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Posted: 01/28/04

Four County Foundation
holds Community Celebration

      The Four County Community Foundation held its First Annual Community Celebration Thursday, Jan. 22 at the Holly Meadows Golf Course in Capac.
       The event was designed to provide an overview of the foundation's accomplishments over the past two years as well as recognize a number of adult and student volunteers.
       The Four County Community Foundation was founded in 1987 with the proceeds from the sale of Community Hospital, now St. Joseph Mercy Macomb-North located on Van Dyke between Romeo and Almont. The foundation serves the northeast corner of Oakland County, the southeast corner of Lapeer County, the southwest corner of St. Clair County and the northwest corner of Macomb County.
       Foundation Director Janet Bauer said some 80 people attended the celebration during which officers were elected. New trustees are Barb Quain of Barb's Bookkeeping in Capac and Hank Nichols, a dentist in Imlay City.
       Judy Czerepowicz, Kim Jorgensen, Brenda Pinskey and Joe Salas were re-elected for three-year terms on the board.
       Czerepowicz will serve as president. She as been on the board for six years and is the director of operations at St. Joseph Mercy Macomb-North. Salas will serve as treasurer. He is president of CSB Bank and has served on the foundation board for three years. Jorgensen, who will serve as secretary, is the advertising director at the Tri-City Times and served on the board for three years.
       Chuck Schiedegger, who will serve as vice president, is the president and CEO of manufacturing at Metamora Products Corporation. He has been on the board for five years.
       Pat Brozowski and Dr. Jim Sillers have served on the board for nine years and will serve as emeritus board members, having reached their term limits.
       During the evening, outgoing president Shane Diehl was recognized for the foundation's accomplishments under his direction. In addition, the five graduating seniors on the Youth Advisory Committee were recognized for their service. The students are Chris Wingert, Katie Hollenbeck, Nick Campbell, Jo Jo Hollweg and Corey Beyerchen.
       The Youth Advisory Committee was created in the early 1990s. It has 24 members from six school districts, including Romeo. The group has its own fund with which to award grants and is involved with a number of volunteer projects in the community. In 2003, it awarded 27 grants totaling $36,450.
       While the downturn in the economy has affected the foundation, Bauer said donors have continued to give. In 2002, the foundation received more than $291,000 in gifts. In 2003, that figure numbered more than $1,387,000.
       Bauer said new gifts to the foundation are a result of the foundation working with professional advisors such as attorneys, CPAs and bankers.
       "They help their clients with their (the clients) charitable giving," she said.
       In the past two years, the foundation has created 12 new funds, including one for the Romeo Skate Park that will be located at Romeo High School.
       Another new fund is the Bernard J. Stremler Memorial Fund created in honor of Stremler who died in April 2003. Stremler was elected to the foundation's board in 1997, filling the vacancy created when his brother-in-law, Bill Wood, died.
       Today, Barbara Stremler, Bernard's wife, serves as a trustee on the board, making her the third member of the Wood/Stremler family to be involved with the foundation.
      
      
      


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