Community centers enhance the quality of life for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities by giving them access to affordable facilities and programs that bring families and neighbors together. The Gerstacker Foundation has been a supporting this mission since the early 1950’s.
More than $4.1 million in grants have enabled the Midland Community Center to offer aquatics, childcare, wellness activities, family programs, sports leagues, and in 2008, an enhanced campus with wellness trails and community basketball courts.
The West Midland Family Center (WMFC), established in 1974, serves 10 rural townships and offers unique services such as a College Opportunity Program for students. The Gerstacker Foundation has given nearly $1.6 million to this facility, joining others to fund an expansion that included a pool, gymnasium, youth room, library and computer lab.
“This facility will have a tremendous impact on hundreds of people who will benefit from the much-needed services,” said Greg Dorrien, executive director, WMFC. “We are grateful for the chance to make our rural community a better place.”
The Gerstacker Foundation has also given more than $1,299,000 to the North Midland Family Center in rural Mills Township. “We have been able to impact thousands of lives in this community through programs such as our emergency food pantry, Head Start, and senior citizen’s meals and events,” said Chris Tointon, CEO, Greater Midland Community Centers, Inc. “From infants to teens to seniors, NMFC really is the center of this community.”
SpringHill Camps believes that camp promotes community, teaches critical thinking, embraces nature, creates future leaders and fosters positive relationships. This camp has the opportunity to see this kind of life-changing impact every year. SpringHill looks to continue providing camp experiences for kids in our Michigan communities through scholarships and partnerships in offering a safe and fun place where kids can see themselves in a new and exciting way.
The Gerstacker Foundation is one of many supporters of SpringHill Camps, donating $539,000 since 1992 in pledges and grants. These dollars have helped fund camp expansions that have enabled more young people to come to camp.
SpringHill focuses on programs for young people grades first through twelve. From summer camp, group retreats to weekend family camps and winter retreats, people enjoy the many activities on nearly 1,000 acres of forest, wetlands, lakes and ponds. They can learn how to ride a horse, skateboard, play paintball along with many more activities while sleeping in the many unique housing units; including: tepees, forts, cabooses and a vintage cargo plane. SpringHill Camps is one of the largest and most popular youth camps in the country, bringing life-changing experiences to young people year round.
“At SpringHill we passionately believe that kids need camp. Because in a world where the average child spends more than 70 hours a week in front of a screen (television, gaming, phone, and computer) and only 30 minutes out of doors, we know a week at SpringHill provides kids what they’re so often missing in their lives – an opportunity to be a kid and to grow physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually and to do it in such a way that can’t be done sitting in front of a screen. The support of the Gerstacker Foundation, along with so many other supporters, continues to help us assure that kids can have this type of quality, life transforming camp experience.”- Michael Perry, president of SpringHill Camps