Royal Oak Launches Civic Foundation to Address Hunger and Other Needs

Royal Oak Launches Civic Foundation to Address Hunger and Other Needs

(City of Royal Oak, Feb. 5, 2021)

Royal Oak, MI – The Royal Oak Civic Foundation (ROCF) officially kicks-off this week as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit aimed at addressing broad needs in the community. The organization also announces its inaugural fundraiser this week, which challenges donors to address local food insecurity issues exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.

The foundation’s mission is “to improve the city’s health, safety, and cultural opportunities by inspiring the philanthropy of residents and business leaders to support a  thriving, resilient community.” The foundation announced its launch and the fundraiser in this video.

The fundraising challenge is supported by Robertson Homes.  The company donated $16,000, which is part of their pledge to the foundation of $200 for each of the new homes sold at the Normandy Oaks development. The foundation will use up to $7,500 of this donation for the kick-off fundraiser.

The fundraising campaign ends March 1. It will match up to $2,500 of donations raised by each of the three organizations: Blessings in a Backpack, the Open Hands Food Pantry, and the Salvation Army. Please visit to participate in the fight against food insecurity in our community.

The foundation’s kick-off also includes unveiling its logo, created by Oakland Community College student Ethan Martin through a partnership with the OCC graphic design class challenge.

The city commission created the foundation to receive grants from funders who only donate to 501(c) 3 organizations. It stems from the former ROOTS fund, a city committee which raised and managed money for the animal shelter, library, nature society, parks and recreation, seniors, commission for the arts and the historical commission (Starr House). The foundation will continue to serve those bodies.

“People love our city and want to contribute to its success,” said Mayor Mike Fournier. “The foundation gives them a central place to do that. It creates an opportunity for everyone to be a philanthropist.”  

“Further, as an independent body, the foundation can respond quickly to conditions in the community and can apply for grants that have deadlines and requirements that city government isn’t equipped to meet,”  he said.”

In addition to grants from other foundations, the ROCF accepts individual and corporate donations and bequests. Julie Lyons Bricker, the city’s grant coordinator and sustainability manager, serves as executive director of the foundation. City Commissioner Sharlan Douglas, Alex Fike of the United Way, Tom McGannon of Beaumont Health, and Oakland Community College Chancellor Peter Provenzano compose board of trustees.

“As we formally launch the foundation, we also look to expand the board of trustees,” said McGannon, the board chair. “Trustees govern the organization and help identify unmet needs in the community, but their primary task is to raise funds to support the foundation’s work.  If you have interest in participating in such a role, please contact us.  We would love to hear from you.”

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