Established October 1987

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About the Foundation

Since its inception the Foundation has been effective in supporting costly projects needed to maintain and improve our quality of life on Russell Island through use of your tax-deductible dues and contributions. Examples include: Anderson Island bridge, the seawall project, ferry landing, new playground equipment, the beach and pavilion project, and the green space initiative.

None of this will be possible without the support of all Islanders. Please join us by mailing your dues today and by remembering the Foundation as you consider your charitable giving.

Our Mission

Capital Improvement

Maintain, keep in good repair and replace as needed the public roads, walks and bridges on the Island.


Conserve, restore, protect and regulate the natural resources of Russell Island.


Preserve the public areas of the Island through the control of shore erosion and other water damage.

Public Facilities

Construct, Replace, Repair and Maintain facilities of the Island park, the ferry dock and any other facilities used in common by land owners.

By the Numbers


The Russell Island Foundation was formed in 1987 to support costly, public good projects for the Island.


To date, the Foundation has provided over $700,000 in funding to projects that would have been impossible otherwise.

Member Cottages

Our goal is to get 100% participation. Each cottage can help us sustain the Island for generations to come.


The Foundation has funded more than 15 projects that would be impossible without our support. Click here for more details.

An Update from the Foundation President

MAY 2021

​Dear Islanders,

Hooray for lower river levels and COVID-19 vaccines! I am optimistic that we can relax and enjoy the Island this season without these worries. This season, we are planning to resume our usual events such as the Memorial Day ceremony, silent auction at the Belmont Stakes party and the Musicfest. See the details below.

As approved at last year’s annual meeting, Erik Hall applied for a historic designation from the State of Michigan for Russell Island. I am happy to report that the State approved our historic designation and RIF purchased the plaque for Russell Island. It will be installed soon for all to see! Thank you, Erik!

RIF trustee, Margaret Mutch, has taken over keeping track of our membership since the retirement of Kathy Engelhart as a RIF trustee. And this spring, Margaret sent notices to all RIF members asking for renewals and dues. Many of you responded, thank you! Remember, our fiscal year runs from September 1st through August 31st and the $100 dues can be paid at any time during the fiscal year to allow participation at our annual meeting on Labor Day weekend.

Also note, that we now have a new P.O. box, new envelopes are on the ferry, and a RIF/RIPOA/RIYC website is operational. The website includes a link to PayPal for paying dues and making donations to RIF. I have used it, it works great.

I hope to see all of you on the Island soon.


Karen Ridgway

Karen Ridgway, President

Foundation Members

  • Mary Abramson
  • John and Mary Sue Adams
  • Joel and Denne Bacow
  • Peter and Kathy Bardin
  • Barb Bierbusse
  • Jim Bierbusse
  • Jeff Brannon
  • Tom and Janice Breyer
  • Angela Caponi
  • Claude and Denise Caponi
  • Eilene Caponi
  • Karen Crespi
  • Bob and Pat Degrieck
  • Augie and Dee Engelhart
  • Kathy Engelhart
  • Steve Engelhart
  • Robb Fleischer
  • Bob and Donna Garrison
  • Andrea Gill
  • Judy Glancy
  • Shannon Glancy
  • Brad and Katie Golke
  • Tim and Midge Glancy
  • Bill and Beth Gratopp
  • Georgene Grattan
  • Deb Grosfield
  • Phil Hale
  • Erik Hall
  • Rob and Margaret Hall
  • Wade and Gina Hawkins
  • Dan and Starr Hickey
  • Emil and Kim Holka
  • Ken and JoAnn Hollowell
  • Mary Hufford
  • Allen and Christine Innes
  • Melanie Izokovic
  • Jim and Melanie Jackson
  • Paul Kaip
  • Paula Kaip
  • Brian and Christina Knudson
  • Scott and Keri Kostich
  • Henry and Betty Kurczewski
  • Mike and Monica Lambert
  • Theresa Lazar
  • Carly Leasia
  • Edge and Bev Leasia
  • Rosemary Leckie
  • Anne and John Lichtenberg
  • Mike and Pam Loomis
  • Gene LoVasco
  • Jeannie LoVasco
  • Dave and Diane Mason
  • Heather Mayernik
  • John and Pat McLoed
  • Tom and Rebecca Mcleod
  • Rich McMann
  • Bill Moosekian
  • Joe and Karen Moosekian
  • Joe and Angela Munroe
  • Gary and Donna Musto
  • Margaret Mutch
  • Mick and Lynda North
  • Ruth Oden
  • Amy Ohlert
  • Bernie Ohlert Sr.
  • Mike Ohlert
  • Dan and Catherine Pareizs
  • Harry and Della Pareizs
  • Brian and Niki Peltier
  • John and Sylvia Pfender
  • Peter and Laurie Psarianos
  • Alex and Emily Quail
  • MaryLou Reaume
  • Karen Ridgway
  • Michelle and Peter Riley
  • Tony Ruggirello
  • Cathy Sarb
  • Jeremy and Lindsay Schroeder
  • Pat Schroeder and Mike Bauer
  • Robert and Mary Schroeder
  • Katy Schroeder
  • Phil and Liz Sloan
  • Rob and Amy Sloan
  • Kim Smith
  • Rob and JaniceSmith
  • Delphine Sroka
  • Diane Stanbury
  • Warren and Anne Steel
  • Dan Stock
  • Diane Stock
  • Ralph and Marie Szejbach
  • Bob and Paula Tatti
  • Derek and Vickie Teetsel
  • Greg and Ann Tignanelli
  • Tom and Lori Tisko
  • Tom and Coreen Traister
  • Dalibar Treska
  • Mark Warner
  • Theresa Warner

Meet the Board of Directors

Karen Ridgway


Claude Caponi


Emily Engelhart Quail


Peter Bardin


Dan Hickey


Emil Holka


Dave Mason


Jeanne LoVasco


Margaret Mutch


Steve Engelhart



Green Spaces | RIF

Preserving Our Green Space: Call for Vacant Property The Foundation wants to keep Russell lsland beautiful! Due to the Foundation's status as a 501(c)(3) organization, a donation or below market value sale of property is deductible for Federal income tax purposes....

Contribute Today

There are lots of ways to support the mission of the Russell Island Foundation. The simplest of all gifts is outright gift of cash. You can use the form below to donate via PayPal (consider adding the transaction fee to your gift) or pledge a paper check. You can also support the Russell Island Foudnation through Kroger Community Program or the Amazon Smile Program (more information below). If you want to contribute using a different type of planned gift, read more below.

Planned Giving
  • Outright gift of cash. Simplest of all gifts to implement. Just transfer cash, write a check or fill out a credit card charge slip. Gift is fully deductible up to 50% of AGI with a 5-year carryover of any excess deduction.
  • Outright Gift of Long-Term Capital Gain Property. Also easy to implement. Just transfer possession and any document of title to charity. Gift is fully deductible up to 30o/o of AGI. with a 5-year carryover provision. No capital gains tax on the appreciation.
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT). CRAT receives gift and pays back to donor or other beneficiary at least 50% return on initial principal for life or for a period of up to 20 years. Can pay out tax-exempt incorne, but cannot receive subsequent contributions. No capital gains tax if appreciated property is used. Donor can deduct immediately the present value of charity’s remainder interest, subject to the 50% or 30% limitation.
  • Pooled Income Fund (PIF). PIF pays an income to donor, proportionate to his or her share of fund earnings. Can be funded with smaller gift amounts than CRAT or CRUI and can receive subsequent contributions. No capital gains tax if appreciated property is used, but cannot pay out tax-exempt income. Donor can deduct immediately present value of the charity’s remainder interest, subject to the 50% or 30%o lirnitation.
  • Charitable Gift Annuity. Donor transfers gift to charity and receives back a guaranteed lifetime (or joint lifetime) income. Income amount is based on age(s) of beneficiary(ies) and is partly tax-free when received. If appreciated property is given, some of the capital gain is recognized ratably over donor’s life expectancy. Donor can deduct immediately the value of the income stream from the annuity, subject to the percentage limitations.
  • Life Insurance. Donor can use life insurance in many ways to make tax-wise charitable gifts. An irrevocable assignment of a life insurance policy to charity can generate an income tax deduction for the policy’s cost basis or cash surrender value, with future premiums also deductible on policies that are not paid-up. Life insurance can also be used as wealth replacement for charitable trusts and to leverage gifts with discounted premiums.
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Contact Us

Send your pledge, donation, or other correspondence to:

Russell Island Foundation
P.O. 361322
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI  48236