Caring for Our Neighbors and Our Community        

Caring for Our Neighbors and Community


Dear Friends of the Bay Harbor Foundation,

Every day, we are working to improve the quality of life for our neighbors in Northern Michigan.  You may be miles away this winter, but because of your support we know that your hearts are here with us, and your generous donations over the years have made an immediate impact in our community.

Through our work we have learned that hunger is still a way of life for many children in our community. To ensure these children do not go to bed hungry, we awarded The Manna Food Project $20,903 to support their Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, which provides shelf-stable, nutritious food for children.  Still, approximately 25% of the 4,000 children in Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties are food insecure, and they need our help. 

Families, particularly single mothers with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States today, about 41%.  Even in our beautiful corner of Michigan, women and children are experiencing homelessness.  The Nehemiah Project’s Mary Margaret House housed 62 women and their children last year, and in 2016 the Bay Harbor Foundation awarded $9,600 to provide food and lodging to Mary Margaret shelter guests.

By coming together to support the Foundation’s mission, we are able to share the compassionate and caring spirit of our Bay Harbor Community with all of Northern Michigan. Your generosity can make an immediate impact in our community in many ways.

With your gift to the Foundation you are supporting many different local nonprofits that are doing everything they can to enrich the lives of others in our region. Please join us as we celebrate these achievements, as we are working every day to meet the needs of our neighbors and touch lives with tremendous acts of giving. 

Scot Morrison                                                             Candace Fitzsimons

Chairman                                                                   Executive Director

Our Mission

We are a charitable, nonprofit community organization dedicated to helping our neighbors through donations, grants, programs and professional mentoring. We operate with the highest level of financial integrity and are trusted by both our donors and our recipient organizations.

The Mission of the Bay Harbor Foundation is always foremost in our hearts and minds as we work to improve the quality of life experience in the Little Traverse Bay Region  The Foundation continues to make a difference by strengthening our community one person at a time.  We work diligently to follow the needs of the community, and we take great care to make sure that we are meeting those needs.

 The Bay Harbor Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Our federal identification number is 37-1491024.


In 2003 a group of Bay Harbor property owners, business owners and employees who wanted to make Northern Michigan a better place, came together to address their desire to channel charitable efforts through what would become the Bay Harbor Foundation.  Over the years, the Bay Harbor Foundation has provided over $2,000,000 to 105 area nonprofit organizations.

Bay Harbor Foundation First Board of Directors

 Back row, from left to right – William U. Parfet, Ruth Matthews, Linda Parker, James Ramer, David V. Johnson, Steve Schott, Jill O’Neill, Tom Gale and Robin Bucholz.
Front Row, from left to right – Chris Etienne, Lori Coates-Hay, Judy Phillips, Pam Johnson, Debbie Nachtrab, Candace Fitzsimons and Chucki Gale.

Bay Harbor Foundation Staff

  • Candace Fitzimons, Executive Director
  • Christy Schneider, Administrative Assistant


2016 Volunteer of the Year - Kim Swearengen

IMG 0441 

This year’s Volunteer of the Year is Kim Swearengen, who worked tirelessly to make sure that the Foundation put its best foot forward.

As Chair of our Yard Sale event, she worked very hard to ensure its success.  Whether she was picking up donated items, or organizing and pricing them, her mantra was always, “No problem, I can do that!”

Thank you, Kim, for your time, loyalty and commitment to the Bay Harbor Foundation.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

2016 - 2017 Board of Directors

Scot A. Morrison, Chairman
Rodney Phillips, Vice Chairman
Catherine Musto, Secretary
Leonard Frescoln, Treasurer

Jason Allen

Sally Cannon

Carole Cobb

Chris Etienne

Tina Frescoln

Heather Frick

Debra Goodman

Michael Higgins

David V. Johnson

Erika Keiswetter

Catherine Phillips

James T. Ramer

Judy Phillips

Robert Roskam

Kimberley Swearengen

Clayton 'Mac' Waldorf

Julie Wentworth

William Wentworth

Kathryn Wisne

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Message from Director

Bay Harbor Foundation Director