Area foundations to distribute Ash funds

By Julie Stafford • Last Updated 3:22 pm on Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GREENVILLE — The remaining assets of the Stanley and Blanche Ash Foundation will be split among two local foundations over the next 60 days or less.
The Ash Foundation, which has contributed millions of dollars to local causes, will be divided and given as endowments to the Greenville Area Community Foundation and Montcalm Community College Foundation.
Ash Foundation President Gordon Stauffer made the announcement Wednesday evening during the Greenville Area Community Foundation’s 22nd annual dinner.
“Blanche’s last request to the board of directors was that we morph what was the Ash Foundation into both the Greenville Area Community Foundation and the Montcalm Community College Foundation,” said Stauffer.
He declined to name the amount of money involved, but said it is “substantial.”
Blanche Ash, who died Aug. 24, along with her late husband, Stanley, dedicated their lives to helping area high school graduates afford college and funding programs that helped enhance the lives of those who live here.
The Ash Foundation contributed more than $250,000 toward scholarships and community improvement projects over the past year. She gave the lead gifts to Spectrum Health United Hospital’s United for Health project in Greenville and Montcalm Community College’s Stanley P. Ash Building in Sidney.
The Ash Foundation also is the benefactor behind the annual Ash Cultural Event in Greenville, which brings a high caliber entertainment act to the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center.
Stanley Ash was founder of Greenville Tool & Die.
Blanche Ash wanted to make sure their foundation had an end date while continuing to take care of the causes closest to her heart.
“Blanche had a vision and she wanted this idea to go forward and not end with the foundation,” Stauffer said.
The Greenville Area Community Foundation  and the Montcalm Community College Foundation each will establish a fund for supporting the educational dreams of area high school graduates and enhancement projects.
“Blanche would be thrilled,” Stauffer said. “She had complete confidence in the Greenville Area Community Foundation and the community college foundation.”

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