Antrim Review Editorial: Community Foundation creates lasting impact
posted August 9, 2018 in both the Antrim Review and the Kalkaska Review
While serving as Chair of the Torch Lake Protection Alliance (TLPA) nearly 20 years ago, we were looking for a way to establish a fund to be used in the environmental protection of Torch Lake. In 1999, we partnered with the Community Foundation to create the Torch Lake Protection Alliance Endowment for this purpose. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that the opportunity presented itself to for me to become reacquainted with the work of the Community Foundation and the impact the TLPA Endowment had provided. That endowment grew substantially in those 10 years, providing support for TLPA, which then had the ability to grant money to areas like the Grass River Natural Area and their education program. Seeing the impact that the Community Foundation had in so many different areas was my impetus for getting more involved.
What I love about the Community Foundation is not only that immediate impact, but also how we are focused on the stewardship of endowments in perpetuity. Donors look to the Community Foundation to steward giving in a responsible manner so that doing good works can go on forever.
For me, our mission – matching passion with purpose – really sums it up. The Staff has extensive experience and expertise making donors wishes a reality. Their track record over the past 25 years shows strong expertise in fulfilling their mission and they know how to find the best way to guide endowment creation and management. And most importantly, they have an extensive understanding of the needs of the community.
During my nine-year tenure on the Board, one of the most rewarding activities over the years was attending the Senior Award nights in Elk Rapids, Central Lake, and Ellsworth to present scholarship awards. I realized that in these schools there was significant academic achievement and that the ENTIRE community came out to recognize the students’ accomplishments.
As a Board Director at the Community Foundation I’ve seen firsthand the immediate impact of our work on so many organizations that have come to us with important needs. Because of our growth over the years we are now able to assist many of these needs and also to rally the community where appropriate. Last year, we celebrated 25 years as a Community Foundation, and I look forward to the Community Foundation’s continuing impact building strong, vibrant, and healthy communities throughout our region.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Virginia (Virg) Mouch has 16 years of experience with General Motors and their former IT subsidiary Electronic Data Systems in development of Computer Aided Design automotive manufacturing engineering systems. After moving to Antrim County in 1990, Virg took on a number of community volunteer activities including 11 years as a board member and officer of the Torch Lake Protection Alliance and seven years as an alternate on the Torch Lake Township Zoning Board of Appeals. She was appointed to the board of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation as an Antrim County director in July of 2009 and served as Secretary, Vice Chair, and Chair.