Welcome to the Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation


As the story goes, a grandfather was visiting his ailing granddaughter at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (what was then the University of Michigan Hospital).  He realized that, although she was receiving excellent medical care,  this Kiwanian grandfather wanted more for his granddaughter. He was concerned that her educational needs were not being met.  In 1922, the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor established a school and recreation program for the childrens' units in the hospital.

From that hospital visit over ninety-five years ago, the Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation has evolved to what it is today. Through our Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation, we as Michigan Kiwanians contribute over $200,000 each year to help hospitalized children by supporting “non insurance reimbursable” activities promoting children’s recovery.

The support our Foundation provides can take many forms, but it is all designed to ease the anxieties and speed recovery of hospitalized children.  And none of this would be possible without the support of Michigan District Kiwanians.

Anne Heier, Child Life Specialist at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, sums it up best.  She says, “When a hospitalized child is able to get about the business of being a child ... playing and learning ... Mom and Dad can relax, allowing the child the calm atmosphere needed to heal.” 

For more on the history of the Foundation, click here.


How can you help?

Encourage your Kiwanis club to make the requested annual contribution of $45 per member as soon as possible. 

Here's a link to the club donation form.


Make a contribution to the Thomas Oliver Greeting Program in support of our hospitalized children and your greeting will be published in the December/January issue of the Michigan Builder.  Did you know that Thomas Oliver was Governor of the Michigan District in 1973-74?  Governor Oliver encouraged Kiwanians to make a contribution to the Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation at Christmas time rather than sending Christmas cards to fellow Kiwanians around the District.  Their name would then be published in the Michigan Builder and that would serve as their Christmas card.  What a great way to share the spirit of Christmas AND help hospitalized children!

Here's link to the Thomas Oliver Greeting form.



Make an individual contribution OR a memorial contribution OR in honor of another individual. 

Here's a link to the Foundation Donor Form.


Consider purchasing a Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation Award for a fellow Kiwanian or another community member ... there are several available for donations of $250 up to $1,000!

For more information on available awards, click here.

Here's a link to more information on the Al Dailey award.

Here's a link to the Award Donor Form.


Our Stories...

The Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation’s (KMF) support of child life services in four Michigan hospitals serves children from every single county in both peninsulas of Michigan.  Check out the numbers for 2016 here.  Yet too often, we fail to recognize that it supports services for the precious child in our own lives.  Often it does not become personal until our child, grandchild, sibling, neighbor or friend’s child receives that service.  Here are some of our stories...

Ayden's Story

Sevanah's Journey

John's Experience

Our Hospitals...

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, Ann Arbor ... Child Life Specialists provide a variety of services for hospitalized children, from meeting a child in the emergency room to providing play areas for the children, to helping explain medical issues to the child (as well as other family members) at age-approriate levels.  Most recently, the Child Life Department has used Foundation donations to "pilot" new strategies for helping children cope with their hospital stay.  For more information, click here.

Childrens Hospital of Michigan, Detroit ...  The Child Life Specialists focus on reducing fear, anxiety and pain for hospitalized infants and children  They do this through medical play and distraction.  Child Life Specialists offer art therapy, music therapy and yoga therapy.   A large number of children at Children's Hospital must spend long hours in dialysis treatments.  Art therapy is one very effective way for these children to feel less overwhelmed during their treatments.  For more information, click here.

Mary Free Bed Hospital & Rehabilitation Center, Grand Rapids ... As it's name inplies, Mary Free Bed focuses on rehabilitation after catastrophoc injuries.  They offer inpatient care with therapy designed for children and teens.  Their "adaptive sports" program is  widely known as a model for children, teens (and adults, too).  For more information, click here

McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, Petoskey ... It has the only inpatient hospital pediatric unit serving most of the northern portion of the lower peninsula and the upper peninsula of Michigan.  The Child Life Department consists of one individual who fills many roles, whether that is meeting a child and their family in the emergency room, or supplying games and art supplies for hospitalized children.  The hospital also provides education programs for children with long-term illnesses to help them cope once they leave the hospital.   For more information, click here


Our Trustees...

Each Division in the Michigan District elects a trustee to represent their clubs on the Foundation Board of Trustees. Your trustee will reqularly visit your Club and bring updates about the Foundations.   Please get to know your Trustee.

Office Name Email
President Paul Elsey pelsey@comcast.net
Vice President Ron Hagen rhagen195050@gmail.com
Secretary Brian Crabtree brainc5@wowway.com
Treasurer Peggy McNichol peggy@atsassociates.biz
Trustee Division 1 Brian Crabtree brianc5@wowway.com
Trustee Division 2    
Trustee Division  3 Lori Stillwell lori2547@yahoo.com
Trustee Division 4 Wendy Marecle wendymarecle@gmail.com
Trustee Division 5 Paul Elsey pelsey@comcast.net
Trustee Division 6 Ron Hagen rhagen195050@gmail.com
Trustee Division 7 Robert Allen robert.allen@novelis.com
Trustee Division 10 Tim Braun tbraun@saginawtownship.net
Trustee Division 11 Gary Surratt gasurratt@tc3net.com
Trustee Division 12 Randy Burritt rcburritt@msn.com
Trustee Division13 Vicky Okuniewski vaokuniewski@gmail.com
Trustee Division 14 John Bigari jbigari1@outlook.com
Trustee Division 16 Liz Wilson mizzielizzie@aol.com
Trustee Division 17 Joyce Dixon joyceanne54@icloud.com
Trustee Division18   alannawh@aol.com
Trustee Division 19 Michael Pugh pughmichael46@yahoo.com
Trustee Division 20 Kenneth Visser visserk@charter.net
Trustee Division 21 Richard Luther * Contact Paul Elsey



Here are some official documents that might be of interest to you...

The Foundation's latest tax return

The Foundation's latest audit report

The Foundation's bylaws

Patient info at KMF-supported hospitals (by zip code)


If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact your Division Trustee (above),  Foundation President Paul Elsey (pelsey@comcast.net) or Foundation Treasurer Peggy McNichol (peggy@atsassociates.biz).

Thank you for your interest in the Kiwanis of Michigan Foundation.  We are here to support our hospitalized children!