5 Healthy Towns Foundation





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Did you know the IRS designated 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF) as a 501 (c)(3) organization? That means we are a non-profit, charitable organization with certain restrictions and entitled to other benefits.

For instance, each year the IRS requires 5HF spend an amount equal to 5% of our assets (averaged over 5 years). Historically we’ve invested more than 10% per year.

Any money earned on our investments or even through our mission related activities must be reinvested to serve the mission and nothing else. In fact, state legislature exempted nonprofit organization from taxes on revenue and property used for mission purposes because they want our funds are to be used for the mission described in our articles of incorporation and approved by the IRS. We aren’t to use the money to serve anyone else’s purpose – only our organizations.



You see, the legislatures, both federal and state, want to encourage nonprofits to meet needs government and businesses can’t, shouldn’t or won’t meet.

We don’t often consider the impact nonprofits are having on our community. For example, local nonprofit theaters not only expand exposure of our communities to the arts (their mission), but they expose other people to our communities. Those people dine, shop and sometimes become so enamored by the way we live, decide to move to one of our 5 healthy towns. Other nonprofits have the same kind of impact on our communities. The libraries, wellness centers, healthcare facilities, co-op preschools and others enrich our daily lives and entice others to join us. Combined, our local nonprofits have a powerful impact on our communities.

Like most non-profits, we can’t quantify the downstream effect our investments are bringing about, but we suspect our presence in Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester and Stockbridge has an exponential impact. For instance, at least $6,000,000 in state and other funds have been spent on school programs, roads, pathways and sidewalks in the five towns (not including the investments in the Huron Waterloo Pathways). These funds are a direct result of our involvement, even if they aren’t our dollars.

Below is a partial list of our mission-focused spending.

More than 170 programs have been funded or partially funded by 5HF, through the Wellness Coalitions in each town. The total 5HF’s investment in Wellness Coalition programming is $2,750,000.

We currently fund over 200 scholarshipsto our wellness centers.

We conduc tfree wellness center programs for St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea cancer patients and free child care for children of SJMC radiology patients. We also provide twice weekly, free aerobic classes for residents of St. Louis Center.

More than 35 Wellness Center educational and fitness programs are available to community, non-members at any given time

$2,800,000 has been granted to SJMC for their community health programming, including mental health services

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in mission spending supports our four wellness centers each year.

Chelsea Wellness Center is the home of four nonprofits (in addition to 5HF), with rent paid by grants from 5HF to acknowledge their positive impact on our mission.

Our Board of Directors approves this and other funding every year, to serve our mission. We are proud of our work and welcome you to take advantage of the community enrichments we fund to cultivate improvements in the personal and community health of our communities.

Think of the work your favorite non-profit accomplishes. Aren’t you glad they are there?

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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