Dexter Community Fund: Paying It Forward In Perpetuity

Null Taphouse was packed with people excited about giving their money away, and it was awesome.

It was the Dexter Community Fund (DCF) 2017 Fall Event and fundraiser. Created in 2014, DCF is a charitable endowment fund created to benefit the residents of Dexter.

The Fund’s mission is dedicated to building a permanent fund to enrich the quality of life within the Dexter Community. Since 2014, The Dexter Community Fund has begun building community capital through contributions from a wide variety of donors to meet the community needs today and in the future.

DCF works like this: Money is donated into the endowment fund and the principle remains there, untouched. The interest off the fund is then distributed back into the community. Currently the fund is just under $300,000 with the goal of reaching $2 million by the year 2020.

Co-chair of the DCF Advisory Committee, Dr. Julie Schumaker explained that “An endowment of two million means eighty thousand dollars a year in grants to the Dexter Area.” That’s a big impact.

As the Fund grows, it will support projects and non-profit organizations across a number of areas: arts and culture, education, the environment, youth, senior services, health and wellness, human services, community improvement, and a wide range of initiatives that enrich the quality of life in Dexter.

This past August, DCF distributed it first contributions to four Dexter area organizations. The Dexter Historical Society, Faith In Action, His Eye Is Upon The Sparrow, and the Dexter Senior Center all received grants of $500.

Thursday night, the 200 or so people at Null were having a good time which was also good news for the fund. Realtors Rob Ewing of Reinhart Realtors and Cindy Glahn of Real Estate One pledged a donation of $100 for every adult who attended the event.

Guenther Building Company/Guenther Homes provided further incentive by matching pledges up to $20k made to DCF by Dec 31, 2017. Food and drink for the evening was donated by Aubree’s, Busch’s, Cornman Farms, Dexter’s Pub, and Null Taphouse.

During a brief program, Dr. Schumaker told the crowd, “The Dexter Community Fund gives people an opportunity to give back to the community. It was created in 2014 under the supervision of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation which gives us a chance to tap their expertise in raising funds and giving those funds back into the area.”

Peter Freeney of the Chelsea Community Foundation had some good-natured fun with the Dexter-Chelsea rivalry. “I’m so impressed with the early work of this (Dexter) committee that you’re going to catch us in funds far before you catch us in football.”

The Chelsea Community Fund has been in place longer than DCF and Feeney took a few minutes to describe how it has impacted the community highlighting that it was the CCF that provided the money for the feasibility study of the new and highly popular DTE Energy Foundation Trail System just north of Chelsea.

Speaking to the perpetuity of the fund and its long term effect upon an area, he said “At the end of the day we really stand on the giants in the community who have come before us and we have a responsibility to pay it forward.”

I caught the attention of one of the attendees, Jane Fink, and asked her what it was that drew her to DCF;

“Karl and I and our family been in Dexter for 47 years. We’ve seen it change and grow and become more and more current, offering more to the families that come here. We whole heartedly support the idea of Dexter residents giving back to the community and putting their money where their feet are planted. Dexter is great and can only get better.”

It was a fun evening, people enjoying just being together, as strong communities often do especially when it’s just that – a celebration of who we are.

For more information on the Dexter Community Fund or ways to give, you can visit their website.



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