent 30 years as a math and driver’s education teacher and basketball coach, beginning with his first job right out of college at Michigan State when he became the head basketball coach for Benzonia High School in 1956. His next stop would be Clare High School in 1960 where he faced a program that had lost some 25-30 straight games before he took over the program. He turned the program around in his first year and his team won the very first game he coached. In 1963 he was recruited to coach at Saginaw Buena Vista, where he built a powerhouse team often ranked in the top five in the state, while winning multiple district and regional championships during his tenure. In 1970 Jim moved his family back north to coach both basketball and golf at Traverse City Central High School until he retired from coaching basketball in 1973; but remained as golf coach for a few years until he retired from teaching in 1986. When asked by one of his sons why he had become a teacher and coach, Jim told him that he had teachers and coaches when he was growing up that had helped mold him along his way in school and he wanted to give something back and return the favor. The Giving JAR Scholarship, in memory of Jim, will continue the positive impact he had on the hundreds of kids throughout his time as a teacher and coach.