History of First Foundation
The idea of a Foundation for First Presbyterian Church was first introduced in 1981. By 1982, the Session had voted its support and nine church members had been chosen to spearhead its creation and guidelines. The purpose would be “to provide for the extension of the ministry and outreach of the First Presbyterian Church beyond its annual operating budget.” And, “to provide for extraordinary needs of the church should changing future circumstances affect its ministry and mission.”
The original members of the Foundation included: Daniel Burlingame, Robert Cosner, John Courson, Bruce McCristal, Joan Palleschi, Jean Perkins, Lloyd Reuss, Paul Robertson and Alice White. This team developed several plans to be used in building the original Foundation account. The committee later expanded to include: Morgan Roberts, Arnold Carlson and William McIvor.
A Kick-off banquet was scheduled for May 15, 1983. Held in the ballroom of the Troy Hilton at a cost of $5 per attendee, the keynote address “Faith and Philanthropy” was delivered by, Dr. Oscar Remick, President of Alma College. Remarks were also given by Paul Robertson who quoted from the Book of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. “If anyone requests you go with him one mile, go with him two miles.” From this quote was created the original theme “Second Mile Giving.”
Since its creation, the Foundation has reached out to many agencies, locally and around the world.