by Doug Marrin, November 6, 202 

DCF Committee members Jill Boydston, Melanie Szawara, & Julie Schumaker presenting a grant award to Dan Cooney of the Encore Musical Theatre.

The Dexter Community Fund (DCF), a permanent community endowment at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, recently completed its annual grant cycle and distributed $10,000 to local non-profit organizations. The DCF Advisory Committee reviewed grant requests and awarded grants to five organizations.

DCF Committee members Julie Schumaker, Melanie Szawara, & Melissa Joy presenting a grant award to Dexter Senior Center representatives Jim Carson, Dan Chapman, Kim Martini & Emily Kiesler.

● Children’s Literacy Network to purchase copies of Are Your Stars Like My Stars for Anchor and Beacon Elementary students participating in the BookPALS program which connects students in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit and to develop students’ reading proficiency and build bridges between students from different socioeconomic communities.

● Dexter Senior Center to utilize an aging services consultant to review current practices, survey program participants, and survey other Senior Centers for best practices to improve the Senior Nutrition Program which provides home-based and congregate meals to older adults.

● The Encore Musical Theatre Company to bring live musical productions to smaller groups safely within COVID regulations to serve seniors, youth, and the community.

● Legacy Land Conservancy to place a new permanent sign at the entrance of Woodland Preserve, a 13-acre public preserve on Joy Rd. open to the public for bird watching and solitude, to increase accessibility and education.

● Webster Township Historical Society to install period paver bricks through the May Mast Memorial Garden in the Historic Webster Village. The historic village fosters appreciation for the rural quality of life among historic farm families and newer residents.

DCF Committee members Julie Schumaker & Jamie Guise presenting a grant award to Thelma Tucker of the Webster Township Historical Society.

These grants addressed community needs identified by a Community Needs Assessment conducted in 2018:

1) Services/programs for seniors;

2) Mental health services for youth and adults;

3) Improved outdoor recreational opportunities;

4) Services/ programs for teens;

5) Services/programs for the homebound; and

6) Programs to enhance arts and culture.

DCF Committee members Jill Boydston, Chris DeRuyver and Melanie Szawara presenting a grant award to Betsy Durant, Derra Clark and Natalie d’Aubermont Thompson of the Children’s Literacy Network.

To date, the Dexter Community Fund has awarded grants to twelve local non-profits – Center for Independent Living, Children’s Literacy Network, Dexter Area Historical Society, Dexter Community Players, Dexter Senior Center, Encore Musical Theatre, Faith in Action, Girls Scouts Heart of Michigan, GrieveWell, His Eye is on the Sparrow, Legacy Land Conservancy and Webster Township Historical Society.

DCF grants are made possible by the permanent endowment at AAACF, established with the generous donations of community members. As the Dexter Community Fund grows, the endowment will have the capacity to support even more projects and non-profit organizations to address community needs and enrich the quality of life within the Dexter community. For Good. For Ever. For Dexter.

Legacy Land Conservancy representatives Krista Jacob and Kyler Moran accepting a grant award from DCF Committee members Julie Schumaker, Chris DeRuyver and Melanie Szawara.


About the Dexter Community Fund (DCF) – The DCF is a permanent endowment at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) dedicated to enriching the quality of life in the Dexter community. The DCF is a source of community capital available to address critical areas of need and enhance the quality of life within the Dexter community. Through annual grants, the Dexter Community Fund supports initiatives related to education and youth, the environment, senior services, health and wellness, human services, arts and culture, and community improvement.