Sturgis Area Community Foundation is beginning the new year with 12 new funds. Each fund was established by donors in 2021 to support local needs in our community.
The New Funds
(click the arrow beside each fund to view more information)
Dr. Aurora DeCastro Scholarship Fund
Dr. Aurora DeCastro came to the United States from Cuba as a young girl. She received her undergraduate degree from LSU in Baton Rouge and earned her doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. DeCastro retired from Miles Laboratories in Elkhart, Indiana and went on to establish several new businesses. She holds multiple patents on inventions of her making. With her fund, Dr. DeCastro seeks to help others further their education and achieve their dreams.
Arseneau Memorial Fund Sponsored by the Open Door Gallery
Remembered for his genuine kindness, the Patrick Arseneau Memorial fund creates a permanent legacy for Pat, perpetuating acts of kindness in his name. The fund exists to support local needs and enhance the quality of life for residents of St. Joseph County. Grants will be made annually to local nonprofits. The Fund was initiated by the Sturgis Open Door Gallery where Arseneau was a longtime volunteer, friend, and artist.
Daniel E. Martin Fund
During his life, there wasn’t much that Dan Martin did not embrace with a healthy dose of enthusiasm and full sense of adventure. Dan was a hunter, skydiver, rock climber, horseback rider, deep sea diver, sailor, and so much more. When he passed away in May 2021 following surgery for a double lung transplant, Dan’s family wanted to celebrate his life in a way that would reflect his lifelong love of adventure. That’s why the Martin family worked with the Sturgis Area Community Foundation to establish a permanent field of interest fund in Dan’s name. The Daniel E. Martin Fund will exist to support charitable programs and initiatives that help residents fuel their own sense of adventure in the areas of recreation and entrepreneurship. Read more about Dan and the Daniel E. Martin Fund here.
SNP Sturgis Building Trades Support Fund
To expand its homeownership program and bring more quality homes to our community, Sturgis Neighborhood Program now partners with the CTE Building Trades Program of St. Joseph County’s Intermediate School District. With financial investment from the Community Foundation, SNP and the CTE Building Trades collaborate to build new homes in Sturgis. In 2021, with a lead grant from the Newell A. and Grace A. Franks Fund, the Sturgis Neighborhood Program established the SNP Sturgis Building Trades Support Fund as a way to provide additional resources for the Sturgis construction trades program and its students.
James E. Riley Fund
The James E. Riley Fund is the first of its kind at the Sturgis Area Community Foundation. The fund exists to provide support for local veterans through the Emotional Support Animal Program of the St. Joseph County Office of Veterans Affairs.
The Fund was established by the Riley family in memory of longtime Klinger Lake resident Jim Riley. Jim served in the United States Army from 1971-1972 and was stationed in Korea before leading a successful career as President of Gray Brothers Stamping in White Pigeon, Mich. Aside from work, Jim served the local community on many boards including being President of the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation, Key Bank Advisory Board, Fruit Belt Electric Board, and was a board member and many time President of Klinger Lake Country Club.
Eric and Lynn Jones Family Fund
Established by longtime Sturgis/White Pigeon residents, Eric and Lynn Jones. The Eric and Lynn Jones Family Fund is a donor-advised fund, which will allow the Jones family to support charitable causes in Sturgis and White Pigeon, that are meaningful to both of them.
Todd D. and Diana L. Maynard Sturgis High School Music Program Fund
Diana was a life-long resident of Sturgis. She attended Sturgis Public Schools and graduated from Sturgis High School in 1972. A love of all kinds of music ranked very high on Diana’s list of favorite things. She began piano lessons at age 12 on a used spinet piano her parents invested in for her. Diana played flute and piccolo in the Sturgis High School Band for 7 years and SHS orchestra, as well. After graduating from high school, she was an assistant with the SHS Marching Band earning the Sturgis Exchange Club Community Service Award. In recognition of Diana’s lifelong love of community and music, the Maynard family and friends have established the Todd D. and Diana L. Maynard Sturgis High School Music fund in Diana’s loving memory.
Metz/Christenson Family Fund
The Metz/Christenson Family Fund was established by local resident, Gary Metz. Gary is a Sturgis High School graduate, Class of 1972. After graduation, Gary earned his Bachelor of Science in Business from Central Michigan University. The Metz/Christenson Family Fund is named in honor of Gary’s father, Earl Metz and mother, Evelyn (Christenson) Metz. Gary’s hope for the fund is that it grow to provide support to respond to community needs in Sturgis and Centreville for generations to come.
Eugene and Bobette Melchi Family Fund
Bobette Melchi was the first woman to serve on the Sturgis Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees. Together, Gene and Bobi have served the Sturgis area though their support as volunteers, board members, and donors throughout the years. The Eugene and Bobette Melchi Family Fund will now allow Gene and Bobi to continue supporting their community year after year, while also establishing a legacy of philanthropy to be carried on by their family in the future.
White Pigeon Township Library Outreach Fund
For years, the White Pigeon Township Library has served its community through creative programs and events. The library is a primary source of programming after school and throughout the summer for White Pigeon residents. The new White Pigeon Township Library Outreach Fund was established specifically to support future outreach projects and to enhance the library and its services to the community.
Dr. Paul and Barbara Brothers Fund
Established in December 2021, the Dr. Paul and Barbara Brothers Fund will help the Sturgis Area Community Foundation support local communities today, and for generations to come. The fund exists to meet the changing needs of local communities and will provide annual grants to support charitable efforts throughout St. Joseph County.
Rosalie R. and Leonard L. Eishen Scholarship Fund
Established by longtime Sturgis residents Leonard and Rosalie Eishen, the Rosalie R. and Leonard L. Eishen Scholarship Fund will assist graduates of Sturgis High School with the costs of attending a trade school or vocational education program. The scholarship will become available to both graduating seniors and Sturgis High School alumni in the spring of 2023.
Through philanthropic services, strategic investments, and community leadership, Sturgis Area Community Foundation helps people support the causes they care about, now and for generations to come. For more information on grants or donor services, email firstname.lastname@example.org.