Making Monroe County a better place isn’t a one-person or a one-agency job. It takes a team of people bringing passion and hard work to philanthropic projects. Since 2005 the Community Foundation of Monroe County (CFMC) in partnership with our affiliate, Greater Milan Area Community Fund (GMACF) has been doing just that. Established by three Milan area residents – Isabelle Schultz, Donald Harkness & Millard Phillips to enhance the community of Milan, the GMACF has worked to improve the environmental, educational, economic, and cultural quality of life in the greater Milan area.

The partnership between GMACF & CFMC aligns expertise, technology, and resources to ensure Milan residents have access to an expansive set of grants, scholarships, and funds to support Milan. Together, with the help of the Milan Community, we look forward to continuing the stewardship, thoughtful philanthropy, and strong community engagement that has defined the Greater Milan Area Fund for the past 17 years!


Celebrating our 2023 grads! This year we awarded $28,000 in scholarships to Greater Milan Area students. Congratulations to our brightest & best:

Milan Area Schools Board of Education Scholarship

Matthew Bowman

Owen Hill

Gavin Kruise
Jules Meads

Allison Millina
Rachel Taylor
Emily Wagner
John F. Wayne

Justin Yarger

Ethel Richards Memorial Scholarship

Zachary Heikka

Ethan C. Jones Memorial Scholarship

Zachary Zeller
Kendal Sanders

Eric Harrison Memorial Scholarship

Evan Morelock

Evelyn (Hitchingham) Gerstenberg Memorial Scholarship

Adam DuBois
Samuel Halliday
Sierra Moore
Loren Rosenthal

Members of Milan High School’s Code Red Robotics, FRC Team 5567 preparing their robot for competition.

Milan Educators for Social Justice received a grant in 2021 for books to enhance their knowledge of social justice issues to develop more just classrooms, schools & communities.

Moving Milan Forward with Kathy Russeau at the Wilson Park bike fix-it station.

Grants Awarded

2022 was a record year for GMACF, with over $109,000 awarded!
Take a look at some of the great things accomplished in Milan:




 City of Milan

The City of Milan requested $25,000 to create an all-inclusive access point to the current amenities of the Saline River Access and to create new ways to enjoy the natural resources. This would entail creating a location for access to the Saline River, including a parking area and kayak launch, and include adding a walkway from the sidewalk off Plant Road to the playground for ADA access to the structures in the park.


Milan FFA

Milan FFA requested $25,000 for a new FFA/Zoology barn for students to have access to additional hands-on experiences including animal care, designing proper housing space, proper disposal of animal waste, the financial side of raising animals as a business, and veterinary needs for a variety of animals.


Milan Historical Society

Milan Historical Society received $15,000 to replace 40 windows in the 134-year-old Hack House Museum.


Milan Area Schools

Milan Area Schools requested $6,075 for the purchase of winter coats, winter boots, snow pants, waterproof winter gloves, and hats for the McKinney-Vento & Foster Care students within the Milan Area School District.


Symons Elementary – Fine Arts Program

Symons Elementary Fine Arts Program requested $5,000 to provide the students of Symons Elementary with one author visit, one theater performance, a science, musical or social-emotional assembly for each grade, and a family evening concert or visiting artist/specialist to allow children and their families to attend together


Aid in Milan

Aid in Milan requested $5,000 for the 2023 Thriving Together program which provides social and educational opportunities to Milan residents with cognitive and/or intellectual challenges, leading to a decrease in insolation and loneliness for participants and their caregivers.


Paddock Elementary School – First Grade Team

Paddock Elementary School’s First Grade Team requested $4,850 to provide the 1st-grade classrooms of Paddock Elementary with, 97 Social-Emotional Learning storybooks, furniture, organizational tools, calm lighting, hands-on tools, and 19 wobble seats. 


Symons Elementary PTO

Milan Area Schools – Symons PTO requested $4,500 to provide six (6) “specials” or electives teachers with microgrants. Those microgrants would allow the art, Library, Music, Physical Education, STEM, and Technology teachers to use this funding to enrich their classrooms and the learning experiences of their students, based on their individual needs.  


Milan Elementary STEM

Milan Elementary STEM requested $3,500 to provide microscopes, digital scales, Keva Planks, and other materials to give students hands-on experience with science, engineering, and math using these tools for projects and experiments.


Big Red Bundles

Big Red Bundles requested $3,000 to assist with providing various schools within the Milan Area School District with the necessary school supplies to complete a successful school year. These supplies will provide each classroom with two boxes of expo markers, sanitary items, and headphones for the elementary school classrooms. It is the goal to additionally provide teachers with specialized items as needed in their classrooms.


Knights of Columbus – Howard Heath Council 7587

Knights of Columbus requested $3,000 for their Community Dinners for the Underserved. This grant was used to cover the expenses incurred in the provision of 400 free dinners. Dinner ticket vouchers were given to four community organizations, Aid in Milan, Compassion Ministries, Milan Seniors for Healthy Living & K of C Howard Health Council to distribute to be redeemed at one of their five community dinners.


Milan Middle School – Yearbook Club

Milan Middle School – Yearbook Club requested $2,500 to purchase seven Canon Rebel T7 DSLR cameras and additional required equipment such as memory cards and charging cables for use by the Milan Middle School Yearbook Club. These cameras would impact the quality of the yearbook’s creation, and enhance the opportunities for students to collaborate with each other.


Milan Area Schools – Mural Project

Milan Area Schools – Mural Project requested $2,000 to create a large-scale mural at both Paddock Elementary and Symons Elementary students will work on the panels with their classmates and will be able to see that when they work together, they are a larger part of a school community. One mural will be installed in the hallway of Paddock Elementary and the other mural will be installed outside of the library at Symons Elementary.


Milan High School Code Red Robotics, FRC Team 5567

Milan High School Code Red Robotics requested $2,000 to be used toward the team’s needs for new motors, replacement transmission parts, and to contribute to the purchase of a new CNS machine.


Milan Middle School – Alliance of Therapy Dogs

Milan Middle School – ATD requested $1,000 for two years of supplemental insurance for Dash, a certified Alliance of Therapy Dog at Milan Middle School. ATD-trained dogs help to provide comfort to students in times of stress, provide companionship without the fear of judgment, help reduce negative behaviors and foster a greater sense of empathy. Additionally, time with therapy dogs may lead to improvement in the areas of attention, concentration, relaxation, motivation, and increased school attendance.


Milan grant awardees, September 2022

Milan Historical Society received a grant from the Donald E. Harkness Fund to replace windows in the Hack House Museum.

Milan High School Code Red Robotics, FRC Team 5567 received a grant from the Fayne & Joanne McGovern Youth Fund to support the team in competitions.

Milan Community Funds

Adult Education Scholarship

Aid in Milan Agency

Armitage/Brainard Milan Beautification Endowment

Carol O’Donnell and Judy Heath Memorial

The Joseph R. O’Donnell Community Endowment

Evelyn (Hitchingham) Gerstenberg Memorial Scholarship

David Glenn Memorial Scholarship

David Hoskins Aid in Milan

Donald E. Harkness Endowment

Eric Harrison Memorial Scholarship

Ethan C. Jones Memorial Scholarship

Fayne & Joanne McGovern Milan Youth

Milan Area Historical Society Fund

Milan Area Schools Board of Education Scholarship

Milan Seniors for Healthy Living Endowment

Ethel Richards Memorial Scholarship

Ronnie & Paulette Shores Scholarship

Mildred N. Sheehan Library

Carol Mohr/Margaret Walls/Nina Pemberton Library

Millard & Marie Phillips Library

Library Enrichment

Duane & Isabelle Schultz Milan Area Schools

Alumni Scholarship

Michael A. Tittiger Sustainability & Conservation Scholarship

Milan Area Enrichment Endowed

Miss Washtenaw County Scholarship

Milan Administration Fund

Milan Gala Fund

Milan Special Project Funds

Miss Washtenaw County Scholarship

Milan Administration Fund

Milan Gala Fund

Community foundations are a valuable resource for a community interested in making a difference by meeting the current & future needs of our local community. Affiliate Funds are designed to benefit a specific geographic community in the same way. Our affiliate, Greater Milan Area Community Fund is overseen by an advisory board of local leaders who are charged with two tasks: first, working with their friends and neighbors to share with them how an affiliate fund can benefit the area; and second, helping make wise decisions about grant distributions when such funds become available. We are proud to have the following individuals represented on our Affiliate Fund Advisory Committee: Dr. Eric Peacock, Chris McMullen, Jodie Franklin, Tina Walther, Cassie Prior, David Snyder & Bryan Girbach