• BCCF Welcomes New Board Members

    The Branch County Community Foundation would like to welcome their three newest Board Members; Wallace A. Newkirk, Don Germann, and Anne Freiburger.

    Wallace A. (Wally) Newkirk, M.D. Dr. Newkirk is retired after a 26 year career with the Department of Veterans Affairs, last serving as Medical Director of the Wenatchee, WA Community Based Outpatient Clinic. He is also retired from the United States Army and is a Vietnam and Desert Storm Era Veteran. He and his wife, Candace, moved to the Quincy area nearly five years ago to be nearer to their daughter, son-in-law and four grandchildren, who reside in Quincy.

    He started his philanthropic career as an adult volunteer for Boy Scouts of America and served as a committee member, Eagle counselor, and quartermaster of a troop in Winter Park, FL. After moving to Quincy, WA he joined Kiwanis and served as a board member for the Quincy Community Center. He also volunteered at the local food bank. Locally, he is a member of the Coldwater Elks, Quincy Rotary, American Legion, Quincy Chamber of Commerce, Quincy DDA, and Quincy Friends of the Library. He and his wife are owners of Studio 17 Salon and Spa in downtown Quincy.

    When asked why he choose to volunteer with the Branch County Community Foundation,
    Wally said, “I am honored to become part of such a beneficent and philanthropic organization. I hope that my service and skills will be of value to this organization and to Branch County”.
    Don Germann is a native of Northwestern Ohio and graduated from Defiance College with Bachelors in Business Management and Economics. In Ohio, Don sold real estate with his mother and then started banking as a mortgage loan officer. Don met his wife, Sue, and then moved to Michigan where he worked at different local community banks before being offered a position at County National Bank. He is currently the Branch Officer in the Jonesville Office. At County National Bank, Don has served on the Marketing Committee, Information Committee, and worked with regional deposit promotions.
    Don resides in Coldwater with his wife Sue, who is the CEO of Pines Behavioral Health, and their two children, Alli and Kyle. Alli is a junior at Michigan State University and is studying psychology and criminal justice. Kyle is a sophomore at Coldwater High School where he plays Football and Track, and is the treasurer of BCCF’s Youth Advisory Council.
    Don is an active community member and is involved with the Coldwater Township, serving as the Chairman of the Planning Commission and the Board of Review. He also serves on several Jonesville/Hillsdale organizations including the Jonesville Business Association; Jonesville Rotary Club; and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. In 2011, Don was awarded the Entrepreneurial Vision of the Year Award from the Hillsdale Economic Development Partnership and South Central Michigan Works!. In 2013, Don was awarded Jonesville’s Citizen of the Year and in 2017, he received the Marvin E. Howell Community Service Award from the Hillsdale EDP and the Rotary’s Paul Harris Award.
    When asked why he has joined the Board, Don said “The Value Statement of the Community Foundation – “We believe in: in working together to build strong communities” is one of my passions. Building stronger communities build a stronger future for generations to come”.

    Anne Freiburger is originally from Fort Wayne, IN. She lived in Lansing for 35 years where she attended Lansing Community College and Western Michigan. Anne worked in cardiology as an R.N. in Lansing and then joined United Health Care Corp. in Medical Services. Anne became National Director of Outcomes and Profiling and worked in that capacity until her retirement in 1999.

    Anne and her husband Jim moved to their lake home near Colon in 2000. Anne and Jim have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. In her retirement, Anne has been involved in Colon Kiwanis and is Past -President. She is a member of Friends of the Colon Library and St. Barbara's Catholic Church. She has served on the boards of American Needlepoint Guild and Embroiderers Guild of America focusing on fundraising for those organizations. “I feel privileged to be part of the BCCF which aligns with my goals to give back to my community. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve,” said Anne on why she is serving on the BCCF board.


  • Branch County Association of Relators Donation
    Branch County Association of Relators Donation

    The Branch County Association of Realtors donated a portion of their annual fundraiser to the Foster Care Enrichment Fund. At their annual Christmas party, Branch County Communication Foundation Board Member Josh Jones, accepted the Affiliate of the Year on behalf of Century Bank and Trust.

    The Foster Care Enrichment Fund helps foster children participate in normal, fun childhood activities. The main goal is during any activity – such as summer camp – is that children in Foster Care get to feel included, that they are the same as every other child they are with. During these instances the children can feel included and important, which is what so many of these children lack. Without continued donations, children will not be able to be part of these extra activities that help lessen trauma and isolation they experience.

  • COLDWATER — The Branch County Community Foundation recently announced that the ILE Music Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications.
    The ILE Music Scholarship Fund was created by Irma Louise English’s children to honor her, a lifelong Branch County resident with a zest for life and a passion for music.
    Besides showing their love and respect for their mother, her family wanted to offer a chance for students to have a positive musical experience just like they did. All of her children attended summer music camps, which created happy, lifelong memories.
    The fund, established in the fall of 2008, has issued 39 scholarships to Branch area music students totaling over $18,000. Former recipients have come back from camp with wonderful stories of their enhanced musical learning and their Instrumental Lifelong Experience.
    The fund is currently accepting applications for summer 2018. Students of music in Branch County will find applications for the scholarship on the Foundation’s website at www.BrCoFoundation.org or by calling 517.278.4517. Applications are due by January 31, 2018.
    Music professionals from throughout the county will serve on the selection committee.
    Donations to the fund are welcomed and former Branch County residents from as far away as Alaska make annual donations in honor of Irma and the English family.
    The Branch County Community Foundation is a non-profit organization and a nationally accredited community grant making foundation. Serving communities in Branch County and Colon by supporting charitable giving, building permanent endowments, and connecting community resources.
    For more information, please visit their website at www.BrCoFoundation.org.

  • The Heritage Cultural Park Amphitheater Project in Union City can now get underway, thanks to a recent donation by the Bruce and Ruth Young Endowment Fund of the Branch County Community Foundation.

  • The Branch County Community Foundation welcomes new board members Richard Chard and Patti Miller

  • A provision in the federal law extends this special option: transferring IRA assets directly to charity. By going directly to a qualified public charity such as the Branch County Community Foundation, the money is not included in the IRA owner’s income and—most important—is not taxed, preserving the full amount for charitable purposes.