About Us

Our History

"Our area's growth and prosperity have long been enhanced by the charitable gifts of many generous people who have given back to our communities. Today, that spirit continues through the work of Lakeshore Community Foundation. In partnership with philanthropic clients, your community foundation will help to assure that our communities continue to grow and  prosper." - A Giving Guide Lakeshore Community Foundation.

Our History

To preface our history, a limited explanation of the community foundation concept is in order. A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that receives, administers, and distributes charitable gifts from individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofit organizations for the perpetual benefit of their communities. The world's first community foundation was born on January 2, 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio. Within five years, community foundations sprang up in Chicago, Boston, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Buffalo. Now there are more than 750 community foundations in the United States and some 1,700 exist worldwide.

Inspired by the concept of a community foundation, a group of Sheboygan and Manitowoc citizens proposed the idea to the President of the Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation, Thomas Bare, in 2006. Over the next several years, the Board of Directors of the West Foundation studied the concept. Understanding the vast benefits, they resolved to support the establishment of a community foundation for Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties.

Through the Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation's generosity, Lakeshore Community Foundation was formed in 2009, joining the wave of community foundations across the nation and around the world, to transform philanthropy. The Foundation was awarded its tax exemption status in June 2010 and hired its first employee in September 2010. Proving his commitment to the community foundation concept, Thomas Bare established the first personal fund at Lakeshore Community Foundation in May 2011. The first nonprofit organization fund was also established that same month.

Each fund within the Foundation has its own identity and charitable purpose. Each fund benefits from pooled investments to create a lasting community resource. Each fund makes grants for purposes specified by its client. Over time, investment proceeds help to increase both the value of the fund and the cumulative impact of its grants.

Although gifts and giving plans may vary, the generosity and foresight of each client reflects an enthusiastic commitment to improve our communities for future generations. Like all community foundations, Lakeshore Community Foundation assures that gifts given today will continue to serve our communities in perpetuity according to each client's wishes.

Our Mission

To gather, grow, and give charitable financial resources in order to build stronger more vibrant communities now and into the future.

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Lakeshore Community Foundation operates under the leadership of a volunteer Board of Directors that is responsible for the overall strategy, policies, and management of the Foundation. Our Board of Directors acts as the steward for the Foundation's financial resources and awards grants to build stronger, more vibrant communities. Our Board members demonstrate personal involvement in civic affairs and a high level of commitment and philanthropic leadership to the Lakeshore Area.

Thomas Aschenbrenner             Edward McKelvey
Richard Balge   Randall Olm
Thomas Bare   Jane Pfeffer 
Joseph DiRaimondo M.D    Timothy Schroeder 


Rachel Wiegert, Executive Director
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