Ward and Eis Gallery announced a philanthropic milestone during an annual gathering with local nonprofit leaders held outdoors, physically distanced and masked. Over the past 37 years, the downtown Petoskey gallery has donated $506,000 back to the community to serve people in need of support that strengthens the mind, body and spirit.
Gallery owner Jennifer Eis feels grateful to continue this tradition of giving in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. In spite of reduced sales and new challenges, the gallery was able to maintain the same level of giving as in past years.
During the donation ceremony, Eis remembered her business and life partner, Don Ward, who walked over from his earthly presence in 2016.
“I wish Don could be here to see the simple idea he had 37 years ago, about making a long-term commitment to help local organizations that provide basic assistance for individuals and families in need of food, shelter, medical and emotional support has now resulted in $506,000 in donations back to the community,” Eis said. “He always said that the moral vitality of any community is measured by its generosity and compassion.”
This year’s donation of $22,000 was shared as follows: Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, $4,500; Manna Food Project, $3,500; Friendship Centers, $3,500; Nehemiah Project, $3,500; Petoskey Club, $3,500; and Health Department of Northwest Michigan, $3,500.
The gallery’s contributions represent 3% of annual sales, 20% of holiday benefits and 100% of the proceeds of the Magpie Papers, a book authored by Don Ward and Jennifer Eis.
WRCNM Executive Director, Gail Kloss said, “This annual coming together with Jennifer and other nonprofit representative is restorative. She provides a space and an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate what we have all accomplished over the past year.” Kloss added that this year will be memorable because the gallery’s fundraising efforts and the donation ceremony took place during such challenging times.
“It’s amazing that a humble, unassuming gallery in Petoskey has been able to sustain their philanthropic vision over 37 consecutive years. We are grateful to Jennifer, Don and the Ward and Eis Gallery staff for their sustained kindness and generosity,” Kloss said.
Eis told the nonprofits at the gathering, “You represent the front lines in dealing with the chaotic changes, challenges and upheavals that currently define the world.” During the donation presentation, Eis reflected on the enormous size of the universe as a way to keep daily challenges in perspective. She invited those in attendance to embrace their inner starlight and continue to send light into the darkness.
Ward and Eis Gallery is at 315 East Lake Street, Petoskey, and can be reached at (231) 347-2750.
Photo caption: Ward and Eis Gallery in Petoskey continued a tradition of charitable giving with recent contributions to local nonprofit organizations totaling $22,000. Pictured are (from left) Kim Baker, The Manna Food Project; Gail Kloss, Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan; Jennifer Eis, Ward and Eis Gallery; Jama Moffett, The Petoskey Club; Michael Walker, The Nehemiah Project; Denneen Smith, Friendship Centers of Emmet County; and Melissa Hahn, Health Department of Northwest Michigan.