Knight Memorial Grants Available

V.C. (Cliff) Knight was a pioneer in the air conditioning business and owner of Addison Products.  His wife Velma was a lifelong Bible scholar.  Although Velma passed away in 1980 and V.C. in 2005, they continue to help others in their community. 

After Mr. Knight’s passing, their daughter decided to gift half of the assets of the family’s private foundation to the Lenawee Community Foundation, and the other half to the Hillsdale Community Foundation.  Each received approximately $1 million.  Lenawee’s V.C. & Velma Knight Memorial Fund is endowed, meaning only the earnings are utilized for grants each year and the original gift is invested and remains forever to continue generating monies for grants.

To date the V.C. and Velma Knight Memorial Fund has awarded over $272,000 in grants and assisted thousands of Lenawee residents with their basic needs.  And, the fund now holds $1.06 million from which grants continue to be made.  V.C. and Velma Knight’s dedication to help their fellow human beings will carry on forever, because of the legacy they left.    

Grant applications are now being accepted for health and human service programs.  Applications are due August 1, 2017 by 12:00 noon.  Only nonprofit organizations providing direct services to Lenawee residents are eligible to receive grants from the Lenawee Community Foundation.  

Grant requests for funding will be reviewed by Foundation staff and the Knight Fund Grants Committee prior to submission to the Board of Directors for approval.  To make the best use of available funding, the Lenawee Community Foundation will give highest consideration to programs that:

  • Provide direct services to individuals and families, addressing their basic needs.
  • Leverage resources through funding partnerships, matching grants, or sharing of other resources.
  • Can be sustained without continued funding from the Community Foundation.
  • Encourage collaboration and cooperation among charities, and do not duplicate existing services.
  • Encourage volunteerism, civic, or community involvement.


Capital projects, and indirect services will not receive funding consideration.

Applicants must contact Paula at the Lenawee Community Foundation at 517-423-1729 prior to submitting a request.

“We are so happy that the Knight’s daughter shared about her parents, their values, and their charitable interests,” stated Suann Hammersmith, President and CEO of Lenawee Community Foundation.  “Our grants committee, board and staff know exactly what the Knights would have wanted to support, so we and those who follow us, can carry out their wishes – ‘For good. For ever.


Paula L. Trentman
Vice President & Program Manager
Lenawee Community Foundation
P.O. Box 142 (mailing)
606 North Evans St. (physical)
Tecumseh, Michigan  49286

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