File photo by Deb Jacques

Troy family gives challenge grant to library endowment fund

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published February 28, 2018

TROY — A Troy couple will match dollar for dollar, up to $4,000, contributions to the Troy Public Library endowment fund with the aim to raise $100,000 by March 19 — 18 months after the endowment was launched. 

Tom and Ingrid Perring said they will provide the match. 

Tom Perring serves as the chief administrative officer of Altair Engineering in Troy. The company donated the first $1,000 to get the library endowment fund started. 

“This is the kind of philanthropy that makes Troy a great place to live,” said Doug Tietz, chair of the Troy Community Foundation. 

Tom Perring said he and his wife have lived in Troy since 1978, raising their two daughters. 

“We spent a lot of time at the library,” he said. “This is our chance to give back.”

Tom Perring also serves on the board of the Troy Community Foundation.

He said the library is a central part of the city of Troy. 

“The reason we wanted a match is to encourage people to give and raise awareness of the library,” he said. 

Cathy Russ, director of the Troy Public Library, said that about $1,000 in donations came in following the announcement of the matching challenge grant. That brought the total amount raised to $91,321. 

The $100,000 endowment would allow the library to use the interest, which Russ estimates would be between $3,500 and $5,000 per year. 

Russ said she wants to use that funding for “something visible, to be used by all patrons, and something for youth services.” 

The fund is housed within the Troy Community Foundation, which operates under the nonprofit North Woodward Community Foundation. It launched in September 2016. 

A new donor wall was installed last year in the library’s lobby, and any donation above $100 will be included on the wall.

The Troy City Council unanimously approved an $18,940 contract for the Troy Public Library Endowment Fund Donor Wall last May and $14,714 from the building maintenance portion of the city budget for updates to the wall at a Feb. 19 meeting. 

Russ said the new part of the donor wall will be unveiled in mid-May. Details are forthcoming.

“It’s fun to see who’s on the wall,” she said. 

Anyone who wishes to donate to the Troy Public Library Endowment Fund should make checks payable to the Troy Community Foundation and include “library endowment” in the memo line. Mail checks to the Troy Public Library, Attn: Library Endowment Fund, 510 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48084. 

To donate online, visit