This private foundation was founded by Arthur H. and Helen M. Nickless so that the Nickless family could give back to the communities in which they lived and worked. For the majority of their lives, Art and Helen made their home in the Michigan cities of Bay City and Millington. In their later years, they also were a part of the Arizona community of Sun City West. These geographic areas held particular interest for Art and Helen, and many of their charitable interests were centered in these locations.
In Helen’s memory, the foundation provided a lead gift to the Bay Medical Foundation in Bay City, which resulted in the creation of The Helen M. Nickless Volunteer Clinic. The clinic has cared for more than 5,000 patients since 2004 because of the more than 300 dedicated volunteers and the financial generosity of many donors, including the Nickless Family Charitable Foundation. It is truly a community effort of "neighbors helping neighbors."
In addition, prior to the creation of the foundation, Art and Helen provided numerous gifts in the form of scholarships and financial assistance to help students obtain an education. Several scholarships are awarded on an annual basis, through both the Bay Area Community Foundation and Arizona State University, to assist students with the financial costs of college. This long-term commitment to educating young minds for the future has been a part of the Nickless family legacy for some time.
The Nickless Family Charitable Foundation is now seeking out a variety of means to continue the legacy of its founders and fulfill the charitable intentions for following generations of the family. The foundation continues under the direction of Art and Helen’s daughters, Joan Tankersley, Janet Royce and Judy Graham. In addition, Art and Helen’s grandchildren are preparing for the next generation of service through their engagement with board activities. Through these family members, the board will continue to provide grants to the Bay City area, as well as places where the family lives and works.
In memory of both Art and Helen, the foundation has undertaken three projects. There have been grants to support the McLaren Cancer Center in Bay City; the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City; and the foundation’s legacy project, the A.H. Nickless Innovation Award. Through all of these efforts and more yet to come, the Nickless Family Charitable Foundation will continue the charitable intentions of its founders with the wisdom provided by the family today.