Nearly $2 Million in Grants Awarded from Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

In General

Over 300 Grants Totaling Nearly $7.5 Million Awarded Since Inception of Funds

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced nearly $1.9 million in grants to 71 organizations through the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds. Since the inception of the funds in 2016, over 305 grants totaling nearly $7.5 million have been awarded.

Endowed funds at the Community Foundation are designed to grow over time and provide funding in perpetuity for charitable causes according to a donor’s wishes. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation established endowment funds at the Community Foundation to provide support to issue areas that were important to Mr. Wilson during his lifetime: Caregiving, Design and Access, Youth Sports, and the Grosse Pointe community.

“The innovative programs in the areas supported by the Wilson Legacy Funds are a testament to the power of philanthropy and endowment,” said Mariam C. Noland, President of the Community Foundation. “Mr. Wilson’s impact continues to grow every year with our ability to support more projects on an increasing list of inspiring organizations that are meeting today’s challenges. For example, this year we saw an increase in the number of Design and Access applications and grants, demonstrating the importance of public spaces during the pandemic.”

These endowment funds at the Community Foundation are complementary to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s efforts to create immediate impact within the communities of southeast Michigan and Western New York. The legacy funds are a generous, important tool of support, particularly for a range of smaller and midsized nonprofit organizations. Grants from these funds are made annually, and information on the next round of grantmaking will be available this fall.

2021 Grantees

13 Grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Caregivers ($300,000 Total)

  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc. – Greater Michigan Chapter: support for the expansion of a caregiver support program to Livingston, Monroe and Washtenaw counties
  • Area Agency on Aging 1B: support for expansion of the Caregiver Coaching Program in Oakland and Macomb counties
  • Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute: support for counseling and activities through the Cancer Caregiver Support Community Program
  • Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan: support for free older adult respite services to low-income caregivers in Macomb and Oakland counties
  • Gilda’s Club-Metro Detroit: support for free emotional and support services for cancer patients and their caregivers
  • Hospice of Michigan, Inc.: support for a program to foster virtual connection for patients and caregivers
  • Interfaith Health and Hope Coalition: support for Help and Hope for Caregivers, a program in partnership with small faith communities
  • Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, Inc.: support for the Caring for Caregivers program for caregivers of older adults
  • Jewish Vocational Service and Community Workshop: support for programming and resources to facilitate positive, meaningful interaction between caregivers and their loved ones living with dementia
  • Livingston County Catholic Charities: support for services and programming for caregivers and clients with memory-related diseases
  • New Day Foundation for Families: support for mental health services and resources for caregivers affected by cancer in southeast Michigan
  • Universal Dementia: support for the expansion of Caring for the Caregiver program for family caregivers of those affected by dementia
  • Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services: support for a new navigation program for caregivers

19 Grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Design and Access ($825,150 Total)

  • Charter Township of Harrison: support for plans for a safer option for pedestrians and cyclists to utilize trails and cross the Clinton River Spillway in Harrison Township
  • Charter Township of Oxford: support for the design and construction of a safety path along Dunlap Road to be utilized by pedestrians of all ages and abilities
  • Charter Township of White Lake: support for the design and engineering of one mile of pathway along the Township Triangle Trail
  • City of Marine City: support for a universally accessible kayak launch, an ADA compliant walkway system, and adaptive seating to allow park-goers of all mobility levels to access the waterfront
  • City of Oak Park: support for small-scale recreational amenities for all ages and abilities at the Nine Mile Linear Park
  • City of Port Huron: support for the design and installation of non-motorized pathways to connect neighborhoods, a nature park, the Black River Canal, and two schools to the existing section of the Bridge to Bay Regional Trail
  • City of Wyandotte: support for downtown Wyandotte to enhance its built environment through a series of capital/infrastructure improvements to better assist non-motorized travel amenities
  • City of Ypsilanti: support for the Huron Street Pathway project to provide a safe connection over I-94 for non-motorized access
  • Detroit Greenways Coalition: support for a collaborative discussion and plan to address existing gaps in the Conner Creek Greenway and Iron Belle Trail bicycle route in the city of Detroit
  • Friends of the Rouge: support for the development of site plans for Phase II of the Fort Street Bridge Park in southwest Detroit to create meaningful access to the Rouge River and intersecting greenways
  • Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation: support for a feasibility study to determine the best way to make trail connections between local state recreation areas and metroparks in Livingston county
  • LifeLab Kids Foundation: support for an inclusive, recreation-based outdoor learning environment for children of all abilities
  • Michigan Physical Fitness, Health and Sports Foundation, Inc.: support for a Safe Routes to School pilot planning and programming project for one Detroit high school
  • Midtown Detroit, Inc.: support for landscape design and mobility planning efforts for the Cultural Center Planning Initiative to increase the district’s walkability and circulation between the institutions
  • NW Goldberg Cares: support for the Curtis Jones Park, a combination outdoor basketball court and event space
  • Oakland Charter Township: support for the development of the Northern Trailhead of the Paint Creek Trail in Oakland Township
  • Pontiac Community Foundation, Inc.: support for the re-development of Mattie McKinney Hatchett Park in the city of Pontiac focused on creating recreational opportunities for all individuals
  • Project Evergreen Foundation, Inc.: support for the renovations of Philadelphia Park in Detroit, including the expansion of park size, installation of an inclusive playset, and re-naming the space as McDuffy Park
  • Sidewalk Detroit: support for the production of accessible signage and improved wayfinding at Eliza Howell Park in Detroit

29 Grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Youth Sports ($604,645 Total)

  • Advancing Macomb Foundation (fiscal sponsor for LK St. Clair Open Soccer for All Youth): support for coaches training for no-cost youth soccer clinics
  • Advancing Macomb Foundation: support for basketball equipment sharing at existing neighborhood basketball courts in Macomb
  • Chaldean Community Foundation: support for a sports sampling camp for immigrant youth
  • City of Port Huron: support for free indoor ice-skating pilot program for low-income families in Port Huron
  • City of Saline: support for a 8 week summer park recreation program for school aged youth
  • Clark Park Coalition: support for year long-youth sports sampling program in Clark Park
  • Detroit Horse Power: support for summer and after-school horseback riding programs for Detroit youth
  • Detroit Public Schools Foundation: support for training coaches and officials to create pipelines to serve the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s students and families
  • Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program: support for whole-person wellness for Detroit youth
  • East Side Youth Sports Foundation: support for a youth hockey program in Detroit
  • Figure Skating in Harlem, Inc. – Detroit: support for recreational and athletic ice skating for girls in Detroit though a hybrid- small groups and a digital learning platform
  • Free Bikes 4 Kidz – Detroit: support for bikes for Detroit youth
  • Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan: support for summer camp for physical activity & social-emotional skill development for low-income girls
  • Kids on the Go: support for a sports program for youth with a wide range of physical and/or developmental disabilities
  • LAHC-Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities: support for a hybrid summer fitness program in Dearborn
  • Mack Avenue Community Church Community Development Corporation: support for youth sports sampling program emphasizing prevention for youth ages 5 – 17 years old on the lower east side of Detroit
  • Matrix Human Services: support for basketball and boxing programs for Detroit youth in the Osborn Neighborhood
  • Michigan Scholastic Cycling Association: support for capacity building to meet the growing number of youth participating in mountain bike league
  • Monroe County Opportunity Program: support for outdoor exploring activities that will introduce at-risk youth to diverse recreational offerings

10 grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Grosse Pointe Community Assets ($145,500 Total)

  • Edsel & Eleanor Ford House: support for educational activities that will help children cultivate a responsibility for the environment
  • Full Circle Foundation, Inc.: support for young adults with special needs to run programs and micro-enterprises, and to support the Director of Programs
  • Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education: support to provide resources to support students’ journey to recovery and promote community healing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Moross Greenway Charitable Foundation, Inc.: support for next steps to create a safe and environmentally sustainable roadway along the Moross greenway in the Grosse Pointe Area
  • Neighborhood Club: support to develop a comprehensive, updated strategic plan including a community-wide detailed survey to assist in shaping the strategic direction
  • Services for Older Citizens, Inc.: support to expand the basement to serve more seniors and offer additional programming
  • Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe: support to decrease isolation of our members and pivot programs for women in recovery to continue during COVID-19
  • The ARC – Grosse Pointe/Harper Woods, Inc.: support for a biking program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • The Family Center of Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods: support for programs and resources aimed at mitigating the mental health crisis facing youth
  • We GP: support for the expansion of the Grosse Pointe LGBTQ+ Pride activities to provide a safe, welcoming place through digital and socially distanced gatherings

View a complete list of all Grantees of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds


 About the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $1.2 billion through more than 80,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. For more information, visit

About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation:The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information, visit