Want to know how the Treetops Charity Fund was established? For 30 years, Treetops Resort has held the Fall Charity Invitational, and for nine years, the Patriot Golf Day Charity Outing. Both tournaments are opportunities to give back to the community. Kevin McKinley, director of Golf and Ski at Treetops, saw a bigger vision for the resort. McKinley has a history of philanthropic endeavors, and, as a past board member of the Otsego Community Foundation and member of the Grant Committee, he knew what benefits a community foundation could bring to a charity. Treetops Resort partnered with OCF to create the Treetops Charity fund at the Foundation in 2012 and established the Treetops Scholarship Fund in 2018.

“The Treetop’s Charity Fund ensures that deserving charities in our wonderful community will be taken care of long after I’m gone,” McKinley said, emphasizing how OCF’s involvement has turned the Resorts annual charity tournaments into a sustainable and yearlong endeavor.

Treetops Resort employs over 400 staff who work around the clock to achieve the resort’s goals. While donors do not always see their donations making a difference, McKinley explained how he saw the resort’s generosity in the community bettering employees’ lives. Not only is Treetop’s Charity Fund and Scholarship Fund helping those who work across the five golf courses and two hotels, but it also impacts others in the community. This year the fund continued its legacy of caring by funding the Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division during the Community Grant Program. This grant helps provide emergency assistance to individuals and families. The intent of this program is to increase residential stability by aiding with rent and utilities.

“It gives me great pride to know that our charity funds are helping our employees, customers and their families when they need it most. Many people are just one tragic event away from an emergency situation,”  McKinley commented. He is proud of the difference the fund was making in the community and will continue to make.

The Treetops Scholarship Fund was established to provide funds to Otsego County residents who are pursuing higher education at either vocational or academic institutes. Preference is given to applicants who have overcome adversity, have shown interest in the hospitality field, or have relatives who have been or are employees of Treetops Resort. “Further education is critical for our high school graduates. They can take any varying path – public university, private college, community college or trade school. The Treetops Scholarship Fund provides help to students with the greatest need to accomplish their goals. We hope this opportunity will allow students to go from thinking, ‘I can’t afford it’ to ‘now I think I can go to school’,” said Barry Owens, Treetops Resort General Manager.

In the future, McKinley sees the Fund doing bigger and better things. With the sustainability OCF ensured for the Treetops Charity Fund, such a goal is not far off.