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Leelanau Enterprise Editorial: Community Foundation enriches lives


posted August 29, 2018, Section 1, Page 5

It is not uncommon for people I know to ask me how I spend my time as a retiree. To be honest, I am uncomfortable when people use the word “retired” because it implies to me that an important part of my life has ended. Some friends even imagine that my wife and I spend most of our time traveling the globe. Being asked about how I spend my time does, however, make me excited to tell others about my role as a Community Foundation board member for Leelanau County!

In the Community Foundation’s 26 years, it has grown to steward $62 million in net assets. In 2017, the Community Foundation received more than $2 million in gifts from people in our community and awarded over $2.5 million dollars in grants to nonprofits and scholarships throughout our five-county area. Because of our community’s generosity, we are able to cultivate both immediate impact and lasting change in our region!

I first got involved with the Community Foundation many years ago when a colleague and friend of mine invited me to be a part of the Campbell Endowment, one of many excellent funds at the Community Foundation. My colleague and his wife made a gift to create the Campbell Endowment as a way to match their passion to help support families in need with purposeful giving. This particular fund make awards to nonprofits that help individuals achieve self-sufficiency by addressing basic needs and barriers. Our grant review meets several times during the grant process to review grant proposals, contact the nonprofits requesting funding, and, through a collaborative decision making process, we recommend grant award for approval by the Community Foundation Board. The process teaches us about the needs in our community, the many excellent organizations working to improve lives with limited resources, and the innovative programs sprouting in our community.

The Community Foundation has granted more than $1 million from the Campbell Endowment. And, through the endowment model, a $1 million endowment remains. This means that the Campbell Endowment, which is just one of many endowments at the Community Foundation, will continue to financially support our community in perpetuity.

It is because of this model and experiencing first hand that people truly want to help others and leave a lasting impression – and knowing that the Community Foundation exists specifically to enrich our communities now and forever – that I am proud and honored to be part of the work.

Read the Editorial on the Leelanau Enterprise.



Chuck and Linda Mueller reside in Elmwood Township. Both of their children graduated from Suttons Bay Public Schools, and their four grandchildren reside in the Grand Traverse area. A retired social worker, Mr. Mueller is also a member of the board of directors for Stand Up for Great Lakes and Oryana. 

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