Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation

For good. For ever.

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by attracting and holding permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on key community issues.

Shepherd Community Fund Honoring Robert H. Bates

The Shepherd Community Fund was established in 1998, initiated by Douglas Dodge to honor Robert H. Bates, an involved, valued and highly respected member of the Shepherd community. Individuals and organizations in the area chose to use the Shepherd Community Fund as a way to pay tribute and thank Mr. Bates for all he has given to the Shepherd community. Mr. Bates passed away on September 20, 2008 at the age of 99.

Mr. Bates moved to Shepherd in 1915 at the age of six. He served in the South Pacific during World War II and returned to Shepherd to teach mathematics at the local schools. Later, he became high school principal, serving in the Shepherd School System for 27 years. After his retirement, Mr. Bates has continued to positively influence his community by staying active in his church, Food with Friends and the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen. Bates also assisted in the establishment of the Shepherd Area Historical Society, the Little Red School House Museum and the Power House Museum in Shepherd.

When asked about the Shepherd Community Fund honoring him, Mr. Bates said, "I consider it to be an honor because of the nature of the foundation itself."

The Shepherd Community Fund awards grants to organizations whose programs or services foster the general welfare of Shepherd area citizens. Since its founding, the Shepherd Community Fund has made 32 grants that benefit the Shepherd community. Grants have supported Shepherd High School after-prom programming; Winn Area Activity Center gardening, cultural field trips and the summer programs; Village of Shepherd Henry Perrine Museum 1947 railroad postal car; Girls on the Run; Blue Jays for Excellence; Wright Avenue American flags and most recently the Shepherd Santa house. Read more about projects assisted by this fund below.

Donations to the fund are endowed, which means they will never be spent. The gifts are invested and the interest is used to benefit the Shepherd community now…and forever!