Our History


“I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”                                                                                     Robert F. Kennedy

In February 2003, three long-time Milan residents, Isabelle Schultz, Don Harkness, and Millard Phillips, came together to share their ideas, vision, and passion for improving our community. Thus, in the beginning, there was a dream, a lot of desire, but no formal organization, no plan, and no money.

So Isabelle, Don, and Millard went to work. They quickly recruited a volunteer committee from the community to look at the feasibility of establishing such a charity. But after months of research and discussion, the committee realized the idea of starting a community foundation was more much complex than they realized.

So they decided to seek the expertise of a well-established partner. By affiliating with an existing foundation, the committee would receive guidance and leadership from an experienced professional staff. They could also use the lead organization’s tax-exempt status and benefit from the professional management of its assets.

Thus, in February 2005, the committee signed an Affiliate Agreement with the Community Foundation of Monroe County. And so, through the efforts of Isabelle, Don, Millard, and many other dedicated Milan area residents, the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation (GMACF) was officially born.

Since 2005, the GMACF has grown into a mature, community-based charitable foundation. Then, as now, our purpose has been to help develop the greater Milan area into a community in which we are all proud to live.

For Good. For Ever.

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