In 1991, the Blandin Foundation sent Todd Driscoll on a mission to investigate the possibilities of establishing a community foundation in the Grand Rapids Area. He first brought together three other community leaders to discuss the concept. This small group determined it was feasible and they asked 17 other citizens to be on the first Rapids Area Community Foundation Board of Directors.
The larger group met for some time, determining the name of the organization, writing bylaws, applying for nonprofit status, developing investment policies, establishing a budget, along with many other business decisions.
In 1994 the Grand Rapids Area received their 501c3 status. It was the beginning of a fabulous resource for our area.
The first funds were $250,000 in scholarships transferred from Grand Rapids High School and a generous donation from Todd Driscoll to establish five community funds, such as the Fund for the Environment and the Fund for Women. The rest is history.
I was asked to be on this first board of directors, which was an honor. The Foundation had part time staff and in 1997 I interviewed for the position of executive director and was even more honored when I was offered the position. I knew it would be the best job in town, and it was.
I believe the most satisfying thing was working with dedicated board members who put their time and talents into making the Foundation a great success. The fun part was working with donors who came to us and truly wanted to give to a great variety of needs in our community.

Since then, the Community Foundation has continued in its tradition of having dedicated staff and volunteers and certainly, the Foundation would never have succeeded without the support of every donor who recognized the satisfaction of giving back to the community.