PORT HURON –
Donna Niester, president of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County (CFSCC) and trustee of the James C. Acheson Foundation in Port Huron was recognized with the Community Foundation Philanthropy Award by Governor Snyder and the Council of Michigan Foundations at the 2015 Governor Service Awards held at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids on Monday, June 29.
Donna was recognized for her service to CFSCC which she joined in 2003 and in doing so became the first woman to chair the board in its 70 year history. In presenting the award, Donna was heralded for her leadership on countless CFSCC initiatives including: the annual backpack giveaway, providing backpacks filled with school supplies for low income residents; the Women’s Initiative, educating, engaging and empowering women to participate in philanthropic opportunities; Studio 1219, a free gallery featuring local handmade fine art; the Youth Home, providing long-term housing for homeless teenagers; and the Blue River Water Walk, transforming nearly one-mile of waterfront.
“It’s a great honor to celebrate Donna and all of these extraordinary volunteers and organizations dedicated to their communities like Port Huron,” said Governor Snyder in presenting the award. As Donna’s nominator noted, “Port Huron would be a much different community without Donna’s love and commitment for her community.”
The Community Foundation Philanthropy Award was created in 2005 to honor individuals for service as volunteer trustees and donors in helping to grow philanthropy at community foundations. Joining the Governor for the presentation, Rob Collier, president of the Council of Michigan Foundations, commended Donna for being a true problem-solver and remarkable collaborator. “Donna’s passion for community is an inspiration and model for all Michiganders to aspire to,” Collier remarked.