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Honoring Our Past, Investing in Our Future: The Wickson Library Endowment Fund

Each month throughout the year we’re highlighting a different aspect of our library to celebrate our 50th anniversary, which is just one month away! This month we are spotlighting our endowment fund, with special thanks to Edward and Kay Sue Johanson.

 

“Ed and Kay Sue both loved the library, particularly Ed who loved to read,” says Judge Christopher Nuechterlein. “Ed thought the library was one of Frankenmuth’s great treasures. I know he was and is not alone in believing that.” It was out of this love and appreciation for the library that the endowment fund was born.

 

Wickson Library’s endowment fund was founded on February 1, 2013 and was established by Edward and Kay Sue Johanson who believed and firmly supported the notion that “free access to information is not a privilege but a necessity for any free society.”

 

There are two established endowment funds through the Frankenmuth Community Foundation that invest in the library’s future: 1) Wickson Library Endowment: a traditional endowment with annual distributions to be used at the discretion of the Library Board, and 2) Capital Improvement Fund: in addition to annual distributions, an amount of the principal of the endowment may be available for capital improvements.

 

In a statement to the Frankenmuth Community Foundation Kay Sue said, “The gracious people at the Wickson Library touched our hearts. We knew that tax money could not cover all the necessary expenses and wanted the library to be able to keep up with all the changes occurring in our society so it will always be here.”

 

While an endowment fund serves several key purposes, its primary focus is to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of an institution. Wickson’s endowment fund enables us to plan for the future, ensuring that we realize our vision and strategic goals to thrive as a community gathering place, an educational partner, and an opportunity center for all.

 

In 2021, the library used endowment funds to build a pair of glass-paneled collaboration rooms. These meeting rooms are located on the second floor of the library and are used by a variety of patrons, including after school study groups, crafting groups, bridge groups, and as a general meeting space. The rooms are available for two or more people and can be reserved for 2 hour blocks.

 

Ed and Kay Sue were big fans of the library and wanted to ensure that special programming and future capital needs were met. “Our hope was that by establishing these funds, others who love the library like we did would be able to contribute and together, we could ensure a bright future for this valuable resource,” says Kay Sue.

 

We are still in the process of growing our endowment for the long-term future of the library and upcoming capital improvement projects. Over the next 10 years the library will require updates of significant infrastructure as our building is 50 years old. Patrons interested in donating to the lasting legacy of our beloved institution can donate at the library and may specify which endowment fund they hope to contribute to. Alternatively, checks may be sent to the Frankenmuth Community Foundation, P.O. Box 386, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734 with “Wickson Library Foundation” in the memo.


As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, the Wickson Library Endowment Fund stands as a testament to Edward and Kay Sue Johanson's enduring commitment to our community's future. We invite all patrons to contribute to this legacy, ensuring the library remains a cornerstone of education, collaboration, and growth for generations to come.





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