Local Couple Establishes Fund for Love of Community

Have fun.

Do no harm.

Help others.

These are the principles that guide Bonnie Marsh and George Shaw’s family. It is what drives their generosity.

Longtime Bay County residents, Bonnie and George have been advocates for our community through the years. Serving as board members and staff for area nonprofits, volunteering their time, and sharing their resources, this couple has distinguished themselves as one who “walks the talk.” Bonnie even served as Bay Area Community Foundation’s executive director for several years, and our organization still benefits from the seeds she planted.

When they heard about the unrestricted fund that Ruth Jaffe established in her husband’s memory, the Martin D. Jaffe, MD Fund, they were inspired to do the same and established the Bonnie Marsh and George Shaw Family Fund.

“We know the needs of today, such as pandemic support, will not be the needs of tomorrow,” said Bonnie. “We believe in the longevity of the Community Foundation and value the flexibility it offers to support the community in so many ways.”

The challenge came at the right time for them. They plan to leave a portion of their estate to BACF, but it’s hard to tell how much it will be when all is said and done. George said, “It makes us feel really good to do more than write an annual check. It’s something more significant. We are at a point in our lives where we know we won’t miss that money, and now it’s hopefully going to do good forever.”

The couple shared how they’ve watched the community transform itself from “dusty and industrial” to one that is taking advantage of the area’s natural resources and building eco-tourism. They feel called to contribute to this change. Both outdoors people, Bonnie and George enjoy the efforts that have gone into building the local rail trail system and recreational opportunities along the river.

Bonnie and George know that this transformational change comes from everyone working together, and they encourage others to get involved. “Leave your mark. Thank your community that you have benefited from and help ensure it is here for future generations,” said Bonnie. “It’s a great way to leave a legacy. Starting now will help it grow into something even greater than you could have imagined.”

We thank Bonnie and George for their commitment to this community. Their generosity will ensure Bay County remains a vibrant community and a great place to raise a family.

Do you want to learn more about how to create your own legacy? Visit www.bayfoundation.org/generosity for more details about the challenge.

Learn about the Garnett and Elmie Compeau Challenge

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