Troy Community Foundation hosts second annual Charity Night

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published May 10, 2023

 The Troy Community Foundation hosted its second annual Charity Night at the Camp Ticonderoga restaurant. Three new local nonprofits were awarded funding to start an endowment.

The Troy Community Foundation hosted its second annual Charity Night at the Camp Ticonderoga restaurant. Three new local nonprofits were awarded funding to start an endowment.

Photo by Brendan Losinski


TROY — On May 4, the Troy Community Foundation hosted its second annual Charity Night event at Camp Ticonderoga in Troy.

Three new nonprofits were represented at the event, and those attending got to vote on which would receive a first-, second- and third-place amount of funding that could go toward starting endowments for each organization.

“We like to think of it as a ‘reverse fundraiser,’” said Karen Greenwood, the chair of the TCF. “The $25 we charge people to come in covers the location, food and drink. The money that we raised was $20,000, which was agreed upon by our board of directors, so we are giving out money instead of asking for money. The ripple effect of that is that people give more, even though they are not really asked for it.”

The nonprofit with the most votes received $10,000. The second was supposed to receive $6,000 and the third $4,000, but due to a tie, the second- and third-place nonprofits both received $5,000. This was an increase of $5,000 of distributed funds over last year.

“Before we even got here today, more than $5,000 was individually put into these three funds from members of the community,” said Greenwood. “We talk about inflation, but people still want to give. We got checks for $5 and we got checks for $2,500. I think that these are three very worthy causes, and people just want to step up and share what they could.”

The Satterfield First Responder Scholarship Endowment Fund received the most votes and took home the highest amount in funding. Founder Andy Satterfield said he was inspired to start the nonprofit after seeing the support the TCF gave local startup organizations at last year’s Charity Night.

“It is starting this year. I was inspired last year when I went to this charity event. I reached out to (the Troy Community Foundation) to help get this off the ground,” said Satterfield. “My hope is that it continues to grow and we continue to give out scholarships. I hope it creates a sort of ripple effect to improve recruitment and retention in public safety.”

The endowment will support scholarships for those entering first responder fields and to encourage others to consider becoming a first responder.

“We want an endowment to give scholarships to first responders in Troy and to give scholarships to the children of first responders in Troy or anyone getting into police, fire, EMS or dispatch services in Troy,” Satterfield explained. “It doesn’t have to be high school seniors; it can be any age, because some of our best applicants are those who enter the field later in life. (It also) will support youth programs for public safety such as police and fire explorer programs.”

His hope is to promote the fields of public safety in the same way he was inspired at a young age.

“I have a life of public service. I joined the military when I was 17. I did 10 years in the Army Reserves. After that I joined the Police Department here and am currently a captain after serving with them for 25 years and serving as a volunteer firefighter for 18 years. I have seen the trends over the years in public safety. In the last seven years, recruitment and retention is at an extremely low level. I figured we should do something locally to help keep Troy as one of the safest cities in Michigan by trying to create something to promote public safety.”

He added he is pleased that his organization received so much support from the community.

“I am super honored and super happy about it,” said Satterfield. “I can’t say enough about the Troy Community Foundation. Creating this platform for us to create good community involvement and create scholarships and foundations is what Troy is all about. I am excited to get this scholarship going and to start giving them out.”

The second organization was the Janet Sharp Schoon Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund, named in honor of longtime Troy Public Schools music teacher Janet Sharp Schoon, who passed away earlier this year.

“The hope is to honor Janet’s memory and keep her legacy alive,” said her husband, Marcus Schoon. “She had a great love for teaching music and teaching in Troy. This is a community that really supports music, and we wanted to support that through a scholarship.”

The scholarship will be available to students in fifth grade band and orchestra in Troy public schools. One student from the band and one from the orchestra will be chosen and will receive funding for extra lessons.

“We want to support elementary music students in Troy,” said Marcus Schoon. “(Janet) grew up in a family of musicians, and our family is made up of musicians. I’m in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Janet was in the Dearborn Symphony playing bassoon. Our kids are musicians, so music was always important in our family. She is actually a second-generation music teacher because her mother also was an instrumental music teacher. As musicians, we understand the value that it imparts on children.”

The final nonprofit was the Joseph Semany Community Leadership Endowment Fund, which was begun by longtime community leader Joseph Semany who, from 1987 to 1997, was the president of the Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence. He also helped co-found the Troy Community Foundation in 1997 and served as president of the TCF for more than 10 years.

“I hope to foster mentorship programs where members of the local business community or local community leaders can bring them on or have speaking programs where they can speak to young students about their experiences,” said Semany. “We want to help develop leadership within the community of Troy. I would like to see young people develop to become leaders today so they can replace people like myself, who are getting up in age, so we still have people giving back to the community and giving back to citizens and helping our city continue to grow.”

His goal is to encourage leadership among the youth of Troy and to promote Troy as a destination for them as they grow up and begin contributing to society as adults.

“Troy is rated the 34th best city in the country for cities with less than 500,000 people in the United States,” Semany said. “Most of our great kids graduate, go to fantastic colleges, but then we never see them again. They move elsewhere. I would like to develop leadership that remains here.”

Greenwood described the event as incredibly successful and hopes this will foster continued growth for the TCF and support for nonprofits in the community.

“It was massively successful,” she remarked. “We were sold out and at capacity in this room. We got the Troy Community Foundation brand in front of 100 new people, and that is how we continue to grow our organization and our scholarships and endowments, which then gets dumped back into the community.”

More information on the TCF and all three nonprofits is available at