The St. Johns Area Community Fund is a non-profit organization that proudly serves to help financially support initiatives, programs and projects which improve and promote the quality of life in the St. Johns area. And, it is due to the dedication, intelligent oversight and hard work of the Fund’s board of directors that this mission isable to take place. It is with endless thanks and gratitude that the St. Johns Area Community Fund acknowledges the following people as they complete their terms of service on the board of directors.
HEATHER HANOVER was part of the founding group that decided to start an endowment fund to serve the St. Johns area in 2009. (In this case, an endowment fund is a financial investment of which the earnings are used to fund the mission of a non-profit.) With the aid of 52 charter members, the St. Johns Area Community Fund (SJACF) was able to pull together the $10,000 that was required to begin the Fund under the umbrella of the Capital Regional Community Foundation (CRCF).
Heather served the SJACF board of directors for 12 years as chairman, vice-chairman, treasurer and chairman of the Grants Committee. During her time on the board the endowment has grown from a sub-fund of the CRCF to its own 501c3 (tax-exempt) fund of nearly $500,000.
“We have contributed to many projects in the community and I feel that bigger and better projects are possible because of this Fund,” says Heather. “All the members of the SJACF board have been diligent in their board expenditure decisions and have represented the Fund well in our community. Looking at the new board members coming in, I think we will remain in good hands and continue to make a difference in the St. Johns area.”
TOM IRRER has always enjoyed visiting vibrant towns and cities. And, coming from a family of farming that, as he says, “can’t move away, it is our duty to make ‘Right Here’ the best place to live.” The St Johns Area Community Fund’s goal to make our community better aligns perfectly with Tom’s own goals.
Tom has seen much growth during the nine years he served on the Fund’s board (2011-2020). Early, when endowment funds were limited, the SJACF was able to provide a means to accept large corporate grants for the Splash Park at the city park. Since then, it has awarded over 40 grants totaling about $75,000. Tom points out that some of the greatest accomplishments during his time serving on the board include: assisting the community with COVID-19 relief; completing a major fundraising drive in 2019 to grow the endowment to $500,000; responding to requests to help disadvantaged kids; and establishing the Children’s Fund, a sub-fund dedicated specifically to serving the needs of children and youth in our community.
“These accomplishments are not mine but are the results of leadership by many board members,” Tom states. “The average age of the incoming board members is lower than when I first started in 2011 and they have great ideas and enthusiasm. They will make the best use of our future endowment contributions. I plan to keep contributing and I hope many others will also.”
CRAIG BISHOP served on the SJACF board for 10 years (2010-2020) in various offices and committees. "As a lifelong banker and lender interested in community development, I applaud the efforts of groups like the St. Johns Area Community Fund,” he says. “In the long run, all efforts and funding work together to make our community a desirable place to be. Whether you live here or are just visiting, everyone benefits. During my time on the board, it has been gratifying to participate with a group of like-minded people who bring a variety of knowledge and skills to work to improve and develop the St. Johns community. This organization will be a benefit for a long time to come.”
JOHN WIEBER has also been on the board from the very beginning and is a charter donor. During his board service he was vice-chairman and was chairman for 3-1/2 years. It was during his time as chairman that the very successful campaign to increase the endowment fund took place.
"The establishment and growth of the St. Johns Area Community Fund was a group effort by several leaders in the community,” explains John. “I am grateful to all of these leaders and the donors who have made the SJACF such a success. The establishment of the Children's Fund last year was a big step, and hopefully that fund will continue to grow and become a significant help for children and youth in our community. All it takes is for people to recognize the need and make a contribution. I believe the Community Fund will continue to grow and become a much larger force for good in the St. Johns area."
Learn more about the St. Johns Area Community Fund at SJACF.org, and on Facebook at “St. Johns Area Community Fund.”
P.O. Box 33
St. Johns, MI 48879
Facebook: St. Johns Area Community Fund