Knight Grants Awarded

Before Marilyn Underhill, daughter of V.C. and Velma Knight, passed away, she made sure that her parents’ wishes were carried out to benefit Lenawee.  She said, “My parents came from humble backgrounds, however they did well financially and were able to help hundreds of people in their lifetimes.”

But V.C. and Velma Knight did much more than help people in their lifetimes.  Although Velma passed away in 1980, and V.C. in 2005, they recently funded $46,000 in grants.  Since their private foundation assets were transferred to the Lenawee Community Foundation, they have awarded nearly $525,000 in grants that assisted thousands of Lenawee residents with their basic needs.   Their “dedication to help their fellow human beings,” according to their daughter, is alive today because of the legacy they left.  And the exciting news is that because only the earnings are spent on grants, there is still over $1 million in their legacy fund.

Grants were awarded to:

Adrian Morning Rotary Club for Weekend Snack Sacks

Associated Charities of Lenawee County for daily distributions

Blissfield Food Pantry for pantry services

Catherine Cobb Safe House for shelter support

Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee, Hillsdale for the Child Advocacy Center & Children’s Trauma Assessment Center

Child Care Network for the Family Support Program

City of Refuge Ministries International for the Meal Assistance Program

Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County for the home repair program

Housing Help of Lenawee for Housing First programming

Hudson United Methodist Church for the Backpack Buddies program

Lenawee Department on Aging for transportation support for senior citizens

Lenawee Public Transportation Authority for transportation support for residents with disabilities

NewSong WeCare for support of pantry services

Salvation Army for support of twice weekly community dinners

St. Mary’s Food Pantry & Dire Need Office for basic needs support

We are grateful to the volunteers who spent their time reviewing the grant requests.  They had a tough job.  Volunteers who served on the committee that made the grant recommendations included: Dawn Bales, Luana Bixler, Chelsey Boss, Gerry Burg, Cindy Carver, Sarah Church, Linda Polter, Austin See, Sharese Shannon Mathis, Jamie Taylor, and Taylor Williams.  Their recommendations were approved unanimously by the Lenawee Community Foundation Board of Directors.

Leaving a great legacy is about using what you have, to improve what you see happening around you, and continuing that work on into the future.  When you leave a legacy, not only do you improve the quality of life for yourself, but all our friends and neighbors.  Now and forever.


Paula Trentman serves as Vice President & Director of Grants and Programs of the Lenawee Community Foundation.  Your Community Foundation assists individuals, corporations, and organizations in fulfilling their charitable goals for our community.  For information about how your business, any group, your family, or you can volunteer to build a better community, call 517.263.4696 or contact  We would be delighted to be of service as you invest time, talent, and treasure now and forever.