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

July 2023

Happy Spring!

RIF is planning our events for this season including the Memorial ceremony, the Belmont Stakes silent auction and the Musicfest. Details of these events are included in this newsletter.

I want to thank all of you who have paid dues to RIF for this fiscal year (September 2022 through August 2023). We are on track to have a record number of members. Several married couples each have joined RIF which increases our membership. RIF Trustee, Rob Smith, will be following up with islanders this summer who have not joined RIF. We would like all cottage owners and their friends and family to join RIF.

Please keep in mind that RIF is a charitable foundation whose mission is to support projects that benefit the public on Russell Island. We’ve provided funding for 75% of the recently completed seawall work at the ferry landing. Consequently, RIF’s coffers are greatly diminished. The gazebo at the ferry landing was not rehabilitated as part of the seawall work due to the additional cost (estimated at about $30,000). RIF is considering a new capital campaign to tackle the gazebo project so stay tuned for further developments.


Karen Ridgway

Karen Ridgway, President

Foundation Members

 September 2023-August 2024

  • Joel & Deneen Bacow
  • Peter & Kathy Bardin
  • Jim & Barb Bierbusse
  • Jeff Brannon
  • Mike Cameron
  • Denise & Cluade Caponi
  • Gina Caponi
  • Gina Caponi
  • Karen Crespi
  • Dan & Lisa Dohring
  • Steve & Kathy Engelhart
  • Augie & Dee Engelhart
  • Kathy & Steve Engelhart
  • Robb Fleischer
  • Matt & Andrea Gill
  • Eric & Linda Girard
  • Judy Glancy
  • Tim & Midge Glancy
  • Shannon Glancy
  • Bill and Beth Gratopp
  • Georgene Grattan
  • Deborah Grosfield
  • Phillip Hale
  • Robert & Mugs Hall
  • Emil & Kim Holka
  • Kim & Emil Holka
  • Ken Hollowell
  • Melanie & James Jackson
  • Steve & Karen Jackson
  • Kathleen Jakovac
  • Paul & Paul Kaip
  • Brian & Christina Knudson
  • Peter Korte
  • Scott & Keri Kostich
  • Angela Caponi LaForge
  • Mike & Monica Lambert
  • Theresa Lazar
  • Bev & Edge Leasia
  • Rosemary Leckie
  • Anne & John Lichtenberg
  • Mike & Pam Loomis
  • Heather Mayernik
  • Patricia & John McLeod
  • Patricia & John McLeod
  • Rebecca & Thomas McLoed
  • Rich McMann
  • Cynthia Compton. & Rachel Moosekian
  • William Moosekian
  • Joe & Karen Moosekian
  • Bill Mott
  • Margaret Mutch
  • Michael & Lynda North
  • Ruth Oden
  • Mike & Amy Ohlert
  • Bernie Ohlert
  • Della & Harry Pareizs
  • John Pfender
  • Eric & Michele Preston
  • Emily & Alex Quail
  • Karen Ridgway
  • Anthony Ruggirello
  • Bernie Schenk
  • Jeremy & Lindsay Schroeder
  • Pat Schroeder
  • Bob & Mary Schroeder
  • Kathryn Schroeder
  • Jeremy & Madelyn Schroeder
  • Patricia Schroeder
  • Christopher & Christyn Scott
  • Norma Siedlek
  • Randy Skotarczyk
  • Kat Skotarczyk
  • Phil & Liz Sloan
  • Amy & Robert Sloan
  • Rob & Janice Smith
  • Kimberly Smith
  • Diane Stanbury
  • Warren and Anne Steel
  • Daniel & Diane Stock
  • Maria & Ralph Szejbach
  • Bob Tatti
  • Derek & Vickie Teetsel
  • Greg & Ann Tignanelli
  • Tom & Lori Tisko
  • Tom & Coreen Traister
  • Craig & Sue Vanderwagen
  • Mark Warner
  • Mark & Theresa Warner
  • Cathy & Woody Wood

Meet the Board of Directors

Karen Ridgway


Claude Caponi


Jeanne LoVasco


Peter Bardin


Dan Hickey


Emil Holka


Dave Mason


Robert Sloan


Robert Smith


Steve Engelhart



Green Spaces | RIF

Preserving Our Green Space The Foundation wants to keep Russell lsland beautiful! Due to the Foundation's status as a 501(c)(3) organization, a donation of property is deductible for Federal income tax purposes. Your accountant can advise you further on your specific...

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.
Donate While You Shop
  • Join the Kroger Community Rewards Program – Learn How
  • Support the Russell Island Foundation When Shopping on Amazon – Learn How
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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