Grant Fund History

Field of Interest/Donor Advised Funds/Pass-Through Funds

Field of Interest and Donor Advised funds allow donors to support a specific charitable cause, such as the arts, youth, ecology, services for the elderly, or health and human services. Below is a list of the Foundation’s Field of Interest and Donor Advised Funds:

John (Jack) C. and Florence E. Bremer Memorial Fund
This Field of Interest fund was opened in 2010 by one of their daughters, Christine Mitchell.  Mr. Bremer served on numerous boards, several organizations and was committed to his community. He worked as an insurance agent until 1986 when the business was sold, and he acquired the Savas Travel Bureau as a division of CLH.  He was a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church and served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.  Florence Bremer was a member of the Memorial Healthcare Auxiliary, Owosso Country Club, and a volunteer with the American Red Cross and Brownies and Girl Scouts.

The amount available for distribution shall be used for scholarships to help individuals attend an adult literacy program.

William (Bill) J. Brooks Memorial Fund
The family of William “Bill” J. Brooks established a memorial fund in 2021 after his passing, to honor the legacy of U.S. Navy Veteran, Bill Brooks, who after traveling the world with his wife Heather, returned to live in his hometown of Owosso. He built a life in Owosso with his wife and their daughter, Cheyenne. Bill was an Owosso High School graduate, a certified ISA arborist, an MSU Master Gardener, and worked for the City of Owosso DPW retiring after 20 years of service. Bill took extraordinary pride in the Owosso community, volunteering his time for river and downtown clean-ups, planting flowers and trees, working several Owosso area and downtown events as well as many other community endeavors. He was also involved in river shed and conservation projects through his work with the city. The beautification of the Owosso community is something that Bill put his heart and hard work into.

In his memory, this fund will be awarded as a grant to non-profits in Shiawassee County for community beautification projects. This could include, but is not limited to, tree and flower planting, community gardens, upkeep/repair of downtown projects, parks, and community spaces, as well as plant and tree education/camps/classes for any age.

PFC Shane Cantu Memorial Scholarship Fund
PFC Shane W. Cantu lost his life during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. Shane passed away on August 28, 2012 when an explosive device hit his compound in Charkh. He was the first Shiawassee County fatality from the current Afghanistan war. When he was brought home for burial, many residents paid tribute to him by lining the streets from the Durand area all the way to Nelson House Funeral Home in Owosso. The procession began at Bishop Airport and was led by approximately 200 Michigan Patriot Guard motorcycles, Michigan State Police, and local police officers. Our community will never forget that day and the ultimate sacrifice Shane made for the freedom of our country.

Shane’s mother, Jennifer Clarke, established this fund to help keep Shane’s memory alive in perpetuity. Shane was born on October 25, 1991 in Owosso and was a 2010 graduate of Corunna High School. He served his country in the United States Army, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

Shane had a fun-loving and entertaining personality, always keeping his friends and family in stitches with his sense of humor and many impressions. He always looked forward to time spent with his loved ones. Shane had a love for football, especially Corunna High School football, where he was a three-year starter on the football team. Even if Shane was hurt and out with an injury, he would still be at football practices with his fellow teammates; he was a true team player. Shane was one of five children, including a twin sister. He was the only boy growing up in a house full of girls. Shane’s plans after serving his country were to study law enforcement and become a U.S. Marshal.

This grant provides funding to qualifying charitable organizations, schools, health and human service organizations, municipalities, and other governmental entities to support veterans’ programs and projects in the Shiawassee County area.

The Chamber Foundation
The Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce started this fund for the purpose of providing scholarships and/or support for educational programs and initiatives in our county.
Alford and Alice Emmert Youth Fund
The Alford and Alice Emmert Youth Fund was established to promote education and training that promotes leadership for youth in Shiawassee County. The purpose of this fund is to fund activities, experiences, education, and training that promote leadership and advance learning in citizenship, academics, agriculture, natural sciences, music, and photography. This fund will support individuals and small groups striving for excellence in the above areas, as well as those with disabilities striving for skills. Funding requests will be considered from FFA, 4-H, Scouts, Farm Bureau, Society of American Foresters, Music/Band/Photography Clubs, and other academic clubs/groups and individuals/groups with disabilities. Excluded from consideration are programs designed as anti-drug, anti-smoking, teen pregnancy, athletics, programs that promote animal rights and environmental protectionism and preservationism, and any program developed and advocated by an animal rights group.
Edward H. Fraiser Memorial Fund
Edward Fraiser was born in Syracuse, N.Y. on October 10, 1909. He resided most of his life in Owosso and married Claire “Ellie” Couture in Battle Creek on July 10, 1960. He was the owner and operator of Fraiser Painting and Decorating Company in Owosso for more than 40 years, retiring in 1980. He passed away on June 2, 1990, at Memorial Hospital. Edward attended First Congregational Church in Owosso, was a life member of BPOE Lodge 753, a member of the Owosso Eagles Aerie 851, and a member of the Owosso Country Club for over 50 years. In addition, he was a life member of Owosso Lodge #81 F. & A.M. and a former member of the Owosso Kiwanis Club. The interest from this fund is to be granted to philanthropic projects as determined by the Board of Directors of the Foundation.
Ryan Jones Memorial Fund
The Ryan Jones Memorial Fund was established in December of 2013. Ryan, who was co-owner of TiAL Products in Owosso, passed away at the young age of 43 on October 1, 2010. He graduated from Corunna High School in 1985 and enjoyed working side by side with his brother, Gregg. He also enjoyed cars and snowmobiles.

The purpose of this fund is to benefit patients who suffer from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (“ALS”) by providing services to improve their quality of life.

The fund also benefits animal welfare organizations in Shiawassee County, including but not limited to the Shiawassee County Humane Society, with a preference given to providing safe, humane, and comfortable care and treatment options for cats. The fund may also fund “catch, spay/neuter and release” programs for feral cat colonies.

Kailey Elizabeth Jordan Memorial Fund
Kailey lost her life at the age of 16 in a car accident on September 5, 2004. Kailey, the daughter of Pat and Lynn Jordan, was a junior at Durand High School and was active in tennis, soccer, track, cross country, volleyball, and working on the yearbook staff. Her love of horses led her to compete with several organizations. After graduating from high school, Kailey wanted to further her education in either horse training or photography. Memorial donations received from friends and family were used to establish this endowment fund in Kailey’s memory. Scholarships from this fund are awarded to Michigan horse camps to allow disabled or terminally ill children to reap the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding.
Memorial Healthcare and Memorial Healthcare Foundation Community Health and Education Fund
In 1998, Memorial Healthcare and Memorial Healthcare Foundation elected to establish this field of interest fund at the Shiawassee Community Foundation. The mission of this fund is to provide support for health education activities and programs proposed by other community organizations that are designed to enhance community health and wellness.
Montgomery Family Fund
Helen Montgomery Moore established this fund to support conservation, recreation, the arts and children or individuals with special needs. The Montgomery Family Fund especially honors her father, Allen Montgomery, who was an Owosso High School biology teacher. He will always be remembered by his students as a tennis enthusiast who always carried tennis racquets in the trunk of car and would provide one to any student showing interest. The tennis courts at Emerson School in Owosso are named after Mr. Montgomery.
The Playground Restoration and Maintenance Fund
In 1998, the Cook Family Foundation established this endowment fund to provide materials and supplies to volunteer groups who commit to repair or enhance public playgrounds and other recreational facilities for youth in Shiawassee County.
Elizabeth Ippy Rancour Memorial Fund
Elizabeth “Ippy” Rancour, a devoted community leader and educator, established the Elizabeth Ippy Rancour Memorial Fund in November 2023 to champion the causes close to her heart. With an illustrious career spanning 30 years, she taught physical education at Corunna Jr. High School, Durand Jr. High, and Durand Jr. High, followed by 22 years as a dedicated teacher at SRESD. Elizabeth founded the girls’ little league softball program in 1986 and initiated Special Olympics in Shiawassee County in 1974. Serving as the county coordinator (1974-1979) and Area 28 director (1982-1991), she left an indelible mark on community sports initiatives. Beyond sports, Elizabeth’s commitment extended to mentoring as a Girl Scout leader (1979-1982) and active participation in The Arc of Mid-Michigan (1972-1994). Her exceptional contributions were recognized when she received the Teacher of the Year Award in 1983.

The Elizabeth Ippy Rancour Memorial Fund is a testament to her lifelong dedication to supporting the Special Olympics of Shiawassee County and The Arc of Mid-Michigan.

Shiawassee Postsecondary Access Network (SPAN) Fund
The Shiawassee Postsecondary Access Network (SPAN) was founded in 2012 as a result of the foresight and dedication of community and civic leaders who believed that no individual should be denied an education beyond high school. SPAN aims to make higher education a reality for Shiawassee County students who dream of a postsecondary education and work hard to get it. The purpose of this fund is to support the efforts of SPAN in perpetuity.
Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (SRESD) CTE Program Fund
Gabrielle Feighner Baker and Bryan Marks jointly opened the Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (SRESD) CTE Program Fund as a Pass-Through Fund. This fund is specifically designated to channel contributions directly to the SRESD CTE program, reinforcing its endeavors to provide students with valuable education and skill-building opportunities. Gabrielle expressed “There is an immense need in our community to provide our youth with hands-on training for their future careers. We are asking the community to rally around this new school, to help give our students a competitive edge in the workforce, and to elevate the overall talent pipeline in Shiawassee County. Our kids, and our local businesses depend on this program being successful.”
Unrestricted Fund
This fund is used to support charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes as will best enhance the well-being of the residents of Shiawassee County as approved by the Shiawassee Community Foundation Board of Directors.
Mackenzie L. Watts Memorial Fund
Mackenzie was born in Owosso, Michigan, the daughter of George and Laurie Watts. Mackenzie made the people and world around her better. She was a friend to all who knew her, and the impact of her life extended far beyond those. Whether she was in the classroom, at church, in the pool, or singing in the choir, Mackenzie approached life with such heart that an entire room would smile at her presence. A natural leader, Mackenzie was constantly supportive of her peers in any situation. She could be counted on for sound advice, words of encouragement, or an open ear. She was sincere, welcoming, and lived every day with an enthusiasm only matched by her trademark smile. Mackenzie was also a hard worker, determined to give it her all until her goals were accomplished. She faced every new challenge, tackled every new problem, and climbed over any barrier with joyful optimism and full commitment. Mackenzie was a true role model and set an example for others to strive for. Coaching young children, mentoring teammates, modeling dedication, piety, compassion and determination, Mackenzie, in her 15 years on earth, demonstrated a life we should all try to emulate.

Michigan-based non-profit community organizations may apply to grant to receive funding for cardiac-related programs or emergency equipment such as Automated External Defibrillators (AED).

Debra Wegman Memorial Fund
This fund was started by Debra’s husband (Dr. Patrick Wegman) and son (Patrick Wegman, II) on the 10th anniversary of her passing as a way to commemorate her life and give back to the community that has nurtured their family for so many years.

Dr. Wegman has been practicing dermatology in Owosso since 1984, a practice his wife Debra helped to establish. Patrick Wegman, II was a member of the Youth Advisory Council, a youth philanthropy and service organization overseen by the Foundation. He currently serves as Vice President of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

In addition to offering a scholarship and operating funds for the Foundation, this fund also provides a grant for local organizations. Grants may be awarded to 501(c)(3) non-profits, schools, municipal organizations, health and human service organizations, or governmental entities. Preference is given to programs focusing on healthcare, education, arts and theatre, community improvement, ministry and spiritual enrichment, beautification projects (especially water-related projects), youth programs, senior programs, or other unmet charitable needs.

Russell and Annabelle Woodard Family Fund
This fund was established by Diane (Woodard) and Rob Collier as a way to remember Diane’s parents, Russell and Annabelle. Russell was born on October 23, 1910 in Owosso, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee L. Woodard. He attended the Owosso grade schools, Principia Upper School and Principia Junior College in Missouri, received his AB degree from Dartmouth, completed two years of graduate work in law and one year in business at the University of Michigan. He was married to Annabelle Mosher in Owosso on January 4, 1944, and together they had three children, Lee, Sharon and Diane. Annabelle was born on January 18, 1925 in Owosso. She graduated from Owosso High School in 1943 and was a homemaker and formerly worked with Principal College in Elsah, Illinois. The purpose of this fund is to be used to benefit family, youth, beautification, and preservation projects in Shiawassee County.
Youth Advisory Council W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fund
In 1998, the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) and community foundation members developed a proposal to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP). Their efforts meant to do the following: Expand the areas served by community foundations in Michigan so that every citizen would have access to a philanthropic vehicle, strengthen existing community foundations, and involve youth in community foundations through the creation of Youth Advisory Committees (YAC). The Youth Advisory Council meets monthly during the school year. They review and recommend grants to the foundation’s board of directors. Grants are awarded to support projects that focus on program activities in the arts, education or recreational fields, as well as health and human services. The Youth Advisory Council is well-respected for being community-oriented and willing to volunteer for various community events.

Agency Fund Descriptions

Agency/Designated Agency Funds

designated agency funds administered by the Shiawassee Community Foundation benefit a specific agency only that is determined by the original donor. No application form is required. Grant checks are sent directly to the agency after approval by the Board of Directors. Following is a list of the Foundation’s Designated Agency Funds:

American Red Cross Mid-Michigan Chapter Fund
In 2001, the American Red Cross endowment fund was established by the American Red Cross Mid-Michigan Chapter to support their long-term financial objectives. Residents and businesses also supported this program with some featured donors being Margaret Brown of Corunna and the Home Builders Association of Shiawassee County. The goal of this fund is to meet the needs of Shiawassee County residents for years to come.
City of Owosso Historical Commission
In 2022, this Endowed Agency fund was opened by the then current Mayor, Christopher Eveleth. The fund supports the City of Owosso Historical Commission. 
The Frances L. and Joseph R. DeVries, DVM, Nature Conservancy Fund
This fund was established by a bequest from the late Frances L. DeVries. Mrs. DeVries and her husband, the late Jospeph DeVries, DVM, were well known throughout Shiawassee County as avid animal lovers. She was born on September 30, 1911, in Howell, Michigan. Fran, as everyone called her, graduated from Michigan State College in 1932 with a degree in social work. She and Joseph “Jack” were married in Honor, Michigan, on July 28, 1933. Moving to Owosso in 1936, Fran and Jack set up his large animal practice on Main Street, treating horses and other large animals in town and throughout the county, eventually moving their practice north of town and concentrating on small animals. Those were the days when sleighs would be driven through Owosso in winter and horses were kept in town. Fran worked side-by-side with her husband in their veterinary practice, assisting in surgery, handling the books and not leaving the office until her husband did each night. Having been raised by her businessman father since the age of 8, when her mother died, Fran became an astute businesswoman and managed their veterinary practice and other business affairs with great relish. She was, in many respects, a woman far ahead of her time. An avid animal lover, Fran was the inspiration behind the Shiawassee Humane Society for many years, running it out of their office until the building was built on Bennington Road. She was active for many years on the Salvation Army board and she also was involved with the Red Cross. Sharing her husband’s love of horses, Fran was an announcer for the Saddlebred Horse Shows at the Michigan State Fair. She organized many horse shows in Shiawassee County and traveled with Jack as he showed horses. The DeVries were founding members of the Michigan Horse Drawn Vehicle Association, as well as members of the American Saddle Horse Association and the Michigan Horse Show Association. She was a member of the First Congretional Church. Fran loved music of the big band era and took great pleasure in playing the organ by ear. She especially enjoyed duets with friends on the piano and frequently provided organ accompaniment at horse shows. After retirement, she proudly skippered her 46-foot cabin cruiser on Lake St. Clair and loved every minute spent on the water. If you asked Fran what she considered her greatest accomplishment in life, she would unhesitantly tell you it was her 67 year marriage to her husband, Jack. Throughout their lives, they were at each others side, no matter what the undertaking. In the lexicon of their many friends, “Fran and Jack” was one word. Their deep and abiding love for each other was an inspiration to all who knew them. Nothing was better than simply being together. The purpose of this fund is to provide income for the operations of the DeVries Nature Conservancy in perpetuity.
Durand Union Station, Inc.
This fund was established by Durand Union Station as a way to help support their long-term financial objectives.
Durand Area Schools Educational Foundation
This endowment fund was established by the Durand Area Schools Educational Foundation to provide income and long-term protection for their Foundation.
Jackie Flynn Memorial Fund
The Jackie Flynn Memorial Fund commemorates the legacy of Jackie Flynn, an exceptional community leader and co-founder of the Shiawassee Community Foundation.

Jackie’s determination brought the world premiere of “Not Without My Daughter” to our community, generating initial funding for the Shiawassee Foundation. Her humility and commitment earned her the Athena Leadership Award in 1991. Jackie’s active involvement in various organizations, along with her role as a two-term president of the Corunna Women’s Club and financial secretary for the Owosso Sports Boosters, highlighted her multifaceted contributions to the community.

To ensure her legacy lives on, the Jackie Flynn Memorial Fund supports the administrative expenses of the Shiawassee Community Foundation. It stands as a lasting tribute to Jackie’s memory and her love for Shiawassee County, ensuring her impact endures for generations.

Friends of the Corunna Historical Village of Shiawassee County
In January 2024, a $100,000 donation from the estate of Luann Steward established the Friends of Corunna Historical Village of Shiawassee County as a Donor Designated Fund dedicated to supporting the Corunna Historical Village.
Great Lakes Family Trades Fund
In May 2023 with an additional $10,000 donation, Bryan Marks established the Great Lakes Family Trades Fund as a Donor Designated Fund dedicated to supporting the Shiawassee RESD-CTE Program. This fund aims to bolster construction, building, and any other industrial trades programs offered by the Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (SRESD). It will provide essential resources such as classroom upgrades, tools, software, books, and other items that would assist students.  Bryan shared “Our hope is that with these initial donations, others will see the value in the Countywide CTE program and also want to donate to keep these funds sustainable for future generations of youth in our community”.
Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation – Project 1225
This fund was established by the Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation – Project 1225 as a way to help support their long-term financial objectives.
Owosso Citadel of the Salvation Army Fund
Mr. Alvin Honke left a bequest to the Shiawassee Community Foundation to establish the Owosso Citadel of the Salvation Army Fund. This permanent endowment fund will be used to support the Owosso Citadel of the Salvation Army in perpetuity.
Owosso High School Instrumental Music Fund
This fund was established to support the Owosso High School Instrumental Music Program.
Owosso High School Vocal Music Fund
This fund was established to supoort the Owosso High School Vocal Music Program.
Gweneth B. Osborne Memorial Fund
Mr. Russell Osborne started this endowment fund in remembrance of his wife, Gweneth. He wanted her legacy to live on and decided to start this fund that will benefit Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee in perpetuity. Gweneth was born in 1927 in Markle, Indiana. She attended school in Huntington, Indiana, and then completed her studies in extension groups from Michigan State and the University of Indiana. On March 21, 1948, she married Russell. She belonged to the Sara Rebekah Circle at the First United Methodist Church of which she was a member. She enjoyed being involved with music, photography and gardening. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Shiawassee County Humane Society Fund
This fund was first started after Ruth Weston passed away in October of 2003. She left a bequest to the Shiawassee Community Foundation to start an endowment fund to benefit the Shiawassee County Humane Society. Another bequest was received after Frances DeVries passed away in 2005. Several donations have been received from several other donors throughout the years. Grants from this fund are awarded to the Shiawassee County Humane Society to help support their long-term financial objectives.
Shiawassee RESD Educational Foundation Fund
This fund was orginally started in January of 1991 as the Shiawassee ISD Educational Foundation Fund. The fund name changed when the Shiawassee ISD became the Shiawassee RESD. The purpose of this fund is to assist in accomplishing the corporate duties and its mission to support the educational projects and progams of the RESD.
Shiawassee County Historical Society Fund
This endowment fund originally began in October of 1991 as the Radant Memorial 4-H Scholarship Fund in memory of Stella Radant who was a 4-H Leader specializing in the personal appearance area for 35 years. Stella’s daughters, Ginny Burns and Sharon Marsh, decided to change the purpose of the fund as the personal appearance category is no longer a very active part of 4-H. They decided to change the purpose to benefit the Shiawassee County Historical Museum in perpetuity. Stella Radant worked as a salesperson at J.C. Penney and Montgomery Wards for many years. She was born October 8, 1905, in Clinton County. She attended Elsie Schools and resided most of her life in Fairfield Township and the Owosso area. On December 23, 1922, she married Edward Radant. In addition to being an active leader of 4-H, she was also a 4-H council member, was very involved with the Shiawassee County Fair with the 4-H Chicken BBQ and worked in food preparation for the 4-H food booth at the fair, was a State Exchange chaperone and belonged to the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. In addition, Stella was on the school board for Goss School (which was on Juddville Road just east of North M-52) in Rush Township. The Shiawassee County Historical Society was founded on May 24, 1963 by several citizens concerned with the preservation of structures, documents, historical sites and equipment relating to the settlement, culture and growth of the Shiawassee County area. The society is a 501 (c) 3 organization, supported by annual dues of the membership, donations and the sale of booklets and calendars of local interest. In April 2002, the Green Meadows School (on M-52 at Wilkinson Road) was purchased from the Owosso Public Schools. Until that time, there was no real place to display the many items the society had accumulated. After much renovation by society volunteers and various civic groups (notably the Kiwanis Club), the museum opened to the public in May of 2005.