Grant Milestone: $100,000 awarded from McNamara Fund

A grant to support Wings Over Northern Michigan from the Dr. Patrick J. McNamara Fund of the OCCF marks over $100,000 awarded from this legacy gift.

After Gaylord’s charismatic, beloved radiologist Dr. Pat McNamara was tragically killed in a plane crash, the McNamara family chose to set up the Dr. Patrick J. McNamara Fund through the Otsego County Community Foundation.

“Here is a way to carry out the wishes of your loved one,” says Bob McNamara, Pat’s brother. “This community has provided a great, safe and sound place to raise a family, and we need to ensure that for future generations.”

“It’s one stop shopping,” explains Bob. “We know that the decisions they make will be prudent. We don’t have to worry about it.”

The Dr. Patrick J. McNamara Fund, established in 2011, has awarded 51 grants totaling $105,000. Each year, nonprofits apply and a volunteer committee reviews the applications, keeping in mind Pat’s passions of aviation and education, as well as the needs of the community. In addition to Wings Over Northern Michigan, this year’s grantees include:

Gaylord Blue Devil Wellness Center

Application Name: Healthy Water, Happy Students

Project Summary: The YAC proposes the addition of water filtration/bottle filling stations throughout the high school to promote water consumption in students and reduce plastic bottle waste.

Gaylord Community Schools

Application Name: ASSIST – Accessing Support Services in Student Therapy

Project Summary: ASSIST will provide financial assistance for mental health care through the Gaylord Youth Support Program, which is a partnership with Alcona Health Center. These students are in crisis, and their emotional and social skills are impacting their ability to learn and function at school.

“Gaylord Community Schools is so honored that our ASSIST program was fully funded, in part through the McNamara Fund. I knew Dr. McNamara as a high school student, when he personally supported an opportunity for me to travel abroad. I would not have had that life changing experience without his financial support, and I think it is so fitting that his generous spirit lives on through this grant. He helped me as a young person, and is still helping young people through this grant. ” stated North Ohio Principle Mandy Bolen.

Otsego County Library

Application Name: Room at the Library! Creating Spaces for Study and Collaboration

Project Summary: The Otsego County Library is seeking funds to add comfortable, enclosed small group rooms with the technology and configuration needed to support collaborative learning and shared interests.

Quarterback Club

Application Name: Gaylord Community Field

Project Summary: The Gaylord Community Field Campaign is a community fundraising effort for the improvement of Gaylord High School’s athletic field. The goal is to build the field and start an endowment for future maintenance. This includes partnerships with Gaylord Community Schools and St. Mary Cathedral Schools.

Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, Inc

Application Name: Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Services

Project Summary: WRCNM is requesting support of our Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Services Program (DA/SA) for Otsego County residents. This program provides victims of these crimes with crisis and ongoing services designed to assist them in surviving the initial trauma and throughout the healing process.

Bob McNamara recognizes the value of the Otsego County Community Foundation. “It’s sustainable. It benefits the local community. It makes an impact in all different avenues. The board makes the tough decisions, so it’s easy to make an even bigger impact. For tax ramifications and estate planning—there are a million advantages!”

As a leader in local philanthropy, the Otsego County Community Foundation connect donors, nonprofits and civic partners to create lasting impact for Otsego County. To learn more, call the office at 989-731-0597.